Germany Signs Up to European Union Military

Europe’s strongest nation joins a major military initiative, increases weapons sales to Middle East.

Twenty-three European Union nations took a major step toward forming a European army on Monday. They agreed to begin planning their defense, spending their money, and selecting their priorities like one large power rather than 23 smaller ones.

Not everyone in the EU signed up for this. For some, handing over this much control of their defense was too much.

Unlike many other EU treaties, this one has (some) teeth. Nations that don’t pull their weight can be kicked out of this new exclusive club.

The agreement requires signatories to regularly increase their defense spending. The Nation wrote that the agreement is “calling for a massive increase in military investment and to pave the way for the deployment of European forces.”

The signing ceremony was an “emotional moment” and a “historic moment in European defense,” said EU Foreign Policy and Defense Chief Federica Mogherini. German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel called it “a milestone in European development.”

This is a major step in these nations working more closely together. So now, when Germany is deciding what to spend its money on, it will do it with the entire EU in mind. These nations will work together on developing weapons, so instead of 23 nations developing 23 tanks, there will be much more pressure to develop a single EU tank.

The deal contains quite a few practical steps that will help Europe work together, and you can read more about those in my article “EU Leaders Take ‘Historic’ Step Toward United Military.”

This is something that the world should be more concerned about.

Articles discussing a united European military are about the possibility of a new military superpower. It is extremely naive to assume such a power would never disagree with the United States.

This is also heavily discussed in Bible prophecy. Many prophecies throughout the Bible discuss a united European superpower. It is a really important prophecy to watch for. To learn why and the good news beyond this, read “Why the Trumpet Watches Europe’s Push Toward a Unified Military.”

Now another piece of news, more specifically from Germany, this week: German exports to Saudi Arabia and Egypt have quintupled—increased fivefold—in the third quarter of 2017 compared to the same time period last year. The German Economy Ministry disclosed the figures this week after requests from the Left Party.

Egypt bought €300 million (us$342.8 million) of weapons in those two months alone, and Saudi Arabia spent €150 million ($171.4 million).

The government hasn’t said what it sold to Egypt, but Saudi Arabia likely purchased four patrol boats and 110 military trucks.

The Trumpet has long forecast that Germany would increase its involvement in the Middle East, and these kinds of arms sales are a big part of building its alliances and influence there. For more on what’s behind this, read our trends article “Why the Trumpet Watches an Alliance Between Arab Nations and Europe.”

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This Is What ‘Character Doesn’t Matter’ Looks Like

White House President Bill Clinton speaks to the press at the White House after the Senate acquitted him in the Senate impeachment trial.
Juana Arias/The Washington Post/Getty Images

This Is What ‘Character Doesn’t Matter’ Looks Like

Listen to the Nov. 16, 2017, episode of the Trumpet Daily Radio Show.

At the height of President Bill Clinton’s impeachment in the late 1990s, Americans felt that the morals of a leader didn’t matter so long as he or she had good policy. Twenty years after Clinton, we are seeing the fruits of the “character doesn’t matter” approach. History and Bible prophecy teach us that immorality leads to the collapse of nations. On today’s Trumpet Daily Radio Show, we discuss why character matters from a nation’s leaders down to the people on the street.

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Sebastian Kurz’s Catholic Faith: What Role Will It Play in Europe’s Future?

Austrian Foreign Minister and leader of the conservative Austrian People’s Party Sebastian Kurz
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Sebastian Kurz’s Catholic Faith: What Role Will It Play in Europe’s Future?

Austrian Chancellor-elect Sebastian Kurz is seeking the guidance of the Catholic Church.

With the election of Sebastian Kurz, Austria is now led by a practicing Catholic for the first time in years. The Christian news media is thrilled. Austrian website kath.net proudly declared, “With Kurz, a believing Catholic becomes chancellor” (Trumpet translation throughout). On November 9, the British Catholic Herald headlined, “Sebastian Kurz—Europe’s Christian Chancellor.”

Kurz enjoys the support of Austria’s Catholic population, as well that of high-ranking Catholic priests and cardinals. He is forging new alliances in Eastern Europe, where his connections with the Vatican will prove crucial.

Kurz makes no secret of his faith. He attended the “March for Jesus” in 2016 and thus avoided the much more popular homosexual parade that occurred on the same day in Vienna. On election day, he told Austrian newspaper, Krone,I visited the Sunday mass in my baptistery in Gatterhölzl,” where he prayed that day.

In February, Kurz explained to the Wiener Kirchenzeitung the role his faith plays in his personal life:

Faith plays an important role for me. Due to my job, I have, unfortunately, very seldom enough time to attend mass, but attending on holidays together with my family is very important for me. Faith and Christian values were also always important in my parents’ home.

Not only is Kurz’s private life characterized by his faith, it also influences his political decision-making. The Catholic Herald reported that he likes to surround himself with a team of practicing Christians and he meets regularly with Christian authorities.

On election day, he tweeted: “It is always an honor for me to exchange with @KardinalWien Christoph Schönborn. Many thanks again for the opportunity today!”

Kurz told Swiss website Jesus.ch that he sought a priest’s counsel when dealing with the migrant crisis during his time as foreign minister. Kurz’s actions ended up stopping the flow of refugees through the Balkans in February 2016, which limited the influx of refugees into Germany and Eastern Europe. German Chancellor Angela Merkel opposed his actions, calling them antihumanitarian. But Kurz believed his actions aligned with his Catholic faith.

He also told Jesus.ch that he seeks to live every day by the counsel from a priest who told him: “As a human being, one must never lose one’s compassion for one’s neighbor.” Kurz added: “As a politician, one must, however, never lose sight of reality. And what one should always preserve as a politician is the determination to make the necessary decisions, even if they are difficult.”

Vienna’s Cardinal Schönborn, who is seen as a possible successor to Pope Francis, shares these views and has urged Europe to develop a common strategy to stop the flow of migrants. On the 333rd anniversary of the Battle of Vienna, Schönborn warned about “a third attempt at an Islamic conquest of Europe” if Europeans don’t return to their “Christian roots” (read about Schönborn’s view on how to solve the refugee crisis here).

The European people like strong leadership, particularly when those leaders claim Christian values. The Austrian people want a strong stance against refugees, but they don’t want to be seen as xenophobic. Voting for a practicing Catholic who understands their fears was, for most, the obvious choice. The Catholic Herald noted:

Eighty percent of the electorate went to the polls on October 15 in a country that, as of 2016, was 60 percent Catholic (a further 10 percent were either Orthodox or Protestant Christians).

The results show that Kurz’s conservative Austrian People’s Party (övp) won 31.5 percent of the vote. In second and third place, almost neck and neck, came the Social Democrats (spö) and the Freedom Party (fpö). This suggests that a large number of Christians not only voted for Kurz, but also for the more right-wing fpö, with which the chancellor-to-be is currently in coalition talks.

Although religion doesn’t play a major role in the people’s personal life, they use it to differentiate themselves from the incoming Muslims. This approach is not only popular with the domestic population, but also among East European leaders. In “A Religious Revival in Europe?theTrumpet.com assistant managing editor Richard Palmer noted:

As thousands of Muslims have arrived every year, bringing their religion with them and setting up numerous mosques, European leaders have shifted their rhetoric away from strict secularism and have begun to emphasize how Christian their nations are.

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán was one of the earliest to take this route. In May 2015, he said flatly, “I think we have a right to decide that we do not want a large number of Muslim people in our country.”

“Let us not forget, however, that those arriving have been raised in another religion and represent a radically different culture,” he wrote in Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. “Most of them are not Christians, but Muslims. This is an important question, because Europe and European identity is rooted in Christianity” (Sept. 3, 2015).

Slovakian Prime Minister Robert Fico expressed similar views, saying in May 2016, “I do not want to see a Muslim community in Slovakia. … We do not want to change the traditions of this country, which are built on the Christian tradition.” Leaders in the Czech Republic, as well as in Poland, warned that the refugee crisis is one of the greatest threats to their countries.

Knowing Austria’s historic role, late educator Herbert W. Armstrong predicted that it would again play a crucial role in uniting Eastern and Western Europe. Austria did not act alone historically; it was motivated by its alliance with a great religious power: the Catholic Church. (Request your free copy of The Holy Roman Empire in Prophecy for more details.) Historically, the Catholic Church was heavily involved in uniting Eastern and Western Europe. Mr. Armstrong’s newsmagazine the Plain Truth wrote that the same would be true at the final resurrection of the Holy Roman Empire:

One of the biggest roles desired by the Vatican is that of mediator between East and West. … The Vatican, you can be sure, will continue to do its part in courting the Eastern European countries. Its Ostpolitik has been to bring them back into the “fold” for a long time. And that is certainly the path it must continue to travel.

In order for the Vatican to use Austria as a mediator, the country needs a “Christian chancellor.” Austria has found one in Sebastian Kurz, and thus the unification project can begin. Throughout the centuries, a vital ingredient for European unity has been that of a common religion. But every time the heritage of a Catholic faith united Eastern and Western Europe, it was also at the demise of those of different faiths.

Listen to “Germany and the Ten Kings” for a detailed overview of the prophecies that foretell that coming unification.

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Boys in High Heels And Tutus

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Boys in High Heels And Tutus

How many more will board the transgender bandwagon?

The following is from the Trumpet Brief sent out yesterday. These daily e-mails contain personal messages from the Trumpet staff. Click here to join the nearly 20,000 members of our mailing list, so you don’t miss another message.

You’ve probably heard a little about the newly updated guidance from the Anglican Church to its 4,700 schools across Britain. With this document the Church of England hops aboard the transgender freight train currently thundering through Western society, demolishing morality and tradition in its path. (You can read the entire document here).

According to the Church of England Education Office, “children should be at liberty to explore the possibilities of who they might be without judgment or derision” (emphasis added). In practical terms this means, for example, that every child, boy or girl, can wear the “tutu, princess’s tiara and heels and/or the firefighter’s helmet, tool belt and superhero cloak without expectation or comment.”

The guidance also says that teachers and administrators must “avoid labels and assumptions which deem children’s behavior irregular, abnormal or problematic just because it does not conform to gender stereotypes or today’s play preferences.” In other words, when it comes to the way our children dress, and their mannerisms and behavior, there are no standards when it comes to gender.

There are multiple angles to this story, some of which Stephen Flurry explored with refreshing vigor on the radio earlier this week. To me, one of the most noteworthy and telling angles here is just how uncontroversial this story has been.

The news has certainly been widely reported, and it has generated quite a bit of discussion. But it has spawned very little serious controversy or uproar. It has been strongly criticized by only a handful of pundits, including this excellent article by Melanie Phillips. One or two Church of England officials have resigned in protest, and a few Christian organizations are upset. For the most part, however, the reaction has ranged from indifference to excitement. Many heard the news and simply thought, It’s about time.

Isn’t this telling?

The apathy and enthusiasm with which Britain received this diabolical news reveals a lot about Britain’s mental, moral and spiritual health!

Imagine what Winston Churchill would think if he were alive today and witnessed a 10-year-old lad walking to school in high heels and a pink tutu. And imagine what he’d think if he saw the poor boy encouraged to dress that way by his parents and teachers—and by the Church of England. Churchill was a visionary, but even he probably never imagined the depth of the moral cesspool his beloved nation would fall into.

I think it’s hard for many of us, certainly those who are younger, to appreciate how utterly preposterous news like this is, and how much of a change from the historic norm it represents. Even if we don’t endorse the homosexual, lgbt or transgender movements, many of us live in a secular, amoral culture that does. We are exposed to depravity, as it was once termed, daily in the news, in the store, and on the street. It exists in every device and creeps onto every screen. Moreover, the secular, lawless, anti-tradition spirit that infuses these movements permeates virtually every aspect of society, from fashion to home design to sports to recreation.

If the Anglican Church produced this guidance even 10 years ago it would have ignited a maelstrom of controversy, debate and vehement opposition. Ten years ago the Church of England had only just agreed to allow women to become bishops. (The church didn’t get its first female bishop until 2014.) Today, only three years later, the Anglican Church is an avid supporter of homosexual “marriage” and lgbt and transgender rights.

This guidance from the Anglican Church—and its widespread acceptance—shows that Britain is not just descending into a dangerously secular and immoral state—but that this descent is occurring at lightning speed. Where will the nation be on these issues in a year or two? You watch: It won’t be long until pedophilia, necrophilia and bestiality begin to be peddled as normal behavior and then integrated into Western culture and society.

Unthinkable? Well, 50 years ago most people couldn’t have imagined transvestites being invited into British schools to teach children about sex and family, or young boys being allowed to wear high heels to school, or school-age children being encouraged to undergo a sex change. Today all of this (and more) is occurring in schools across Britain. And most British people barely bat an eye.

We must recognize what is happening here. Ultimately, this ludicrous document isn’t simply about the Church of England’s shift toward secularism. It isn’t only about the collapse of Christianity and religion. And it isn’t simply about Britain’s descent into immorality and lawlessness. A much more significant development is unfolding before us. Melanie Phillips hinted at it recently, when she wrote that Western Civilization had “slipped its mooring.”

We are living through the prophesied collapse of Western civilization and the rapid descent into chaos, anarchy and large-scale violence of the United States and Britain. This future is prophesied all through the Bible, repeatedly and in great detail. You can read these prophecies in passages such as Leviticus 26 and Isaiah 59 and Hosea 5 and Matthew 24 and Romans 1 and 2 Timothy 3.

Between the two of them, Herbert W. Armstrong and Gerald Flurry have written more than 100 books and booklets explaining these prophecies. These books don’t just forecast what Britain and America’s collapse will look like, they also explain why it happens and how God plans to preserve a few from the calamity. Most importantly, these books explain what comes after their collapse and the resulting massive, global upheaval.

If you haven’t visited the literature page at theTrumpet.com, you can check it out here. Nearly every booklet offered explores and expounds on important end-time prophecy that explains your world. If you’re looking for a place to start, request The United States and Britain in Prophecy. Written by Herbert Armstrong, this pivotal book contains the key that unlocks all Bible prophecy.

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Like Low Taxes? Then You’re Racist

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Like Low Taxes? Then You’re Racist

The electoral college. America’s national anthem. Mathematics. We’ve long since gotten used to the fact that to some on the left, everything is racist. But the following, from Eduardo Porter in the New York Times, really takes the biscuit:

It is hard to understand the deep reasons behind the American aversion to taxes and government. Is it the vestigial expression of a rugged individualism born on the American frontier? Is it racial hostility—an unwillingness by whites to fund social programs that some believe unduly benefit minorities?

Really!? When you’re trying to work out why people like lower taxes, racism is one of the first things that comes to mind?

The popularity of low taxes is pretty easy to understand. For most people it goes something like this: I like having stuff. Money lets me buy stuff. Therefore, I like keeping my money and not giving it to the government. What kind of mind jumps immediately to racism instead of understanding that?

It’s just a small symptom of the obsession with race that is building in the U.S. Take another example from the New York Times, this one an op-ed by Ekow N. Yankah, a law professor at Yeshiva University, published on Saturday:

I will have to discuss with my boys whether they can truly be friends with white people …. As against our gauzy national hopes, I will teach my boys to have profound doubts that friendship with white people is possible.

What both these quotes have in common (aside from the publication and that they’re both from the last few days) is that they smear vast numbers of people with the label “racist.” Racism is so common among white people that black boys cannot trust them to be friends, says Yankah. If you don’t like high taxes—an opinion that doesn’t just apply to Republicans—then you’re probably a racist, says Porter.

I’m not American, I don’t live in America, and I’m no expert on America’s social commentary. But it’s not hard to see that these kinds of statements are nonsense, yet they are appearing more and more in the nation’s news media.

There is a dangerous agenda behind these statements. Last year, Trumpet editor in chief Gerald Flurry wrote:

Race is a highly charged subject in the United States today, and in many other nations. Past wrongs and present inequalities create fertile ground for hurt, frustration and anger. Many prominent leaders, both black and white, are deliberately fueling those grievances for their own political gain. They are using race as a deadly weapon! The problems that will result are far more dangerous than they realize.

He pointed out that the left has a long history of using race to motivate people against the pillars of American society:

The New Left was a powerful political movement that swept through the nation in the 1960s and 1970s. Agitators and educators worked to bring about changes in homosexual rights, abortion, gender roles, drugs and other issues. The movement was closely tied to the hippie movement, and it achieved many of its lawless goals. The New Left was almost identical to the Communist Party.

The champions of the movement had stunning success in working their way into key positions in today’s Democratic Party!

These leaders are still using phrases like “police brutality” and “black power” to further their agenda. … Stirred up by our highest leaders and by pop culture icons like Beyoncé, discontent and protests are spreading across the nation. Riots and acts of racist violence are becoming more common and widespread. Where will this end? What happens in America as major groups of angry, violent people are mobilized? What will you have when the Constitution is destroyed?

The U.S. Constitution has probably brought about more racial justice than any other document in world history, aside from the Bible. The people leading the Black Lives Matter movement are not promoting a plan that will bring about more racial justice.

These kinds of casual accusations of mass racism are leading in a dangerous direction. To learn more about where statements like this are taking the U.S. and what is really behind it, read Mr. Flurry’s article “The Real Agenda Behind Black Lives Matter.”

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Britain’s Islamic State Fighters Are Returning Home Without Punishment

HAIDAR HAMDANI/AFP/Getty Images

Britain’s Islamic State Fighters Are Returning Home Without Punishment

Terrorists who traveled to Syria are allowed to walk the British streets and could even have their rent paid by taxpayers.

Here are startling figures. The British government believes up to 850 Britons left the country to fight with the Islamic State. Over 400 of them have returned home. Of them, only 54 have been convicted of crimes. The rest have been left free to “reintegrate.”

If this seems crazy, here’s the rationale as described by the Telegraph: “So far, only a small proportion have been prosecuted and counterterrorism officials have said it can be difficult to find evidence that they committed crimes in the war zones of Syria and Iraq.”

Max Hill QC has been the brains providing the intellectual backing for such policies. He is the government’s independent reviewer of terrorism legislation. Of returning fighters, he said that Britons who had “traveled out of a sense of naivety, possibly with some brainwashing along the way, possibly in their mid-teens and who return in a sense of utter disillusionment” should be kept out of the court system.

The Telegraph also reported on October 29 that “the Home Office is looking at a new strategy to reintegrate extremists that could even see them propelled to the top of council house waiting lists if needed.” They could even have their rent paid by the taxpayer. “We are planning a number of pilots to explore the best way to diverting such people from terrorism and extremist activity,” said an unnamed source.

On the other side of the fence sits Tory Member of Parliament Rory Stewart, famous for his travel books on Afghanistan and Iraq, who says nearly all British Islamic State fighters “should be killed.” Vocal alongside him is Col. Richard Kemp, a former government counterterrorism adviser, who says giving incentives to those who traveled overseas to fight with the Islamic State is “obscene.” As reported by the Telegraph, Kemp told an audience:

I think it’s a very much mistaken policy. When you look at the profile of many of the people who have been involved in terrorist attacks in the UK, or traveled overseas, they do not come from deprived backgrounds. …

If someone is inclined to be an extremist, you are not going to bribe them into not being a terrorist. It’s not going to change them.

At the end of the day—whether returning jihadists are traitors, whether their citizenship should be removed, whether they should be jailed or killed, whether economic incentives can prevent extremism—the figures remain the same. Of the approximately 400 British jihadists who have returned, around 350 of them are free to return to “normal” lives.

The Bible has a perfect description for behavior like this. The book of Hosea describes many of the afflictions of Britain (or in biblical language—Ephraim—as you can prove here) in the latter days. In Hosea 5:11, it says that “Ephraim is oppressed and broken in judgment.” A few chapters later, it continues, “Ephraim is like a dove, easily deceived and senseless” (Hosea 7:11; New International Version).

British citizens fly to the Middle East to join a group known for some of the most brutal violence the world has seen since World War ii. Beheadings, torture, mass rapes, cage drownings, and forced cannibalism are just some of their calling cards. Then, whether or not it is known if they participated in the brutality, they return to their home country, their only official punishment being put on some formal terrorist “watch list.” Yes, Hosea’s descriptions of Britain as “broken in judgment” and “easily deceived and senseless” are a perfect match.

Trumpet editor in chief Gerald Flurry writes about this description in his booklet Hosea: Reaping the Whirlwind. ”Britain may look good on the surface. But God says in [Hosea 7:8] that it is like a ‘cake not turned’—already burned out underneath. British society lacks any real substance. We are, even now, witnessing this great calamity in Britain, the United States, and other Israelitish nations. Serious crises are going to make our nations crumble suddenly, like a burned-out cake! It will dumbfound the world.”