‘Islam Does Not Belong to Germany’

But what does belong is a new NATO naval headquarters.

“Islam does not belong to Germany.” That’s according to German Interior Minister Horst Seehofer, in an article published by the newspaper Bild on March 16.

This is starting a bit of a row. German Chancellor Angela Merkel publicly contradicted Seehofer, saying that Islam does belong to Germany.

“Islam does not belong to Germany,” Seehofer said. “Germany is shaped by Christianity. That includes the Sunday rest, religious holidays and rituals such as Easter, Pentecost and Christmas. Of course, the Muslims living with us belong to Germany. But of course that does not mean that we give our country-specific traditions and customs up out of false consideration” (Trumpet translation throughout).

Seehofer’s message is a popular one.

Several surveys have been conducted about Germans’ opinions on Seehofer’s statement. Results vary, but a survey conducted by the firm Civey for Die Welt found that three quarters of Germans agree that “Islam does not belong to Germany.”

Germany indeed has a strong Christian heritage. About 60 percent of Germans are Christian. If you’re a member of one of Germany’s large churches, for the most part the government will take 9 percent of your income and give a majority of it to the church.

The migrant crisis is bringing a renewed focus on what it means to be German—what makes Germany, Germany. Seehofer’s comments are just one indication that Germans are increasingly turning to religion to answer these types of questions.

Our book The Holy Roman Empire in Prophecy (which we’d be happy to send you free of charge) goes through all of Europe’s history with religion and how Europe is prophesied to embrace religion once again. This book is full of concrete, historical examples of where Bible prophecy has been proved true, and it will help you understand modern Europe.

Another NATO Headquarters in Germany

A separate developing story from the last few weeks in Germany is that the nation is setting up yet another nato command center—this time a naval headquarters in Rostock. Germany will soon lead a multinational Baltic Maritime Component Command within nato. This is the only nato command center in the Baltic, so Germany will coordinate the nato Baltic fleet.

And at the same time, Poland is moving closer to Germany. The two countries are setting up a joint naval headquarters, also in Rostock.

This is another important trend we’re watching. Germany is taking the lead in setting up military cooperation in Europe, which is remarkable. Two thirds of the Dutch Army is under German command, as well as significant parts of the Romanian and Czech armies. nato is also working to set up a rapid-deployment headquarters in Germany.

Why is Germany taking the lead in all these things? It’s an important question, and it’s one Josué Michels and I answered in a recent Trumpet issue. Our article, titled “Europe’s Underground Army,” goes through many of the remarkable developments we’ve seen in Germany as it builds up a European army. The article reveals historical parallels and how these developments are prophesied. And Herbert W. Armstrong forecast this would happen all the way back in 1945. He did that because of Bible prophecy. This article shows you how this German military leadership was prophesied thousands of years ago.

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Patrick Henry: Liberty or Death

Patrick Henry delivers his famous speech before the House of Burgesses on March 23, 1775.
Fotosearch/Getty Images

Patrick Henry: Liberty or Death

How the words of an American patriot inspired a nation to fight for freedom

On this day over 200 years ago, an American patriot delivered one of the most famous speeches of the American Revolution.

That man was Patrick Henry. According to one source, he delivered “the most powerful call to arms in history” on March 23, 1775. RealClearHistory recently listed this speech fifth on its top 10 speeches in history. His words inspired the American patriots to fight for liberty, even if it cost them their lives. In the years since that speech, his words have continued to inspire generations of loyal Americans. Much like the “shot heard ’round the world,” this speech had an impact far beyond what Patrick Henry probably ever thought it would.

I discuss this on my radio show today, which you can listen to here:

A lot of people are familiar with the famous conclusion of his speech, but not as many know the history behind it.

America’s 13 original colonies had been disgruntled for a number of years before Henry’s speech in 1775. There was American opposition to British rule as far back as 1765, when Parliament passed the Stamp Act. The Americans thought they were being unfairly taxed. They didn’t have any representatives in Parliament to argue their case, so their mantra became “No taxation without representation.” After continued objections by the Americans, Parliament eventually repealed the Stamp Act.

Things settled down for a time, until Parliament passed the Tea Act in the year 1773. That set off more confrontations. The Tea Act gave the British East India Company a monopoly on all tea bought and sold in the colonies. Americans took this as another instance of unfair taxation. In retaliation for the Tea Act, patriots in Massachusetts dumped thousands of pounds of British tea into Boston Harbor in what became known as the Boston Tea Party.

Britain cracked down on the colonies immediately, especially on the instigator Massachusetts. That led to the Boston Massacre. The growing unrest continued to increase with every instance of what the Americans saw as unfair treatment by the British.

The History Place sums up what happened next:

The First Continental Congress met in the fall of 1774 in Philadelphia with 56 American delegates, representing every colony, except Georgia. On September 17, the Congress declared its opposition to the repressive Acts of Parliament, saying they are “not to be obeyed,” and also promoted the formation of local militia units.

Thus economic and military tensions between the colonists and the British escalated. In February of 1775, a Provincial Congress was held in Massachusetts during which John Hancock and Joseph Warren began defensive preparations for a state of war. The British Parliament then declared Massachusetts to be in a state of rebellion.

On March 23, in Virginia, the largest colony in America, a meeting of the colony’s delegates was held in St. John’s Church in Richmond. Resolutions were presented by Patrick Henry putting the colony of Virginia “into a posture of defense … embodying, arming and disciplining such a number of men as may be sufficient for that purpose.” Before the vote was taken on his resolutions, Henry delivered the speech … imploring the delegates to vote in favor.

He spoke without any notes in a voice that became louder and louder, climaxing with the now famous ending. Following his speech, the vote was taken in which his resolutions passed by a narrow margin, and thus Virginia joined in the American Revolution.

Patrick Henry was a Virginian, a lawyer, an orator and a fiery patriot. He also had a strong belief in God and the Bible. I would recommend that you read or listen to his speech (there is a great reenactment available here, and a transcript here). Notice how many references to God there are in his inspiring but fairly short speech! I counted five direct references to God, as well as a couple fairly overt scriptural references.

It was not long after this speech—April 1775—when the first shots of the Revolutionary War were fired.

There were only two options in Patrick Henry’s mind: liberty or death. He fired up a nation with his determination and willingness to sacrifice everything for what he believed was right. Men like Patrick Henry built our nation, and they were willing to die for the freedoms we enjoy today. Think about the sacrifice those Founding Fathers made to establish the United States. Think about how many things they gave up! Think about the men who fought and died for the American cause. As David McCullough wrote in his book 1776, it is remarkable how many great statesmen there were in the 13 colonies in the 1770s—right at the moment that the fledgling nation needed them.

Patrick Henry said in his speech, “It is only in this way that we can hope to arrive at truth and fulfill the great responsibility which we hold to God and our country.” Can you imagine something like that coming out of Washington today? What about this quote: “Should I keep back my opinions at such a time, through fear of giving offense, I should consider myself as guilty of treason towards my country, and of an act of disloyalty toward the Majesty of Heaven, which I revere above all earthly kings.” Or this one: “There is a just God who presides over the destinies of nations, and who will raise up friends to fight our battles for us.”

What would American patriots like Patrick Henry think of the United States today? What would the Founding Fathers think of the out-of-control spending that goes on every year in Washington, D.C.? It’s worth considering. I would say that they probably would be disappointed and possibly even horrified at what America has turned into. Long gone are the leading men who are willing to make painful sacrifices—to fight for freedom no matter the cost. Long gone are the leaders who are established in religion and morality. Long gone are the patriots who recognize the hand of God.

On the anniversary of Patrick Henry’s speech, it is fitting for us to consider the physical and spiritual meaning of his words: “I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!”

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Italy’s crisis may contribute to Europe’s prophesied transformation and the rise of yet another strong Catholic leader.

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Omnibusted

U.S. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer goes over his notes before a news conference at the U.S. Capitol on March 22, in Washington, D.C.
Win McNamee/Getty Images

Omnibusted

Listen to the March 23, 2018, episode of the Trumpet Daily Radio Show.

The Republican-controlled U.S. House of Representatives released its $1.3 trillion budget on Wednesday. The 2,232-page bill was approved just 16 hours later by a vote of 256-167. Democrats like Sen. Chuck Schumer seemed more excited about the bill than many Republicans! America’s debt addiction is out of control, but neither Democrats nor Republicans are concerned. At this rate, according to some estimates, America’s debt will be in the neighborhood of $38 trillion in just 10 years! On today’s program, I talk about the new budget and why the American ship is sinking faster than ever.

Listen on Stitcher.

Download the show on iTunes.

Catch up with the latest programs here.

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Inflammatory, Irresponsible Headlines

Black Lives Matter protesters block the entrance to the Golden 1 Center during a demonstration on March 22 in Sacramento, California.
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Inflammatory, Irresponsible Headlines

Or, why the Trumpet is important in a world of unreliable media.

We need the news media. We need to be informed about what is happening in the world. But the way most reporters cover certain events creates more misunderstanding than understanding—and far bigger problems than solutions.

This morning we saw news of a tragic incident in Sacramento. Here are the headlines announcing it in mainstream media sources:

  • cnn: “Sacramento police shot man holding cell phone in his grandmother’s yard”
  • Vox: “Police shot and killed an unarmed black man in his own backyard. All he was holding was a cellphone”
  • abc: “Unarmed man killed by police who fired 20 rounds at him”
  • Washington Post: “Police shot at a man 20 times in his own yard, thinking he had a gun. It was an iPhone”

Just reading the headlines, you get an unmistakable picture of out-of-control, trigger-happy policemen randomly murdering innocent, unassuming black people on their own property. These same basic facts—police killed, 20 rounds, black man, unarmed, cellphone, own backyard, grandmother—constituted the headline and lead material for the New York Times, Sacramento Bee, Buzzfeed, Salon and on and on and on.

Such reporting is not aimed at informing as a public service. It is aimed at attracting clicks, fueling emotion—and irresponsibly stoking the provocative narrative of violently racist law enforcement making America unsafe for young black men.

Sure enough, protests have started over the incident, with people condemning “killer cops” and holding signs saying “Abolish the police.”

Look just a little deeper and you see additional facts. These facts are at least as pertinent as those news editors have splashed across their headlines. What about the fact that the man had apparently been breaking into vehicles? Or that police witnessed him shatter a sliding glass door in an occupied home, then run and jump a fence into another property? What about the officers’ claim that when they gave him commands to stop and show his hands, he ran?

The fact that he was unarmed is easy to discern afterward—but can be impossible to know in the moment. Is the fact that he was advancing at police with an object extended in front of him that they thought was a gun not relevant?

What about the fact that he has a criminal record, with a robbery charge, possession of a firearm, possession of a controlled substance, and two felony counts of domestic abuse?

Aren’t any of these facts more relevant than the fact that the final confrontation happened to occur in his grandmother’s backyard? (He wasn’t having a barbecue with his granny—that is simply where he managed to make it as he fled from police after committing several burglaries.)

To today’s media, no, no, no, no and no. They strip out the context and reduce their reports to narratives that effectively condemn police for excessive force and racially motivated lethality—and absolves the man they killed of all responsibility. They are presumed guilty. He is presumed innocent.

Perhaps these policemen were out of control. Perhaps 20 shots was excessive; I have never been in the potentially life-threatening situation those officers were, and neither have most of the reporters of this incident, I am sure. But it would have been just as “accurate” for the media to have headlined, “Car thief defies police and is killed.” “Neighborhood stalked by multiple felon; police defend burglary victims.” You wouldn’t read those headlines because the media tend not to condemn criminals before a trial. But they don’t mind condemning our policemen.

Here’s another fact you don’t hear nearly as much as the fiction that America is a killing field of black males. In a nation of 325 million people, 987 people were shot and killed by police last year, according to the Washington Post. Of those, 223 were black, and 20 were unarmed. Tragedies do occur. But if you are unarmed, even if you are black, you are likelier to be killed by a lightning strike than by a policeman.

To sidestep the politically motivated noise and hype that shades so much of what the media report, read the Trumpet.

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Why the Invasion of Iraq Failed

U.S. Marine Maj. Bull Gurfein pulls down a poster of Iraqi President Saddam Hussein on March 21, 2003, in Safwan, Iraq.
Getty Images

Why the Invasion of Iraq Failed

A look back, on the 15th anniversary of the Iraq invasion

March 19 this year was the 15th anniversary of the United States-led invasion of Iraq. On that day in 2003, President George W. Bush announced the invasion in a televised address to the American people. He said that the goals of the campaign were “to disarm Iraq, to free its people, and to defend the world from grave danger.”

Can we honestly say that the invasion of Iraq was a success? Look at the condition of that nation today. Instead of a democratic, free Iraq, we see a state that is an Iranian territory in all but name.

I talked about this in my Trumpet Daily Radio Show on the anniversary earlier this week. You can listen to it here:

In 2003, President Bush said that “helping Iraqis achieve a united, stable and free country” would require America’s “sustained commitment.” In order to achieve America’s goals in Iraq, we needed to see it through to the end, he said. “We have no ambition in Iraq, except to remove a threat and restore control of that country to its own people.” He said that success would require “decisive force” and that America would “accept no outcome but victory.”

So what did America do? U.S.-led coalition forces invaded Iraq on March 19 and toppled Saddam Hussein’s regime in just three weeks. After an extensive search, Saddam was found hiding in a hole near his hometown in December 2003. He was later executed. Then the U.S. essentially handed over the reins of government to the Iraqis and walked away. Problem solved, right?

If you take a short-term view of it, maybe. America did topple Saddam’s regime, which was one of our stated goals. But look at the bigger picture. What exactly did America accomplish by taking out Saddam but not going after the real motivator behind Islamic terrorism?

Today, Iraq is not a more “united, stable and free country.” Instead, it is in constant turmoil and completely unstable. Although it is nominally democratic, it is a puppet of its larger and much more powerful neighbor—Iran.

Real Clear Defense published an article last week titled “Iraq as a ‘Client State’ of Iran.” According to the article, Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khameni directs many of the militias in Iraq today. Many of these groups will promote candidates for the Iraqi parliamentary elections this year. Iran is deeply interested in making Iraq’s government pro-Iran. If Iraq is in Iran’s back pocket, that protects Iranian oil interests, secures the safety of its borders, and furthers Iran’s goal of maintaining hegemony in the Middle East.

When President Bush invaded Iraq, his critics said he only wanted Iraq’s oil, that the administration wanted to line its own pockets. Of course, that never happened. And look who is taking over Iraq and helping itself to Iraq’s oil wealth!

Real Clear Defense wrote, “In the early 2000s, Tehran preferred that both Iraq and Afghanistan should remain in a state of manageable chaos that kept the Americans occupied and unable to focus on Iran.” This was all part of their plan! Iran was thinking long term 15 years ago: Let the Americans have Iraq for now, but eventually they will wear out and leave, and then Iraq will be ours.

According to the article, Gen. David Petraeus (the head of the U.S. Central Command at the time) received a text message in 2008 from the commander of Iran’s al-Quds Force, Qassem Suleimani. The text message said: “General Petraeus, you should know that I, Qassem Suleimani, control the policy for Iran with respect to Iraq, Lebanon, Gaza and Afghanistan. And indeed, the ambassador in Baghdad is a Quds Force member. The individual who’s going to replace him is a Quds Force member.”

That was in 2008. Do you think Iran’s control has lessened since then? As my father has written, the Islamic State campaign was just a distraction from the real danger in the Middle East. Now that the Islamic State is on the way out, the door is open for Iran to cement its control over Iraq’s government—and its supremacy over the entire Middle East.

You should go back and look at what the Trumpet was writing in 2003, as the invasion was happening. My father wrote an article in the Trumpet in June 2003 titled “Is Iraq About to Fall to Iran?” In this article, he explained that the Iraq campaign was the latest round of America’s war on terror. But although Iran was and still is considered the number one state sponsor of terrorism, we were going after Saddam instead. My father wrote that even though “Iraq is a dangerous part of the equation,” America still was not going after “the head of the snake”!

My father has used this phraseology repeatedly over the years. In November 2003 he wrote that we have to “cut off the head of the terrorist snake.” In September 2006, he wrote that “America lacks the will to confront Iran, the head of the terrorist-sponsoring snake.” In a 2006 Key of David program, he said, “We see Iran virtually taking over Iraq, and we’ve said all along for years and years that you’re not going to conquer and win this terrorist war until you kill the head of the terrorist snake.”

At the Trumpet, we have probably talked about this subject more than just about any other topic for the past 15 years. However, we aren’t the only ones who see Iran’s role as the head of Islamic terrorism—or the only ones who have used this specific terminology. In April 2008, the Saudi ambassador to Washington commented on a meeting between King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia and General Petraeus. He said, “He [Abdullah] told you [Americans] to cut off the head of the snake” (emphasis added). Saddam was the only leader in the Middle East that the Iranians feared. By knocking him out, we essentially handed Iraq over to Iran on a silver platter!

My father wrote in 2003: “It may seem shocking, given the U.S. presence in the region right now, but prophecy indicates that, in pursuit of its goal, Iran will probably take over Iraq.”

Has that happened? It certainly has! And America has assisted Iran in doing it.

Look at what has happened in the 15 years since that invasion! After Saddam’s removal, Iraq turned into a free-for-all. For a few years, the Islamic State had control of large parts of both Iraq and Syria. Then the U.S. joined together with two unlikely partners, Iran and Russia, to run the Islamic State out of the region. Far from accepting “no outcome but victory” against Islamic terrorism, the U.S. has actually fought side-by-side with the leader of Islamic terrorism.

That is why the invasion of Iraq didn’t work. Instead of cutting off the head of the snake, America has actually helped Iran establish its supremacy at every turn.

How did the Trumpet know all the way back in 2003 that Iraq was going to fall to Iran? Our forecast was based on the sure word of Bible prophecy. The Bible indicated that Iraq would be under the control of Iran, which is called the “king of the south” in Daniel 11:40.

In Leviticus 26:19-20, God said of America, “And I will break the pride of your power … and your strength shall be spent in vain ….” The war in Iraq is a prime example of America’s strength being spent in vain. That is why Herbert W. Armstrong said after World War ii that America had won its last war. Our national pride in our power has been broken. Today, we are letting the number one state sponsor of terrorism do what it wants, with a few slaps on the wrist occasionally for appearances’ sake.

In a 2011 Key of David program, my father said, “And it appears that Iraq is going to be just solidly with Iran, and I have been predicting that since the early ’90s because of what these prophecies say. I’ve been predicting it that long. You’re not going to see Iraq become democratic; it’s not going to happen, and there’s going to be a really great strong turn toward Iran in that nation. … [T]hey have the upper hand in Iraq, even now, and the whole Middle East knows that. And that’s one reason why they fear Iran so much.”

The Middle East knows. Iraq knows. But America is intentionally oblivious.

In 2003, someone reading the Trumpet probably would have thought, Oh come on, are you seriously saying that Iran is going to take over the Middle East, given the U.S. presence in the region? That’s crazy! But look at what has happened. You can clearly see how it has played out.

It is painful to watch nations die—especially your own nation—but it is such a wonderful blessing to have the light of God’s prophecies to shine on these world events. Because of Bible prophecy, we can know the significance of world events and where they are leading. We can’t lose sight of this history or this fulfilled prophecy. It glorifies God and His Word most of all. What a blessing to know that no matter what happens, God’s Word is sure!

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Cosmic Clockwork

This image from the Hubble Space Telescope shows a spiral galaxy known as NGC 7331.
NASA

Cosmic Clockwork

A new discovery sheds further light on the precision of the universe.

According to the International Center for Radio Astronomy Research (icrar), the motion of the cosmos may be even more precise than previously thought.

On March 14, icrar researchers released new information concerning galactic rotation. They found that all galaxies in the universe rotate around their central axis once every 1 billion years, just like the Earth rotates once around its axis every 24 hours. This means that regardless of size or density, every single galaxy spins in synchronization!

So far, they have not documented any galaxy that behaves counter to this observation.

“[R]egardless of whether a galaxy is very big or very small, if you could sit on the extreme edge of its disk as it spins, it would take you a billion years to go all the way around,” said icrar Professor Gerhardt Meurer.

This is another incredible discovery that points to the seemingly inexplicable harmony of the universe.

Of course, there is an explanation for the perfect synchrony of the heavenly bodies. Rather than a random collection of leftover space junk from a big bang, the myriad of stars and galaxies around us are actually purposefully and precisely created!

It is possible that there is an underlying natural cause for this remarkable synchronization—that it occurs because of the operation of a law of physics. But even this points to the existence of a lawgiver.

In Does God Exist?, Herbert W. Armstrong challenged readers to explain this chronological perfection without the existence of a creator. Just as any timekeeping device proves the existence of a designer and maker, so too does our intricate universe.

“The whole material universe—everything out there—is perfectly submitted to God’s rule,” writes Joel Hilliker in Our Awesome Universe Potential. “This is another remarkable way in which the heavens declare God’s glory. What an extraordinary message the heavens are preaching, if only we would listen.”