Insight on the News
‘Nuclear Arms Different’?
The New York Times recently devoted a page to comments from scientists, historians and assorted dignitaries on the antinuclear pronouncements from the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. Nuclear physicist Harold M. Agnew, former director of Los Alamos Scientific Laboratory, wrote: “Where I choked up was at a quote from their meeting under auspices of the Vatican’s Pontifical Academy of Sciences. It said, ‘Nuclear weapons are fundamentally different from conventional weapons. They must not be regarded as acceptable instruments of warfare.’” Putting the matter in perspective, Agnew continued:
“I would have hoped that the churches would have said, ‘Warfare is utter nonsense . . . You should not have to resort to force to settle disputes.’ I think they are hypocrites in that they seem to be accepting that conventional war is O.K. and nuclear war isn’t.” Suggesting a motive for the current antinuclear sentiment, he said: “The churches and all the other decision-makers’ wine cellars, material wealth and other holdings are no longer immune in the event of nuclear war.” Or, since nuclear weapons threaten such religious leaders with the ravages of warfare formerly borne only on the shoulders of young men, the clergy hypocritically condemn only weapons of the nuclear type.
Jesus Christ laid bare similar hypocrisy among the religious leaders in his day, saying: “They bind up heavy loads and put them upon the shoulders of men, but they themselves are not willing to budge them with their finger.”—Matthew 23:4.
Spanish Flu’s Lasting Legacy
We may still be feeling the aftereffects of the Spanish flu virus that killed at least 20 million people worldwide after World War I. According to epidemiologist Dr. Reimert T. Ravenholt of the U.S. Center for Disease Control, world health surveys indicate that the Spanish flu could well have been behind the big increases in a “bodywide spectrum of diseases” after the war.
“The [Spanish flu] pandemic may have contributed to an upsurge in manic-depressive psychosis, schizophrenia, and dementia praecox that filled mental hospitals to overflowing during the 1920s, ’30s, and ’40s and then waned,” notes the report on Dr. Ravenholt’s findings in Medical World News. He also said that much of the heart disease among older people today could have originated with flu damage to nerves controlling their heart action. Alzheimer’s disease, lung and stomach cancer, as well as gastric and duodenal ulcers, also were implicated.
Such reports add force to the Bible book of Revelation’s prophetic evidence that God’s Kingdom (with Jesus Christ as a crowned rider on a white horse) came to power in 1914, when the rider of a “fiery-colored horse,” denoting world war, also began to go forth. A following mount, a “pale horse,” carried “Death,” whose effects included “deadly plague.” Accordingly, the Spanish flu swept the earth in 1918, proving to be an even more deadly pestilence than originally thought.—Revelation 6:1-8; Luke 21:7-11.
“Year of the Bible”
U.S. President Ronald Reagan recently proclaimed 1983 to be the national “Year of the Bible,” signing a resolution approved by both houses of Congress. The resolution acknowledged a “national need to study and apply the teachings of the Holy Scriptures.” “Can we resolve to reach, learn and try to heed the greatest message ever written, God’s Word, and the Holy Bible?” asked the president. “Inside its pages lie all the answers to all the problems that man has ever known.”
In this, President Reagan echoes the Bible writer Paul, who stated: “All Scripture is inspired of God and beneficial for teaching, for reproving, for setting things straight, . . . that the man of God may be fully competent, completely equipped for every good work.” (2 Timothy 3:16, 17) However, the congressional resolution’s stated desire that the Bible be used to “strengthen us as a Nation and a people” is unlikely to succeed. The Bible itself shows that it is God’s Kingdom alone that can bring everlasting blessings to mankind. Its message is not just for the strengthening of “a Nation and a people” but for the uniting of the peoples of all nations under Kingdom rule.—Isaiah 2:2-4.