Reading, Writing and Reflecting

By Steve Willis

Deaths Caused by Alcohol

Scientific American reported: “Excessive alcohol consumption leads to more than 100,000 deaths annually in the U.S. Accidents, mostly from drunken driving made up a quarter of this number in 1992; alcohol-related homicide and suicide accounted for 11 and 8 percent, respectively. Cancers that are partly attributable to alcohol, such as those of the esophagus and larynx, contribute to an additional 17 percent. About 9 percent resulted from alcohol-related stroke. Another major contributor is a group of 12 ailments … of which alcoholic cirrhosis of the liver and alcohol dependence syndrome are the most important. These 12 ailments represented 18 percent of all alcohol-related deaths in 1992 (“By the Numbers: Deaths Caused by Alcohol,” December 1996, 30-31).

Marilyn Manson

Take names from Marilyn Monroe and Charles Manson, add Satanism and music and what do you get? Marilyn Manson, the Rolling Stone magazine Best New Artist for 1996.

Marilyn Manson is a he  a stage name used by Brian Warner. He is a “shock rocker” who must be extra shocking in these days of shocking things on TV, radio, movies, and the Internet. “Manson, 28, a skinny, chinless Floridian who wears androgynous make-up, Nazi-style clothing, and fishnet stockings, is a church of Satan minister. He drinks his own blood and has had oral sex with male groupies during concerts. In his `Irresponsible Hate Anthem,’ he shrieks: `Let’s just kill everyone and let your god sort them out.’ Manson claims he spends his free time beating up bootlickers and consuming pot, cocaine and amphetamines. His favored nocturnal activities include desecrating graves and smoking human bone chips.”

Manson’s crusade is to stamp out Christianity, which he calls, the “root of all weakness.” He does so in concerts and on albums, one of which is named Antichrist Superstar  a reference to the musical and movie Jesus Christ Super-star. Not all songs have this aim, but the ones that don’t, such as the remake of “Sweet Dreams” are bait for the Satanist trap. Manson’s words said of the song on his al-bum that it is “a clever piece of cheese on a rat trap. A lot of innocuous mall shoppers bought [the song] and were then introduced to this whole new world of Marilyn Manson they didn’t expect. .Now that I’ve got the attention of a main-stream audience, things can really be accomplished.”

Beware! Check out what you or your children are listening to. It may be the bait on a trap such as Marilyn Manson’s (quotes from Alberta Report, “Antichrist in a black G-string,” January 27, 1997, 42).

Kids and Marijuana

Articles in the December 9, 1996 Time magazine report that marijuana (pot) use is up among many children. “Kids and Pot” gave these statistics: “By the time teens reach 17: 68% can buy marijuana within a day; 62% have friends who use marijuana; 58% have been solicited to buy marijuana.” The U.S. Department of Health and Human services surveyed 18,000 Americans and concluded that “marijuana use among youths (ages 12 to 17) has roughly doubled in the past few years. Use of pot by young people rose 105% from 1992 to 1994, and gained 37% between 1994 and 1995. At the Phoenix House Foundation ten years ago, 13% of adolescents sought treatment for marijuana; today that figure has jumped to 40%.” In “What I Would Say… ,” an article with advice from public figures, we find the former U.S. Surgeon General, Jocelyn Elders, saying, “…don’t be judgmental” of your kids if they are using drugs, and “Re-member, your goal is not to change your child’s behavior because that is impossible.”

Compare her advice to that of Joseph Califono, Jr., President of the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University: “With all three of my children, I made two points. First, each was a creature of God, blessed with brains and talent. With such generous divine gifts goes a moral obligation to develop those talents and use them to help others less fortunate. That’s why it is morally wrong to use drugs.” It is a good thing that Elders is not in a position to make policy. Donna Shala, U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services, said it right: “Our children need to hear a clear and consistent no-use message about marijuana  that it is illegal, dangerous, and wrong. Research tells us it limits learning, memory, perception, judgment and motor skills, and it damages the brain, heart, lungs, and immune system. Marijuana is not a `soft’ drug.” Califano added, “Our research shows that the earlier someone smokes marijuana, the likelier that youngster is to move on to other drugs. Children who smoke pot before age 12 are 42 times likelier to use drugs like cocaine and heroin than those who first smoked after age 16.”

In “High limes at New Trier High” Time reported that the potency of marijuana has gone up. In the 1980s and early 1990s the chief intoxicant, THC was 3-4%. In 1995 it was approaching 6%. This gives a greater “high” and certainly adds to the addictive nature of the drug.

The attitudes of our kids toward drugs and drug users may be changing too. From a study of 6000 teens by the Partnership of a Drug-Free America, we read: I agree strongly with the statements:

Taking drugs scares me -1993: 47%, 1995: 36%

I don’t want to hang around drug users  1993: 55%, 1995: 39%

The same article gave a serious reflection on parental responsibility: a Chicago policeman said, “Parents tell me they never go into their kids’ rooms  then they wonder why they have a problem….” They call this “enabling behavior”  no parental responsibility enables the kids to use drugs. “The school and the police can’t do much with-out the support and concern of parents, many of who can’t seem to decide whether to be the good cop or the bad cop with their kids.” It’s important that we decide!

More Dan Quayle Was Right

Remember VP Dan Quayle’s Murphy Brown problems? Of course later many came to realize that Dan Quayle was right in asserting that single mothering was not the best for children. A Statistic Canada study shows again, Dan Quayle was right. From the Alberta Report: “The good news: 84% of children live in a traditional two-parent family, and 79% with both their natural parents. .. In only one-third of the two-parent families surveyed by Statscan does the mother have a full-time job. So fully 56% of Canadian children have either mothers with only part-time jobs or full-time, stay-at-home mothers.”

“The bad news: 14% in single-mother families suffer at least as much harm as earlier studies have suggested.. . .On average, children raised by single mothers were 167% to 235% more likely to be destructive, depressed, or socially impaired. These effects likely do not result solely from the career-mom’s absence from home, for fully 54% of single mothers do not have jobs.” In a chart on “The sociopath of single parenthood” the National Longitudinal Survey of Children studied and reported on these areas: Hyperactivity, Conduct disorder, Emotional disorder, One or more behavior problems, Repeated a grade. Whether the single-mothers had high or low income, their children had more problems than those of two-parent families.

Slouching Towards Gomorrah

OK, so I borrowed a title from Robert Bork’s book, though I’ve not read it. The sins of “going after strange flesh”  homosexuality  are coming closer and closer to being legalized. In Canada, federal Secretary of State for Multiculturalism Hedy Fry “wants to put `queer culture’ under the banner of multiculturalism funding.” This is just a short step away from employers being given a homosexual employee quota. She told the gay-newspaperXtra West that starting in April her department will fund any group that meets three criteria: civic participation, identity, and social justice. Further she added that, “the hate that the gay community tends to be faced with would qualify them” for federal money (Alberta Report, “Federal favors for ‘queer culture’,” December 23, 1996).

Of course this is not only happening in Canada. In “Hawaiian Courtship,” Time magazine (December 16, 1996) reports: “Gay marriage may become legal in the islands without necessarily coming to a chapel near you.” It began six years ago, when three couples, longtime residents of Hawaii, challenged the proscription of same-sex marriages in Hawaii. The health department refused to issues licenses “on the ground that only a man can marry a woman, and only a woman can marry a man.” The couples challenged this on the basis of sex discrimination. In 1993, the Hawaiian Supreme Court ruled the law violated a person’s equal protection under the law, and that same sex marriages could not be proscribed unless there could be found some compelling, legitimate reason to ban them. By 1998 gay couples may be free to many in Hawaii.

The problem presented is whether other states or countries will recognize those couples as married. Robert Knight, of the Family Research Council in Washington, emphasizes the concern of conservatives who would reject recognizing gay marriages: “It will lead to calls for other relationships to be recognized, because if feelings are the key to recognizing a marriage, there’s no logical reason why three or four people who say, ‘We sincerely love each other’ should be denied this status.”

Recent considerations say that the decision won’t have a broad impact in the other U.S. states. Time reports: “The state supreme court’s decision has no binding effect as a precedent in other states, though gays elsewhere could invoke the persuasiveness of its reasoning. Other states remain free to set gender-based restrictions on marriage because the U.S. Supreme Court has never decided whether the U.S. Constitution bans restrictions. (The high courts of several states have ruled that it does not)” And the recently passed “Defense of Marriage Act” forbids the U.S. government to recognize same-sex unions.

And, another item from the “Milestones” section in the February 24, 1997 Time (Canadian Edition): “BORN: Bailey Jean Cypher, a baby for girl singer Melissa Etheridge and her partner, Julie Cypher, ex-wife of Lou Diamond Phillips; in Los Angeles.” This lesbian couple and “their” baby made the cover of Newsweek magazine about the same time. As I noted at the beginning, it appears we’re slouching toward Gomorrah.

Great News for Women  NOT!

The Canadian Southam newspapers reported: “The women of Ontario are now legally free to bare their breasts in public.” Of course a similar case was won by a woman in the U.S. a few years ago. The Canadian case arose when Gwen Jacob decided to go for a stroll in downtown Guelph five years ago in protest to a law she said discriminates against women on hot days. The Ontario Court of Appeal’s ruling is technically only binding in Ontario, but it could carry weight with courts in other provinces. Justice Coulter Osborne made a few comments with the ruling: “There was nothing degrading or dehumanizing in what (Jacob) did. “The scope of her activity was limited and was entirely non-commercial. No one who was offended was forced to continue looking at her. Jacob’s lawyer called the ruling “great news for women, it’s a victory for women’s equality.”

A Change in Policy, Again

It was announced that Statistics Canada would no longer compile statistics on marriages and divorces. This caused quite an uproar as it appeared marriage was not as important to the agency. “Faced with mounting public opposition, Statistics Canada decided [in Nov. 1996] the agency would continue to compile annual statistics on marriage and divorce. The agency announced earlier [in 1996] it would drop the tally to save $150,000 annually; it argued these statistics were no longer useful given the number of common-law unions. Critics maintained Statscan was trying to undermine the importance of marriage. Statscan was inundated by so many complaints it had to hire a part-time secretary to keep up with the volume of mail” (Alberta Re-port, “Sooner count marriages than complaints,” December 2, 1996, 43).

Guardian of Truth XLI: 13 p. 24-26
July 3, 1997