Insight on the News
Northern Climate Change
● In search of support for their theory that North America and Europe were once connected by a land bridge, scientists recently investigated Ellesmere Island in Canada’s Arctic Northwest Territory. Of interest is the fact that they found “evidence that in those days the climate in the area was swampy and temperate.”—New York “Times,” September 24, 1976.
Yet Ellesmere Island is now largely ice covered. What accounts for this complete change of climate? The Bible’s historical record suggests an answer. It describes the creation of an “expanse” around the earth that made a ‘division between the waters beneath the expanse and the waters above the expanse.’ Thus the atmosphere around the globe would have a relatively uniform warm climate due to the hothouse effect created by the water canopy “above the expanse.”—Gen. 1:6, 7.
Second Peter 3:5, 6 confirms that the earth was “standing compactly out of water and in the midst of water,” and that it was “by those means the world of that time suffered destruction when it was deluged with water.” Apparently the canopy disappeared as the waters deluged the earth, and this could be a major factor in the Arctic areas’ becoming frigid.
What Makes a Good Citizen?
● A Danish family was recently denied Canadian citizenship by the Federal Court of Appeal. Yet Mr. Justice George Addy of the court wrote that “both Appellants impressed me as being good, honest people with a deep religious faith which they translate into action in their daily lives. They are members of the movement known as Jehovah’s Witnesses . . . Both he and his wife are apparently strong believers in the work ethic and have never taken advantage of the social benefits provided for in our society. . . . Their children are exceptionally clean-cut and alert and the family from all appearances is a model one.”
Then why the denial of citizenship by this very judge? “The single obstacle to a grant of citizenship,” writes Ian Hunter of the University of Western Ontario law faculty, was the fact that, in taking the oath of allegiance, they would not agree to participate in any war effort.
Observes Hunter: “The worldly wiseman may consider Mr. Jensen a fool. Others will think him sincere, but misguided. Others, naïve. I, for what it’s worth, consider Mr. Jensen (whom I do not know) a saint, whose position exemplifies that peculiar wisdom of the saints which the world inevitably mistakes for madness.”
“We regularly admit to citizenship miscreants who soon fill our jails, and drones who [fatten] on our preposterous welfare system, yet we penalize . . . a man of integrity who will not participate in the slaughter of war. Somehow I believe that Canada would be stronger and more secure, even in wartime, if Mr. and Mrs. Jensen were welcomed to the company of ‘my fellow Canadians.’”—London “Free Press” (Ontario), August 28, 1976.
Hijacked with a Bishop
● When Croatian nationalists hijacked an American airliner to Paris recently, Roman Catholic Bishop Edward O’Rourke of Peoria, Illinois, was aboard. At one point he was allowed to address the passengers over the intercom. With what effect? One passenger related that he ‘gave us absolution, telling us it was time to make our peace with God. . . . He got the people panicky and scared.’
A flight attendant censured the bishop for depressing the passengers, and another passenger told him that it was not right to instill fear, that he should have been offering encouragement. But Bishop O’Rourke said that ‘it was time to prepare the spirit for the afterlife.’
Thus the bishop had an opportunity to follow through on the Biblical counsel to true men of God to “give courage to those who are apprehensive.” Yet he chose instead to use scare tactics based on the false teaching that some last-minute ritualistic pronouncement of “absolution” by a man could make a difference in God’s judgment of a person.—1 Thess. 5:14, Catholic “Jerusalem Bible.”