Insight on the News
United Nations a Failure
● Although the United Nations has been in operation for 32 years, it has been unable to achieve any goals contained in its charter. This view was expressed by Pierre Gaxotte, a member of the French Academy, in an article appearing in the Paris daily “Le Figaro.” One reason for this failure was held to be admittance into the UN of nations that “scorn such fundamental principles as ‘the peoples’ right to self-determination’ and ‘respect for human rights for all, without distinction for sex, language or religion.’”
Gaxotte also stated that the member nations of the UN include more than 100 dictatorships. He pointed out that over 50 members are at war with each other, are practicing intertribal genocide or are maintaining terrorist training camps. The article also indicates that this is not a way to “reaffirm faith in fundamental human rights, in the dignity and worth of the human person” in keeping with the UN charter.
Doubtless many will agree that such factors have been among those resulting in the failure of the UN to attain its charter goals. But the chief reason is that the organization does not enjoy the approval and backing of Almighty God. (Rev. 17:8) And “unless Jehovah himself builds the house, it is to no avail that its builders have worked hard on it.”—Ps. 127:1.
“Seldom Read” in Your Home?
● During the recent 1978 general convention of Swiss Bible Societies, Ole van Luyn, European regional secretary of the World Council of Bible Societies, stated that, although the demand for Bibles is great in Africa, Asia and South America, interest in the Scriptures needs to be rekindled in Europe. Confirming this point, Dr. S. Meurer, general secretary of the German Evangelical Bible Society, spoke of the Bible as “one of the cheapest books on the European market,” but said that it is “a book that is seldom read.”
Dr. Meurer contends that the churches and the Bible societies are responsible for this circumstance, saying that they have held too long to traditional translations no longer understandable to the reader. Also, he holds that the Scriptures must be made available to the populace “in a new format, in a new language and in a new way.”
The value of having the Bible in understandable language is acknowledged by sincere students of the Scriptures. But regardless of the translation available in an individual’s native tongue, it is wise to ask: Is the Bible “seldom read” in my home? If there is proper appreciation of the Holy Scriptures, they will be viewed with wholehearted appreciation “as the word of God” and will be read and studied regularly.—1 Thess. 2:13.
Does Your Child Take Drugs?
● Why do some teen-agers use illicit drugs? (1) Curiosity, (2) availability, and (3) conformity were the most common reasons cited during a recent survey in the state of Victoria, Australia. According to the Melbourne “Herald,” the study by three officers of the Mental Health Authority involved over 5,000 youths between 15 and 20 years of age.
Reportedly, the relationships of the young drug users with their parents were “usually good.” However, 40 percent of these parents did not know that their children were using marijuana, amphetamines or more potent drugs.
Obviously, then, parents need to communicate freely with their children so that the relationship between them truly is a good and an honest one. While individual parents may be able to do little to limit the availability of illegal drugs, they can curb youthful curiosity by providing factual information, especially about the harmful effects of narcotics. Also, Christian parents can combat pressures toward conformity that lead some youths into drug use. How? By helping their sons and daughters to avoid bad associations and by aiding them not to be “fashioned after this system of things.”—Rom. 12:2; 1 Cor. 15:33.