Swimming, Shaving, Soap, DDT, and Theology

By Curtis K. Shelburne: Local columnist

Swimming right after you eat is dangerous. Using antibacterial soap significantly decreases your chance of getting a cold. Shaving makes your hair grow back thicker. Getting chilled gives people colds. Road rage is an epidemic. Mouthwash cures bad breath. Sugar makes kids hyper. DDT is an awful chemical whose use almost wrecked the environment. Bottled water is better for you than tap water.

Actually, no.

Swim away. You might be less comfortable and slower in the pool, but alcohol abuse, lack of safety gear on boats, and not watching kids around pools do lead to drowning. Big Macs don’t.

Studies show no difference in the rate of cold-catching in homes that use antibacterial soaps as compared to regular soap. If you really want to kill germs, wash at least thirty seconds with any soap and do so vigorously.

Shaving just seems to make hair grow in thicker. Short hairs are stiffer. And bald guys can shave their heads all day long. They’ll only get raw heads.

Cold leads to colds? Scientists sprayed cold viruses in the noses of two groups of folks and kept one group nicely warm and the other uncomfortably cold. No diff.

Drivers have always yelled at other drivers and some have always done stupid and illegal stuff. Since the media latched onto the term “road rage,” we hear it a lot and if anybody on the road yells at you, it’s “road rage,” but the actual stats show a non-epidemic.

Mouthwash does kill germs, but the alcohol in it leaves your mouth dry, making your mouth an even more fertile area for bacteria to reproduce.

I usually side with moms over scientists, but too many stats show that it’s not sugar that makes kids hyper. Caffeine will. Sugar won’t.

Fifty years ago, overuse of DDT did harm some bird populations by thinning the shells of their eggs. But proper use of DDT could save millions of lives now being lost to malaria. Politically correct media DDT mania allows the deaths to be suffered as the chemical that could very effectively prevent them is shelved.

Bottled water may cost 500 times more than tap water, but it’s no better for you. It may taste better, but in a taste test, New York City tap water beat Evian (“naive spelled backward”).

All of the above, and much more, can be found in John Stossel’s bestseller, Myths, Lies, and Downright Stupidity. It’s a fun–and enlightening–read.

We tend to gullibly believe so many things just because they’re repeated often and so many folks “buy” them. For example, a lot about what we believe with regard to faith and theology, religion and church, and God himself, we really ought to check out and question from time to time.

“Theology” simply means “thinking about God.” We all do it. Someone has rightly commented that the alternative to good theology is not no theology; it is bad theology. It’s important to do a good job thinking about what we think.

Curtis Shelburne is pastor of 16th & Ave. D. Church of Christ in Muleshoe. Contact him at: ckshel@aol.com