Reading, Writing, and Reflecting

By Steve Willis

Drug Use Among Eighth Graders

Drug use among America’s teens is on the increase. Newsweek Magazine (August 26, 1996, the “Heroin” cover) reported these statistics for “Eighth Graders Who Have Used Drugs in Their Lifetime” (in percent):

1991 1995 Percent

Crack 1.3 2.7 +108

Heroin 1.2 2.3 + 92

Marijuana 10.2 19.9 + 95

Cocaine 2.3 4.2 + 83

Hallucinogens 3.2 5.2 + 63

Stimulants 10.5 13.1 + 25

Tranquilizers 3.8 4.5 + 18

Cigarettes 44.0 46.4 + 5

Been drunk 26.7 25.3 – 5

The article mentioned many “stars” and music “heros” who have died from heroin overdoses, and tells of FBI Di-rector Louis Freeh’s hand-delivered memo to President Clinton, complaining about a lack of “any true leadership” in stemming the influx of heroin and cocaine.

SIDS Related to Tobacco Smoke

“Nearly two-thirds of Sudden Infant-Death Syndrome cases are linked to tobacco smoke, British scientists have concluded. Even if a baby is merely in a room where smoking has occurred, its risk of dying from SIDS can increase 800%” (quotes from Time, August 5, 1996).

Last Report from Statistics Canada on Marriage?

Statistics Canada gathered facts from Canada’s 1995 General Social Survey and reported that married couples with children living at home made up 44.5% of all families, a drop from 55% in 1981. This report was heralded in newspapers as the demise of the “traditional family” in Canada. The report said, “Diversity and change are the salient features of Canadian families in the ’90s,” and “These changes are the result of increases in divorce, separation, remarriage and cohabitation on the one hand and decreases in mortality, fertility and marriage on the other.” Lone parent families rose from 11.3% in 1981 to 13.8% in 1995. “Common-law” couples without children have grown from 3.7% to 6.7% over the same period. Statistics Canada at-tributed the “growing prevalence of common-law unions and the concomitant decline in marriage to the changing attitudes of Canadians toward the marital union” (quotes from the Alberta Report, July 8, 1996).

One wonders if this will be the last report on marriages from Statistics Canada. They recently announced they will no longer be gathering their own information on marriage statistics, but relying on information gleaned from the census. This may not be the last report on marriages by Statistics Canada, but it makes one wonder if they are trying to encourage marriage when they stop gathering information on it.

The “Religious,” Extra-Marital Sex,

Abortion and Inspiration

The Alberta Report cites information from Gene Edward Veith that seems to give “appalling statistics” for those who claim to be “Christian” or religious: “That 56% of single `fundamentalist’ Christians practise [sic] sex outside marriage, for example, almost the same percentage discovered for non-Christians. That 66% of single Roman Catholics are sexually active. That 67% of Americans accept ‘pre-marital sex,’ and 83% of Catholics accept it. That 49% of Protestants and 47% of Catholics declare themselves `pro-choice.’ Most bizarre of all, 70% of Americans say they believe the Bible to be `the written word of God, totally accurate in all it teaches,’ while 72% say they believe `there are no absolute values”‘ (quotes from the June 17, 1996 issue).

Tobacco, Alcohol And Your Health

In a Special Issue on “What You Need to Know About Cancer” (Scientific American, September 1996) different articles address old news about tobacco and the recent news that red wine may be good for heart disease. “What Causes Cancer?” tobacco smoke is the “top carcinogen” accounting for nearly 30% of cancer deaths. “Smoking, mainly of cigarettes, causes cancer of the lung, upper respiratory tract, esophagus, bladder and pancreas and probably the stomach, liver and kidney. Smoking is implicated in chronic myelocytic leukemia, and may also cause cancer of the colon and rectum and other organs.”

“Passive smoking, or inhalation of tobacco smoke in the environment, causes much less lung cancer than active smoking. Nevertheless, a few thousand people die every year in the U.S. from cancers attributable mainly to second-hand smoke. Thus, passive smoking is as much a killer as general outdoor air pollution or household exposure to the radioactive gas radon (which is emitted naturally from the earth in some areas.”

“Consumption of large quantities of alcoholic beverages, particularly by smokers, increases the risk of cancer of the upper respiratory and digestive tracts, and alcoholic cirrhosis frequently leads to liver cancer. Although modest drinking does seem to reduce the risk of heart disease, con-verging data suggest that intake of as few as one or two drinks a day may contribute to breast cancer and perhaps colon and rectal cancer.” In another article, “Strategies for Minimizing Cancer Risk,” authors added: “Clearly, on many grounds, heavy alcohol consumption should be avoided. Anyone considering drinking moderately for the good of the heart should consult a physician and take into account any family history of alcoholism while weighing the risk of cancer against that of cardiovascular disease.”

Oh, yes, the prior article listed diet (animal  saturated  fat, salt, and very hot beverages, and skimping of some vegetables) as the second cause of cancer and cancer-related deaths. As to being over-weight, “For unknown reasons, obesity also appears to increase the risk for cancers of the colon, kidney and gallbladder.”

R U Ready for RU-486?

The French company Roussel-Uclaf markets mifepristone under the label “RU-486.” This drug is known to cause abortion of pregnancies, and is on the verge of legalization in the U.S. Here are some “facts” about the drug: “Administered in a doctor’s office, RU-486 functions as an antiprogesterone, blocking the hormone that sustains the fetus in the womb. But killing the unborn baby does not get rid of it in 20% to 40% of cases. A return visit must be scheduled 36 to 48 hours later, when a dose of the hormone prostaglandin is given to induce delivery. Then comes what the medical research describes as, ‘severe cramping, nausea, vomiting and bleeding.’ Half the subjects bleed `profusely’ for 12 to 42 days, with many needing transfusions. In British trials, 47% of women required narcotics for the abdominal pain. And in 6% to 15% of cases, the abortion remains incomplete at that stage, meaning the womb must be scraped out. RU-486 also increases the risk of birth defects in any babies who survive.

“The drug’s impact is so gruesome, and the risks of long-term heart and reproductive organ damage so great, that some pro-abortionists like Australian doctor Renate Klein oppose its use.” . . . “RU-486’s prize-winning inventor, Etienne Beaulieu, estimated in 1989 that his pill kills `around four or five of every 1,000 women’ in the absence of strict medical supervision” (quotes from the Alberta Report, August 12, 1996).

Yet, women have a new recommended means of “emergency” use (read aborticide) medicine. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration “plans to publish a notice in the Federal Register declaring that oral contraceptives can be used safely and effectively to avoid pregnancy as late as three days after intercourse.” The FDA’s move is short of an actual approval, but gives “unmistakable and official sanction to emergency use” where manufacturer were reluctant to make such claims in their own marketing  fearing law-suits, protests and boycotts. Planned Parenthood was “emboldened” by the decision, with president Gloria Feldt saying, “We’re delighted. We’ve been using this procedure for many years in our clinics but were not able to publicize it” with out the FDA sanction. The FDA’s decision was seen as a green-light, though drug makers are not likely to apply for formal approval. (quotes from Time, July 15, 1996).

Church of England Announces: No One In Hell

After announcing their considerations on a new doctrine of Hell earlier in the year, in July, the Church of England’s General Synod overwhelmingly approved the definition of Hell as a condition of total non-being, not everlasting torment. The Anglican Church now says that Hell is “the choosing of that which is opposed to God so absolutely that the only end is total non-being.” This would put them in agreement with the Jehovah’s Witnesses and a few other religious groups that deny eternal punishment in Hell. (quotes from the Alberta Report, July 29, 1996).

Moon Rises in Brazil

Sun Myung Moon is building a $100 million religious and agronomic showcase-site in a remote corner of western Brazil. This is the same “Rev. Moon” who married hundreds of “Moonies” in one public ceremony years ago. This is the same man whose ministry led him into prison and disrepute in the U.S. He with his wife present them-selves as the “True Father” and “True Mother,” and their mission is “nothing less than to rebuild the Garden of Eden, a paradise on earth.” The center of many acres of land-holdings is called the “New Hope Ranch.” To Brazilian Protestants and Catholics, the 76-year old Moon is guilty of numerous doctrinal heresies: “…that Christ’s mother, Mary, was not a virgin, and by arguing that he and his wife, the `True Parents,’ are on earth to finish the job Jesus failed to do.” One Catholic priest said, “We repudiate him be-cause he calls himself the Messiah and also because of his past record.”

Guardian of Truth XL: No. 22, p. 20-21
November 21, 1996