The Hays Daily News from Hays, Kansas on December 24, 1976 · Page 4
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The Hays Daily News from Hays, Kansas · Page 4

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Friday, December 24, 1976
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December 24, 1976 PAGE 4 HAYS DAILY NEWS The Hays Daily News A holiday note Traditional Christmas stronger than trends When Christmas comes to the prairie and peace descends upon the plains — a mantle of white covers our mistakes and beauty Is restored again. The verse is from Fred Atchison's "A Christmas Gift," one of a collection of poems bound in a handsome little booklet that turned up on the desk of a reporter here this week. When conversion turns to Atchison and his. work at the Fort Hays Experiment Station, it usually has to do with trees. That is Atchison's speciality, forestry, and to one Who — to date, at least — only has a nodding acquaintance with the name, it was a pleasant surprise to discover his small volume of "Prairie Reflections/' capably illustrated by his daughter-in-law, Sue. That may be a long way toward entry to some comments about Christmas this year of the country's Bicentennial, but the verse was too compelling — and credit to the Atchisons is due. CHRISTMAS, AS HE reminds us, is a time of renewal, of correction, of celebrating and re-affirming what seems now the eternal faith that human salvation — the ultimate renewal — could come to us through a life that began two millenia ago. Perhaps it takes a poet's clarity to help us focus a view of ourselves, and reading "A Christmas Gift" sorted some thoughts that had been left unconnected. For years I have shared with others a vague uneasiness about Christmas as we celebrate it. As explained below, I'm not certain I would label it too commercial, or say the religious meaning has been leached, bit by bit, from it. There is little doubt that the commercial part of the holiday is a peculiarly American invention, and anyone who cares to trace our Christmases past the turn of the century would get much of the story by starting with social historian Daniel Boorstin. HE REMINDS US, for example, that our forms of Christmas would be much" different without a rapid public acceptance of the department store and the appearance of industrial techniques that made possible vast expanses of plate glass sljiow-windows. It sounds plausible enough. If one accepts Boorstin's thesis, it becomes easier to compress the years into a shorter span and look at the probability that a side-effect of the commercial dosage might have been a strengthening, not a weakening, of religious observance. Those who have worried the question have not been without a strong voice. And, with trte emergence of the holiday as we now experience it, has come a vigorous counterforce in which a combination of formal and informal forces — some with secular origins — have assured that religious reminders not only would remain, but flourish as well. . » IF WE SUPERIMPOSE that across the sweep of history since Christ's birth became a widely-celebrated event, the movement could be viewed as something new, for it hasn't been that long ago, in this country at least, that even a moderate emphasis on Christmas was thought to trigger an impulse to draw the celebration side by side with older pagan customs. That happened earlier, of course, and with that view in mind — and several others seated in various doctines — many organized Christians actively discouraged what was felt to be an improper attention to Christmas. Among some Christians, that attitude Leeword By JOHN LEE persists, bolstered by doctrinal traces. But not for most. By all means, celebrate Christmas; but put Christ back into it, we are reminded. That may have issued from an essentially defensive posture, but many have done just that -•• and in some cases with a certain majesty of spirit that makes one wonder if Christmas always was celebrated with as much devotion. SO WHERE ARE we? Commerical? Yes, that. And religious. That, too, seems assured. Yet, there is something in all this that nags, and I suspect it has to do with a paradoxical entwining of another notion of renewal and commericialism. If one attaches renewal to the lives we seem fated to live, Christmas seems to suffer a curious reduction. We already have too much experience with renewal; the word itself explains the American bearing. Almost religiously, we live by a constant renewal — remaking may be the better word. To paraphrase Garry Wills, a classicist of some insight, we* never let ourselves rest, never let alone the thing we make. In countless ways that is at the core of our existence. It haunts our language, permeates the corpus of our ideas, sums our motives. A DIRECTION FOR a life, for only one of a score of examples, means movement (preferably rapid) along a track toward — what? A goal. And once reached, it recedes before us and merges into another along the track, creating endless necessities for motion of some sort, any sort. If all else fails, busyness will do. Yesterday becomes never enough. And, crucially, tomorrow is vested with an importance it will not — can never — fulfill. All of us have made accomodations with this motion, many of us relish it (count me in), and although one suspects it works some mischief of the heart that none of us understands in all particulars, I would be the last to say it should be a cause for despair. And yet, I think it could explain this uneasiness some of us feel about the way we celebrate this event, for it seems too natural somehow to pass it with mere benchmarks of our progress along the track, the rewards of a race which is too fleeting for comfort. THAT, TOO, shouldn't disturb us all that much, for it could be, as I suspect it is, a symptom of something broader than simple forgetfulness of the significance of Christmas. That, of course, means the true renewal of Christmas — centered in that birth in which Christians have such an extraordinary stake — assumes an even larger importance, for if the race is an appropriate metaphor it eventually will slow for us all. And life must certainly be of an element that begs explanation beyond those terms alone. How we sort the mysteries of that explanation is for each of us to decide, fitted against our own traditions, our own history. In the meantime, we have the large and comforting assurance that "a mantle of white covers our mistakes and beauty is restored again." Merry Christmas. And peace. By JACK ANDERSON WASHINGTON - When 1 was a boy in Utah, the story of the birth of Christ had already withstood the attrition of more than 1900 years. But a half century later, I have detected a new skepticism. There seem t'o be more doubters who dismiss the gospel account as pious legend. The Christmas story, they say, has steadily eroded under challenges from historical research, from scientific discovery, from an enlightened spirit of modernity. For. example, historians have cited an.alleged error in the basic Biblical account of the nativity. According to St. Luke, Christ was born "when Cyrenius was governor of Syria!" The archieves show that Cyrenius didn't arrive in Syria until 6 A.D. How, skeptics demanded, could an account that contained so basic an error be reliable? And the astronomers, with their charts that trace the movements of the stars backward through the millenia, ruled out the appearance of a great new star that could have been perceived to be hovering over Bethlehem at the time of Christ's birth. So out went the tale of the three wise 'men arid the frdnkin- cense and myrrh. ATTACKING FROM OTHER directions, the modern faith in self- assertiveness, in sheer bigness, in organizational mechanisms, in the idea of man reformed by society and elevated by material advances — these articles of faith have left Christ's teachings far behind, with their notions that self-fulfillment lay in self-denial, that societal reform was dependent upon self-reform and that the individual's inner peace, gained through the pursuit of justice and charity,.was the only lasting foundation for peace among nations. For many, then, the Christmas story has retreated to the shadowy status of mere symbol if not fabrication. Yet there are vast numbers of whom the birth and teachings of Christ have lost none of their authenticity. Millions have journeyed to the Holy Land to walk the ancient, hallowed paths, that He walked, and they feel the grip of surpassing reality. I have wandered over the gnarled mountains and sweeping valleys where Jesus sought to change men's hearts. From Behtlehem to Galilee, the land appears as eternal as His word. Bethlehem remains much as it did when Mary and Joseph first halted before the inn and, because there was no room, had to find shelter in the stable. A huddle of flat-roofed stone houses cling to a bleak Judean hillside. Its narrow streets still echo to the clicking heels of heavily laden donkeys. IN NAZARETH, A snuggle Of clay dwellings tucked in the folds of a mountainside, I found the carpenter's trade still practiced as it was in the days of Joseph and Jesus. I watched a wizened, old carpenter work the wood, with both hands and feet, drilling holes with a fire-by-friction'contrivance and pounding pegs into the holes with a wooden mallet. The Sea of .Galilee, encircled by mountains, is still a mirror of the sky MTS> NATIONS ? we,YE,W's WIWY IN TV€ BAC< 0' THE BRANDY... above. Its waters are fished largely by brothers who haul in their nets as the Biblical brothers, Peter and Andrew,! James and John, once did. And thel sudden fearful storms described in St.l Luke still blow in from the Syrian! mountains. ,, I A short time in the Holy Land yields al hundred' experiences that' give life tol the Bible. They are not proof of Biblical! authenticity in themselves, of course,! but in their aggregate, they reincarnate! the texture, the sense of place conveyed J in the gospels. : As a more tangible answer to the skeptics and the scoffers, the spade of I the archeologists and the research of the scholars have turned up evidence f corroborating the scriptures. ' , For instance, some historians are now satisified that the discrepancy in St. Luke about Cyrenlus is the fault not of St. Luke but of our modern calendar. They say an error by the' monk Dionysius Exiguus threw our calendar seven years off. With that error corrected, the first Christmas occurred in 7 B.C. And fragments of Roman inscription, unearthed in Antioch, reveal that Cyrenius was indeed governor of Syria in 7 B.C. THE STAR OF Bethlehem, too, has been rehabilitated. A few years ago, astronomers came to the conclusion that in 7 B.C., the year of the nativity by the correct calendar, there occurred a conjunction of Saturn and Jupiter within the constellation Pisces. From earth, this movement of planets toward each other could have taken on the appearance of a great new star. And consider this: the rabbincial writer Arbarbanel left an account of certain Jewish astrologers, who were regarded as wise men and who studied the heavens at a school in Sippar, Babylon., There was a tradition amdng them that the long awaited Messiah would appear when — yes, when Jupiter and Saturn met in the constellation Pisces. May we not, with prudence, assume their excitement when the sign for which they had watched all their lives appeared? And that, students of the prophecy as they were, three of these wise men might have set out from Babylon for Bethlehem, the city of David, from whose tribe the Messiah x was to issue? British welfare: the problem is productivity LONDON — In the 19th century British politics was, as Lord Salisbury said, "two sets of gentlemen squabbling for place." Today there are fewer gentlemen, and the following is a London newspaper's report of a recent squabble: "Without once having to read from notes, Mr. Tom Swain — a Derbyshire miners' M.P. whose syntax is normally more muddled — yesterday exclaimed to a Tory: 'If you say that outside I'll punch your bloody head in.' "It was the best, and most articulate, speech Mr. Swain had made in his 17 years in the House. A moment later he illustrated his observation with a diagram: He seized the Conservative by the tie, but by that time other Members had understood the broad sweep of Mr. Swain's argument and had interposed themselves ...." .> IN SPITE OF such ungentlemanly squabbling, what Churchill said after the war is approximately true today: "Four-fifths of each party in Britain agrees about four-fifths of the things that are to be done." Four centuries ago, Elizabeth I affirmed the idea that relief of the poor is a state responsibility. Seven decades ago, Lloyd George began building a welfare state. And now in the 25th year By GEORGE WILL of the reign of Elizabeth II that state is in crisis. , But the consensus in its favor rests on a tradition long and durable. Since 1945, the Conservative Party has accepted the premises of the welfare state. Like democratic parties everywhere, only more so, Britain's parties have treated electoral politics as an auction, bidding up benefits. The welfare state, far from being regarded as a threat to personal liberty, or an irrational waste of resources, is still a source of consensus and stability. The costs — although currently more than the nation -can afford to divert from investment — are not generally regarded as outweighing the benefits of economic and psychological security that the welfare state has meant for most citizens. True, Britain's system of incentives is currently out of joint. It has been said that life should. be like skiing — exhilarating, but also a bit scary. Britain's system of taxes and social services dampens the exhilaration of enterprise, and also dampens the fear of not being enterprising. FROM THE MODERATE left-center of the Labor Party through the entire Conservative Party there is agreement: It is time to cut the con- fiscatory marginal tax rates of 83 percent on earned income and 98 percent on investment earnings. Such rates are ry>t revenue-raising measures, they are ideological gestures which express a passion for equality, and disapproval of investment earnings, which Socialists call "unearned income." In addition, a man with two children must earn 63 pounds a week-about the national average - in order to be five pounds better off than he would be receiving unemployment compensation. It is among people who are earning at or below this level that resentment of the welfare state is growing. But Britain's fundamental problem is not the generosity of its social programs. Pensions, sick pay and a number of other benefits are below the Common Market average, and far below Germany's benefits, which do not -discourage industriousness. Nor is Britain's fundamental problem that the government controls a percentage of Gross National Product that is obviously intolerable. .Computed 'in accordance with Common Market accounting procedures, the British government controls 46.3 percent of GNP, slightly less than the aver.age 'in Common Market nations .(46.5), and less than in Germany (48), Europe's economic pacesetter. Britain's fundamental problem is productivity. Britain launched the Industrial Revolution, but it has never wholeheartedly come to terms with the values and demands of industrial civilization. True, in the 19th century, especially, the British had exuberant en- terpreneurs. For example, there was the textile manufacturer who moved from the city to a country'estate, and promptly cut a swath through the screen of trees so that when sat in his drawing room he could see the smoke rising from the chimney of his mill. But the late D.W. Brogan, a historian interested in national character, captured "the essence of Britain's problem (and perhaps our problem, too) when he said: Americans love machines, the British love dogs. Your Health By Dr. George Thosteson DEAH DOCTOR: Could you please explain to_me how the body works after the spleen has been removed? My husband had it out four years ago. What effect does this have on the body? — S.Y. The spleen is still one of the mystery organs. ' We know much about some of its functions, less about others. It is generally accepted, however, that the body functions pretty much as before when the spleen is removed. It's about six inches long and located under the ribs in the upper left portion of the abdomen. Before we are born the spleen produces red and white blood cells. This work is taken over the the bone marrow afterwards. The spleen continues performing two main functions for the adult — screening blood for worn-out cells and other unwanted components, and producing antibodies to fight infection. In destroying the old red blood cells the spleen also collects the residual iron and stores it for later use. Spleen enlargement is one of the major reasons for its removal, because the enlarged organ may be taking too many important blood components from the blood. Purpura (easy bruising) may result if the enlarged spleen removes too great a quantity of clotting elements from the blood.-Rupture of the spleen is another indication for splenectomy (removal), as would a tumor or other abnormalities. The spleen apparently becomes involved in various other blood disorders. In some, when conservative treatment fails, the spleen may be removed in hopes that this will have a desired effect. Because of the high degree of success in this operation, and because the body can do nicely without it, removal of the spleen is considered worthwhile in many such cases. A study of patients who have had splenectomies indicates no serious after effects. There may be temporary loss of some infection-fighting ability, but this is usually corrected in time. Other organs and body tissues apparently take over the spleen's duties. It seems to be a case of nature providing a "back-up system" in the phrase popularized by space age technology. DEAR DOCTOR: My physician has recently diagnosed that I have one of the collagen diseases. He thinks that a pregnancy might make it go away. Is there any truth to this? — C.D. Callagen is the fibrous material which makes up most of the body's connective tissue. There is a group of diseases called "collagen diseases" (five or six, in fact) which affect organs, skin and bones. One of them is arthritis. It is not uncommon for arthritis and similar problems to improve during pregnancy. But it would probably return afterwards. Much depends on what type of collagen disease you have. It's no reason to become pregnant. Arthritis suffers can be helped. Dr. Thosteson's booklet discusses many types of arthritis and related joint diseases as well as effective treatments and medications. For a copy of "How You Can Control Arthritis," write to him in care of this newspaper. Enclose a long, self- addressed, stamped envelope and 35 cents. Word Of God Bear ye one another's burdens, and so fulfill (he law of Christ. Galatians 6:2. If Christ bears OUR burdens, as well as our sins, then we surely ought to be willing to assist others in bearing the burdens of life that beat them down. Dr. Thosteson welcomes reader mail but regrets that, due to the temendous volume received daily, he is unable to answer individual letters. Readers' questions are incorporated in his column whenever possible. The Hays Daily News Published By The News Publishing Co. 507 Main Street. Hays. Ks. 67601 Published Ewe Days A Week And Sundays Except Memorial & Labor Day Second Class Postage Paid at Hays, Kansas 67601 Hale of Subscription: (includes Kansas Sales Tax, where applicable). By Carrier: Convenient monthly rates: Hays and Suburbs $2.75 per month Trade Zone Carriers .. $2.75 per month By Mail: (Where carrier service is not available). In Kansas $21.63 per year Out of State $26 00 per year All mail subscriptions must be paid in advance in accordance with Postal Regulations. Carriers also collect for a month in advance. John Lee Editor and Publisher GlenWindholz Managing Editor Gilbert N.Kuhh Business Manager Donald Haas Advertising Manager GeneKohr Mechanical Supt. Thomas J Drees Circulation Mgr Television Log TV STATION KAYS Channvl 7 — Program Log Friday, December 24 6:30 Andy Williams Show 7:00 The Homecoming 9:00 CBS News Special 10:00 Final Report News, Weather, Sports 10:30 CBS Christmas Eve Religious Special 12:00 LateShow: "Silent Night, Lonely Night" Sign Off News, Weather, Sports Saturday, December 25 7:00 Sylvester & Tweety+ 7:30 Clue Club + 8 : 00 Bugs Bunny Road Runner Hour + 9:00 Tarzan Lord o( the Jungle+ 9 : 30 Shazam Isis Hour + 10:30 Ark 11+ 11:00 Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids + 11:30 NBA Basketball 2:00 The FIESTA Bowl 5:00 NFL Highlights 5:30 CBS Evening news with Rather 6:00 Evening News, Weather, Sports 6:30 Lawrence Welk 7:30 BobNewhart 8:00 All in the Family 8:30 Alice 9:00 Carol Burnett Show 10:00 Final Report News, Weather, Sports 10:30 LateShow: "Enemy General" Sign off News, Weather, sports Sunday, December 26 8:30 Mr. Gosphel Guitar 9 : 00 Day of Discovery 9:30 Old Time Gospel Hour 10:30 FacetheNation 11:00 Insight 11:30 Youth for Christ 12:00 NFC Champions 5 : 30 Evening News, Weather, Sports 6:00 Sixty Minutes 7 : 00 Sonny & Cher Show 8:00 Kojak 9:00 Lundstroms "Movin' Thru Dakota Country" 10 : 00 Final Report News, Weather, Sports 10:30 .Late Show "The Three Worlds of Gulliver" Sign Off News, Weather, Sports t TV STATION KCKT Chonn«l 2 — Program tog Friday, December 24 6:30 1st Church of the Naz&reneOhristmas Pgm. 7:00 Sanford & Son 7:30 Chlco & the Man 8:00 First Bible Baptist Church Christmas Program 9:00 Rex Humbard Christmas Pirn. 10:00 KSN News, Weather, Sports 10:30 Sounds of Christmas Eve 11:00 Christmas, Rome 1976 12:15 KSNLateNews Saturday, December 25 6:55 Sign On ' 7:00 Woody Woodpecker Show 7:30 Pink Panther Show 9:00 Speed Buggy 9:30 The Monster Squad 10:00 Christmas at Washington „ Cathadrel 11:00 Land of the Lost 11:30 Muggsy 12:00 P.S.259 12:30 Come Alive 1:00 Perspective 1:30 All Star Wrestling 2:30 WagonTrain ) 4:00 Proud Country 4:30 Nashville on the Road 5:00 Porter Wagoner Show ! 5:30 KSN News, Weather, Sports 6:00 Holly wood Squares 6:30 Dolly 7:00 Emergency 8:00 Sat. Night at the Movies "Camelot Pt I 10:00 KSN News, Weather, Sports 10:30 Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman 11:30 NBCSat. Night 1:00 KSNLateNews Sunday, December 26, 6:58 SignUn 7:00 Amazing Grace Bible' Class 7:30 Defenders 8:00 James Robeson Presents 8:30 Revival Fires 9:00 HeraldofTruth 9:30* Oral Roberts Presents 10:00 Rex Humbard ' 11:00 First Bible Baptist Church Hr. 12:00 AFC Championship (TenativeTime) 3:00 Meet the Press 3:30 The FBI 4:30 NFL Game of the Week 5:00 Garner Ted Armstrong 5:30 News Centers-Access 6:00 Wonderful World of Disney 7:00 NBC Mystery Movie "McCloud" 8:30 The Big Event "That Was the Year That Was" : 10:00 KSN News, Weather, Sports 10:30 Mary Hartman,

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