The 1981 White House Conference on the Aging is over. If you want to get involved at a significant level you had better send in your application for the next one: it will be held in 1991. Since it usually takes three or four conferences before you start to understand the power structure, interested persons should apply at age 10. The major responsibility of the delegates is to make recommendations, thus it is not too soon to begin thinking about proposals the elderly, senior citizens, and Gray Panthers should consider making at the 1991 conference. Keep in mind that by 1991 there will be more of us than there are of them. Here are some suggestions:
Restaurants. McDonald’s will have to rethink its themes and decorations. Perhaps they will open a whole new chain—Methuselah’s. The decor should include rocking chairs instead of rocking horses. Sleepy Time Tea will be served free with every seniorburger, and the music will be slowed from a rock tempo to a waltz.
Recreation. Aging Christians will form Caleb Clubs for men and Sarah Clubs for women, with no restrictions on giggling.
Board Games. Monopoly will be replaced by Ultimate Revenge, a game about writing a will that will confound the relatives, including codicils to “curdle” the cousins.
Housing and Taxes. People under 40 will not be allowed to have houses or apartments of their own. Rents and taxes will be prorated according to age, increasing from birth to age 50 and decreasing from 50 on, all taxes ending at 80.
Health and Medicine. Seniors will have laws to protect them against the inquisitiveness of young doctors who ask embarrassing questions. Everyone will wear a small machine about the neck that plays music to indicate blood pressure: dirges for low blood pressure, fox trots for normal, and “The Flight of the Bumble Bee” for high blood pressure.
War and Defense. Through the efforts of Codgers International, all wars will be planned and waged by men and women over 75. There will be set dates and assigned locations for the wars. Early March in south Florida or Phoenix will be most popular.
Crime. Since elderly criminals have been discriminated against for years, new laws will provide special hours for elderly muggers when all muggers under 60 will be kept off the streets. Young criminals who perpetrate a crime against anyone over 40 will be tried by juries of senior citizens, sentences to be prorated according to the age of the victim. The death penalty will be mandatory for any crime against someone over 70.
If these recommendations are followed, we will finally have returned to the Good Old Days.
Honest and Tender
I was much moved by your honest and tender article “Death for the Dying: Has Anyone the Right to Pull the Plug?” [Feb. 5]. May I bring to the attention of your readers a most helpful little book entitled Let the Patient Decide: A Doctor’s Advice to Older Persons, by Louis Shattuck Baer (Westminster, 1978). He makes clear the difference between young people and old in response to the new “extraordinary” methods of maintaining life. He also tells people how to prepare their families, lawyers, doctors, and others to be able to act in accordance with the individual’s own wishes when crisis arrives. The book is scientific, but also reverent and life affirming.
DOROTHY T. SAMUEL
St. Cloud, Minn.
Nonprofit Postal Subsidies
It may seem disheartening to nonprofit publications that they must learn to “pay their own way” for mail services. According to the article, “Religious Press Clobbered by Huge Postage Increase” [Feb. 5], the U.S. Congress has been attempting since 1971 to eliminate federal subsidies afforded the nonprofit publications, so it is not as if there had been no warning signs.
The federal government has no more business allocating $22 million for nonprofit publication postal costs than it does subsidizing certain cities’ local symphony orchestras.
I would think it wise for Christian organizations that are dependent on federal moneys to act out their faith in their heavenly Father. Our government’s attempt to free itself of a poor methodology of collecting and spending is not easy, but it is necessary. Let us as ones “like unto Christ” speak out and act out our faith. What an excellent way in which to prove our God and help our country.
J. B. MERRELL
Oral Roberts Television Production
I just read “Clergy Divorce Spills into the Aisle” [Feb. 5]. The lax attitude of society that has infected our churches so that we mildly ask forgiveness and hope to be better next time misses the high responsibility that Scripture lays upon clergy. Perhaps if clergy had a higher price to pay, they would seek the soluable way out Stout suggests.
REV. DAVID M. GROLEAU
Christian Fellowship Free Church
As I reread the article, I thought about a young pastor with whom I’ve been working. A real dynamo, one who may well go far. Yet he is repeatedly unfaithful, “walking the edge of the ice.”
Many of the problems we face go back to one’s basic self-concept. We must begin with a vitally important concern, a healthy self-respect for oneself as one of God’s unique creations.
ROBERT J. STOUT
CT readers have asked how to reach counselor Stout, author of the article on clergy divorce. His address is 764 Ruskin Rd., Clearwater, Fla. 33515—Eds.
Douglas’s gentlemanly chiding of the NCC, “A Talking Tour Through ‘The God Box’ ” [Jan. 22], omitted many activities that alienate supporters. Indeed, the NCC opposes just about everything that President Reagan and the voters who elected him stand for: reduced government spending, cutting waste in social programs, and building up national defense.
The NCC advocates more trade with Communists; more leniency with illegal aliens; discrediting the FBI; stronger labor unions; surrendering the Panama Canal; ratifying an unbalanced SALT II Treaty; scrapping the B-1 bomber, neutron bomb, and MX missiles; more school busing; and unilateral American disarmament.
G. RUSSELL EVANS
Intricate and Complex Study
The article “Israel Today: What Place in Prophecy?” and response “Jerry Falwell Objects” [Jan. 22] were interesting and a most intricate and complex study.
The concept of the promise to Israel being made in perpetuity cannot be substantiated when it is noted that throughout the Old Testament there are numerous references that the covenant relationship was conditional. Their chosenness was so long as they “obeyed the laws and kept the statutes.”
Mr. Falwell has made it known that he is intense in separating himself from worldliness and wickedness. It is difficult therefore to understand why he cozies up to Israel’s leader of state. Mr. Begin brags about his efforts in the destruction of Deir Yassin and the King David Hotel assassinations; sanctions bombing another nation’s future energy supply; defies the United Nations and the entire world by pushing colonization of territory taken militarily, then retaining it against the charter of the UN; annexes other territory in the same arrogant manner; refuses to compensate displaced Palestinians or allow them back into their own land—yet Mr. Falwell is unworried over friendship with this individual. He may be trying to evangelize Mr. Begin, and if Begin’s conversion were to take place it would be the coup d’ etat of the age. Until that time, however, I suggest he stick to raising millions for Liberty Baptist College, and leave the theology of escatology to the scholars.
REV. WILLIAM A. WALMSLEY
Trinity Presbyterian Church
Multiversity Versus Miniversity
Your editorial “To Build a Better Bible College” [Feb. 5] offers a solution that perpetuates the problem faced by Bible colleges. In order to become a good Bible college, each of more than 400 schools ostensibly must offer programs comparable at once to a good liberal arts college, a good theological seminary, a good Bible institute, and a good junior college. Is that not the dilemma of the Bible college? While attempting to become a multiversity, its limited resources restrict it to a miniversity. Would not your purpose be better realized if the resources of the 400 Bible colleges were concentrated in 100 specialized schools?
GEORGE A. TILL
Letters are welcome. Only a selection can be published. Since all are subject to condensation, those of 100 to 150 words are preferred. Address letters to Eutychus and His Kin, CHRISTIANITY TODAY, 465 Gundersen Drive, Carol Stream, Illinois 60187.
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