Insight on the News
“A National Medical Resource”
In a recent article on ‘artificial blood,’ the New York Times refers to a fluid that “holds the promise of making important contributions to therapy and research.” The report notes that Fluosol-DA, a product developed in Japan, may soon be licensed there for human use, “making that country the first in the world to do so.” According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), clinical trials are now slated for a number of American hospitals.
Interestingly, the article also notes that the blood substitute “might do some things better than blood and may ultimately play a priceless role in such aspects of medicine as emergency care after accidents, cancer diagnosis and therapy, and treatment of carbon monoxide and some other poisonings.”
“Expansion of the American trials is putting the 590,000 Jehovah’s Witnesses in this country in the singular position of serving as a national medical resource,” observed the Times. “Because the F.D.A. has restricted such experiments to acutely anemic patients in need of elective surgery who refuse to accept blood transfusions, most patients in the new studies are expected to be Jehovah’s Witnesses.”
The Bible-based stand of Jehovah’s Witnesses on blood has often resulted in health benefits for them. Now it seems that this will also result in benefits to many others as well.—Acts 15:28, 29.
“Thundering Silence” About War
“In recent weeks, references have been made to the thundering silence of the churches amidst serious world crises, in particular the arms race and the threat of nuclear war,” stated the United Church of Canada’s magazine The Observer. The writer admitted: “The United Church of Canada, my church, has been part of this silence.” Among the reasons he gave in explanation were the following:
“The churches are in bondage to the war system. . . . They accept war-making because they, and many of their members, benefit from it through their investments and are reluctant to dissociate themselves from economic privilege and power. The churches serve mammon instead of God. There is little difference between churchgoers and non-churchgoers in attitudes to the war issue. Most church people are part of the mainstream of society and accept war as a normal instrument of public policy, not to be questioned. . . .
“The church, I fear, will continue to be silent about the threat of nuclear war until church members face squarely their involvement in individual and corporate sin against humanity, renounce all war-making, extricate themselves from an economic system that produces war and injustice, and are prepared to accept the personal and institutional costs involved.” What these church members have failed to do, Jehovah’s Witnesses have already made a way of life, ‘beating swords into plowshares, spears into pruning shears and not learning war anymore.’—Isaiah 2:4.
The Cobra’s “Ear”
A Biblical phrase that poetically speaks of a cobra’s “ear” has often been challenged. (Psalm 58:4, 5) But the German zoological magazine Grzimeks Tier, Sielmanns Tierwelt (Grzimek’s Animal, Sielmann’s Animal World) has published an article that it admits is in “direct contradiction” to the opinion “that cobras are deaf,” and goes on to ask: “Who is right—the scientifically held view or our author?”
The author tells of a cobra that lived on his estate in Sri Lanka in a termite hill. He asked a snake charmer to catch the wild snake and get it to dance. The author reports: “After I had assured my guest that there really was a cobra living there, he sat down in front of the termite hill and began to play his pipe. After a long time—I no longer believed anything would happen—the cobra raised its head several centimeters out of a hole. Before the snake could open its mouth the charmer hurried over and grabbed its head between his thumb and two fingers.” The Indian thereupon actually got the snake to dance. In this instance at least, the cobra really did ‘listen to the voice of the charmer.’