Insight on the News
Obscenities Go Public
Obscene speech has become part of the “normal” way of life, says the magazine U.S. News & World Report. In an article entitled “The Cussword Comes Out of the Closet,” it states: “The four-letter word has emerged from the barrooms and barracks and can be heard and seen almost everywhere—in conversation at restaurants, on bumper stickers, in cheers bellowed at sports events, on television and in movies. Many experts see the trend as irreversible.”
Why the skyrocketing profanity? The article quotes Reinhold Aman, language scholar, who points to the 1960’s and 1970’s when social standards broke down and respect for traditional institutions collapsed. He says: “What first was suppressed suddenly exploded. Then every idiot started to swear for no reason. Little kids swear. High-class people suddenly find it very chic.”
Some experts blame obscenity’s rapid rise on the self-centered me generation. “People are finding their lives phony, unsatisfying, and they are angry,” observes Thomas Cottle, a Harvard psychiatry lecturer. “Lurking behind this anger is aggressiveness,” which he sees as dangerous for society.
The article continues: “Experts explain that swearing is a way to release emotions built up by frustration.” But is it the right way? “Be wrathful, and yet do not sin,” counsels the Bible, by avoiding “abusive speech” and “obscene jesting” and by replacing such conduct with “whatever saying is good for building up as the need may be, that it may impart what is favorable to the hearers.”—Ephesians 4:26, 31; 5:4; 4:29.
Hotheads Risk Heart Attacks
“The rage we expend on others seems to lash back and strike us in the heart muscle,” said a recent issue of American Health. “In the routine of our lives, the anger we waste upon trivia, in traffic jams and ticket lines, and the ‘urge to kill’ that boils up so commonly and inanely, are most likely to act upon the victims we least intend—ourselves.” This boomerang effect that uncontrolled anger and hostility has on a person is seen as the key factor leading to coronary heart disease, according to San Francisco cardiologist, Ray H. Rosenman, MD. He and three other researchers find anger as the one common denominator threading through all the deadly characteristics related to heart trouble.
Also, the article states that controlling one’s emotions could be just as important in preventing heart attacks as exercising and dieting. Therefore, more and more evidence from the medical community is stacking up in support of the proverbial saying: “The life of the body is a tranquil heart.”—Proverbs 14:30, Jerusalem Bible.
What about the idea that venting anger is healthy? “There’s no more reason to say that venting rage reduces its ill effects than to claim that concealing it dilutes the rage,” the article noted. Moreover, ‘anger, wrath and screaming,’ the characteristics of hotheads, not only are bad for a person’s health but, more importantly, have no place among true Christians.—Ephesians 4:31.
Witnesses Preach in Russia
In their following his command to ‘preach the good news of God’s kingdom in all the earth,’ Christ warned his followers that some would ‘persecute you and deliver you up to prison.’ Yet, the kingdom message would go forward even in countries like the Soviet Union where its newspaper Sovietskaya Kirghizia complained that since the 1940’s Jehovah’s Witnesses have been preaching under the “strictest secrecy.”—Matthew 24:14; Luke 21:12.
Witnesses found preaching in Russia are arrested. For example, Sovietskaya Kirghizia reported that one of Jehovah’s Witnesses was sentenced for distributing religious tracts in the Soviet republic of Kirghizia. According to the report, the Witness was found driving a car carrying printing plates and hundreds of religious booklets published by the Witnesses. Yet, regardless of the reception received, the “good news has to be preached.”—Mark 13:10.