The Song of Fools

The Song of Fools

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Are you listening to it? What is it teaching you?
From the February 2016 Trumpet Print Edition

Pop music grabs your ear and draws you in. The catchy tune, the enchanting vocal, the clever lyric, the sweet beat—the radio dial is full of these: songs crafted to captivate you and stick in your mind.

And now here you are, humming along to that mesmerizing hook. But wait—what are these rich, glamorous people singing about?

Have you looked at the lyrics of the top pop songs? Pick any hit, read the words, and you quickly see how stupid it is. Or vulgar. Or self-indulgent and vain. Or immoral and perverse. Or dangerous and sick.

“Gotta kiss myself, I’m so pretty. I’m too hot!” sings Bruno Mars in “Uptown Funk.” It is basically a celebration of the singer’s own awesomeness and of the glamour of lascivious city life. “If you sexy then flaunt it. If you freaky then own it. Don’t brag about it, come show me.” This is a theme in a lot of these songs: Don’t hold back—just be as crazy as you want! “Girls hit your hallelujah, ’cause uptown funk gon’ give it to you.” Excuse me, what?

Bruno Mars performs during the 2014 Super Bowl.

This was the biggest song for most of 2015. It might have been the most “uplifting” of the handful of hits I looked at. Every one of them was terrible. Gross, lustful, boastful, angry, depressing, brutal, violent, disgusting, nasty. Far worse than I expected! Sampling these lyrics requires skipping over most of them because they are so explicit and profane, if they even make sense at all.

So many of these songs celebrate the shallowest, basest lusts. “Call me on my cell phone late night when you need my love. I know when that hotline bling, that can only mean one thing.” That’s Drake in “Hotline Bling.” “I’m like, yeah, she’s fine. Wonder when she’ll be mine. She walk past, like press rewind to see that [profanity] one more time, and I got this sewed up.” That’s Fetty Wap singing “679.” “I had a summer lover down in New Orleans; kept him warm in the winter, left him frozen in the spring. My, my, how the seasons go by,” Elle King sings in “Ex’s & Oh’s.” “Nothing lasts forever, but this is gonna take me down,” Taylor Swift says of a doomed affair in “Wildest Dreams”—“He’s so tall, and handsome as [profanity]; he’s so bad, but he does it so well. I can see the end as it begins. … Someday when you leave me, I bet these memories hunt you around.”

Unsurprisingly, equally popular to these anthems of immorality are the ballads of the brokenhearted. “At least I can say that I’ve tried to tell you I’m sorry for breaking your heart. But it don’t matter—it clearly doesn’t tear you apart anymore,” sings Adele in her hit “Hello.” “I thought that I’ve been hurt before, but no one’s ever left me quite this sore,” Shawn Mendes sings in “Stitches”—“Your words cut deeper than a knife. … You watch me bleed until I can’t breathe; I’m shaking falling onto my knees. And now that I’m without your kisses, I’ll be needing stitches.” These fools followed their hearts into disastrous relationships, and pathetic fans are now grooving on their depressing confessions. Do you really want to absorb yourself in that miserable world?

The Country Music Award’s 2014 “song of the year” was Kacey Musgraves’s “Follow Your Arrow.” What is this catchy little number teaching? Well, since people are going to criticize you no matter what you do, “You might as well just do whatever you want. So make lots of noise, kiss lots of boys, or kiss lots of girls if that’s something you’re into. When the straight and narrow gets a little too straight, roll up a joint—or don’t (I would)—just follow your arrow wherever it points.” Billboard writer Jewly Hight described the song as a “toast to conformity-bucking, pot-smoking and same-sex affection.”

This exercise in absurdity could go on and on. Are you listening to this nonsense?

(Trumpet managing editor Joel Hilliker discusses the impact of this topic further on Trumpet Hour at 49:32.)

Take a breath of fresh air and note this up-to-date wisdom from Solomon in Ecclesiastes 7:5: “It is better to hear the rebuke of the wise, than for a man to hear the song of fools.”

You hear “the song of fools” everywhere today. Lange’s Commentary says this refers to “the extravagant, boisterous and immoral songs that are heard in the riotous carousals of foolish men.” The song of fools fills the airwaves! Another appropriate term for it can be found in Psalm 69:12: “the song of the drunkards.”

Everything about “the song of fools” engages the carnal mind. It has instant appeal, like sugar on the tongue. But like refined sugar, its messages are incredibly toxic. And it affects you more than you realize.

The peddlers of these songs are attractive—or certainly fascinating, even in bizarre ways. But theirs is the seduction of the “strange woman” of Proverbs 5 and 7. They often live debauched lives. Their views are twisted; their morals are sick. The most popular among them openly advocate rank materialism, illegal drug use, sexual license and perversion. They are miserable—often openly, proudly so! Yet millions of young people listen, watch, hum along, absorb and allow these pop stars to shape their thinking.

2 Corinthians 6:17 tells us to come out from the world and be separate. Hear the rebuke of the wise! It’s so much better than getting caught humming the song of fools.

(Don’t) Use as Directed

Before you ingest powerful chemical medications, ask these questions.
From the February 2016 Trumpet Print Edition

“I’m writing you prescriptions for buprenorphine, fluoxetine, eszopiclone, Azithromycin, Dulcolax and Simvastatin,” the doctor says. “For good measure, we’ll throw in some Chantix and Orlistat.”

The names sound terrifying. But since the doctor recommended them, it’s normal to think the drugs will be as magical for the body as the blissful, pastel-colored butterfly on one of the boxes appears to be.

“You’ll need to take 12 tablets each morning and afternoon, six eardrops in the early evening, and then wear the transdermal patches while you sleep. Keep that up, and you’ll be feeling like yourself again.”

[T]he average American is written more than 13 prescriptions each year.

Medical recommendations such as those are issued with increasing frequency in the United States. And patients are generally quick to follow the orders. Mayo Clinic researchers report that almost 7 in 10 Americans today are taking at least one prescription drug, and over half are taking at least two.

A smaller percentage of Americans are on numerous prescriptions. In 2014, Americans were written a total of 4.33 billion prescriptions. There are 319 million of us. This means the average American is written more than 13 prescriptions each year.

And with each passing year, these numbers are climbing, making the pharmaceutical industry ever larger and more powerful.

Are You at Risk—From Your Meds?

Expensive pharmaceuticals often provide users with relief from some symptoms. But they also carry a host of health risks. About 16 percent of all hospital admissions are related to adverse reactions to prescription drugs.

Women are at particularly high risk of complications from pharmaceuticals. That is in large part because, although women take the majority of prescription drugs, many drugs are only ever tested on men.

And here’s the big one: The Journal of Law, Medicine and Ethics states that pharmaceuticals used as prescribed are the fourth-leading cause of death for Americans. That puts medication-induced deaths ahead of diabetes, car accidents and aids. The death rate for prescription drugs is 10 times higher than the number of people killed by illegal drugs.

Patient advocate Lisa Bloomquist says that, in too many cases, “the pharmaceutical industry has effectively taken an acute problem … and converted it into a chronic problem.” She says these chronic problems “mean repeat customers, and the pharmaceutical industry makes billions.”

About 16 percent of all hospital admissions are related to adverse reactions to prescription drugs.

In light of these risks, patients should ask their doctors some questions before blithely following their recommendations to put these high-powered chemical concoctions into their bodies.

‘Doctor, What’s the NNT?’

First, a patient should ask the doctor about a statistic called the nnt: the “Number Needed to Treat.”

The nnt is a piece of data doctors and pharmaceutical companies generally don’t like to discuss. It records the number of people who need to take a certain drug in order for one of them to be helped by it.

Consider the example of statin, a class of drug routinely prescribed to lower patients’ cholesterol levels. But the nnt for the most-widely prescribed statin is a jaw-dropping 250. That means for every 250 people taking it, this statin helps only one person.

Dr. Jerome R. Hoffman, professor of clinical medicine at the University of California, Los Angeles, explained: “What if you put 250 people in a room and told them they would each pay $1,000 a year for a drug they would have to take every day … and that 249 would have no benefit? And that they could do just as well by exercising? How many would take that?”

Statin has an unusually high nnt, but the GlaxoSmithKline pharmaceutical company estimates that 90 percent of all prescription drugs work for only 30 to 50 percent of people taking them. So in general, you’ve got a 50-50 chance of relief—at best.

And in many cases, the effects of your medications are far worse than neutral. That leads to the second question a patient should ask.

‘What Are the Side Effects?’

Before agreeing to a new prescription, a patient should also ask the doctor about the drug’s side effects and the percentage of people who suffer from them.

[P]harmaceuticals used as prescribed are the fourth-leading cause of death for Americans.

To stick with the example of statin, the side effects are serious. They include joint pain, muscle pain and gastrointestinal distress. These are known to affect about 5 percent of people taking the drug. (In severe cases, it can also cause muscle breakdown and type-2 diabetes.)

So, if you add the side-effect percentage to the nnt, you see that for every 250 people taking the most-widely prescribed statin, just one person is helped, while more than a dozen suffer side effects. Each individual patient is 12.5 times more likely to be harmed than he is to be aided by the drug.

‘Is the Drug Company Paying You?’

It isn’t possible to watch television or pick up a magazine without being bombarded by images of stressed-out women finally getting a good night’s sleep, depressed teenagers making a transformation to joyfulness, and silver-haired men regaining long-lost virility.

These advertising budgets that directly target consumers are enormous. Yet they are only a fraction of the pharmaceutical industry’s marketing expenditure. So where does the rest of that marketing money go?

Doctors. Unlike the situation with most products, consumers can’t buy pharmaceuticals unless they have a doctor’s approval. The pharmaceutical companies know that doctors are the ones who actually have the power to get their drugs off the shelves and into patients’ medicine cabinets. So companies channel the bulk of their marketing directly to health-care professionals.

In 2012, pharmaceutical companies spent $3.5 billion on direct-to-consumer marketing. That same year, they spent nearly seven times that figure—about $24 billion—marketing directly to health-care professionals.

Marketing to health-care professionals happens in two primary ways.

First, the companies send sales representatives to routinely visit hospitals, bringing gifts and free lunches to health-care workers. Former pharmaceutical sales representative Jamie Reidy told Last Week Tonight that the lunches are more than just occasional offerings: “There are some offices that advertise in the front desk job description ‘free lunch everyday’—not because the doctors are paying for it, but because the drug reps are bringing it in everyday.”

The National Physicians Alliance said that 83 percent of doctors report having accepted food and/or gifts from drug companies. One study showed that the United States has about 100,000 drug representatives, which means about one for every eight doctors—and the average marketing spent on each doctor is more than $12,000.

Drug company gifts to doctors can also include fishing trips, educational fees, sample drugs—and services such as building free websites. In one case, a drug company spent $9,750 on a dinner for three doctors—in an effort to persuade them to prescribe its drugs.

[T]he average marketing spent on each doctor is more than $12,000.

This conflict of interests is so widespread that the government recently launched a website that allows the public to see how much each doctor is receiving from various drug companies.

The second way pharmaceutical companies market to health-care professionals is by hiring doctors to talk to other doctors about their drugs.

In 2013, federal prosecutors accused the Novartis drug company of spending almost $65 million to pay doctors to conduct more than 38,000 such “speaker programs.”

The Wall Street Journal reported: “The speakers were paid an average of $750 to $1,500 per program, with some speakers earning as much as $3,000 a program, prosecutors said. In one instance, a Florida doctor was paid $3,750 for speaking to the same four doctors about a Novartis drug five times in a nine-month period, prosecutors said” (April 26, 2013).

Novartis tried to defend itself, saying physician speaker programs are an “accepted and customary practice in the industry.”

But that’s precisely the problem. The customary nature of the practice means the objectivity of many health-care professionals is corroded.

When a drug company pays a doctor to act as a spokesman for its drugs, that doctor will often feel obligated to that company. It will cause him to make some recommendations based not on his best judgment but on the wishes of the drug company.

So, the third question you should ask your doctor, if he recommends a certain prescription to you, is whether he is receiving money, gifts, speaking fees or other benefits from the company that makes the drug. You may also ask if his opinion of the drug has been influenced by doctors paid to speak on behalf of its manufacturer.

‘How Can I Do My Part?’

A final question you should ask is directed less at your doctor than at yourself.

What long-term changes can I make in my diet, exercise and other lifestyle habits that could improve my health without pharmaceuticals? These kinds of changes often can be difficult. But take note: Side effects of this solution can include, but are not limited to: a higher quality of life, greater clarity of thought, a larger savings account balance, a more abundant life, more time for family and friends, greater productivity at work ….

Your Duty as a Mentor

Grow by helping others to grow.
From the February 2016 Trumpet Print Edition

If you’ve achieved any success in life, you’ve probably had help. It can be a huge boost to have someone teach you, guide you, provide an opportunity, or open a door as you progress through your education and career.

With experience and success comes a responsibility you may not have considered: to turn around and help those behind you. To give back by being a mentor.

A mentor is a trusted counselor or guide who teaches, helps or advises a less experienced, often younger person. Mentoring is a partnership between one person with knowledge and another who wants to learn. It is a relationship that builds up society. It is a principle of living that can change lives—including your own.

As Gen. Wilbur Lyman Creech, commander of the U.S. Air Force Tactical Air Command, said, “The first duty of a leader is to create more leaders.”

There are probably many younger people in your life you could help if you will embrace this challenge. And it is a challenge: It takes time, energy, investment. But recognize that when a younger person is struggling or needs attention, it is not an imposition, but an opportunity.

There is power in sharing knowledge. The Bible is loaded with admonitions about and examples of this teaching dynamic. Most revolve around teaching our children God’s truth: “And thou shalt teach [these words] diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up” (Deuteronomy 6:7; also read Deuteronomy 4:9 and 11:19 and Psalm 78:1-8). Ephesians 6:4 exhorts fathers to bring up their children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. Titus 2 contains detailed instruction to older women, telling them to work not just with their own daughters but also with younger women in general.

The way you treat your children and other young people or those with less experience and expertise says a lot about your character. One quality of the great patriarch Abraham that impressed God was that he would teach, guide, counsel, advise, instruct—mentor! (Study Genesis 18:19.) When God commended him in this way, Abraham had only one son. You don’t even have to have children to develop the mind-set of a mentor.

To think like a mentor, you must do two things: Recognize someone’s potential; and recognize your own power to help him or her achieve it. These are difficult tasks. They require unselfishness, maturity and big-mindedness. They require seeing people the way God does, and then caring enough to actually help them.

Once you begin to build this mind-set, then you will see opportunities arise all around you.

The act of mentoring includes two components: providing guidance and providing opportunities. It is more than simply giving counsel, offering advice and delivering instruction. It also means arranging opportunities, opening doors and providing challenges—giving assignments that will help your students’ growth.

A mentor asks himself these questions: What do I know that can benefit others? Who can benefit from this knowledge? What can I learn that will be useful knowledge to teach others? What do I wish someone had taught me? What opportunities can I provide?

If you have a son or daughter, start there. Double the amount of time you spend together. Look for every opportunity to do things together. Look for appropriate challenges to give him or her. Think of every little thing you can teach to prepare him or her for adulthood.

How much better equipped for manhood would a boy be, for example, if his father took the time to teach him how to stay focused on a task; how to tie a tie; how to build a fire; how to treat a wound; how to change a car’s oil; how to fix a leak; how to hunt. Then of course are matters of relationships and character such as how to have meaningful conversation; how to treat a woman; how to be a man of your word, how to admit mistakes; how to build a relationship with God—and so on?

Once you make headway at home, look at other people you can help: people who work for you, your students, other young people in your community. Pay attention to them. Show interest. Develop a rapport. Think about whether you can include them in your work, in your plans. Look for opportunities to teach and pass along something of value. Young people have so many things they need to learn.

In addition to benefitting your student, mentoring also benefits you! You need opportunities to think beyond yourself. Mentoring requires genuine effort. It takes sacrifice and time—time you may not want to give, frustration you may wish to do without, sacrifice you would prefer not to make. But that is thinking selfishly. You need opportunities to think unselfishly, like God. The real joy in life comes from giving, not taking (Acts 20:35). Devoting attention to helping someone else grow, to struggle through setbacks and learn from mistakes, is truly a blessed act.

Your life isn’t just about bettering yourself. It’s about bettering yourself through bettering others! It’s about growing by helping others to grow!

There are young people all around you who are waiting for you, needing you, and they don’t even know it. But now you do. So wake up to your critical duty: being a mentor!

Germans Want More Military

From the February 2016 Trumpet Print Edition

Even before the Paris attacks, big changes were afoot in Germany. Germans felt more unsafe than they had in a decade. They were demanding military spending and a greater role in solving the world’s crises. Statistics published by the Center for Military History and Social Sciences of the Bundeswehr on November 26 show a dramatic change in Germany.

The center surveyed more than 2,500 Germans during the two months prior to the Paris attacks. The results revealed that 51 percent of Germans now want Germany to spend more on its military. Only 13 percent wanted a cut. Two years ago, only 19 percent said they wanted to increase military spending.

This is the first time since the survey began in the mid-1990s that a majority of Germans have wanted to increase military spending. In 1997, 40 percent wanted to cut spending, while only 12 percent wanted it increased. Even in 2001, after the September 11 terrorist attacks, only 44 percent wanted to increase spending.

The survey asked Germans if their nation needed to be more involved in solving crises around the world or if it needed to instead focus on problems at home. Two thirds said that Germany must do more to help in the world’s crises and conflicts—only 27 percent wanted Germany to focus on domestic issues. Once again, this was the highest-ever support for international involvement and the lowest-ever support for focusing at home since the survey began.

Unsurprisingly, the most popular way of solving these problems was diplomatic negotiations. However, 57 percent were in favor of sending the German Army on military missions to fix these problems. Only 21 percent were against it.

The survey also pointed to an overall rise in fear and uncertainty. Twenty-three percent of those who responded said they felt the security situation in Germany was “very unsafe,” “unsafe” or “rather uncertain.” At first glance, that doesn’t sound very high—most see Germany as safe. But in 2014, that figure was 6 percent. In just one year, that number has increased fourfold. It’s now at its highest level since 2006.

What has caused this increase in insecurity? The most obvious answer is the migrant crisis—a crisis that is not going away any time soon. Again, all this German unease existed even before the Paris attacks. Every indication is that these figures will have now risen dramatically.

All this points to a historic shift in Germany’s attitude toward its military. For decades, the German public has been very reluctant to send its soldiers abroad. Over the past few years, top German leaders have spoken in favor of a more muscular German foreign policy and have taken some important steps in that direction. But public opinion has not backed them. Until now.

At the start of 2014, President Joachim Gauck, Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen and Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier all lined up and proclaimed Germany’s new attitude toward its military and role in the world. “In my opinion, Germany should make a more substantial contribution, and it should make it earlier and more decisively if it is to be a good partner,” said Gauck. Now, public opinion is catching up to the beliefs of its leaders.

“Germany’s foreign policy has just been dramatically and historically transformed,” wrote Trumpet editor in chief Gerald Flurry on the 2014 pivot. He continued, “Since then, the message coming from Germany—from Steinmeier and von der Leyen, from lower level government officials, from Germany’s media, and from numerous German analysts and think tanks—has been loud and consistent: The time has come to pursue a much stronger foreign policy, both militarily and politically.”

Since then, there has been a marked shift in Germany’s foreign policy, with the nation sending small numbers of troops to the world’s hotspots.

But in 2014, the public wasn’t completely on board with this shift—it was imposed from the top. Now public opinion has swung behind these leaders. Germany’s shift to a global military power is only going to intensify.

The Deadly Path of Higher Education

The Deadly Path of Higher Education

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Campus protests are a symptom of a nation-destroying problem.
From the February 2016 Trumpet Print Edition

Look at what is happening to higher education in America. Nasty, empty-headed children are taking over the universities. Some of what these students are learning borders on insanity and will prove to be dangerous to America.

In November, the University of Missouri football team went on strike to protest racism on campus. One student went on a hunger strike. They condemned the university president for inaction over racist incidents and insisted that he resign.

A protest movement on campus, called Concerned Student 1950, issued a “List of Demands.” It said: “We demand that the University of Missouri system president, Tim Wolfe, writes a handwritten apology to the Concerned Student 1950 demonstrators and holds a press conference in the Mizzou Student Center reading the letter. In the letter and at the press conference, Tim Wolfe must acknowledge his white male privilege, recognize that systems of oppression exist, and provide a verbal commitment to fulfilling Concerned Student 1950 demands.”

These young people gave an ultimatum to the president of their university, ordering exactly what he must do, and how and when. They had eight specific demands, which we’ll look at later.

What were the great offenses that outraged these students? They were upset that 65 years ago, Mizzou was a white-only university. In a public protest, they brought out a list of grievances going back to 1839. But in terms of problems today, this movement was short on specifics. They described how “our white peers sit in silence in the face of our oppression” and how college administrators “perpetuate that oppression through their inaction.” What “oppression” are they talking about? It all boiled down to three incidents—a “poop swastika” and two supposed racial slurs.

It was a mystery who committed the first offense or why. Campus authorities couldn’t find anybody who knew about it. You could read practically anything into it. But to these students, a swastika shows a campus-wide problem with racism.

About these racial slurs, one was supposedly directed against the student body president off campus. Nobody can verify it happened; there is no evidence. This same student, Payton Head, later blatantly lied and said that the kkk had been sighted on campus, only to retract his words within the hour. Do you think he might have lied about the racial epithet someone hurled at him? When Head ran for office, he promised to “ignite Mizzou.” He has certainly accomplished that.

That incident, if it happened, was off campus anyway, so what does the university have to do with it? The other slur was uttered on campus by a drunk student—but how can the university president be held responsible for that?

Doesn’t the fact that the student body elected a black man as their campus president better indicate the racial inclusiveness of this school? For anyone to be so seriously up in arms over these “events” is simply madness!

The student on a hunger strike was also protesting the removal of graduate student health insurance subsidies. This student grew up in a mansion worth around $1 million; his father made almost $7 million last year. Yet these students continually complain about “white privilege.”

There was no evidence of any university officials failing to properly address any problems. No crimes were committed; noone was harmed. Yet the university president and chancellor lost their jobs, and the media treated the protesters like civil rights heroes!

Now, rebellious little children are ruling that campus. This problem will continue to spread. They are taking over.

Trouble With Colleges

People tend to view a college education as a wonderful thing. There is a strong push to get as many young people as possible into college. A hundred years ago, only 4 percent of 18-to-21-year-old men went to college. Now, over four in ten 18-to-24-year-olds in America are in college. Enrollment keeps going up. It rose 15 percent in the decade after 1992—24 percent in the decade after 2002.

That is a lot of education! Is it improving society? Is it really helping these students? Are they becoming better people? These are legitimate questions, especially when you see what is happening on these campuses!

These events make it clear: Higher education today is plagued by deeply alarming problems.

In today’s university, there is a demand for diversity—but a sameness in thinking. There is diversity in skin pigmentation—but conformity in reasoning.

We see toxic, poisonous instruction that gets students thinking like victims and teaches them to be offended over nothing. We see indoctrination that makes students hypersensitive and even openly aggressive over fictional supposed aggressions.

We see students now out-radicalizing their radical teachers! They actually consider their own liberal university educators to be racist oppressors. These professors are getting what they deserve because they taught these students how to be lawless—and now they are their victims. Their radical students are oppressing them and getting them fired.

Isaiah 3 prophesies of a time when “the child shall behave himself proudly against the ancient, and the base against the honorable,” a time when “children are their oppressors,” and “they which lead thee cause thee to err, and destroy the way of thy paths.” Current events are fulfilling these prophecies!

Something is very wrong with what these students are learning at these institutions!

Higher education has tremendous amounts of knowledge, but much of it is misguided, wrong, even evil. Colleges fill students’ minds with knowledge, but they don’t build students’ character. These campuses are full of students who are bereft of upstanding character.

One student journalist tried to take pictures of the student who went on a hunger strike. An aggressive crowd prevented him from doing so. Students and faculty shouted him down and shoved him away. They don’t care about the First Amendment or freedom of the press. They are willing to use bully tactics and muscle to get rid of someone they don’t like. They do not value freedom!

In today’s university, there is a demand for diversity—but a sameness in thinking. There is diversity in skin pigmentation—but conformity in reasoning. There is groupthink and intellectual intimidation. And more and more, there is aggressionand hatred.

This is the state of higher education in America today!

Demands

The students insist that they want social justice—but that is not what they want. They want injustice. They want their own way, like spoiled children. For people to think they just want justice is terribly naive!

To understand their radical thinking, look at the “List of Demands” by Mizzou’s Concerned Student 1950 group. It includes points like these: “We demand that the University of Missouri creates and enforces comprehensive racial awareness and inclusion curriculum throughout all campus departments and units, mandatory for all students, faculty, staff and administration. This curriculum must be vetted, maintained and overseen by a board comprised of students, staff and faculty of color.” Can you imagine what this mandatory “comprehensive racial awareness and inclusion curriculum” would be like? What would it teach people?

You can be absolutely sure it would not reduce racism! This is not about solving problems or improving race relations. It is about empowering minorities and punishing whites. It is about power—about who rules the universities.

Another demand: “We demand that the University of Missouri increases funding, resources and personnel for the social justice centers on campus for the purpose of hiring additional professionals, particularly those of color, boosting outreach and programming across campus, and increasing campus-wide awareness and visibility.” What good would come from “social justice professionals” boosting “programming across campus”?

This list also insisted that the university fulfill the demands of the Legion of Black Collegians back in 1969.

The man Mizzou brought in to replace its ousted president was Michael Middleton. He is a civil rights attorney and a member of the Commission on Racial and Ethnic Fairness appointed by the Missouri Supreme Court. He helped to found the Legion of Black Collegians, and personally delivered that list of race-related demands to the University of Missouri in 1969. That document labeled Missouri University “a haven for comprehensive institutionalized racist and political repression.”

After Middleton took the job of interim president, he said this: “We have to understand our ugly history permeates everything we do at this institution and in this country.” He also expressed his intent to satisfy “each and every one of [Concerned Student 1950’s] demands that can be satisfied.”

How do you appease someone who thinks this way? There is no evidence of systemic racism at the university. None. There is no truth to this man’s racist statement. It is a satanic lie!

What kind of university is Mizzou becoming? Is there nobody who will stand up to this outrageous situation?

Yet the media love it. They are dangerously and willfully ignorant.

Racist Incidents?

What happened at Mizzou is part of a plague of incidents involving false accusations on college campuses. Yet if you question the validity of these supposed hate crimes, then you are considered racist.

In September, students at the University of Delaware cried out in indignation when they found “nooses” hanging from a tree on campus. Security staff investigated and found that they were actually the remains of paper lanterns left over from a previous event. But after the truth came out, students continued to insist they were nooses. One sophomore said she “had a hard time accepting as credible sources” the college public safety staff.

The truth does not matter to these people. That fact resurfaces again and again in these stories. They don’t care about the truth—they want to destroy truth! That is very telling as to the real nature of this movement, and the evil spirit behind it.

Isn’t higher education supposed to be about truth? Isn’t it meant to help people prove what is true? The opposite is happening here. These radicals have bigger goals—and if they have to lie, exaggerate, make false accusations and invent grievances, then so be it! That is what these students are learning in our colleges today. It’s all demoniacal intimidation and evil.

These young people are radical. They cherish extremely divisive and dangerous ideas of what justice looks like, what society owes them, and how they should be able to shut down anyone who disagrees with them. They are gaining more and more power, abetted by authorities who came out of the same educational system.

‘Fight for Our Freedom’

The student activists who brought down Tim Wolfe chanted words from a fugitive cop killer and one of the fbi’s most-wanted terrorists, Assata Shakur, to inspire the crowd: “It is our duty to fight for our freedom. It is our duty to win. We must love and support each other. We have nothing to lose but our chains.”

What chains are they talking about? I am not saying there is no racism against blacks in this country. Yet these students are being given every chance to make spectacular successes of their lives! They can do that if they will take responsibility for themselves rather than behaving as though they’re enslaved. This victim mind-set they have been taught is what has them in chains!

“It is our duty to fight for our freedom,” they say. In reality, they are far less interested in freedom than they are in a fight.

What is the real goal of this movement? The woman who started that chant, Ayanna Poole, said this: “We’re trying to break the system down. It just so happens we’re starting with him [Tim Wolfe].” Yes, they have a much bigger goal.

Another participant in the campus protests, Reuben Faloughi, told the Associated Press that he felt “liberated” by Wolfe resigning. He also participated in a “die-in” protest in memory of Michael Brown. “That was the first time I got involved in activism,” he said. “I never felt that unity before, that kind of energy. It was very empowering, and it planted the seeds that students can challenge things.”

Michael Brown was a thug who tried to kill a policeman. People still use the “hands up, don’t shoot” narrative from Brown’s death in Ferguson, Missouri—even though it has been proven to be a complete lie. The St. Louis County grand jury and the Justice Department exonerated the officer who killed Brown. Investigations proved that he was justified in everything he did; he shot a man who was going to kill him! Even the attorney general admitted that. If you want to save your nation, you’d better have somebody stop the criminals, one way or the other! But people keep believing whatever they want to believe.

Why aren’t more people standing up and speaking out, when they know it is all a hoax? Instead, it seems everybody wants to surrender. America is going down fast.

Breitbart News wrote on November 9, “Given the hydra of hysterical campus activism that … is springing up across the nation, it’s hard to know where it will end.”

But you can know where it will end. The Bible tells us where it will end.

An Orchestrated Movement

“One of the things impeding our ability to get beyond these issues is our inability to talk about it,” Michael Middleton said. “We have to understand our ugly history permeates everything we do at this institution and in this country. Once we get this truth on the table, we’re poised to reconcile those differences.”

Think about that statement: Our racist history permeates everything we do in this country. That is almost exactly what President Obama has said. “[T]he legacy of slavery, Jim Crow, discrimination in almost every institution of our lives—you know, that casts a long shadow,” he said in an interview last summer. “And that’s still part of our dna that’s passed on. We’re not cured of it.”

That is the kind of thinking that causes Mizzou students to wail about injustices going back to 1839—injustices that supposedly still have them in “chains” today. That thinking has been encouraged by the current U.S. president. The climate of racial grievance and hatred in America has been stirred up and stimulated from the very top.

Mr. Middleton, President Obama and many others insist that we just need to talk about our racist past so we can reconcile and heal. But as they keep raising these accusations, do you see reconciliation and healing? Or do you see deeper and deeper division, greater and greater hostility and anger?

Can you recognize that this is leading to war?

These radicals do not want to “get beyond these issues.” They do not want to “reconcile those differences.” They do not! Their fruits prove it! They want to use this as a weapon to inflame bitterness, provoke strife—and amass power!

This movement is flowing from the top.It is orchestrated! You can understand why this is happening by requesting a free copy of America Under Attack. It reveals the spiritual dimension behind the actions of the current administration. This is critical to understand.

Stirred by our highest leaders, the discontent and protests are spreading quickly to other campuses. Across the nation, acts of racist violence are becoming more common and widespread. Riots are increasing. Where will this end? What happens in America as major groups of angry, violent people are mobilized?

The Bible tells us!

Do you realize that the Bible contains many end-time prophecies about the U.S.? If you have never proved this truth, you need to do so. We will gladly send you a free copy of The United States and Britain in Prophecy to help you recognize America’s identity in biblical prophecy.

Prophecies about America show that it is about to explode in violence.

This is an end-time prophecy referring to America: “Your country is desolate, your cities are burned with fire: your land, strangers devour it in your presence, and it is desolate, as overthrown by strangers” (Isaiah 1:7).

What is happening on these campuses is leading into this prophesied scenario. Higher education—or I should say mis-education of these pathetic people who think they know so much—is going to have a lot to do with the fulfillment of this prophecy!

There is an evil spiritual force that seeks to destroy America. That spirit is working in these young people to fulfill that goal. This is all about destroying America’s Constitution—the supreme law of this land! Satan is leading these young people to destruction and leading them to cause this nation to die! People are surrendering to this hateful, evil thinking. It is terribly racist—but it is even worse. It is aligned with satanic will. That is what is truly happening here!

America has rejected God and embraced sin and evil. You can see why God is so enraged with America that He would allow this to happen.

Prophecy shows that burning in the cities is only the first phase in America’s demise. Once our population is weakened by internal violence and warfare, the nation will be attacked by a foreign power. And then, those who manage to survive that intense tribulation will be taken captive from their own nation and sold into slavery! This is the nightmare that is coming upon America.

These students are about to find out what it is really like to be in chainsif they remain alive!

Education With Vision

There is a paradox here. Our educational system is supposed to solve society’s problems. But instead, the more education people receive, the greater these problems grow!

Supposedly, higher education is to produce leaders who can lead us out of these problems. But it does not! Our leaders make matters worse. When you look at the way these students are handling the issue of racism, you can clearly see why. They are not interested in stopping racism! Their methods for supposedly solving the race problem are making it far, far worse—and will lead to a racist explosion! That is a perfect illustration of this terrible paradox.

There is something dreadfully wrong with the knowledge taught in these schools. Look at the fruits! We have so much of it, and it isn’t helping us! The problems in America’s universities today are powerful proof that this educational system was built on the wrong foundation. The knowledge it teaches is based on the wrong premise.

Modern education has rejected God and His revealed knowledge. It has demolished moral absolutes and biblical instruction. It has exalted human reasoning as the highest source of truth.

If you will open your eyes, you will see that the problems with higher education today show what an abominable failure that approach is!

Where can you find high-quality education that truly can and will solve the problems of this world? It does exist!

I’d like to offer you a free booklet: Education With Vision. It is especially relevant in light of what is happening. It describes the origins of the modern educational system. This will help you understand the crises on our campuses today.

This booklet also has a chapter explaining what true education really is and how to become truly educated. It shows what a blessing education can be when it is built on the revealed knowledge of God.

Herbert W. Armstrong was a terrific educator. He explained the cause of youth violence in his day this way: “The true answer is this: Something has been taken away from this Earth that sorely needs to be restored! That ‘something’ is knowledge of, respect for and obedience to the government and the law of God!” (The Missing Dimension in Sex; request your free copy).

Mr. Armstrong knew whereof he spoke. He wrote in 1970: “I happen to be president of a college with three campuses. On these campuses there are no campus protests, no opposition marches, no student rioting and violence, and no hippies. There is peace, happy cooperation between students and faculty and administration. Student faces are wreathed in smiles which are real and genuine—the outward expression of an inner joy. Visitors are amazed.

“This is the result!

“The cause? We are not a factory of knowledge production, but of human character production” (Plain Truth, August-September 1970).

The work behind this newsmagazine is all about education. We sponsor a K-12 academy and two colleges that provide a model of true education. Contained in these schools is a vision of how right education is about to spread all over this Earth!

As Isaiah 11:9 prophesies, there is coming a time when “They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain: for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea.”

Worldwatch

From the February 2016 Trumpet Print Edition

Is Egypt about to fall into chaos—again?

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi is besieged by crises. All over Egypt, there are groundswells of support to oust the former coup leader as tough times hit Egypt’s citizens. Many now wonder how much longer Sisi will remain in power.

One crisis occurred on October 31, when a passenger plane fell from the sky over the Sinai Peninsula, killing all 224 on board. As evidence of an Islamic State bomb attack on the plane emerged, nations began stopping flights in and out of the Sinai Peninsula and Egypt. This hit Egypt’s tourism industry, which accounts for about 14 percent of the country’s economy. Its economy was already faltering thanks to high unemployment and low oil prices drying up Gulf investment in the country.

A Russian airliner is brought down by the Islamic State on October 31.

Devin Nunes, the Republican chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, told Bloomberg View: “I hope Sisi can keep the country together …. [T]he Sinai is completely unstable where jihadis are roaming all over; and on the other side of Egypt you have Libya, where we have no plan. This could potentially set Egypt into chaos.”

Sisi is a man besieged by extremist groups at his borders. However, many feel that the greatest threat comes from within the nation.

“He is under constant death threats,” Vin Weber, co-chairman of the Washington Institute for Near Eastern Policy, said in November after discussions with senior Israeli security officials. “Many people said, ‘We’re not sure where he sleeps at night.’ And I think there is a question mark in the minds of Israelis about whether or not the government can succeed.”

Sisi has undertaken a widespread crackdown on the former ruling party—the Muslim Brotherhood—sentencing many of them to death, including former president Mohamed Morsi. Justified or not, this has intensified the rage of younger Muslim Brotherhood recruits who are impatient and likelier to use terrorism as a tool of protest. This tense reality was witnessed in Cairo earlier last year when assassins used a car bomb to murder the chief prosecutor for the government.

In an effort to put down radical incitement against his rule, Sisi has rounded up media agencies on grounds of corruption or “publishing false news that harms national security.” In turn, international human rights agencies have pushed their respective governments to pressure Sisi to step down or change his policy on human rights.

Sisi faces a witch’s brew of serious problems, any one of which could take him down. Bible prophecy indicates that Egypt will soon turn radical. Sisi’s demise could trigger that outcome.

How many Syrian refugees are terrorists?

In his Thanksgiving Day radio message, United States President Barack Obama compared Syrian refugees to the first Pilgrims who sailed to America on the Mayflower in September 1620. Opening the nation’s borders to those refugees is the compassionate thing to do, he said.

But how many of the subjects of the Mayflower Compact were terrorists?

On November 15, deputy national security adviser Ben Rhodes said, “We have very extensive screening procedures … a very careful vetting process … so we can make sure that we are carefully screening anybody that comes to the United States.”

Refugees enter Croatia via the Serbian border in September.

However, many counterterrorism experts say it is impossible to vet Syrian migrants. As fbi director James Comey said in October: “We can only query against that which we have collected. And so if someone has never made a ripple in the pond in Syria in a way that would get their identity or their interest reflected in our database, we can query our database till the cows come home, but [nothing will] show up because we have no record on that person.”

At least 66 people have been arrested in the U.S. in the past 18 months for Islamic State-related terrorist plots. And some of those would-be terrorists were refugees.

On November 19, the fbi said its intelligence officials were conducting “tight surveillance” on “dozens” of suspected radicals plotting attacks similar to those in Paris.

When European authorities revealed that at least one of the suspects in the Paris attacks entered Europe on the Syrian refugee pretense, 31 American states declared they would not accept any Syrian refugees under current circumstances. The Obama administration responded by threatening legal action against those states, citing the Refugee Act of 1980.

As the deadly San Bernardino Islamic terrorist attack shows, if even one Syrian refugee is a terrorist, that is one too many.

Iran lied about its militarized nuclear program

It’s now official: Iran lied about the military dimensions of its nuclear program.

In its conclusive December 2 report, “Final Assessment of Past and Present Outstanding Issues Regarding Iran’s Nuclear Program,” the International Atomic Energy Agency confirmed that the Islamic Republic has been developing a nuclear warhead as recently as 2009.

The iaea report was “not really surprising,” as Dr. Jeffrey Lewis, a scholar at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey, said. “It more or less [said] what everybody thought.”

The iaea reported that Iran worked in a “coordinated” way to develop a nuclear explosive device.

Arak heavy water facility in Iran.

Iran conducted its most intense work on nuclear weapons production before 2003. According to the report, Iran’s weaponization program “was brought to a halt in late 2003.” That was the same year Libya publicly renounced its nuclear program. It was also the same year the United States invaded Iraq.

After 2003, Iran continued some aspects of its weapons program until 2009, but these never expanded beyond the planning stages such as computer modeling of nuclear warheads, according to the report. The iaea said it found “no credible indications of activities in Iran relevant to the development of a nuclear explosive device after 2009.”

The report contradicted Tehran’s consistent claims that its nuclear program has always been a peaceful one. However, because the iaea found no evidence that Iran continued its nuclear weapons program after 2009, U.S. officials believe that this revelation will not prevent Iran from receiving relief from sanctions, as was agreed to in the nuclear deal last summer.

Boko Haram: Exporting terrorism beyond Nigeria

In August, three months after becoming Nigeria’s president, Muhammadu Buhari ordered his nation’s military to end Boko Haram’s insurgency in the northeast of the country by the end of the year. That deadline came and went, but Boko Haram terrorism didn’t. Instead, it spread to Nigeria’s neighbors.

In November alone, the al Qaeda-related, Islamic State-allied terrorist group killed more than 65 people in Nigeria. In one attack, the assailant was an 11-year-old girl who killed 14 people.

Since Buhari began his presidency, Boko Haram has murdered 2,000 people. The terrorist group has killed more than 20,000 and displaced more than 2 million since the current insurgency in Nigeria began in 2009.

In neighboring Niger in October and November, the group killed about 20 people and burned more than 50 houses. “Mosques, grocery stores, homes, vehicles, motorbikes—Boko Haram burns everything in its path,” Col. Mahamadou Abou Tarka said. In October and December in neighboring Chad, Boko Haram conducted two triple suicide bombings that killed almost 70 people.

The group also orchestrated twin attacks by women suicide bombers in Cameroon, killing six.

Nigeria, Niger, Chad, Cameroon and Benin have pledged to contribute personnel to an 8,700-strong task force to fight Boko Haram.

The European Union has expressed its concern over Boko Haram’s growing threat in the region, vowing to “use all available means to help in the fight against terrorism” in West and North Africa.

This is the real trend to watch: How Europe responds to the rise of radical Islam and asserts itself militarily in Africa and the Middle East.

Russia’s $7 billion loan to Iran

On a November 23 visit to Iran, Russian President Vladimir Putin said Moscow is ready to provide a $5 billion state loan to Tehran for joint infrastructure projects. Meanwhile, Russian state lender Vnesheconombank said it will lend an additional $2 billion to Iran for infrastructure projects.

The projects will include high-tech areas such as energy, port facilities and railway electrification. Russia also said it will continue nuclear power cooperation with Iran.

Both countries remain under international sanctions. Since their interests coincide, cooperation between them is likely to increase. “We expect that after sanctions are lifted, Iran will prefer to work with the Russian Federation on many tracks,” Russian Deputy Premier Dmitry Rogozin said. “The Iranians emphasize the pivotal role Russia played in the lifting of sanctions, so if we’re active, we’ll open a new market for ourselves.”

The blossoming Russia-Iran cooperation shows that Moscow is gaining leverage in the Middle East as American influence wanes.

Turkey’s provocation—Russia’s response

Turkey’s downing of a Russian warplane on November 24 injected new tensions into the already volatile Syrian conflict. Turkey says the Russian fighter jet violated its airspace and provided a radar picture indicating as much, but Russia produced satellite imagery appearing to show that its plane remained within Syria’s borders.

Russian President Vladimir Putin castigated the Turkish leadership for failing to apologize for the incident or to give assurances that “the culprits of this crime” would be punished. Russia’s foreign minister, Sergei Lavrov, said the incident was a “planned provocation” by the Turks, and said Russia “can’t but react to what has happened.”

President Putin and his defense minister examine the flight recorder from a Russian Jet brought down by Turkey.

The reaction began on November 28, when Putin issued a decree suspending employment of Turkish workers in Russia. Russia also suspended its visa-free travel agreement with Turkey, levied bans on imports of certain Turkish goods, and suspended military cooperation with the Turks. Turkey has called for a cancellation of these punitive measures and a restoration of relations, but so far Russia has refused.

Turkey is a member of nato, which gives it close ties to the nations of Europe. This incident could serve to deepen the geopolitical divide that is emerging between Russia and Europe.

Forced to choose between America and China

The nations of East Asia are being forced to choose between partnership with the United States or allegiance to China, according to a November 2 report published in The World in 2016.

For decades, many smaller Asian countries have managed to delicately balance themselves between the two powers, maintaining good relations with both. But now, China is challenging the existing order, forcing smaller nations to pick a side.

A Malaysian protester demonstrates against the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement.

Several examples in recent months show smaller Asian nations siding with one of the two powers over the other. Singapore has agreed to host a new fleet of American war vessels. The Philippines has relaxed its resistance to the presence of U.S. troops.

Nations are also being forced to choose sides in economic matters, such as whether or not to join China’s new Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, the U.S.-led Trans-Pacific Partnership and others. In theory, such economic groups would complement each other. But reality is different. “The trend in economics as in diplomacy is towards parallel sets of institutions: the old ones, where America has a leading role; and the new, where it is absent and China dominates,” the article notes. “It is a rather alarming trend, and one likely only to intensify in 2016.”

China-Russia cooperation grows

Chinese President Xi Jinping met with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Paris on November 30 at the United Nations conference for climate change. Xi said the China-Russia bilateral comprehensive strategic partnership is progressing significantly. He said the two leaders should hold frequent meetings in order to exchange views on relations and issues of global concern. China is willing, he said, to work with Russia to push for more cooperation across all fields.

Xi meets with Putin.

Xi also said China is prepared to back Russia in its fight against terrorism, including the Islamic State and other Islamist elements in Syria. While it remains unlikely that China will take on a direct military role in the Syrian war, Xi’s statements suggest that in terms of diplomacy, fighting cyberterrorism, and other indirect facets of the war, China will robustly support Russia. This is as biblical prophecy indicates; request a free copy of Russia and China in Prophecy for proof.