On the Front Lines of the Culture Wars

On the Front Lines of the Culture Wars

WHO says cellphones cause cancer?

Are cellphones killing us?


So, do we trust in God’s protection and refuse to live in fear? Or do we accept wise counsel and adjust our lives accordingly?

Sometimes the news tests the Christian. In a stunning announcement the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer said cellphones cause cancer. So, we all throw away our phones. Or we proclaim God’s protection and keep using them … or we use ear plugs and quit holding the phones so close to our ears. Which is it?


But wait … what did WHO really say?

The jury is still out, says investment writer David Berman in the London Globe and Mail. What WHO actually said is that cellphone use is “possibly carcinogenic.”

“This rather vague pronouncement puts cellphones in the same cancer-risk category as coffee – as in, it could be harmful, but they’re not exactly sure,” writes Berman.

So, remembering that our bodies are the temple of the Holy Spirit … what do we do?

Berman noted that investors are shrugging off the warning with their afternoon espressos: “Stocks of wireless providers were mixed in afternoon trading on Tuesday.”

In fact, he wrote: “Verizon Communications Inc. was up 0.2 per cent and AT&T Inc. was up 0.4 per cent. In Canada, Telus Corp. was down 0.4 per cent and Rogers Communications Inc. was down 0.1 per cent, but BCE Inc. was up 0.1 per cent.”


Apple , the iPhone maker, rose 2.4 per cent.

Could we live without our wireless link?

However, the WHO announcement came on the same day that the U.S. Supreme Court asked the Justice Department to offer its input on a disputed class-action suit that contends cellphone companies misled consumers about radiation and possible health risks.


The Washington Post and Cable News Network noted that the WHO panel called the phones “possibly carcinogenic,” a finding that differs from WHO’s earlier conclusion that there were no cancer risks. The rating is the third highest, falling below “carcinogenic” and “probably carcinogenic,” the Post said.

One WHO panel member said consumers might want to switch to texting or using headsets — and stressed that more research is needed and the cancer link has not yet been proven.

So, where does that leave us? Do we step boldly? After all, the Bible tells of the Apostle Paul being bitten by a serpent and not even getting ill. And what about that promise that we can drink deadly poison?

And what about Deuteronomy 6:16 and Luke 4:12 that say we are not to test the Lord our God?

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Kathy

    There are three issues addressed in the comments (at least).

    (1) Many people are rude when using their cell phones. News flash: without cell phones, those same people would most likely find some other way to be rude. If they’re too loud, or disturb you too much, *politely* ask them to take their call outside (like if you’re in a restaurant) or somewhere else. If they don’t, you can ask the business manager to ask them to take it elsewhere. If the manager refuses, you then have the option of either putting up with it or leaving yourself. Bottom line — you have options.

    (2) There are loads of myths (urban legends) about cell phones that have been shown to be untrue. For instance, you are thousands of times more likely to cause a gasoline explosion at the pump by sliding across your seat and grabbing the nozzle than the guy next to you using his cell phone. The gasoline/air mix where a cell phone is doesn’t get rich enough to cause a fire/explosion even if a spark DID jump (and Mythbusters tried and failed to get it to happen even in a closed environment — that one is BUSTED). That the electrical or magnetic field from a cell phone can harm someone a hundred or more feet away does not make scientific sense. With power lines and all the other sources of electric and magnetic fields around, isolating the source well enough to know for sure that it’s a cell phone “causing” cancer will be well-nigh impossible.

    3) Texting and driving is stupid, dangerous and in many places illegal. Talking and driving depends on the person and the subject of conversation, but can definitely be distracting, so should be limited BY THE DRIVER. Making laws against talking and driving will be as effective as any other form of Prohibition, so is silly. Ticketing a driver for the erratic DRIVING they do while using a cell phone addresses the REAL problem — which is distracted driving. What would make sense would be doubling the fine for the violation if the person committing it was on a phone at the time. We do it for speeding in road construction zones, why not for cell phones?

    (4) Little kids with phones — again, just a symptom of parents not being PARENTS. If parents give in on the phone thing just to stop the whining, they’re probably not doing their job in other areas, either. So grow a backbone and tell your own kids, they get one when YOU decide they need it, not when “all” their friends get them. Whether or not they cause cancer, kids who don’t drive have very little need for a phone — they should be getting most places in the company of a responsible adult anyway.

    So, decide for yourself if the (pretty tiny) risk is worth it to you. If it is, phone away. If not, don’t. Let the rest of us make our own decisions. That is WHY God gave us brains — to make sensible decisions with.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment nene caraballo

    Every thing in this earth is killing us because of mans inventions useing harmful elements in our food,water…etc. so just give GOD the glory we are alive now ..not the future or the past but the now..

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment margret

    The worst is going into the Lord’s house with the cell phone and it keeps ringing. Before cell phone did you all unplug the house phone and walk about with it and talk.Give the Lord his time.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment David

    Some of us are not addicted to cell phones. I have one in the car on long trips, but it’s not even turned on unless I need to make an emergency call. I don’t give out the number (I don’t really know what it is, even) and don’t expect to receive calls. Since my usage is so minimal, I don’t worry about cancer causation.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment baldmurph

    I understood the risk was more in the electromagnetic field generated in the ringing (higher level) than during conversation. Women with cell phones in purses are therefore in less risk than men with device in pants pocket (potentially). And longer conversations would then lead to longer exposure. Of course, if you conduct your cell phone conversations while driving you might not live long enough to develop cancer from it . . . .

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Valerie

    I kept reading, interestingly, hoping you’d share your conclusion on the matter. I find myself on a search again for the truth in many of these matters–cell phones, processed foods, vaccines, etc. Above all, I believe there is no one cure-all from a human standpoint of what (all) to eat, drink, and utilize.

    As Believers, we must live by faith. This is not a statement of denial or a reason not to search out facts. Faith is not ignorance. Faith in God says, whatever we decide as we are led by the Spirit and educated with knowledge, let it be an action of trust in God and love, not one of fear.

    A good balance of common sense and trust in God is paramount. The scripture that you referenced about drinking deadly drink can be my example, that we shouldn’t go chug a glass of anti-freeze to tout the scriptures. Nor should we obsess or harass others when they’re having their second cup of joe. In all things wisdom, moderation, and seek the truth to assist our mortal and spiritual bodies in maintaining optimal health. One’s faith may convict them to refrain while another’s faith allows them to partake with thanksgiving and grace.

    My personal actions lean me closer and closer to an organic lifestyle and staying as close to the way God made things as possible. It is a process and I am far from my goal. My final spill: In my experience the conveniences of man SEEM to lead to more excessiveness. It may not be cell phone in and of itself, but the exorbitant amount of time we spend talking on them. The bible doesn’t tell us not to use cell phones, but it does warn us of excessive talking. :-)


  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment carl wayne

    I don”t understand why the govt.or some org.
    can”t give a definitive answer

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Joanna Hoelscher

    This is about the most studpe article/editorial I’ve read on this subject. You should be ashamed of yourselves for making this some kind of test of one’s Christianity when it is should be a warning to be careful and take precautions – particularly with children, whose bodies are growing and thus they metabolize any carcinogenic substance3 more quickly than adults. It’s a warning to take sensible precautions, like using texting and bluetooth devices.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Valerie

    Personally I txt. also use yhe speakerpnone feature myself…maybe the use of cellphones cause some cancers…it has not been proven…what has been proven is…toxcic chemicals in home cleaning and personal care products are directly related t0 cancer and other children related deseases not to mention adults even our pets…

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Ernest Bart

    I am surprised that someone spoke of God and scripture so freely. However, I am willing to bet that you would not do it if it was something important such as condemning the behaviors that our bringing down our country and the world. Such as even a small thing like the false and misleading advertising. Or the fact that our cities are pervaded with sin as Las Vegas is. Just a thought. I am not mentally ill. I just dont like to see God mentioned in little trivial reasons to self serve rather than used as it is meant to be used.

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