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post-war tuberculosis


So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate, and she also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate.                     Genesis 3: 6


 Malnutrition was rife in Jersey during 1943 and 1944  - the Red Cross ship Vega only arrived early in January 1945.

 Physically, Jersey’s population then would have resembled the population of some much larger countries today. In fact, world deaths from tuberculosis are around 1,800,000 annually.

 But what caused the serious problem in Jersey (as a case study)?

 Well, mycobacterium tuberculosis is the root problem. But it was calculated in 1997 that 32% of the world population carried that bacterium without problem. So the real post war cause in jersey was poor nutrition.

 Well, yes. But what brought about the poor nutrition?

 War. Ah! Got it al last. War brought about my father’s tuberculosis—and my mother-in-law’s—and gave rise to the Isolation Wards at Overdale Hospital in the 1950s.

 Well, yes. But what brought about the Second World War?

 Hitler. Yes, agreed. But (for the last time) what caused Hitler to be like he was? What was in this man that led to tuberculosis in Jersey?

 Amazingly, the first book in the Bible (Genesis = the beginning) has an answer to that question (see above).

The first man and woman (Adam and Eve) were given the whole earth and all creation to enjoy—but they were both enjoined not to disobey the Creator who had given it all to them, and given them authority over it all.

But they both decided to do just that—disobey—because the outcome of the disobedience seemed to be outweighed by the benefits to themselves.

There were three benefits that attracted them and they all proceeded from self-interest.

 First, the fruit was good to eat— ”it will do me good”.

Second, the fruit was good to look at—”it will look good for me”.

Third, the fruit was worth having intellectually—”it will get me ahead”.

Those three things—self—motivated Hitler to extend German hegemony and Aryan supremacy across the globe.

And led to post-war tuberculosis in Jersey.

Every day this week The Times has reported on the UN World Food Conference. It seems that the rate of consumption (the old name for tuberculosis, by the way) in our part of the world, when followed by others elsewhere, is causing very serious problems—globally. Yes, consumption, good for self, itself consumes itself ....

Is it not correct to trace these 2008 food problems, as well as post-war tuberculosis back to Genesis and self?

Another good reason to do that is the totally reverse example of Jesus Christ, Son of God, the man who said he would be delivered over to  death (to benefit others, not self) and who allowed that to be carried out. That belongs to a different world. 

  ‘Selfishness is the greatest curse of the human race’. (W E Gladstone, British Prime Minister, 1809-1898)
  ‘God had condemned sin before, but never so efficiently as in the death of his Son.’  (C H Spurgeon, Christian Preacher, 1834-1892)
Richard Syvret

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