NO WHOLESOME ENVIRONMENT FOR ADOLESCENTS
WorldNetDaily.com reports on a study entitled: “Sex, Drugs, and Delinquency in Urban and Suburban Public Schools.” The article states: “Many parents have fled urban schools seeking a safer and more wholesome environment for their children, but the Manhattan Institute says its survey indicates families face similar issues in the suburbs” (www.worldnetdaily.com).
Some of the issues include: sexual promiscuity, smoking, under-age drinking, use of illegal drugs and engagement in delinquent behavior. Neither environment accounted itself very well. Students, untrained in morality or in the fact that it is God Who establishes the ultimate standards for human behavior, were about equally engaged in bad behaviors whether in urban or suburban areas.
One very telling aspect of this study points out the incredible moral decline that has befallen young people in the United States: “Urban and suburban schools are virtually identical in terms of WIDESPREAD SEXUAL ACTIVITY. Two-thirds of all suburban and urban 12th graders have had sex; 43 percent of suburban 12th graders and 39 percent of urban 12th graders have had sex with a person with whom they did not have a romantic relationship” (Emphasis added).
This last category, “a person with whom they did not have a romantic relationship,” shows just how much the laws of God are being trampled underfoot and ignored in our generation. In this light, all need to consider what Galatians 6:7 states: “Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap.” This is an absolute and exacting law. Unfortunately, society is bringing judgment upon themselves, and this is poignantly sad for the young people of our generation who simply have not been taught God’s ways!
The past two weeks have witnessed the emergence of an avian influenza in Asia that has lead to human deaths due to severe respiratory disease. “The World Health Organization has called for a united international effort–similar to the SARS response–to combat bird flu as the human death toll from the virus mounts” (www.cnn.com 1/27/2004).
“Since late last year, the flu has struck hundreds of thousands of birds and prompted widespread poultry culls in South Korea, Thailand, Vietnam and Japan. In Vietnam, the problem began last October” (www.nature.com 1/13/04). The article from Nature continues: “Spates of bird flu are viewed with alarm because they are a probable source of the NEXT HUMAN PANDEMIC.”
This article also points out the underlying reason that such fear is aroused by this current outbreak: “Fortunately, these viruses lacked the ability to hop easily between people, which helped to contain the problem. But a future strain might pick up this ability, either by mutating, or by mixing genes with a human flu virus. A virus capable of human-to-human transmission could rip through a population with little natural immunity, experts warn. ‘The ensuing virus would then be highly pathogenic and transmissible. This is why the World Health Organization [WHO] and the Vietnamese authorities are treating this matter seriously,’ says Shigeru Omi, WHO’s regional director for the western Pacific.”
Other articles reporting about this outbreak point out that there is a tendency for some nations to either cover-up cases in their own areas or to be overly cautious and slow in determining that infections are occurring. This frightening specter of non-cooperation leads some experts to conclude that an actual pandemic of global proportions could result. As witnessed in the SARS incident of last year, the financial blow to national economies can be catastrophic.
Jesus Christ warned that in the time period leading up to His return, “…there will be great earthquakes in various places, and famines and PESTILENCES; and there will be fearful sights and great signs from heaven” (Luke 21:11). Many of these kinds of things are happening even now; however, the Bible clearly teaches those who will listen and believe these warnings that we are now just at the forefront of these long prophesied events. This same chapter (21) shows us the approach we must take: “Watch therefore, and pray always that you may be counted worthy to escape all these things that will come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man” (v.36).
In a stunning turn of events, “Tony Blair bounced back from looming political disaster yesterday with a combative endorsement of Lord Hutton’s report, which vindicated his conduct over Iraq and the Kelly affair, routing the Tory leader, Michael Howard, and other critics” (www.politics.guardians.co 1/29/04).
Continuing… “[Mr. Blair] angrily recalled how he had been accused of ‘lying, deceit and duplicity’ by the BBC and the Tories.” The toll on the British Broadcasting Corporation was swift: “The chairman of the BBC resigned on Wednesday and the broadcaster apologized for some of its reporting on the buildup to the war in Iraq after an inquiry by a senior judge lambasted the corporation. The report by Lord Hutton criticized journalist Andrew Gilligan, the BBC’s management and its supervisory board of governors, for a radio report saying the government ‘sexed up’ intelligence in a dossier on Iraqi weapons” (www.reuters.com 1/28/04). This reporting actually led to the suicide death of a Dr. Kelly when he was revealed as a source for the mis-reported story.
The Guardian article continues quoting Mr. Blair: ” ‘The communication by the media of information on matters of public interest and importance is a vital part of life in a democratic society. However the right to communicate such information is subject to the qualification–which itself exists for the benefit of a democratic society–the false accusations of fact impugning the integrity of others, including politicians, should not be made by the media.’ ”
Last year the United States experienced similar outrageous examples of reporters fabricating stories – often times not even witnessing the events they were supposed to be covering. And this kind of societal breakdown comes on the heels of highly publicized scandals involving some of the largest corporations in the nation. Greed for power, wealth and fame has overwhelmed far too many in positions of public trust and responsibility.
In the one sure and dependable source for truth, we will do well to heed the warning that God has for our generation: “…O My people! Those who lead you cause you to err, And destroy the way of your paths” (Isaiah 3:12). Then note this timely commentary found in Isaiah 59:4: “No one calls for justice, Nor does any plead for truth. They trust in empty words and speak lies; They conceive evil and bring forth iniquity.” Then, in verses 14-15: “Justice is turned back, And righteousness stands afar off; For truth is fallen in the street, and equity cannot enter. SO TRUTH FAILS, and he who departs from evil makes himself a prey.”
A RISING TIDE
Not so front, and not so center, is the issue of illegal immigration along the border between the U.S. and Mexico in this election year of 2004. Although President George Bush has proposed legalizing the status of illegal aliens in the United States as temporary workers, most politicians are generally looking the other way.
However, the flow of illegals threatens to virtually eliminate the border. In practical fact, that may already be the situation. “According to the German news agency Deutsche Presse-Agentur, the study (by a Mexican government agency) was conducted by the National Population Council, or Conapo. It found the number of illegals coming from Mexico each year now exceeds 1 million. The report says about one-third of those who enter illegally, 390,000 annually, achieve their goal of staying in the U.S” (www.WorldNetDaily.com 1/26/04).
Some estimates place the number of Mexican illegals now living in the U.S. at over 10 million!