Insight on the News
● A number of groups vigorously fought the first American criminal execution in ten years, though the convicted man himself demanded it. One group declared: “Sorry, but we won’t let you turn us into killers.” However, the convict, Gary Gilmore, charged that they already had blood on their hands. He wrote to a spokesman for the group that the very persons who oppose capital punishment often approve of “abortion, which is actually execution; you’re all for that.” So he asked: “Where are your true convictions?”
Hence, even a convicted murderer could see the moral contradiction. To cry over the execution of a few guilty killers while advocating the abortion slaughter of millions of innocents is surely inconsistent! Such opponents of capital punishment seem to advocate that life merits protection when based, not on whether justice is served, but only on whether that life is located inside or outside a womb.
Are not those who condemn the God-authorized punishment for murder, while condoning legalized murder by abortion, doing just as the self-righteous religious leaders of whom Jesus remarked: “[They] strain out the gnat but gulp down the camel”?—Matt. 23:24; Gen. 9:6.
Sri Lanka’s Catholics and the Bible
● In a recent letter to “The Ceylon Catholic Messenger,” the writer complains of the work Jehovah’s Witnesses are doing among Sri Lanka’s Catholics. He notes that a “large number of young girls and boys of Catholic homes [are] now on their list of unwholesome emissaries.” Why is this? The writer says that the Witnesses “are aware that Catholics have not been permitted to read the Bible for quite sometime. Hence they are able to dupe them without much opposition.”
He goes on to suggest that “the presence of these Witnesses should be treated more as a blessing in disguise, because if we are to prevent more Catholics from going astray, then the clergy must promote Bible reading in every Catholic home.”
However, this line of reasoning raises some searching questions. Why have Sri Lanka’s ‘Catholics not been reading the Bible for quite sometime’? Have not true Christians always found ways to get copies and read God’s Word, even where it is banned? Why have not the clergy already been promoting “Bible reading in every Catholic home”? Is the only reason that they have for doing so to counter the Bible study work of Jehovah’s Witnesses?
Really, the success of Jehovah’s Witnesses among Sri Lanka’s Catholics is because they are learning the truths contained in the Bible. Promoting Bible reading is certainly to be commended, for the more the Bible is read the greater their freedom from unscriptural clergy domination.
Value of a Mild Answer
● “Suddenly, unexpectedly, you are faced by a person who is threatening or abusing you, on the street or even in your own home.” Thus begins an article in the Cleveland “Press.” Recent confrontations there ending in tragic deaths had raised the issue: How does a person best deal with such dangerous situations?
Many men may feel that their manhood is being challenged and that they must respond physically, according to a Cleveland psychiatrist who was consulted. “Some might feel it is admirable to be heroic,” he said, “but on second thought, it doesn’t make much sense. In general, I would be very polite to someone who is very hostile.”
The head of the Cleveland Police Academy training program, notes the article, advocates “avoiding a confrontation—finding a way out that does not challenge the disturbed person.”
Centuries ago, the wisdom of this approach to potentially dangerous persons was already available, long before modern psychiatric and police experience. “An answer, when mild, turns away rage,” says the Bible Proverb (Pr 15:1), “but a word causing pain makes anger to come up.”—Compare Proverbs 23:9.