SocietyWatch

From the August 2015 Trumpet Print Edition

Ireland approves same-sex ‘marriage’

Sixty-two percent of Irish voters cast their ballot to legalize same-sex “marriage” on May 22. All but one of Ireland’s 43 districts approved same-sex “marriage” by popular vote.

Ireland has been a deeply Catholic nation. In 1979, more than 1 million—more than a quarter of the nation’s population—showed up for John Paul ii’s visit to Dublin. The New York Times recently contrasted this heritage to the homosexual “marriage” vote: “[I]t underscored how different Ireland is today for the young, who turned out in droves to vote. In a little more than a generation, Ireland has both distanced itself from the church and sharpened its secular identity” (May 25).

As late as 1983, Ireland adhered to Catholic teachings with a two-thirds majority referendum outlawing abortion. Over the years, however, more and more Irish have changed their minds.

Although Ireland was the first nation to legalize same-sex “marriage” by popular vote, many other countries have legalized it. The Netherlands paved the way in 2001, followed by Belgium in 2003, then Canada, Spain and South Africa. Whether legalizing these unions or simply affording them more rights, many countries’ views on homosexuality have changed in the last 30 years.

The decline of traditional nuclear families deeply affects nations. Herbert W. Armstrong, founder of the Trumpet’s predecessor, the Plain Truth, warned a half century ago that a downward moral plunge would pose a greater threat to our society than even the hydrogen bomb. Morals in society are becoming threadbare, yet people celebrate homosexual advancements as though they are victories.

For more information on how this trend is impacting society, request a free copy of Redefining Family.

Americans continue to shift left on key moral issues

Americans view a much wider range of behaviors as morally acceptable than ever before, according to a survey released May 26 by the polling organization Gallup.

The survey found that in 2015, 63 percent of Americans view homosexual relations as morally acceptable, a 23 percentage point increase since 2001. Approval for having a baby outside of marriage increased 16 points in the same time frame.

Divorce and sex outside marriage saw an approval increase of at least 12 percentage points. Other issues that have seen surprising increases in support are polygamy, cloning humans, and doctor-assisted suicides.

Of the 19 moral issues tested, the only ones that saw decreases in acceptability were the death penalty and medical testing on animals.

California water shortage grows as Lake Mead nears crisis

California is suffering its worst drought in 1,200 years, and the news keeps getting worse. Lake Mead, one of the state’s most important water reservoirs, has hit a historic low. On June 12, the water level fell to just over 1,075 feet above sea level. That is almost 143 feet below capacity and the lowest level since the reservoir was filled.

With little snowpack in the Rocky Mountains, the Colorado River may flow at record low rates this summer. Federal forecasters originally predicted the river would flow at 71 percent capacity. Now they say it could fall to 50 percent or lower.

Water levels are so low that analysts now wonder if the Hoover Dam’s electricity-generating capacity could be impacted. kpbs reported May 4 that since last year, 12 million trees have died across the state due to the drought. Many more are primed for fires.

The Colorado River provides water for 40 million people across the Southwest. Cities such as Los Angeles, San Diego, Phoenix and Las Vegas are critically dependent on its flow.

After 15 years of drought, every major water reservoir in California is below its historical average. For cities, water cuts so far have mostly been an annoyance. For some farmers, however, they have been devastating.

Rationing water will not solve California’s water issues. God clearly says that He controls the weather and that He causes it to rain on one field and not on another (Amos 4:7). He does this to communicate to mankind by giving blessings for obedience and curses for disobedience. California is being cursed.