Insight on the News
Church and the Bomb
● On the 35th anniversary of the atomic bombing at Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the Roman Catholic chaplain who served the airmen involved voiced strong misgivings. According to the Chicago “Tribune,” priest George Zabelka “says he was ‘brainwashed’ by his church’s silence and wholehearted cooperation with the U.S. military.” The clergyman, now retired, reportedly declared that atomic bombing “happened in a world and to a Christian church that had ‘asked for it’—by preparing the moral consciousness of humanity to justify the unthinkable.”
Zabelka pointed out that Nagasaki had the largest Catholic population in Japan, and said: “One would have thought that I, as a Catholic priest, would have spoken out against the atomic bombing of nuns,” since three orders of nuns were destroyed in the blast. He also observed: “One would have thought . . . as a minimal standard of Catholic morality, Catholics shouldn’t bomb Catholic children. I didn’t.” And neither did thousands of other clergymen on both sides of the conflict who exhorted their adherents to join in the slaughter of their fellow church members on the other side.
Lawbreakers Are Lawmakers
● Recently, certain members of the U.S. Congress have been convicted during the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s so-called “Abscam” investigation for accepting bribes. Such cases and others “represent an amazing criminal count in the House of Representatives,” according to New York “Daily News” columnist Jimmy Breslin. In fact, “over the past couple of years, five congressmen have been sent to prison, eight have been indicted for stealing, one has been [arrested] for obstructing a police officer, another for soliciting a prostitute and three have been [arrested] for bothering young boys.”
“Some people stand back from this and say that these figures merely prove that the House of Representatives reflects the population it represents,” said Breslin. Such an observation is “ridiculous,” he wrote, because in such an elite group, “to have 18 people in trouble with the law is a figure that explodes in the sky high above the number for the rest of the population.” The figures mean that “one out of every 34 congressmen gets into criminal activity and is arrested,” he asserted, noting that if the inhabitants of one high-crime neighborhood in New York were arrested at the same rate as congressmen, 22,000 would have been charged instead of the 4,019 who actually were.
The only real solution to such failures in human governments will come when “the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that . . . will crush and put an end to all these [human] kingdoms.”—Dan. 2:44.
Shroud “A Fake”
● The “Shroud of Turin” is reputed to show a miraculous image of Christ imprinted on a cloth that wrapped Jesus’ body after his death. Recently, scientists examined the relic, and findings of one researcher were reported in England’s Yorkshire “Post.” Dr. Walter C. McCrone told the British Society for the Turin Shroud in London that he has detected microscopic quantities of red oxide clinging to the surface of the cloth. He said that this was similar to the earth pigments many artists use.
Calling the shroud “a fake,” he stated that if radiocarbon dating tests were taken, the cloth would probably date to the 14th century, adding: “It was very fashionable to make frauds at that time.” However, the “Post” observes: “What many believe to be the ‘acid test’ for the shroud, carbon dating, has so far been resisted by the Church on grounds it would destroy part of the cloth.”
When interviewed on the BBC Radio 4 “Today” program, Dr. McCrone asserted: “I don’t think there’s any possibility that I could be wrong. The particles of iron oxide that I found convince me that pigments would have had to . . . [be] applied in the way that an artist would have put it on.” Whether he is right or not, such controversies illustrate the superiority of the truly Christian position: “We walk by faith and not by sight.”—2 Cor. 5:7, Catholic “Douay Version.”