Insight on the News
Wanted: “A World Free of Injustice”
● “I want a world free of inequality and violence; I would like to build a society in which I could walk down the street without being stared at because of my color.” This expression by a high school girl of Asiatic background was cited by “The Toronto Star” as typical of an idealism reflected in letters written by Catholic youths to Emmett Carter, the bishop of London, Ontario, Canada.
Carter had toured the Catholic schools of his diocese and had invited the students to write to him. He received almost 2,000 letters on various matters. According to the newspaper, the correspondence revealed that the youths “are consumed with idealistic passion for a world free of injustice, discrimination and hate.”
In the face of today’s realities, such a world may seem to be merely an idealistic dream. But is it? Not among Jehovah’s Christian witnesses who comply with God’s will that they “exercise justice.” (Mic. 6:8) They do not practice discrimination, for they know that “God is not partial, but in every nation the man that fears him and works righteousness is acceptable to him.” (Acts 10:34, 35) And from a study of the Scriptures, they are confident that Jehovah God soon will make it a global reality—“a world free of injustice, discrimination and hate.”—2 Pet. 3:13.
Fitting “Cross Fertilization”?
● “Botanicas,” shops selling religious and other items, are common in the Puerto Rican neighborhoods of New York city. Articles sold in these stores include Roman Catholic medals and spiritist amulets. Says the journal “Natural History”: “As the [spirit] medium is apt to prescribe Catholic prayers and attendance at Mass along with ‘santería’ [certain spiritistic] rituals, so ‘botanica’ products call on African gods and Catholic saints and Jesus Christ” on their labels. The magazine also states: “The same cross fertilization is obvious in the ‘botanica’s’ stock of religious jewelry: Catholic medals and scapulars, spiritist amulets shaped like small rosary beads, or miniature black hands.”
This Catholic-spiritist mixture is apparent at infant baptisms, when families often have priests bless the child’s spiritist amulet and its Catholic medal, thinking both (worn on a single chain) are required to shield the baby from evil. “Some priests bless both objects without comment,” remarks “Natural History.”
Evidently many see nothing incongruous in such religious “cross fertilization.” And “Natural History” comments: “Besides serving as community therapy, spiritism also represents a colorful alternative to the relatively inexpressive Roman Catholic ceremonies.”
God’s Word, however, lists the “practice of spiritism” among “the works of the flesh” that bar a person from inheriting God’s kingdom. (Gal. 5:19-21) The Scriptures also require that those desiring God’s approval “flee from idolatry,” and that they “worship the Father with spirit and truth.”—John 4:23, 24; 1 Cor. 10:14.
“Bodily Training”—How Beneficial?
● Writing in the magazine “Sports Illustrated,” William Oscar Johnson states: “All the tricks the knee is capable of remained unknown for so long because men didn’t put it through the stresses and strains it undergoes routinely in present-day athletics.” Knee injuries are quite common among athletes, and Dr. Robert Kerlan remarks: “The fact is, the human anatomy is simply not constructed for the games men play today.”
Many factors, including fame and a sizable income, move men to participate in various sports, some of which are quite dangerous. But are such things as money and public acclaim really worth one’s endangering life and limb? Or should something else take first place in a person’s life? Upon reflection, many have shown that they agree with the Christian apostle Paul, who wrote: “Bodily training is beneficial for a little; but godly devotion is beneficial for all things, as it holds promise of the life now and that which is to come.”—1 Tim. 4:8.