SocietyWatch

From the May-June 2018 Trumpet Print Edition

One of the world’s richest cities now filthier than a Third World slum

San Francisco, California, is one of the world’s richest cities, yet its streets are filthy. nbc Bay Area spent three days in February surveying downtown San Francisco, walking 20 miles across 153 city blocks. Reporters found trash on every block, 100 discarded drug needles, and 303 piles of human waste. Dr. Lee Riley, who coauthored a 2016 book on health in slums, said the contamination levels in some parts of San Francisco might now be worse than certain slums in Brazil, Kenya and India.

San Francisco is now spending $30 million of its $60 million annual Public Works budget on cleaning the streets, including disposing of 12,000 needles per month. Public Works director Mohammed Nuru said, “It’s not just about sweeping and washing down and cleaning. We have a social problem that we need to solve.”

Should government force you to bake a cake?

Five years after Christian bakers Aaron and Melissa Klein declined to make a wedding cake for two homosexuals, the Oregon Court of Appeals upheld a $135,000 fine against them on Dec. 28, 2017.

On Jan. 17, 2013, after Aaron Klein refused their request for a wedding cake, Rachel Cryer and Laurel Bowman complained that Sweetcakes by Melissa had discriminated against them. The women alleged they had suffered from depression, hysteria and embarrassment and claimed they felt “mentally raped.”

The Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries found the Kleins in violation of the Oregon Equality Act of 2007, which outlaws discrimination in housing, employment and public places. The act includes an exemption for religious organizations and schools, but the exemption does not extend to private business owners.

Jesus Christ prophesied that in the time just before His return to Earth, those who followed God’s law would be persecuted for their beliefs. “Take heed that no man deceive you. For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many. … Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name’s sake” (Matthew 24:4-5, 9). The First Amendment protection Americans have enjoyed for over two centuries will erode to the point where true believers—and even those who simply prefer not to bake a cake—can once again be heavily persecuted.

Number of stay-at-home dads increasing

American fathers are spending more time with their children than 50 years ago, according to a Pew Research report published January 8. But one of the primary reasons is that a small yet rapidly growing contingent of U.S. families are not only having the mother work, but also having the father stay at home.

U.S. Census data from 2014 reported that 1.9 million fathers are staying at home with children while their wives work and provide income. Only six men registered as “stay-at-home dads” in 1970.

Research indicates that 80 percent of these men would rather be working, while 20 percent are willingly abdicating their role as provider.

Those hundreds of thousands of men who have willingly traded roles with their wives are violating the Bible’s instruction that women be “keepers at home,” while men provide for their families (1 Timothy 5:8; Titus 2:5).

Billionaires prepping for end of world

Many wealthy Americans are taking serious steps to prepare for “doomsday.” On February 15, the Guardian reported that rich entrepreneurs like Paypal cofounder Peter Thiel are buying property in New Zealand. The billionaire says he is prepared to flee to his survivalist bunker at a moment’s notice.

Steve Huffman, cofounder and ceo of Reddit, told the New Yorker that he has been hoarding food, gathering weapons, and even underwent laser eye surgery to “improve his odds of surviving a disaster.” A Facebook product manager, Antonio Garcia Martinez, told the New Yorker that he had purchased property in America’s remote Pacific Northwest and was toying with the idea of forming a militia to protect his post-apocalyptic hideaway.

These individuals are underestimating the scope of the times of trouble about to sweep the Earth. The Bible prophesies, “For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be. And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened” (Matthew 24:21-22). For more information, request Nuclear Armageddon Is ‘At the Door.’