SocietyWatch

From the January 2020 Trumpet Print Edition

Drug cartels threaten United States

Mexico is a failed state where drug cartels are stronger than the government in many cities. On Oct. 17, 2019, a battle occurred in Culiacán between the Sinaloa cartel and militarized police, with the cartel clobbering law enforcement.

The military had captured the two sons of jailed drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman. Cartel gunmen quickly freed the elder son, Ivan, then besieged the entire city in an effort to free his younger brother, Ovidio. Using machine guns and armored vehicles including a truck with a turret, the cartel overpowered Mexican security forces. Eight hours into the battle, Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador ordered troops to release Ovidio and surrender.

This warfare occurred only 600 miles from the border of the cartels’ main market: the United States. If cartels have the firepower to take on Mexico’s military, they can to take on U.S. police and Border Patrol agents.

The Prophet Hosea foretold that the modern-day descendants of ancient Israel (America and Britain) would suffer if they rebelled against God’s law. “Hear the word of the Lord, ye children of Israel: for the Lord hath a controversy with the inhabitants of the land, because there is no truth, nor mercy, nor knowledge of God in the land. By swearing, and lying, and killing, and stealing, and committing adultery, they break out, and blood toucheth blood” (Hosea 4:1-2).

Because there is “no truth, nor mercy, nor knowledge of God in the land,” people lie, kill, steal and take drugs. The violence is becoming so bad that there is hardly a reprieve between stabbings, shootings and gruesome violence.

United States income inequality at record high

Household income inequality in the United States has reached its highest level since the government began tracking the statistic in 1967. The Census Bureau released data on Sept. 26, 2019, showing that median household income topped $63,000 for the first time in U.S. history, but the gap between the richest and poorest households continues widening. The poorest fifth of American households now earn an average of $13,775; the richest fifth earn an average of $233,895.

Politicians such as Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren are using such statistics to call for a wealth tax and increased socialism. They point to the “Gini coefficient” measure of income inequality, which has risen 22 percent over the last 50 years. They ignore the fact that the coefficient for individual adults has remained almost unchanged. The main reason for this discrepancy is the breakup of households by divorce. This causes the same wealth to be spread over more households, causing household income to plummet.

Census Bureau data also show that 77 percent of the richest fifth of American households are headed by a married couple, while 83 percent of the poorest fifth of American households are headed by singles. The only way to rebuild America’s middle class, alleviate child poverty, and improve income equality is to build a society based on strong families.

Scotland outlaws spanking

Scotland banned parents from physically punishing their children in a vote taken on Oct. 3, 2019. Members of Parliament passed the Equal Protection Act, criminalizing corporal punishment under the same laws that govern assault between adults. In doing so, Scotland has outlawed a basic and vital parental right, and is actually harming children.

Various groups harbor differing views on this vital issue of child rearing. But what does the Bible say?

If done out of anger and with excessive force, spanking is indeed harmful to children and should never be done. But done for the right reasons in a way that temporarily stings but causes no harm, it will teach a child discipline and benefit him or her for a lifetime. In “Not Spanking Shows a Lack of Love,” Trumpet contributor Dennis Leap wrote that spanking exists, not as a form of abuse, but as a way to save children from making harmful choices. “The first and most important part of effective child rearing is showing deep love for a child,” he wrote. “The second part is educating that child in love. The third part is disciplining in love. Effective child rearing requires discipline, which should include spanking” (Nov. 29, 2017).

The ultimate authority on spanking is not Scotland’s parliament, but God’s Word. Proverbs 13:24 in the Revised Standard Version states, “He who spares the rod hates his son, but he who loves him is diligent to discipline him.”