How Arizona’s Immigration Bill Sparks Racial Hate

It’s not how some people think!
From the July 2010 Trumpet Print Edition

Fed up with Washington’s feckless attempts to secure America’s southern border, Arizona lawmakers took matters into their own hands. In April, Gov. Jan Brewer signed into law an immigration bill that requires policemen, during law-enforcement action like traffic stops, to act on “reasonable suspicion” in order to verify a person’s immigration status.

“We in Arizona have been more than patient waiting for Washington to act,” Brewer explained. “But decades of federal inaction and misguided policy have created a dangerous and unacceptable situation.”

Democrats and civil rights leaders were quick to denounce the bill, saying it would lead to widespread racial profiling.

Arizonans, meanwhile, are justifiably frustrated—and scared. Their state has been flooded with illegal aliens. In just the last three years alone, nearly 1 million aliens have been caught trying to sneak into Arizona. That amounts to about 900 per day.

Those who aren’t caught roam throughout Arizona—and the rest of America.

Why Arizonans Support the Bill

In Arizona, the estimated number of illegal immigrants is just under a half million. Embedded among them, of course, are who knows how many violent criminals, drug traffickers and human smugglers. There must be thousands—perhaps tens of thousands—judging by the massive quantities of illegal drugs seized by federal agents. Every day, on average, law enforcement officials confiscate 1.5 tons of marijuana alone.

And in the high-stakes game of drug trafficking, it’s no wonder illegal immigrants are becoming more aggressive and reckless in their behavior. Earlier this year, for example, Arizonans were outraged when a prominent rancher was murdered while patrolling his property 20 miles north of the Mexican border. Footprints at the crime scene revealed that the assailants fled to Mexico after the senseless attack.

Arizona’s capital city, Phoenix, also has the dubious distinction of being the kidnapping capital of North America. “The city has averaged about a kidnapping a day in recent years,” reported the Associated Press, “some resulting in torture and death. Victims’ legs have been burned with irons, their arms have been tied to the ceiling, their fingers broken with bricks” (April 27).

Small wonder that 70 percent of Arizonans support the new immigration bill. Law enforcement agencies have also voiced their support for the legislation.

But not the race baiters. They see the law’s passage as yet another opportunity to fan the flames of racial hatred and division.

A Sign of Maturity?

The mayor of Phoenix called the measure “racist and unjust.” Civil rights activist Al Sharpton said the bill effectively “sanctions” racial profiling.

Attorney General Eric Holder criticized the bill as “unfortunate,” saying it had “the possibility of leading to racial profiling.” He also said it might be “unconstitutional” and that it could trigger some kind of federal lawsuit to stop the legislation from going forward. And yet, during a congressional hearing on May 13, when asked by Rep. Ted Poe if he had even read the legislation, the nation’s top law enforcement official responded, “I have not had a chance to. I’ve glanced at it.”

“It’s 10 pages,” Poe snapped back. “I’ll give you my copy of it, if you would like.” Poe said the government ought to be enforcing the immigration laws that are passed in order to secure the border—not challenging them.

The day after the attorney general admitted he hadn’t read the law, Michael Posner, the assistant secretary of state, told reporters he had been quite candid with Chinese officials—of all people—about America’s human rights violations. “Part of a mature relationship is that you have an open discussion where you not only raise the other guy’s problems, but you raise your own, and you have a discussion about it,” Posner said at the conclusion of a two-day human rights summit between the U.S. and China on May 14.

A reporter then asked if the new Arizona law came up during the human rights summit, and if so, who brought it up?

Posner responded: “We brought it up early and often. It was mentioned in the first session, and as a troubling trend in our society and an indication that we have to deal with issues of discrimination or potential discrimination” (emphasis mine throughout).

America’s leaders brought up the Arizona law early and often to the Chinese—the same people who lock down their own borders with oppressive force and murder their own citizens for opposing Beijing’s Communist rule.

At the same press conference with Michael Posner, America’s ambassador to China, Jon Huntsman, said, “We’re talking about issues that are uncomfortable, quite frankly, but it is a sign of maturity that we can talk about specific cases.”

Groveling at the feet of dictators, confessing our supposed sins to the world, like the “troubling trend” in Arizona—this is now seen as a sign of maturity.

In fact, it is a shocking and shameful sign of immaturity—and it is prophesied in Isaiah 3:4.

Lighting the Fuse on a Race Bomb

Even President Obama hastily joined in on the chorus of criticism against the Arizona law. Within hours of Governor Brewer signing the bill, Obama scolded Arizona lawmakers for their “misguided” work. He said it threatens to undermine the “basic notions of fairness that we cherish as Americans.”

Should the law be enforced, President Obama envisioned life for Hispanic Americans to be something like this: “Now suddenly if you don’t have your papers and you took your kid out to get ice cream, you’re going to be harassed—that’s something that could potentially happen.”

Besides being factually incorrect on the specifics of the legislation, the president’s racially charged reaction failed to address another, more serious concern for Americans: being murdered or kidnapped by illegal drug-runners. The president’s gut-reaction comment, Kris Kobach wrote at the Washington Times, was true to form. “Just as with the Cambridge, Mass., arrest fiasco last year, he rushed to the microphone without knowing the facts in order to stir up and capitalize on accusations of racial profiling” (April 28).

That’s what much of the backlash against the Arizona law amounts to: stirring up racial discord. And as it happens, it comes at a time when hundreds of thousands of illegal immigrants—an increasing number of them hardened criminals with sophisticated weaponry—are flowing across America’s porous borders every year. More than half of the illegal immigrants and drugs coming into America, by the way, travel through the Arizona-Mexico border.

Sixty-three percent of Americans nationally favor the Arizona law. But rather than do something about the mounting danger, America’s leadership is instead lighting the fuse of a much more explosive time bomb.

It’s an explosive mixture that will soon blow up in our faces.

When President Obama campaigned for office, he eloquently vowed not to use the race card and promised to bring the races together as president. Instead, the nation is becoming more divided by the day.

Two years ago, when then-Senator Obama was being lavished with praise for his efforts to heal the many race-relation breaches in America, my father warned that in the long run, it would only inflame more racism. “Poisonous race relations have everything to do with Bible prophecy,” he wrote on June 12, 2008. “This dangerous buildup within our society is a racist bomb that most of us will see explode in our faces!”

Regarding then-Senator Obama, my father wrote, “Many people believe that Mr. Obama is going to greatly improve race relations. But our racial problems are going to rapidly get much worse!”

Then, he added, “The race card is going to be played often for political gain!” So often, in fact, that even in the midst of a national emergency that has some Americans living in fear of being kidnapped, tortured or murdered by illegal aliens—and after Arizona passes a law that effectively makes it illegal to do something that has always been illegal—playing the race card and fanning the flames of hatred is what our leaders are concerned about most.

To learn more about the coming race wars in America, request our free booklet Ezekiel: The End-Time Prophet.

Is Smoking Sin?

Does the Holy Bible forbid it? Does it even mention it? Don’t be too sure you know!
From the July 2010 Trumpet Print Edition

What is God’s view of smoking? People addicted to cigarettes are quick to point out that the Bible says nothing about smoking. This is simply not true.

The Bible is a book of law. The laws, when obeyed, produce great happiness. Biblical laws regulate health, farming, diet, child rearing and marriage. If people would follow these laws, they would live an abundant life. Yet mankind consistently chooses to violate these laws!

It is true that nowhere in the Bible does God say, “Thou shalt not smoke.” But in the Sixth Commandment, He emphatically states, “Thou shalt not murder” (Exodus 20:13, Jewish Publication Society translation). The question we need to answer is, does smoking harm people?

Slow Suicide

The clinical facts have been fully tabulated on smoking. There is no doubt that there exists a direct relationship between smoking and lung cancer. Lung cancer does kill people. Former U.S. Surgeon General C. Everett Koop warned, “Cigarette smoking is clearly identified as the chief preventable cause of death in our society and the most important public health issue of our time.” A pamphlet issued by the surgeon general’s office stated that smoking “causes more illness and death than all other drugs.” One of the most current U.S. surgeon general’s warnings on a pack of cigarettes states: “Cigarette smoke contains carbon monoxide.” Read that warning again! To inhale cigarette smoke is to inhale carbon monoxide! Nobody in a sane state of mind would purposely inhale carbon monoxide.

To put it simply, smoking is suicide.

If you smoke or use any other form of tobacco, you are doing so contrary to the serious warnings against such habits. When you smoke, you are wrecking your health. Another of the surgeon general’s warnings on a pack of cigarettes states: “Quitting smoking now greatly reduces serious risks to your health.”

If you smoke, then you are deliberately subjecting your body to serious physical harm. Here is a list of some of the chemicals found in unfiltered cigarette smoke besides carbon monoxide: hydroquinone, methacrolein, methyl alcohol, methylamine, nickel compounds, pyridine, dimethylamine, endrin, ethylamine, furfural, cadmium, methyl nitrite, ammonia, formaldehyde, hydrogen sulfide, ddt, and nicotine. Spilling these chemicals into a water supply system could carry heavy fines for any business. If you are a smoker, you are seriously polluting your own body, and you will pay a heavy personal penalty.

Besides lung cancer, you could also be subjecting your body to other life-threatening diseases such as bladder cancer, emphysema, high blood pressure and hardening of the arteries, which can lead to a stroke. From God’s point of view, is there really any difference between pointing a gun to your head and pulling the trigger or lighting a cigarette? No! Pulling the trigger on a gun usually brings death instantly. But smoking also brings death—slow, agonizing death. Both are suicide! Both violate the Sixth Commandment. If you smoke, the most important thing you can do for your health is to quit the poisonous habit immediately.

It’s Not All About You

Some argue, As long as my smoking doesn’t harm anyone else, it is okay to continue the habit. But scientists have also proven that the secondary smoke produced by smokers is just as lethal for the non-smoker living in a smoker’s environment.

According to the U.S. Department of Health, Education and Welfare, second-hand smoke contains twice as much tar and nicotine, three times as much of a certain kind of benozopyrene (a carcinogen), five times as much carbon monoxide (which robs the blood of life-giving oxygen), and 46 times as much ammonia (a potent eye and respiratory-tract irritant) as the smoke that smokers inhale directly from their cigarettes!

Many countries and many U.S. states have banned smoking in public places for this reason. Smokers not only ruin their own health but the health of others as well. Harming others is another definite violation of the Sixth Commandment.

Just What Do You Mean … Sin?

Smoking is also a physical sin! You need to understand why.

There are many examples in the Bible where Christ showed people that their health problems were caused by sin. In one instance, people brought to Jesus a man lying on a bed. Christ healed him by forgiving his sin. “And, behold, they brought to him a man sick of the palsy, lying on a bed: and Jesus seeing their faith said unto the sick of the palsy; Son, be of good cheer; thy sins be forgiven thee” (Matthew 9:2). What sins were forgiven? The sins that caused the man to have palsy—physical sin.

This example contains very important knowledge concerning healing. God has set in motion many physical laws—laws that regulate the functions of our bodies: our health. If we break these laws, we sin and get sick. “Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law” (1 John 3:4).

This is a difficult truth for most people to accept: Healing is the forgiveness of physical sin. Matthew 9 continues: “And, behold, certain of the scribes said within themselves, This man blasphemeth. And Jesus knowing their thoughts said, Wherefore think ye evil in your hearts? For whether is easier, to say, Thy sins be forgiven thee; or to say, Arise, and walk? But that ye may know that the Son of man hath power on earth to forgive sins, (then saith he to the sick of the palsy,) Arise, take up thy bed, and go unto thine house. And he arose, and departed to his house” (verses 3-7).

If healing is the forgiveness of physical sin, then we must be sure to repent of our physical sins. Christ told the man healed by the pool at Bethesda, “[S]in no more …” (John 5:14).

If we do harmful things to our bodies like eating improper foods, or even too much of the right kinds of foods (gluttony), we sin against our bodies, and a penalty is exacted. The penalty is sickness! In some cases, the penalty is only temporary—but in other cases, it can mean permanent injury or death.

Smoking and other uses of tobacco have been proven to be of definite harm to the body. Smoking will cause permanent damage to your lungs, which God designed and created to give you life-giving oxygen. Jesus Christ was beaten with many stripes so we could be healed of sickness (Isaiah 53:5; 1 Peter 2:24). How can we as Christians justify smoking and then expect Christ to heal us of the illnesses related to smoking? Smoking shows great disrespect for Christ’s sacrifice. If Jesus Christ was willing to be beaten with many stripes so we can be healed, then we should do everything possible to remain in good health! To do otherwise is sin!

What to Do With Your Body

Let’s go one step further. Why did God create our bodies? Paul gives us the answer: “What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy [Spirit] which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s” (1 Corinthians 6:19-20). God created our bodies to house His Holy Spirit. God created us physical human beings so that we can grow in His own character (Matthew 5:48). Is there any justification to defile God’s temple with a destructive habit like smoking? Does the use of tobacco glorify God? Does smoking please God, honor God or serve God’s purpose?

Paul also instructed the Corinthians, “Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God” (1 Corinthians 10:31). We should work hard to maintain good health so that God’s Spirit can work effectively in us.

Smoking also harms the smoker because it reinforces weak character traits. In other words, smoking is also a spiritual sin. In the Tenth Commandment, God commands, “Thou shalt not covet …” (Exodus 20:17). The question we need to answer here is, is smoking lust?

Regarding the use of tobacco, Herbert W. Armstrong wrote in his autobiography: “I had learned that God’s law is His way of life. It is a basic philosophy of life. The whole law is summed up in the one word love. I knew that love is the opposite of lust. Lust is self-desire—pleasing the self only. Love means loving others. Its direction is not inward toward self alone, but outgoing, toward others. I knew the Bible teaches that ‘lust of the flesh’ is the way of sin.

“So now I began to apply the principle of God’s law.

“I asked myself, ‘Why do I smoke?’ To please others—to help others—to serve or minister to or express love toward others—or only to satisfy and gratify a desire of the flesh within my own self?

“The answer was instantaneously obvious. I had to be honest with it. My only reason for smoking was lust of the flesh, and lust of the flesh is, according to the Bible, sin!”

Smoking breaks the Tenth Commandment. As Mr. Armstrong wrote, a smoker can hardly claim that he smokes to please others. People smoke to satisfy the self. Smoking is a desire, a thirst for self-gratification. It is lust! Jesus Christ taught that we must uphold the spirit of the law (Matthew 5:27-28). In other words, we must be concerned just as much with what goes on in our minds as with our actions.

Spiritually speaking, our attitudes are all-important. What is the attitude of one who desires the effects of tobacco? It is one of coveting or inordinately desiring that which is damaging. The wrong desire of the mind—lusting after tobacco—is a spiritual sin—a sin against righteous character. Smoking is one of the ways of this world. Christians are to come out of this world (Revelation 18:4; Romans 12:2).

Yes, You Can Stop

Many people say they cannot stop smoking. That is not true! Yes, you can stop smoking!

How? You must start by recognizing that smoking is a sin that will keep you out of the Kingdom of God. Paul said, “For this ye know, that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God” (Ephesians 5:5). Smoking is covetousness and, as Paul states here, idolatry!

Sin no longer has power over the truly converted person (Romans 6:14). God promises to cleanse us of sin if we are willing to confess our sin. “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9). In other words, God has obligated Himself to cleanse us of the sin of smoking if we repent, acknowledge our sin, and call upon Him for the extra help we need. God will help you if you humbly pray to Him for help (Psalm 103:11-14; Isaiah 55:7-9).

Stop all smoking completely. Smoking is an addiction. Trying to quit gradually only feeds the addiction. You should quit suddenly and totally! It is not easy, but it is the most successful way. Commit yourself to quitting. Throw away all cigarettes, snuff or pipe tobacco. Get rid of all those things that focus your attention on smoking, such as favorite lighters, cigarette cases or pipes. Then never buy another ounce of tobacco!

The actual physical discomfort of nicotine withdrawal usually subsides within three to five days of your last cigarette (this differs with each person). The psychological withdrawal usually takes much longer. You may experience tension, hunger and symptoms of restlessness. These discomforts will subside. Usually the habit of smoking can be broken in 21 to 30 days.

Avoid compromising situations. Paul said, “Flee fornication” (1 Corinthians 6:18). You must apply this same principle to smoking. Avoid situations where you previously “lit up.” Don’t let other smokers, friends, relatives or stressful situations cause you to cave in to your old habit. Remember, just one puff will make you a habitual smoker again!

Spend time with non-smokers and people who will support your efforts to remain free of cigarettes. Another way to get your mind off your smoking habit is to replace it with some other activity. Studies have shown that it is much easier to break a bad habit and stay free of returning to it if we have something to replace it with. Try getting involved in some type of exercise program like walking, cycling or swimming, depending upon your age, athletic ability and health. Getting a physical check-up is a good idea before beginning any new exercise program. This is an excellent replacement habit.

Finally, don’t become discouraged or fear failure. And if you slip up and smoke—don’t give up! You can get rid of this life-threatening habit. When you do, you will not only live a better life physically, but also spiritually!

Your Family’s Most Important Textbook

Your Family’s Most Important Textbook

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Reap the rich rewards of regular family Bible study.
From the July 2010 Trumpet Print Edition

My family has a tradition that we all look forward to each week. On Saturday morning, we make coffee, warm up a couple of pastries, and give each member of the family a bit of each. Then we sit around in the living room and open our family textbook. For 30 minutes to an hour, we study and discuss.

That textbook is the Bible. And this is only the longest and most special of the several times during the week we enjoy such study.

If you are a parent with children living under your roof, then you are responsible for their spiritual education. That responsibility comes with the opportunity to instruct from Scripture.

In the book of Deuteronomy, you can see that Moses felt a similar responsibility to build the families of Israel. In this, his final instruction to God’s people just before he died and they entered the Promised Land, Moses repeatedly emphasized parents’ duty to pass their spiritual wisdom to their children and grandchildren.

“And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up” (Deuteronomy 6:6-7, New King James Version). The phrase “teach them diligently” means to repeat intensively, to do something again and again—like sharpening a blade through repetitious grinding or friction. Surely Moses had witnessed a lot of failure among Israel’s families. You can sense his urgency: Commit these words to heart—then teach themdiligentlyto your children, and discuss them at every opportunity! This is how to survive as a nation!

Moses did more than command family Bible studies: He emphasized the importance of reinforcing those biblical lessons throughout the day, both at home (“in your house”) and away (“by the way”). He expected parents and children to be interacting often, and for the Bible to be a regular topic of discussion. He stressed the need for instructing each night before bedtime (“when you lie down”), and again each morning (“when you rise up”).

Moses followed up with a very practical instruction: He advocated writing certain scriptures and principles down and posting them in the house to help internalize them (verse 9; see also Deuteronomy 11:18-20).

Have you ever considered applying these scriptures? Have you ever tried—but never stuck with it?

Life can be a jungle of duties and distractions. We may agree with Moses’s statements in principle but then struggle to implement them. We may make an effort but lack the consistency these scriptures demand. The mention of diligence and repetition are aimed directly at countering our natural tendency to allow this duty to slip.

Generation to Generation

Consider the rewards of making family Bible instruction the priority God intends. Moses himself described the rich blessings these studies and discussions would bring, including a better relationship with God, stronger families, and longer and more abundant life for ourselves and our children and grandchildren (Deuteronomy 11:21; 4:9-10; 6:2).

All parents desire a close bond with their children. Quality family Bible study and discussion is a key to achieving that. Parent-to-child and grandparent-to-child spiritual instruction is the glue that binds generation to generation. “One generation shall praise thy works to another, and shall declare thy mighty acts” (Psalm 145:4). This is a powerful antidote to the poisonous influences of the world that aim to tear children away from their parents.

Even more: Obedience to this command welds individual families into a single nation under God. Moses showed that it does nothing less than ensure long-lasting national stability and guarantees a future as a godly nation! Meditate on those promises in conjunction with Proverbs 22:6: “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” Consider the principle, and the incredible promise, in these scriptures. If parents in Israel had diligently followed the command to teach their children, the nation never would have departed from God’s way!

Let’s learn from this failure and heed the urgent plea from this great God-inspired man and make sure we’re rearing our children to know and love the Bible.

How to Go About It

The idea of expounding on the Scriptures for your family may seem daunting. Here are a few simple points that will help you move from agreeing in principle with this biblical command to actually making it a part of your family’s regular routine.

First, you yourself must be excited about the Bible. Look again at the passage in Deuteronomy 6. The two verses that precede the main instruction on teaching your children read, “And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might. And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart” (verses 5-6). You have to love God, and love His Word—to be stirred and moved and excited about your own Bible study. If you struggle with your own studies, then you won’t be motivated to teach; naturally, your children will struggle as well.

How much do you know about the Bible? Are you accustomed to searching the Scriptures for answers to the problems you face? Are you comfortable with using Bible helps like concordances, lexicons and alternate translations? Can you read a passage and expound on it? Can you relate Bible verses to real-life situations? These are skills a true Christian must continually develop and refine throughout life (Luke 12:42-43; 2 Timothy 2:15; 3:15-17; read also Hebrews 5:12-14).

As you build excitement in your personal Bible study, your eagerness to pass it on to your children will increase. Cultivate that enthusiasm by acting upon it.

Your aim is to build a regular habit of instructing your children from God’s Word and talking about the things of God. Until you are in the habit, it may feel awkward and forced—but keep at it. Over time, it will become easier for you, and your children will grow more receptive and accustomed to it. Have a set time each morning and each evening before bedtime to at least talk about God, His truth and way of life.

At least a few times a week, this time should include reading straight from the Bible. It is certainly fine to read high-quality youth Bible-based books to your children. But your main habit in family Bible study should involve the Bible itself. You may want to go somewhat methodically through a portion of the Bible such as the Proverbs or the Gospels. It would be wise to adapt your study at times according to your family’s specific needs at that time. You may want to choose a particular theme each week and give several related studies hitting that topic from various angles—law, history, proverbs, examples, prophecy.

Try to make God real to your children. Talk about His qualities of character. Explain to them what He looks like, and what His throne room is like. Give them a sense of His mightiness. Get into the details of His miracles; read to them about His mighty acts.

Each specific study may only involve a single verse, or perhaps two to three related verses. Read the scripture, then rephrase it in plain terms and explain it, making it very practical. Show how the scripture links to real-life examples. Be creative in getting the concepts across. Make it fun, exciting. Be sure the children understand. Ask them questions; have them think of examples of their own; encourage them to link the principles to their own daily lives. The more practical and understandable this teaching is, the easier it will be to reinforce it in discussion during the day.

Don’t go on for too long. Depending on your children’s age and attention span, you might go for 5 to 20 minutes. Work to hold their interest and keep it a positive experience. Praise your children as they progress. Don’t discourage them about things they forget—heap praise on them for what they remember. Take advantage of the fact that they want to please you. Ensure they have the overall feeling that studying the Bible is enjoyable, and that God’s way is great!

What a positive command it is that we share our spiritual riches with our children! Deuteronomy 6:7 and related scriptures embody a way of life. A way pulsating with life, with robust interactions between generations. A way where God’s government is firmly in place, with God at the top and every last member of the household experiencing the joy and stability that come as a result.

Family Bible studies require diligent effort—but the blessings they produce are well worth it.

“Harvard Taught Us How to Drink”

“Harvard Taught Us How to Drink”

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America’s elite universities have lost their purpose and their sense.
From the July 2010 Trumpet Print Edition

Apparently, America’s best and brightest have such a hard time exercising self-control that one of the nation’s top schools feels compelled to take time to teach them how not to get drunk.

Harvard student Isabel Kaplan says learning to differentiate 12 ounces of beer from 1.5 ounces of hard alcohol is just one thing Harvard tells students on their second day of school.

Harvard also ensures all freshmen understand the college’s new alcohol amnesty program. Students are told that “no matter what, no matter how drunk or sick we got, if we called an ambulance, were picked up by Harvard University Police, were taken to the … infirmary … or hospital, we would not get in trouble,” wrote Kaplan. “Neither would our parents be notified. This is Harvard’s amnesty policy” (Daily Beast, April 20; emphasis mine throughout).

As Kaplan recounts, one boy raised his hand and asked, “Are there any loopholes?” The answer: an emphatic “No.”

Behold the state of education in America today. You can get so drunk that you pass out on 52 out of 52 Fridays of the year, and as far as Harvard is concerned, it doesn’t really matter.

As one Harvard representative said, “We realize that we’re in a college environment and that people are going to abuse these things, and so we’re here to basically reduce the harm.” School officials argue that by nixing the penalties, students who get plastered will more likely seek medical attention (and their friends will also be more willing to call for help), thus reducing the risk of drinking-related deaths. Meanwhile, 30,000 students across the country are treated at hospitals for over-consumption of alcohol each year, and the number of students who seek medical attention for alcohol-related sickness at Harvard is up 43 percent since the amnesty policy kicked in.

Some colleges have now even implemented amnesty policies for drug use. At the College of William and Mary, if you go to a hospital due to a drug overdose, your academic career and standing at the college remain unchanged. Student Assembly Vice President Ryan Ruzic believes that drug amnesty makes sense for the same reason as alcohol amnesty: student safety.

But do alcohol and drug amnesty programs really make students safer? No!

Intoxicated students may be more likely to be admitted into an emergency ward and thus have less chance of choking on their own vomit, and stoners may be less likely to die trying to crawl down Alice’s rabbit hole, but an amnesty policy actually makes the rest of the student body far less safe.

By removing deterrents—academic probation, suspension, expulsion, etc.—Harvard has opened the door to more abuse. If you are spending $80,000 per year or more on your education, knowing that you could lose your spot on the college rolls if you got drunk is a good reason to follow school policy.

Universities should be thinking of all the students that alcohol and drug prohibitions have helped—even saved. How many students has it prevented from becoming alcoholics or drug addicts, or from being injured because they are so intoxicated they can’t control themselves? How many accidental pregnancies has it prevented? Or needle-transmitted diseases? What about those it has saved from drunk driving? How many lives have those policies protected? Is a drunk or doped-up college student’s life more important than the lives of the other students?

Additionally, these selfish amnesty policies destroy character. The argument that students will get drunk and do drugs anyway, and that nothing can be done to stop them, is a fallacy. The reality is that nobody needs drugs and nobody needs to get drunk. Many college students go through their four years without getting so plastered they need to go to the hospital. In fact, many make it through their four years without ever getting drunk or taking drugs.

Here at Herbert W. Armstrong College, we try to provide an education that goes far beyond just preparing students for a career. We teach how to live a truly successful life.

Armstrong College understands the unbreakable, undeniable link between character and true success. You cannot attain true happiness and success without moral character.

For Armstrong students, that means they must comply with the college’s alcohol and drug policy. Illegal usage is not permitted, and alcohol is not allowed in student housing without the prior approval of the Dean’s Office. If a student were to become intoxicated, there would be academic repercussions.

Armstrong College is concerned for every one of its students—its policies are designed to protect and to foster the growth and development of the whole student body.

“At Armstrong College, the emphasis is on character building, developing a sound mind, becoming emotionally mature and socially balanced, building a well-rounded, service-oriented personality and learning to appreciate the finer things in life,” wrote dean of students Stephen Flurry in 2008. “There is no other college like Herbert W. Armstrong College—unaccredited by men and unshackled from the ever-tightening grip that is squeezing the life out of higher education: gross materialism, political correctness run amok and immoral, unregulated human behavior.”

Our college’s namesake, Herbert W. Armstrong, learned more than 60 years ago that true success is not reserved for those with superior ability, but for individuals—any individuals—willing to abide by a definite set of laws God set in motion that will guarantee successful results.

It is that set of laws that provides the foundation and standard for everything taught at Herbert W. Armstrong College.

If you want to learn more about the uniqueness of Armstrong College, request a free copy of the booklet named after our college motto: Education With Vision.

Rekindle Your First Love

Rekindle Your First Love

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Make your marriage the way it used to be!
From the July 2010 Trumpet Print Edition

My wife and I recently attended a beautiful wedding between two young people who faithfully promised, before God, to cleave to each other as one family for the rest of their natural lives. There is no more joyous ceremony than that, particularly if you understand that marriage and family are actually God-plane relationships. God ordained these institutions to help prepare us for eternal life in His divine Family.

That’s what makes a God-centered wedding so momentous. If the two remain faithful—to God first, then to each other—it marks the beginning of an exciting journey that leads right into the Kingdom of God.

As we observed that young couple the other night, my wife and I couldn’t help but reminisce about the days that led up to our own marriage vows more than 13 years ago—and the wonderful years of marriage we have enjoyed since that time.

Like those two young people we congratulated the other night, my wife and I were brought up in wonderful, God-fearing families. Marriage, we had been taught, was a career that one must prepare for. That meant using textbooks like The Missing Dimension in Sex to understand God’s perspective on dating, love, marriage and sex.

A good marriage, we were also taught, doesn’t happen by accident. It takes a submissive attitude toward God and hard work to make it happy and fulfilling.

Early on, when the romance is brand new, the work it takes to build the relationship can seem so effortless and smooth-going. For me, it hardly seemed like work at all!

When the soon-to-be wife of my youth lived far away from me, our eagerly anticipated weekly, three-hour phone conversations seemed as if they were short, five-minute chats. The handwritten letters and notes we exchanged would go on and on—page after page. And when I received them, I read them again and again.

When she moved to Oklahoma, those phone calls and letters turned into long walks together, stimulating conversations, family socials, game nights, church activities and dancing. The more we dated, the more we talked, the more time we spent together, the more we knew how much we loved each other.

We went through marriage counseling together—studied The Missing Dimension in Sex together. During the engagement, we worked together to plan the wedding—create a budget, look for the venue, order the buffet, write the guest list, mail invitations, choose music and arrange the honeymoon.

All that planning—the many years of preparing for our marriage career—culminated in the most joyous ceremony there is: our glorious wedding day! The elegant ceremony only lasted about 15 minutes—but what an exhilarating, emotionally draining experience it was for my wife and me.

We still laugh about the lighter moment we shared amid the formal setting.

For the start of the wedding, just before the bridal party entered the hall, my wife had choreographed a moving three-minute candle-lighting ceremony. It ended with our mothers walking onstage to light two candles.

In the ceremony, after my wife and I made our vows and exchanged rings, we took the two candles, joined their flames together and lit another, larger “unity candle.” After that, we were supposed to blow out the two smaller candles—which we did. Unfortunately, the forceful blast my wife exhaled also managed to extinguish the unity candle.

The flame we meant to keep burning had quickly died out! It was the one hiccup to an otherwise flawless ceremony.

Over the past 13 years, you could say, we’ve had our occasional hiccups. But the flame we lit together during our courtship—and faithfully promised to stoke forever after—is still going strong. It’s not always as easy and effortless as it once was. In fact, once the newness wears off, it is easy to let down in some areas.

For example, I don’t always open the car door for my wife like I used to. But you know what? When I do, it still makes her smile. And that’s the thing—all those little things that added up to a lot of love and affection still work, if I do them. She still loves a bouquet of fresh flowers—a thoughtful card or an unexpected chat over the phone. When I make omelets on Sabbath morning, it always reminds us of our honeymoon. We still make time for and thoroughly enjoy those long conversations. We try to plan getaways from time to time. We schedule lunch dates on the calendar. We still love to dance. And hold hands. And say I love you every day. We kiss every morning, before I head off to work—and again at night when I return home.

I guess you could say we’re still dating. It’s such an important, yet often overlooked, key to building and maintaining a great marriage.

In Revelation 2, God praised the first-century Christians for the way they began their relationship with God. “Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love” (verse 4). They grew weary in well doing. They stopped doing the things that made the relationship flourish early on in their spiritual romance. And notice—it doesn’t say God abandoned them. They left God. They left their first love.

In verse 5, God offers this simple solution: “Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works.”

Herein lies the key to building a successful family relationship, whether it involves a newly begotten Christian and Jesus Christ or a newly married couple. Remember all the romantic little things you repeatedly did at the very beginning of your courtship? Keep doing them, God says.

If you do, the flame of your first love will never go out.

China vs. EU—East Meets West

China vs. EU—East Meets West

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Two great markets now dominate world trade—the European Union and China. What does this mean for the American and British people?

Two massive markets dominate the globe today—the European Union and China. Neither can at the moment survive without the other. This is a comparatively recent phenomenon that, given the normal pace of history, has developed quite suddenly in the wake of the rapidly descending power and influence of the Anglo-Saxons.

The 19th century saw Great Britain dominate world trade. Following World War i, America rapidly ascended to global dominance in trade, a situation that was to persist till the late 20th century. From the mid-20th century onward, competition from Japan sliced heavily into Anglo-American global market share. In the last decade of the 20th century, a united Germany powered the European Union into position as the most dominant trading bloc in the world. Then, a few months ago, China just edged the EU off its pinnacle.

Now, these two great markets are becoming mutually dependent on each other in order to maintain their present growth and economic standards—at the expense of the rapidly fading Anglo-Saxon emporium.

China’s view of the ascendancy of the EU was summed up in a strategic policy paper published in 2003. The Telegraph.co.uk reported (Oct. 14, 2003):

The European Union is the world’s rising superpower, poised to overtake both the United States and Japan as the biggest trade and investment force in China, according to a strategic policy paper published by Beijing yesterday.The Chinese government said the European Union was transforming the global landscape with its successful new currency and strides toward a joint foreign policy and a defense and judicial union.Describing EU integration as “irreversible”, Beijing marveled at Europe’s 25 to 35 percent share of the global economy and its projected 450 million population ….

The Chinese strategy paper pulled no punches when considering the effect of any China-EU trade nexus on the U.S. in particular (ibid.):

The white paper follows a flurry of Sino-European ventures, including the Galileo global satellite system, described as a direct challenge to the American [Global Positioning System] monopoly in space.The two sides are also working together on nuclear research.France and Germany have been pushing hardest for closer ties with China, hoping to cash in on a lucrative market but also to develop a strategic alliance as a counterweight to American power ….

Thus it becomes apparent that trade is not only the reason for warmer relations between China and the EU. There are strategic military interests involved as well, as these two powers vie with each other and with Russia in attempts to fill the global security gap that will eventuate as America’s uncontrollable economic and financial woes lead to the inevitable degrading of its global military presence. The Telegraph.co.uk continued:

Last June, French Defense Minister Michele Alliot-Marie proposed sharing sensitive military technology with Beijing. She called for a softening of the arms embargo imposed on the country after the Tiananmen Square massacre in 1989. …Yesterday’s white paper said the ever-closer military ties rendered the EU embargo a relic from the last century.China’s efforts to court Brussels reflect a new mood of respect for the union across Asia. India is also rushing to upgrade its ties with Europe, recruiting extra staff to lobby EU officials and [members of the European Parliament].

Seven years after the release of that strategy paper, it has become apparent that the symbiotic relationship since developed between the EU and China has them in lockstep as leaders of the global economy. Apparent troubles surrounding Europe’s “successful new currency,” the euro, have recently served to highlight this.

Last week, as the markets were driven with the spurious fear of impending collapse of the eurozone, China came out in overt support of the EU. Wall Street reacted immediately with a 2 percent gain in the stock index: “Stocks rocketed higher Thursday after China reassured investors it doesn’t plan to sell the European debt it holds. … China’s show of confidence in Europe let the market resume a climb that stalled late Wednesday ….” (Associated Press, May 27).

Other reports last week showed the impact that China and the EU now have on global finance (EUobserver, May 27):

The vagaries of modern-day currency trading and the huge influence of Chinese policy decisions were on full display on Thursday (May 27) as media speculation about Beijing’s foreign reserve strategy caused the euro to see-saw. …But the euro then recovered during Thursday morning trading after China’s State Administration of Foreign Exchange issued a statement [indicating] “China is a responsible and long-term investor in the investment of foreign exchange reserves and we will always follow the principle of diversification. … Europe was, is and will remain one of the major investment markets for China’s foreign exchange reserves.”

In a statement by EU Parliamentary President Jerzy Buzek also issued on Thursday, he mentioned that China’s increasingly important role in the global economy will be one of the themes he will address when he meets the country’s leaders in Beijing this week.

Buzek declared that “Europe appreciated China’s ‘steady commitment to macroeconomic stability and its recent development,’ but insisted that a multilateral approach to the global problems was needed” (ibid.).

Few understand the great prophetic significance of this strengthening of relationships between the European Union—in particular its leading power, Germany—and the great Eastern trading bloc led by China. Both China and Russia are seeking a closer alliance with the EU as Anglo-Saxon influence wanes globally. This will soon have profound influence on the future of this globe, especially in the Middle East and Eurasia.

Believe it or not, the outcome to this current change in the global order is prophesied in your Bible! Read our booklet Russia and China in Prophecy and tune in to the Key of David television program to hear our editor in chief expound soon on these vital prophecies as they are being played out today. These developing events surrounding the EU and China will soon drastically affect every human being on this planet!