Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
December 1, 1966
NUMBER 30, PAGE 4-5a

Did You Know?


Did you know that our nation now numbers 5,000, 000 confirmed alcoholics (people unable to hold a job or function as productive members of society) and another 20,000,000 people who drink heavily enough to be handicapped in their work and their lives by liquor's influence? Alcoholism causes more deaths in the United States each year than tuberculosis, which, incidentally, killed 8,100 people in 1965. Some 50,000 new cases of tuberculosis are reported each year; but new cases of alcoholism probably soar to ten times that figure, although accurate statistics are most difficult to obtain.

Of every ten hospital beds in this nation, four are in mental hospitals. There were 565,000 resident patients in hospitals for psychiatric care in 1964. It is estimated that one of every ten Americans will at some time be afflicted with mental or emotional illnesses requiring psychiatric care. Alcoholism, in one way or another, is related to probably one-half of all these cases.

Did you know that there were 276,000 illegitimate babies born in the United States in 1964? (And how we hate that term "illegitimate babies!"; the babies are innocent and as "legitimate" as anybody, it is the parents who are "illegitimate".) This is almost three times the number of such births in 1950. More than 40 percent of these babies were born to girls in their teens. The illegitimacy ratio for non-whites is roughly four times greater than for whites, although the gap is tending to close somewhat in recent years.

Did you know that there is an upward trend in deaths by suicide, which now ranks as the fourth biggest cause of death for Americans in the 18-45 age bracket? Suicide (and attempted suicide) by college students has reached alarming proportions. Since 1949 the number of juvenile delinquency cases has increased each year; and the rate of climb has far out-stripped the population growth. In 1964 the increase was a jolting 14 percent as compared with only a four percent population rise in the 10-17 age group.

The incidence of venereal diseases has been steadily increasing over the past several years. Some 23,000 cases of infectious syphilis were reported in 1965, a thousand more than in 1964. The highest rate of increase is found among teenagers.

All these figures, and a host of others equally alarming, are taken from recent data distributed by the Department of Health, Education and Welfare of the federal government. They furnish a sad and frightening commentary on the "state of the Union" insofar as morals and character are concerned. They cast an ominous shadow over the very existence of our society. For it has long been an established rule of nations (for which world history provides NO exception) that moral and spiritual decadence precedes and is inevitably followed by ruin and extinction. Where is "the glory that was Greece and the grandeur that was Rome"? The ancient kingdoms of the east, whether Medes, Persians, or Babylonians, all followed an identical road to ruin and oblivion --- moral decadence followed by political destruction.

What right have we to assume that America will be an exception?

We dwell on these gloomy facts only to emphasize that, while it is later than most people think, it is still not too late! A mere handful of devoted and dedicated Christians can indeed leaven the whole lump of our society. But they will never do it by wringing their hands and "viewing with alarm!" There must be positive action, specific performance, consistent and sustained effort. And the place to begin is right in our own homes and with our own families. Generally speaking, the Christian families of our nation have failed---miserably failed---in rearing their children "in the nurture and admonition of the Lord." Christian parents have all too often abandoned their children to the amoral (but terrifyingly effective) influences of Batman, Superman, and whatever other characters the depraved imaginations of unregenerate men could drag up from the depths. Murderers, drunkards, thieves, gamblers, prostitutes, dope addicts, sadistic arch criminals, and an endless assortment of thugs, hoods, gun molls, pick-pockets, vandals and ghouls --- these are the daily companions, for hour after hour after hour, of millions of children during the most impressionable years of their existence!

And what are parents doing to counteract this hideous flood of violence, pornography, and putrid corruption? Are there daily Bible lessons, long and serious and prayerful teaching sessions with their children? Is there any real effort made to shield the immature minds and hearts from the most lurid and offensive influences? Well, in the very BEST of families there is probably a twenty or thirty minute period spent once a week in preparation for a Sunday morning Bible class. And that class, all too often, is dull and pointless and boring! It does not relate to the child's life; it is unreal and "fairy-story" to him. It does not come to grips with the real problems of his life. This Bible School is often followed by a sermon which is probably incomprehensible to the child. And he grows up learning to be inattentive, bored, and uninterested in the things of God, It is high time the Christian parents of our nation awakened to what is happening --- and began to do something about it! It is probably much, much later than you think.

-F. Y. T.