Insight on the News
● The London “Daily Telegraph” recently published an analysis of disco written by their medical consultant. He declared that under the flashing lights and tom-toms of disco, merriment becomes hysteria. “All sense of proportion is lost, inhibitions disappear, the veneer of civilisation vanishes and human nature appears in all its crudity, bestiality and cruelty,” he wrote. “When the disco atmosphere is accompanied by alcohol and/or drugs the results can be catastrophic. It is the male members of the species who become most repellantly anti-social under the influence of this dehumanising threat to civilisation.”
The Bible forewarned us that there would be such a “dehumanising threat” in the “last days” because people would be “without self-control, fierce, . . . lovers of pleasures rather than lovers of God.”—2 Tim. 3:1-4.
God’s Role for Bacteria?
● People have wondered why God created the low form of life known as bacteria. In this regard, it is interesting to note that in a recent book, “The Medusa and the Snail,” Lewis Thomas, M.D., points out that the role of bacteria is in recycling, not in disease. Even with such a serious disease as meningitis, Dr. Thomas believes the illness comes about “like an accident.” He writes: “It is still a mystery that meningitis develops in some patients, but it is unlikely that this represents a special predilection of the bacteria; it may be that the defense mechanisms of affected patients are flawed in some special way.”
Are germs to be viewed as man’s natural enemies? Dr. Thomas explains: “It is true, of course, that germs are all around us; they comprise a fair proportion of the sheer bulk of the soil, and they abound in the air. But it is certainly not true that they are our natural enemies. Indeed, it comes as a surprise to realize that such a tiny minority of the bacterial populations of the Earth has any interest at all in us. The commonest of encounters between bacteria and the higher forms of life take place after the death of the latter, in the course of recycling the elements of life. This is obviously the main business of the microbial world in general, and it has nothing to do with disease.”
Bacteria were not created to cause disease in humans. The more man learns about God’s creation, the more he realizes the great wisdom Jehovah has displayed even in the minutest forms of life.—Ps. 104:24.
A Theologian Writes to the Pope
● Pope John Paul II has demanded that priests adhere to mandatory celibacy. New rules make it more difficult for priests to be released from their vows of celibacy. Said the New York “Times”: “Since his election in October 1978, the Pope has refused to approve any of nearly 6,000 requests for dispensations received at the Vatican.” In view of this attitude, the famed German Catholic theologian Hans Küng wrote the following in a letter to the pope about clerical celibacy:
“Both Jesus and Paul expressly grant full freedom [to be celibate] to each individual: ‘Let anyone accept this who can’ (Matthew 19:12); ‘Everyone has his own particular gifts from God, one with a gift for one thing and another with a gift for another’ (1 Corinthians 7:7). This expressly guaranteed freedom—celibacy as a free charism—is contravened by a personal rule of celibacy for the clergy.
“The ancient tradition confirms the Scripture: Peter—to whom, in justification of your office, you appeal particularly—and the apostles were and remained married men—Paul affirms this explicitly—even in their perfect following of Jesus. [1 Cor. 9:5] Throughout the first centuries this remained the model for bishops and priests: ‘He must not have been married more than once’ (1 Timothy 3:2) . . . Only in the later centuries did the charismatic celibacy, which had its original place in monastic communities, come to be misunderstood as an express prohibition of marriage and so extended to the whole clergy.”—“National Catholic Reporter,” May 16, 1980.