The G-20 Edition

Despite civil unrest, Germany is charging ahead.

Germany hosted the G-20 meeting in Hamburg over the weekend. This was one of the highest-profile international meetings United States President Donald Trump has attended so far.

Ahead of the meeting, Germany worked hard to emphasize its free-trade credentials. Hamburg is Germany’s largest port and the second-busiest port in Europe after Rotterdam. In the run-up to the meeting, Europe and Japan announced the outlines of a new trade deal that would create a trade bloc that could vie with NAFTA as the largest trade bloc in the world. So Europe was really doing a lot to put itself forward as the new leader of the free world and the alternative leader of the world’s economic system.

In some ways, the G-20 summit went more smoothly than expected. Ahead of the meeting, President Trump finally committed to defending other nato members if they were attacked. He also agreed to a watered-down version of support for free trade–something that the U.S. had previously refused to sign.

But America’s isolation was still clear. Most obviously it was in America’s refusal to back the Paris climate agreement. The U.S. was the only nation of the G-20 members who didn’t sign.

If one hails China as a savior of the environment while condemning America, there’s something wrong with one’s understanding of the situation. Nevertheless, the world views America as isolated, and a lot of anger toward the U.S. is being stirred up within Europe.

But perhaps more significant than what happened at the meeting itself is what happened around it. The press dubbed what happened in Hamburg during the G-20 as “an orgy of violence.”

The 20,000 extra police who had descended on the city for the event lost control. Foreign leaders, including the wife of the American president, were kept in lockdown while the mob raged nearby. The mob looted stores, burned cars and attacked police with rocks, bottles and fireworks. Nearly 500 police officers were injured and protesters caused millions of dollars’ worth of property damage.

Germans are not happy about this. Almost universally the German press are demanding swift and decisive action, and leaders from both political parties are falling over each other to try and provide it. They want an EU database of far-left activists. There is talk of shutting down far-left organizations or institutions. The interior minister said that these rioters are as bad as neo-Nazis and Muslim terrorists.

The political response shows a commendable devotion to law and order. It’s refreshing to see the protesters not given room to destroy, but rather confronted. It will be interesting to see exactly where this leads in the run-up to the German elections.

Finally, there is yet another important meeting coming up. Tomorrow, on the eve of Bastille Day, France’s nation holiday, France and Germany are set to announce their first concrete proposals. This meeting is also to demonstrate their new stronger partnership after the election of Emmanuel Macron. Exactly how significant the proposals are remains to be seen, but they will push Europe toward becoming more united. The meeting is expected to produce a road map for the eurozone to work more closely together.

Germany and France also aim to unveil a new plan to have the same corporate tax rate across Europe. This would mark a massive shift in power to the EU. However, the two have made the most progress with regards to the military. The two countries are working on plans for a smaller group of nations to do more together militarily. This plan should be unveiled tomorrow. After an earlier meeting, the German defense minister said, “We are working toward a European army.

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Fit for Battle

Herbert W. Armstrong wears his personalized hard hat at the groundbreaking ceremonies for Ambassador Auditorium in January 1972.
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Fit for Battle

God wants us to be tougher. He wants us to fight like David and his army of giant-slayers.

Listen to the July 12, 2017 edition of the Trumpet Daily Radio Show.

Stream or download Trumpet Daily Radio Show at:

http://app.stitcher.com/browse/feed/68064/details

https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/trumpet-daily-radio-show/id1003885427

http://kpcg.fm/shows/trumpet-daily-radio-show

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The Far Left Vs. Germany

Protesters clash with security forces as they block a road by starting a fire during the G20 Summit in Hamburg, Germany on July 07, 2017.
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The Far Left Vs. Germany

What happens when left-wing extremists run riot in Germany’s second-largest city?

When Chancellor Angela Merkel chose Hamburg as the location of the German-hosted G-20 summit, it was meant to show off the culture and coolness of Germany’s second-largest city.

Instead, Germany ended up broadcasting “an orgy of violence”—as the German press dubbed it—to the world.

The 20,000 police who had descended on the city lost control. Foreign leaders—including the wife of the American president—had to be shut in their rooms while the mob raged nearby. They looted stores, burned cars, and attacked police with rocks, bottles and fireworks. Nearly 500 police officers were injured. The mob caused millions of dollars’ worth of property damage.

One police spokesman called it a “new dimension” of violence. Justice Minister Heiko Maas said that “Germany has reached a historic high point in terms of politically motivated violence.”

Many Germans were furious. Tagesspiegel wrote that “the pictures of helpless police who could not secure state order and protection of property are a political catastrophe.”

The police even resorted to the constitutionally questionable step of receiving support from the Army. The constitution bans the Army from deploying on Germany’s streets—they skirted close to this having the Army resupply the police using armored military vehicles.

The government has promised federal aid to help the city rebuild, and has called for European Union help in combating far-left extremism.

Of course, not all the protesters were violent. Police estimate that around 20,000 demonstrated and around 1,500 rioted. But even the “peaceful” ones called their first official march “Welcome to Hell”—hardly an invitation to a restrained exercise of the right to peaceful protest.

Who were these far-left agitators?

The Hamburg protests shine a light on Germany’s dangerous far-left movements. The nation certainly has its own history of far-left violence—going back to militant groups such as the Red Army Faction during the Cold War. Hamburg has long been a hub for this home-grown extremism. At the same time, it is also part of a growing, global, far-left movement.

Germany’s Far Left

As Douglas Murray pointed out on his Spectator blog, imagine if all this violence had been the work of far-right militia. “Would it not attract attention?” he wrote. “Would it not also, quite rightly, lead to major opinion pieces and much opining elsewhere about the far right being ‘on the march’? Would it not be treated as something more than just weather by the bbc and other news organizations?”

It would, quite rightly, be treated as a serious and ominous development. But because it has the label of “left” it is being ignored outside of Germany.

The fact that tens of thousands—more than 100,000 by many counts—were willing to take part in such extreme protests in modern Germany shows a serious unhappiness with the current economic and political system.

The G-20 violence comes amidst an upsurge in far-right violence across the country. Germany’s Interior Ministry recently concluded, “In the past few years, the acceptance and intensity of violence in the far-left scene has noticeably increased. This is especially true of violence against police and political enemies.”

You can see this same unhappiness and extremism in the rise of the far-left Left Party—the successor to the old East German Communist Party. The Socialist Unity Party ran the infamous Stasi secret police and backed the Soviet Union—the empire that slips just behind Mao Zedong’s China in the list of most murderous regimes of all time. In like manner, the Left Party wants to end nato and big businesses. It takes busts of Karl Marx on the campaign trail. After an interview with one of its leaders, even the Charlemagne columnist for the left-leaning Economist magazine wrote, “I found myself praying that these people never get anywhere near power.”

No wonder some of its members—in Bavaria, the entire party—are under government surveillance over fears that it wants to overthrow the state.

The Left Party has been winning significant support in regional elections—even joining the government state coalition in Thuringia after receiving nearly 30 percent of the vote.

The extreme left is rising in Germany. The rise of the fringe-right Alternative for Deutschland certainly is concerning. But it is quite a ways behind the Left Party.

It’s important to remember that “Nazi” stands for “National Socialist”—it was as much a left-wing movement as a right-wing one.

The Global Leftists Movement Reaches Germany

This fertile soil received significant support from abroad. German experts speculated that extremists converged on Germany from across Europe. And in Europe, too, far-left extremism is rising. Europol’s latest terrorism report said there was a “sharp increase” in far-left attacks from 2015 to 2016.

Even after the initial violent protests, the movement received a boost on Saturday when New York Mayor Bill de Blasio addressed the crowd.

They received an even more high-profile support from Pope Francis. “The G-20 worries me; it hits migrants in countries in half of the world and it hits them even more as time goes by,” he said in an interview published by La Repubblica on Saturday. He said he feared it could lead to a “very dangerous alliances among powers that have a distorted vision of the world.”

While this global movement was received gladly by Germany’s extremists, German politicians have been less receptive. “All alleged political motives for this orgy of violence are full of deceit and should just serve as a disguise for the real motive of the offenders that [came] from all parts of Europe: violence in itself,” said German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel, who is also the former leader of the main left-wing party.

In fact, perhaps only in Germany are politicians taking the outbreak of violence seriously enough. German Interior Minister Thomas de Maizière told a press conference that those behind the riots were “despicable, violent extremists just like neo-Nazis and Islamist terrorists.” Gabriel—again, a former leader of Germany’s main left-wing party—correctly identified the violence as an attack “on the rule of law.”

Meanwhile, the entire spectrum of the German press is outraged. Germany has a far-left extremism problem that indicates a far wider dissatisfaction with the status quo. But outside of those far-left extremists, there’s very little tolerance for this kind of violence.

It’s early days yet, but there’s already a lot of talk on concrete actions in response. Politicians from both sides of the political spectrum are vying to outdo each other with their condemnation of the protesters and calls for action.

Gabriel and Justice Minister Maas have called for a Europe-wide response, where countries share a database on left-wing extremists. Maas also called for those who supported this violence to be put on trial. Maizière called on the courts to impose “tough sentences.” Many others are calling for well-known centers that support this kind of extremism to be shut down and for significant changes to the way Germany polices and monitors these kinds of groups.

Contrast this to the United States’ response to the same movement. When extremists rioted in Ferguson, no politicians talked about an assault on the rule of law. Instead they gave rioters “space to destroy.”

The rise of radical extremism is a global problem. Across the world, populations are dissatisfied with the status quo. But thus far, Germany is unique in demanding a forceful response to the left-wing extremist manifestation of this dissatisfaction.

The Hamburg G-20 summit shone a light on some of the biggest trends the Trumpet is watching. We saw the rise of radical extremism, the pope’s role in encouraging an alternative to the current U.S.-led financial system, and Europe working to build that financial system, even as it announced the outlines of a new trade block with Japan that would rival the North American Free Trade Agreement in size.

Exactly how all these trends interact isn’t clear. Many Germans are clearly dissatisfied with their political system, yet at the same time abhor the violence exhibited by those protesters.

But what is clear is that Germany and the U.S. are on different paths. America is becoming a pariah to the world; Germany is hailed as its new leader. America is threatening to raise tariffs on exports, while Germany is one of the foremost preachers of free trade (what it actually practices is another matter). America’s politicians cave in to the radical left; Germany’s rally around the rule of law.

The radical left is weakening the U.S. But in Germany there is strength.

The Trumpet has warned, based on Bible prophecies, that America is in decline. The same prophecies foretell a German-led, European new order that will replace it.

The outlines of that new order became visible in Hamburg.

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The Kings of the East

Bible prophecy forecasts a rising power bloc in Asia that is about to change world events.

Russia and China are spearheading the emergence of an Asian power bloc.

This loose alliance of Asian nations has enormous global influence and is redefining the world order.

Russia is expanding its presence in Eastern Europe, Central Asia, the Middle East and North Africa.

China, too, is making rapid advancements—chiefly, island building in disputed territory in the South China Sea, putting a stranglehold on critical trade routes in the region.

The emergence of this Asian alliance is actually mentioned in Bible prophecy.

A prophecy in Revelation 16 refers to this end-time Asian bloc as the “kings of the east” (Revelation 16:12).

Ezekiel 38 prophesies specifically that this alliance is led by a strongman in Russia.

A prophecy in Isaiah 23 says that the “kings of the east” will form a trade alliance with an end-time, German-led European superpower. But this cooperation will be short-lived.

A prophecy in Daniel 11, verses 40 through 45, is specifically for the “time of the end.”

This prophecy says that once the “king of the north” destroys the “king of the south,” it will be “troubled” by “tidings out of the east.”

Revelation 9 shows that, all together, the “kings of the east” will amass an army of 200 million (Revelation 9:16).

This massive army will battle with the German-led European power, and also with Jesus Christ at His Second Coming.

Following this battle, Jesus Christ will usher in a new era of peace and prosperity for the whole Earth.

Request our FREE booklets The Prophesied ‘Prince of Russia’ and Russia and China in Prophecy.

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Courts Say More Than Two Parents OK

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Courts Say More Than Two Parents OK

New legal ground is reshaping family, again—three parents, one child.

“Where are my parents?” asked one of my granddaughters as she broke out of a room full of toddlers. My wife and I knew who she was looking for. Her dad and mom—just two people, the man and the woman who conceived her and gave her human life. She, along with her father, mother, older sister and brother, would have, at one time, been considered the only socially acceptable picture of family. How times have changed! Today, that snapshot of family is considered by many to be cracked, faded and a thing to be discarded. For decades, new snapshots have been put in its place.

Here is the latest picture of “family” and how it came to be.

Dad, Mom and Mommy

“Sixteen-year-old Madison’s family clustered for a photo in a California courtroom, commemorating the day it finally became official that she has three parents,” reported Jennifer Peltz for the Associated Press on June 18. “The adults she calls Mom, Dad and Mama were all there for her birth, after the women decided to have a child together and approached a male friend. They [all three] shared time with Madison and input on raising her.” This new trend is gaining ground in America.

The trend’s name is tri-parenting. It is more than a name, however; it is new definition of parenting (and family). Yet the arrangement is not new. A growing number of adult-child groupings similar to Madison’s have been forming across America for over a decade. What is new is the organized move by some to have the courts legally sanction a three-parent arrangement.

Here is more of Madison’s history: “In 2000, Bonner, who was in partnership with Bianchi, gave birth to Madison. At that time, California allowed for only two legal parents. Shumway, a long-time friend of Bonner and the girl’s biological father, knew it was important for Bianchi to be a legal parent, but at the time he ‘could not do that, sign away the rights to my daughter,’ [Shumway] said,” reported TheBlaze, which picked up the AP story.

“But legally, Victoria Bianchi became her daughter’s parent only this fall [October 2016], joining a small but growing number of Americans who have persuaded courts and legislatures to give legal recognition to what’s sometimes called ‘tri-parenting,’” continued Peltz for AP. “I just feel like I have been holding my breath for the last 16 years,’ Bianchi said. ‘She’s already been my daughter … she’s finally, legally mine.” It is important to note that Mark Shumway is in a homosexual relationship and that Bianchi and Bonner are no longer in a partnership.

The Legal Story

Peltz related in her piece that Bianchi, in order to gain legal custody of Madison, took advantage of a 2013 California law that declared a child can have more than two parents. It is interesting legal history.

“The California bill was passed into law in reaction to a 2011 case, In re M.C., in which two women and a man each seemed to meet the criteria to be a legal parent of the same child,” wrote Joanna L. Grossman, a columnist for Justia’s website. The case involved a lesbian couple, a man (with whom one of the women had an affair) and a child born as a result of the affair. Grossman referred to the case as “a mess from beginning to end.” You can find the details of the case here. A word of caution, the case is disturbing in its details. If you don’t have the stomach for tough situations, you may want to skip the details and take Grossman’s word for it.

Prior to 2013 there existed “a longstanding precedent in California (and everywhere else) that a child can have no more than two legal parents,” continued Grossman. To solve what Grossman called “a complicated case,” the California legislature “lifted the judicially imposed two-parent cap.”

“American courts have for decades granted some rights to grandparents, stepparents and others in children’s lives, but parents have uniquely broad rights and responsibilities,” wrote Peltz. In other words, the American Constitution holds fast firm protection to the biological rights of parents and is careful to extend parental rights to others without due justification. However, the 2013 California bill set a precedent to loosen the law concerning parental rights. Eleven other states are following California’s lead.

“Advocates say acknowledging a third parent—whether on a birth certificate, by adoption, or in a custody or child support ruling—reflects the modern realities of some families: gay couples who set out to have a child with a friend of the opposite gender, men seeking to retain paternal roles after dna shows someone else is a biological father, and other situations,” wrote Peltz. We need to think deeply about what she is stating here. Have American courts taken “a tiger by the tail”? There are definitely some family situations that may require a nonbiological parent to be legally established as a parent—the case of adoption is an obvious one. However, should homosexual couples, as described by Peltz—three adults and one child—share legal rights as parents?

“The landscape is only getting more complex,” continued Peltz. “For instance, new techniques designed to avoid some rare diseases now allow for a child to be born with a small amount of dna from a third person. ‘Without legal rights, some parents and kids face being cut off from each other,’ says Cathy Sakimura, of the San Francisco National Center of Lesbian Rights, which helped draft California’s law.” Realize that in 2010, there were only approximately 594,000 homosexual couples vs. some 26 million heterosexual couples living in America. Do we see that it is the same-sex couples who are driving the definition of family and rewriting family law?

Family law experts agree. “The Supreme Court ruling of June 26, 2015, which declared that same-sex couples have the right to legally marry and adopt children, brought about a further change in our perception of what constitutes a family. Since the legalization of same-sex marriages, tri-parenting has become a popular topic,” Aretsky Law Group posted on its website on June 1, 2016. This is a disturbing situation.

Some Courts Say ‘No!’

While many are praising recent court decisions, there are other voices seriously questioning the judgment of the courts. Here are two big questions that only a few are willing to tackle. Is tri-parenting good for children? Or is tri-parenting a means to satisfy the emotional needs of an adult? “But some courts have rejected extending the bounds of parenthood,” wrote Peltz. “A 2014 Wyoming Supreme Court decision wondered about parents multiplying as a mom or dad had new relationships.” This poses a good question. What happens to a child (or children) if four or five adults declare their rights to be a parent?

There has not yet been intensive research into tri-parenting. In her article, Peltz pointed out that some psychologists see potential pluses for the trend. “That extra sense of social support has really been found to be beneficial for children,” said Anita Jones Thomas, head of the American Psychological Associations child-and-family section. Peltz continued: “But W. Bradford Wilcox, a University of Virginia sociologist points to research—not on tri-parenting specifically—showing that children in two-stable families do better on average educationally, emotionally and otherwise than kids who aren’t. ‘This is going to be a family form where children are exposed to more complexity and more instability,’ he says.”

If you read Peltz’s full article, you will see that some people involved in a tri-parenting situation have come to realize it is not such a great thing. One member of a tri-parenting family stated it is “logically dangerous territory.”

It’s Really About Immorality

How did we get here with family? American and Western definitions of family have been changing for some time. In the mid-1950s, we used the name traditional, or nuclear, family. This meant two parents—a male and female—and their biological children. Because of rising divorce rates and the acceptance of premarital sex along with the increase of unwed pregnancies, sociologists added the term single-parent family. Then, with the repudiation of marriage as an institution, the name cohabiting family—two unmarried opposite-sex parents and their biological children—came into use. Now we have same-sex couples desiring to be called family. Remember, it is same-sex couples who are driving the acceptance of tri-parenting. We must see that the modern picture of family is grim.

Although the Bible, as the God-given guide for family life, has been rejected by many today—even professing Christians—it is the only reliable source of knowledge to follow for successful marriages and families. The Bible is the only source for establishing family law. Of course, people will laugh at such statements. But as Jesus Christ stated, we must look at the fruits of marriage and family (Matthew 17:16, 20). The fruits of our modern views of family are not good.

In Genesis 2:25, God established human family as an institution: “Therefore, shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.” That is pure, simple and perfect truth and law. One man and one woman make a marriage. And the children of that marriage make a family. Any other form or scheme (other than adoption) than what is described here is a violation of the Fifth, Seventh and Tenth Commandments. It is immorality and it is law-breaking.

Let’s be honest. With each new experimental form of family, or marriage, that men come up with, our family situations have only gotten worse. Family life will only produce the happiness and joy we desire when we begin to live the way God intended.

If you desire that happiness and joy, several publications will help you on your way: The God Family Vision, Why Marriage—Soon Obsolete?and Redefining Family. You can download them at this website. Or, at your request, we will mail them to you without cost or follow-up.

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EU and Japan Outline New Free-Trade Deal

European Council President Donald Tusk (C), Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe (L) and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker ® hold a joint press conference after the EU - Japan Summit in Brussels, Belgium on July 06, 2017.
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EU and Japan Outline New Free-Trade Deal

Two of the world’s leading economies announce plans to form one of the largest and most powerful trade blocs in the world.

The EU and Japan have agreed on the outlines of a new trade deal, officials from the two powers announced July 6.

The deal is not as “final” as reports in the press would have you believe. The two sides agreed only on broad outlines—and the hard work is in the details. The actual deal is probably at least a year away and full implementation around a decade off.

But it is still a powerful declaration of intent between the two powers. As Vox wrote, “Japan and Europe have a pointed message for the U.S.: We’re taking your place as global leaders in free trade.”

The Economist wrote that “now both want to show that they can fill the vacuum left by America’s withdrawal under Mr. Trump from its role as the world’s trade leader.”

Combined, the economies of Japan and the EU are similar to those of the North American Free Trade Area (nafta)—making any potential trade arrangement a big deal.

Japan had planned to join a different, massive trade bloc: the Trans-Pacific Partnership (tpp). But after Mr. Trump pulled out, “Japan has made a clear pivot toward Europe,” Vox wrote.

“I have no doubt the final rounds were accelerated to try to conclude the deal as quickly as possible and send a message that the EU and Japan are prepared to lead on trade even without the U.S.,” said Edward Alden from the Council on Foreign Relations. “The fact that it was concluded right before Trump’s first G-20 summit is a symbolic poke in the eye to the Americans.” Vox continued:

This isn’t a purely symbolic blow to the U.S.’s reputation as the world’s foremost proponent of free trade. This deal means that European and Japanese exporters will gain an edge over American exporters in each other’s markets. It’s a real loss for American agriculture in particular, which already has huge inroads in Japan and could’ve seen them expanded under tpp.

But in addition to that, Japan and Europe’s negotiations will also mean they are in an unrivaled position to shape the future of trade. [Caroline Freund, of the Peterson Institute for International Economics,] says that as Japan and Europe hash out standards on everything from intellectual property laws to labor standards for their agreement, “they’ll get to be the rule-setters … setting the standard for global trade agreements.”

That’s the role the U.S. has played for decades, and it’s fading.

The Trumpet has continually warned that Europe was gunning to steal this role from the U.S.

More specifically, Trumpet editor in chief Gerald Flurry has warned that the EU would work with Asia’s economic giants to form a massive trade bloc that shuts out the U.S. In the near future, he wrote in 2011, Japan “belongs to a mart of nations … including Europe.” He went on to single out China, Japan and Europe as key parts of this “mart of nations.”

Now this “mart” is forming before our eyes. To read more about it and why we make this forecast, read our article “Trade Wars Have Begun” from the April issue of our magazine.