Insight on the News
Behavior and TV Violence
● Does long-term exposure to television brutality affect adolescent boys? British psychologist William Belson says it does. At a recent conference of the British Association for the Advancement of Science, he reported on a six-year study involving 1,565 boys aged 13 to 16 who had been exposed to TV violence over the previous 13 years. It was found that those who often watch brutality are about 50 percent more likely to resort to violence than are boys who do not regularly view programs of that type.
Pointedly, Dr. Belson said: “All parents should now be more conscious about needing to make sensible judgments on what programmes their children watch.” He added that the grown-ups should veto what they honestly consider harmful to their children.
What a child sees and hears will affect the youngster’s behavior. But is it sufficient merely to curtail future viewing of television violence? No, for parents need to offset any possible past exposure of their children to detrimental forms of entertainment. Fittingly, the prophet Moses told God’s people of old: “You must apply these words of mine to your heart and your soul. . . . You must also teach them to your sons, so as to speak of them when you sit in your house and when you walk on the road and when you lie down and when you get up.”—Deut. 11:18, 19.
Indeed, there is a need to impart wholesome spiritual instruction to children. Parents might do well, not only to govern their children’s TV viewing, but to replace some of it by reading and discussion of the Bible.
Do You Fear Witchcraft?
● While many Asian and European doctors practice medicine in Africa, “Parade” magazine reports that “most Africans still prefer to be treated by their witch doctors.” For instance, according to a recent survey, 85 percent of South Africa’s black urban residents choose to consult witch doctors rather than competent medical practitioners. The journal also reports that the university of Witwatersrand at Johannesburg held a witchcraft symposium at which “it was explained that ‘there is evidence that the benevolent witch doctor spends more time in counteracting the evil deeds of the Tagati doctor—one who is hired to kill or cause damage to his patient’s enemy—than in any other matter.’”
Some Africans may have considered it wise to visit a “benevolent witch doctor,” especially as a precaution if they are fearful of becoming victims of death-dealing witchcraft. However, the Bible says nothing in favor of so-called ‘benevolent witch doctors.’ Rather, God’s people were instructed: “There should not be found in you . . . anyone who employs divination, a practicer of magic or anyone who looks for omens or a sorcerer, or one who binds others with a spell. . . . For everybody doing these things is something detestable to Jehovah.”—Deut. 18:10-12.
Devoted servants of Jehovah God are not affected by supposedly deadly spells, and they neither depend on nor fear practicers of witchcraft. Instead, true Christians take full advantage of divine provisions. Having donned “the complete suit of [spiritual] armor from God,” they are protected against assault from the wicked spirit forces responsible for all occult practices.—Eph. 6:11-18.
Wine as Medicine
● Citing what it termed “the oldest known record of the medicinal use of wine,” “The Journal of the American Medical Association” recently told of a Sumerian tablet from Nippur that provides descriptions of drugs prepared with wine. “Later,” comments the journal, “wine was a principal medicine in Greece. . . . Hippocrates of Cos (460-370 BC) . . . made extensive use of wine, prescribing it as a wound dressing, a cooling agent for fevers, a purgative, and a diuretic.”
These statements may surprise some modern readers. Yet the Scriptures acknowledge wine’s medicinal value. Alluding to its antiseptic and disinfectant properties, Jesus Christ said that the neighborly Samaritan helped a beaten traveler by binding up his wounds, “pouring oil and wine upon them.” (Luke 10:30-34) Also, the apostle Paul indicated that wine has curative value in certain cases of intestinal disturbance. Hence, he told his coworker Timothy: “Do not drink water any longer, but use a little wine for the sake of your stomach and your frequent cases of sickness.”—1 Tim. 5:23.