Insight on the News
The Pope and the Bomb
● Pope John Paul II’s historic visit to Japan last February was climaxed by “an ‘Appeal for Peace’ issued from the site of the first atomic bombing in history nearly 36 years ago,” reported Japan’s “Mainichi Daily News.” From Hiroshima’s Peace Memorial Park, and in an emotional tone, the pontiff appealed “to the heads of state and of government, to those who hold political and economic power . . . [to] promise our fellow human beings that we will work untiringly for disarmament and the banishing of all nuclear weapons. . . . Remember Hiroshima.”
Some might also “remember” that 31 years earlier, a dispatch from Rome, appearing in New York “Times” of February 3, 1950, under the headline “Vatican Approves Decision on Bomb,” reported: “The Vatican, through its official newspaper, ‘Osservatore Romano,’ assured the United States Government and people today that it fully understood the reasons why President Truman had decided to approve the construction of a hydrogen superbomb.” Earlier, Pope Pius XII had told the U.S. Senate Military Appropriations Subcommittee that Western law “can hardly hope to prevail . . . unless it has the backing of a reasonable force.”—New York “Times,” Nov. 18, 1949.
What are we to make out of such conflicting statements from two “infallible” spokesmen? Are they ‘tickling the ears’ of their listeners?—2 Tim. 4:3.
Legal Warning on Disco Danger
● Drug trafficking, immorality and violence have been well documented at the disco scene. Now the danger of violence is officially recorded in England, setting a legal precedent. Under the heading “Violence at discotheque” the journal “Justice of the Peace” recently reported a case in which a man “of previous good character” was sentenced to 12 months’ imprisonment following a disco brawl. The Court of Appeal (Criminal Division) upheld the sentence as “right in principle and in no way excessive.” Why? Because “violence was spreading, and it should be clearly known that when violence occurred in places such as the present [a disco], where violence was likely to escalate, there would be an immediate prison sentence of substantial length, however good the defendant’s record and background, and whatever mitigating circumstances there were.”
The lesson for Christians? Keep clear of such places! Not only can “bad associations spoil useful habits” but the “superior authorities” have the God-given right to penalize those who engage in violence and wrongdoing. “For it is not without purpose that it [the legal authority] bears the sword; for it is God’s minister, an avenger to express wrath upon the one practicing what is bad.”—Rom. 13:1-4; 1 Cor. 15:33.
‘Sin Against Own Body’
● “The sexual revolution of the past 25 years has produced an increase in the number of women who are unable to have babies,” reports “The Press” of New Zealand. It quotes Britain’s leading expert on venereal disease, Dr. Robert Catterall, as saying: “The adverse biological effects of sexual freedom on women and their babies are a disappointing development in the second half of the 20th century.”
The doctor reports that rates of male and female infertility “have both risen sharply in parallel with the soaring rate of venereal disease,” and each year, in England and Wales alone, about 11,000 women are treated for pelvic inflammatory disease, the most important cause of female infertility. Many of these women can no longer conceive even when antibiotics are given. In others the infection may be transmitted to their babies at birth.
Ignoring the sound advice of God’s Word, modern man is reaping according to what he has sown—“corruption from his flesh.” (Gal. 6:8) Appropriate, indeed, is the warning: “Avoid immorality. Any other sin a man commits does not affect his body; but the man who is guilty of sexual immorality sins against his own body.”—1 Cor. 6:18, “Today’s English Version.”