SocietyWatch

From the March 2018 Trumpet Print Edition

California legalizes marijuana

One hundred licensed retail marijuana shops across California swung open their doors on January 1. More shops in more cities will soon obtain their licenses to sell the narcotic. After legalizing “medicinal” marijuana in 1996, California became the sixth state to legalize the sale of “recreational” cannabis, following Colorado, Washington, Oregon, Alaska and Nevada.

Opponents of legalization point to many dangers of marijuana use. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration data shows that fatal crashes involving drivers under the influence of marijuana more than doubled in Colorado between 2013 and 2016; Colorado legalized recreational marijuana in late 2012. Other trends that have risen since the law was changed are homelessness (homeless substance abusers have migrated to Colorado for easy pot) and marijuana use among teens, now highest in the country.

Other states, however, don’t seem interested in taking the lessons from Colorado’s experience to heart.

UK schools encourage transgender children’s books

United Kingdom school trade union administrators are encouraging primary schools to include books about transgender parents and children in their curriculum, the Times reported on Dec. 13, 2017. According to a memo from the National Association of Head Teachers, dress codes should also be changed to allow students and teachers to dress according to their preferred gender.

The memo states that “trans people, [their] issues and experiences” should be celebrated. “Primary school leaders may want to ensure books featuring trans parents or celebrating gender identity and difference are included in the curriculum.” This is to ensure that transgender children or children with transgender parents “feel included in their learning” and teachers “feel positively represented in lesson content.”

In some UK primary schools and nurseries, educators are reading books with a transgender agenda to children as young as 3. These innocuous-appearing books carry a potent message indoctrinating young children with transgender ideas. Increasingly, parents are afraid to speak out because they fear being labeled as bigots.

To learn more about what God thinks about our transgender culture, read Dennis Leap’s article “Encouraging Gender Fluidity Is Child Abuse”.

UK to offer online divorce

Couples in the United Kingdom will soon be able to apply for a divorce from the comfort of their own computers. Government officials are seeking to roll out a nationwide service that will allow uncontested divorces to be processed online.

A pilot study that concluded in October 2017 indicates the country could potentially save £250 million (us$336.1 million) with the “Apply for a Divorce” online service, bypassing expensive barristers, paperwork and long processing times.

Currently, would-be divorcees in England and Wales must establish that the marriage is beyond repair by proving adultery, unreasonable behavior, desertion, or separation for more than two years. The implementation of this new system would also remove the requirement for proof of wrongdoing for those who seek to end their commitments.

While the advent of the online divorce might provide a seemingly tidy conclusion to a situation that both parties have deemed untenable, no-fault divorce isn’t without its victims, especially when children are involved. There are reasons God says that He “hates divorce” (Malachi 2:16; New King James Version).

Subprime loans are back—for autos

Auto loan debt in the United States is rising fast. According to the Center for Microeconomic Data’s latest Quarterly Report on Household Debt and Credit,totalauto loan debt amounted to $1.2 trillion in the third quarter of 2017, equating to more than $9,500 of auto loan debt per household.

The biggest area of concern is the rising number of borrowers defaulting on subprime auto loans. The New York Fed estimates that 23 million people with credit scores below 620 have auto loan debt, and that 20 percent of new car loans are being made to subprime borrowers.

In Deuteronomy 28, God specifically warned that debt problems are one of the many curses that come from disobedience to His laws. Specifically, God warned that if His people turned away from Him, their economy would be overwhelmed by debt. To learn more about God’s financial laws, request our free booklet Solve Your Money Troubles!.