Tell Your Children the Truth

Tell Your Children the Truth

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When grading their performance, give them the gift of perspective.
From the September 2010 Trumpet Print Edition

“Why don’t you believe in me?” my 8-year-old son asked me and my wife recently. He had just finished performing in the North American Irish Dancing Championships in Orlando, Florida, and wanted to know why we didn’t think he would claim one of the top three positions in the competition.

“We do believe in you,” my wife said. “And we’re proud of you. But there were at least three or four other boys in the competition who simply danced better than you.”

As my son left for the awards ceremony later that night, my wife whispered, “I hope he gets fifth, but I could also see him missing the top five and landing in sixth place.” There were 11 contestants in his group and both of us felt that, at his current skill level, he was somewhere in the middle of the pack.

He ended up placing sixth, which is what he deserved—and needed, if he intends to get better. On the way home, we praised him for making it to nationals and for placing sixth in such a difficult competition. We then told him that if he wanted to place higher, he simply had to practice more—and better.

One thing I like about the Irish dance association is that dancers are promoted only when they perform well. That’s such an important concept to remember when working with children—particularly in this self-esteem age, where everyone is a champion and no one fails.

Consider the dreadful state of modern education. According to several reports cited in the Boston Globe July 4, the number of hours college students spend studying has been in sharp decline over the past half century. One survey found that nearly two thirds of incoming freshmen admitted to studying less than six hours per week during their senior year of high school. Another study asked college students to identify the biggest obstacles to their academic success. Topping the list, ahead of family difficulties and stressful lives, was this shocker: They simply don’t know how to study.

But why learn how to study when you can be an “A student” for merely warming a seat? In 2004, as Jean Twenge points out in Generation Me, almost half of college freshmen said they maintained an A average in high school. Compare that to 1968, when only 18 percent of college freshmen graduated from high school as straight A students.

These studies reveal the embarrassing outcome of self-esteem education. The halls of America’s high schools are now crammed with “A students” who’ve never really learned how to study. We’re living in a world where everyone is a championship dancer—and no one has to practice.

In 2007, the results of an international test found that American students ranked 21st out of 30 industrialized nations in mathematics—25th in science. Yet, when asked to rate their own performance in the fields of science and mathematics, Americans penciled themselves in at the top of the list, ahead of their international competitors.

We may be getting dumber, but when it comes to self-esteem, no one outperforms America!

“By their estimation, today’s young people have been praised so much that some flail at their first taste of criticism or failure,” John Keilman writes for the Chicago Tribune. “Others develop a keen sense of privilege, believing they’ll coast into a golden future regardless of their actual talents, accomplishments or willingness to work” (July 4).

The fruits of self-esteem education have been disastrous in every respect.

In the Bible, God plainly reveals that the most important, and long-forgotten, principles of education are discipline and self-control—not self-esteem. Every man who strives to master a skill, the Apostle Paul wrote, exercises self-control in all things. “Do you not know that in a race all the runners compete, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it” (1 Corinthians 9:24-25, Revised Standard Version).

In a world where every runner is guaranteed a first-place trophy, there is little incentive to encourage athletes to work harder to improve their performance.

“Leave no child behind?” Rafe Esquith asks in Lighting Their Fires. “That’s ridiculous. Some children should be left behind until they’re truly ready to move on to the next level.”

If you want your children to move on to the next level, don’t lie to them about their performance. Believe in them—encourage them—and love them enough to tell them the truth. Offer constructive criticism. Teach them to be disciplined. Show them how they can get better. Motivate them to work harder.

This is the way God works with His children. “For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works” (Matthew 16:27).

The ill effects of defense cuts

Max Boot from the Washington Post warned about the dangers of cuts to the U.S. defense budget on Friday, citing historical examples.

Although the past decade or so has seen increases in military spending, the Pentagon is being pressured to cut spending from both political and economic fronts. In addition to the burdensome deficit, analysts think support for Pentagon spending will diminish as Barack Obama withdraws more and more troops from Iraq and Afghanistan.

The New York Times quoted Erskine B. Bowles, a former chief of staff to President Bill Clinton and a co-chairman of the deficit commission, saying, “We’re going to have to take a hard look at defense if we are going to be serious about deficit reduction.” Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee Daniel Inouye said, “I’m pretty certain cuts are coming—in defense and the whole budget.” Last week, the Senate Appropriations Committee voted to cut $8 billion from the Pentagon’s request for an $18 billion budget increase.

Boot noted that America has historically diminished its military might after each major conflagration—and it has always been to ill effect. He wrote, “If there were ever evidence that it’s impossible to learn from history—or at least that it’s difficult for politicians to do so—this is it.”

The American Revolution saw a troop reduction from 35,000 to just 10,000, which weakened the nation in the wake of the Whiskey Rebellion, the quasi-war with France, the Barbary wars and the war of 1812. There was also a troop reduction after World War i, which increased vulnerabilities in the lead-up to World War ii. Boot referred to the period after the Vietnam War as the era of the “hollow army,” which was “notorious for its inadequate equipment, discipline, training and morale”—a period which further emboldened America’s enemies.

“It might still make sense to cut the defense budget—if it were bankrupting us and undermining our economic well-being. But that’s not the case,” Boot wrote. “Defense spending is less than 4 percent of gross domestic product and less than 20 percent of the federal budget. That means our armed forces are much less costly in relative terms than they were throughout much of the 20th century. Even at roughly $549 billion, our core defense budget is eminently affordable. It is, in fact, a bargain considering the historic consequences of letting our guard down.”

As other countries rise to the top in the world both economically and militarily (notably China), America and Britain demonstrate both a lack of funds and a lack of military might (as we wrote, Britain doesn’t even have enough money to protect itself against potential threats now). This leaves the Anglo-Saxon nations more vulnerable to enemies and potential threats than ever before.

Oldest script found in Jerusalem

An ancient clay fragment dating back to the 14th century bce was recently discovered by a Hebrew University excavation led by Dr. Eilat Mazar. The find contains Akkadian cuneiform script, making it the oldest text ever found in Jerusalem. It appears to have once been part of a tablet.

Archeologists deciphered the words “you,” “you were,” “them,” “to do,” and “later” from the fragment.

According to Hebrew University Prof. Wayne Horowtiz, the high quality of the writing “indicates that the person responsible for creating the tablet was a first-class scribe.” Dr. Mazar believes the fragment likely came from a royal court.

Horowitz said, “In those days, you would expect to find a first-class scribe only in a large, important place.” Horowitz also explained the fragment was made from Jerusalem clay, further attesting to Jerusalem being a central city of the area at that time.

The 14th century bce predates the ancient Israelites’ entrance to the Promised Land, but Bible history reveals Jerusalem was an important city prior to King David’s rule. It was the location where Abraham paid tithes to King Melchizedek (Genesis 14:17-20), and it later became a Jebusite stronghold (1 Chronicles 11:4).

The tiny fragment is 2 cm (0.8 inch) long and 1 cm (0.4 inch) thick and was found during wet sifting two months ago. It was pulled out of fill from an area of ancient Jerusalem know as the Ophel—the area between the Old City’s southern wall and the City of David.

Dr. Mazar released the find to the press only after the piece was carefully analyzed. She called the discovery “one of the most important finds we’ve ever had.”

The Week in Review

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A new giant leak, a state department for the U.S. of E., troubles in Korea, problems with Facebook, and the immigration showdown.

Middle East

Details of more than 90,000 secret military documents relating to Afghanistan that had been leaked to the WikiLeaks website were published by the New York Times and two other newspapers on Sunday. Despite the hype surrounding the massive intelligence leak, the documents exposed thus far reveal little new about the war in Afghanistan. Perhaps the most critical information relates to Pakistan’s support of the Taliban in Afghanistan. The leaked documents accuse Pakistan of providing both supplies and sanctuary for Taliban fighters. The secret military field reports detail how Pakistan’s intelligence service has guided the Afghan insurgency, even while Islamabad receives more than $1 billion a year from Washington for its help fighting the Taliban. Stratfor points out that the Inter-Services Intelligence agency’s relationship with the Taliban is well known. It appears the WikiLeaks merely provide additional detail of a war that is not going well for the United States, and of Pakistan’s double-dealing. TheTrumpet.com has long pointed out the duplicity of Pakistan as a U.S. ally in the war in Afghanistan. “The fact that Washington must take the ‘friends’ and ‘allies’ it can—even if they fuel the passions (and the apparatus) of the very enemy the U.S. is fighting—demonstrates the compromised nature of America’s power on the world scene,” we wrote Aug. 1, 2005. And from Islamabad’s point of view, it is covering its bases, knowing that the U.S. is not in Afghanistan for the long haul. Why would it want to make an enemy of the up-and-coming power right across its border?

On Monday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Israel was ready to begin direct negotiations with the Palestinians. Speaking to the Knesset’s Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, Netanyahu said that if the Palestinians were willing to open direct talks, Israel might turn over to their control a key road in the north Jerusalem area. “This is one of the trust-building steps about which I spoke with the Americans,” he explained. The Jerusalem Post points out, however, that the Israeli prime minister’s statement does not necessarily bring direct negotiations closer. Prime Minister Netanyahu told the members of the Knesset that the Palestinians did not actually want to hold direct talks. If and when any direct talks do occur, we can know through Bible prophecy—and the history of the peace process—that they will only further erode Israel’s security rather than bring peace.

On Sunday, Yemen’s local al Qaeda node, al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (aqap), attacked a military checkpoint, killing six Yemeni soldiers. This follows a July 19 attack by aqap on the southern headquarters of Yemen’s security and intelligence agency, which resulted in 11 deaths, as well as other attacks on Yemeni security officials. Stratfor reports that the strikes against Yemen’s security-intelligence establishment indicate the terrorist group has broken its long-held tacit agreement with the Yemeni government not to directly target the state. “[I]ndications are that aqap will continue its assault against both government and Western targets in Yemen,” Stratfor writes (July 27). It was al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula that claimed responsibility for the failed attempt to blow up the Denver-bound Northwest Flight 253 on Christmas Day last year. Nidal Hassan, the Fort Hood shooter who killed 13 last November, also had ties with aqap. It appears the terror group is gaining in strength. At the same time, Yemen is experiencing an increase in violence in the north between Shiite al-Houthi rebels—which are supported by Iran—and pro-government militias. Over 70 people have been killed in fighting that began July 15.

Europe

European foreign ministers approved the overall structure of Europe’s External Action Service (eeas) July 26, paving the way for Europe’s own diplomatic corps to become operational in December. The foreign ministers approved the structure of the eeas already agreed upon by members of the European Parliament in Madrid on June 21. Under the Madrid agreement, at least one third of eeas staff will be national diplomats from member states, with at least 60 percent being permanent EU officials. “It is historic to be able to witness the birth, at least at the decision level, of a European diplomacy,” said Belgian Foreign Minister Steven Vanackere after the July 26 meeting. EU Foreign Minister Catherine Ashton will now begin to appoint heads of the different embassies. However, the diplomatic service will not be able to go into operation until the European Parliament has agreed new staffing and budgetary rules. The eeas will operate 136 European embassies, employ around 6,000 people, and have a budget of around €7 billion—including EU money spent on aid and peacekeeping. Even before the latest agreement, British mep David Campbell Bannerman said, “I believe that through the Lisbon Treaty, through Baroness Ashton’s role, and the External Action Service, the European Union now has all four criteria it needs under international law to declare itself a single nation-state, a United States of Europe, and to do so overnight.” In setting up its own foreign service, Europe is taking another step toward becoming a superstate.

The International Court of Justice (icj) ruled on July 22 that Kosovo’s declaration of independence was legal under international law. The court did not rule that Kosovo was a legal state, however. The ruling, passed by a majority of 10 to 4, stated “the declaration of independence of the 17th of February, 2008, did not violate general international law.” The president of the icj, Hisashi Owada, stated that international law has no “prohibition on declarations of independence.” After he left the court, Kosovo’s Foreign Minister Skender Hyseni said, “This is a great day for Kosovo.” The court opinion stated that Kosovo’s legitimacy as an independent nation would not come from the icj but from the countries that choose to recognize its independence. International support for an independent state is inevitable. In addition to support from the United States, Kosovo is certain to enjoy enthusiastic backing from the European Union, especially Germany and the Vatican, both of which have worked behind the scenes since 1991 engineering the dissolution of Yugoslavia. To learn more about Europe’s crafty manipulations in the Balkans, request our free booklet The Rising Beast.

Asia

North Korean despot Kim Jong Il threatened the U.S. last Saturday with nuclear war because of joint naval drills between Washington and South Korea. The exercises, held from Sunday until Wednesday, came four months after a torpedo sunk a South Korean ship, the Chonan. Involving 8,000 sailors, 200 aircraft and 20 ships, they were intended to be a display of force and unity by the U.S. and South Korea. Though they were titled “Invincible Spirit,” the lead-up to the drills reveals the spirit behind America’s alliance with South Korea to be far from invincible. Soon after a May investigation published the conclusion that North Korea was almost certainly responsible for sinking the Chonan, the U.S. and South Korea scheduled joint military exercises for early June. But America revealed that its reluctance to antagonize China outweighed its desire to stand up for Seoul when it repeatedly delayed the exercises. As an eventual compromise, the U.S. decided to hold the exercises on the east side of South Korea rather than in the Yellow Sea, as it had originally planned. Washington’s timid approach did not go unnoticed by South Korea. Stratfor wrote: “But what Seoul has seen is the U.S. hesitation to fulfill what South Koreans perceive to be a basic and fully justified request of its closest ally in an important—albeit limited—crisis. Watching the United States fail to honor that request for fear of inviting some Chinese ire … has resonated deeply in the South Korean psyche as a sign that the American security guarantee is not reliable” (July 13). No wonder Kim Jong Il is unafraid to threaten nuclear war when he sees that his bluster will effect no real consequences. “The army and people of the dprk [Democratic People’s Republic of North Korea] will legitimately counter with their powerful nuclear deterrence the largest-ever nuclear war exercises to be staged by the U.S. and the South Korean puppet forces,” North Korea’s official news agency quoted a government official as saying. The immediate Korean crisis will blow over, but Seoul’s distrust of the U.S. will linger and intensify. As the U.S.’s weak will becomes more obvious to South Korea, Seoul will draw closer to Asian nations, like China, in its search for security.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton invoked a heated response from Chinese officials on July 23 when she stated that America might step in to referee a long-simmering territorial dispute between China and its smaller neighbors in the South China Sea. Speaking at a forum of Southeast Asian countries in Vietnam, Mrs. Clinton surprised Beijing by saying America had a “national interest” in mediating the dispute over the Spratly Islands between China, Vietnam, the Philippines, Brunei, Malaysia, Taiwan and Indonesia. The islands and surrounding sea floor supposedly contain large oil and gas deposits. Clinton’s statement may have evoked an abnormally heated response because she issued it just days before the U.S.-South Korean joint naval exercises. Although the war games were officially aimed at sending a message to North Korea, many in China feel they were really intended to signal to China that America is still the dominant naval power in the region. One Chinese academic accuses America of playing the last card it has to stay relevant to Asian affairs: military supremacy. America can no longer compete with China economically, so it is getting desperate to maintain its influence. State-run news media described Mrs. Clinton’s speech as “an attack” and an effort to limit Chinese power. China’s Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi specifically warned the U.S. against interfering in the dispute. For now, America holds the most powerful military cards, and its aircraft carriers allow it to go where it wants. But as its allies in the region surely recognize, one of the earliest casualties in a collapsing economy is often a military budget. U.S. power projection in the Pacific has peaked. And American friends and foes alike know it—even if it is still not recognized by the American public.

Latin America

Tensions between Venezuela and Colombia rose this week, as outgoing Colombian President Álvaro Uribe accused Venezuela of harboring Colombian rebels. Colombia presented photographic and video evidence before the Organization of American States on July 22 that 1,500 militants and several leaders belonging to the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (farc) were taking refuge in Venezuela. They called for an international body to monitor the border. Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez responded by breaking off diplomatic relations with Colombia, saying Colombia’s accusations were really American-inspired “aggression.” On July 25, Venezuela said it would cut off oil to the U.S. if Colombia attacks. “If there was any armed aggression against Venezuela from Colombian territory or from anywhere else, promoted by the Yankee empire, we would suspend oil shipments to the United States, even if we have to eat stones here,” Chávez said. “We would not send a drop more to U.S. refineries.” However, Chávez has made this threat many times before and never followed through.

Africa

The African Union (AU) has agreed to send 4,000 more troops to join its peacekeeping force in Somalia. If the extra troops materialize (not all AU nations make good on their promises), the AU will have over 10,000 soldiers in the country. Uganda, the main contributor to the peacekeeping force, has expanded its troops’ mandate beyond merely defending themselves against the rebel group al Shabaab. Following al Shabaab’s attack in Uganda early this month, Uganda told its soldiers they can now preemptively attack al Shabaab if they feel the AU’s forces are under threat. Al Shabaab is also gaining strength after a warlord in the northern part of the country, Sheik Mohamed Said Atom, allied himself with the rebel group. More warlords may follow, galvanizing against the AU and government forces.

Anglo-America

One of the five longest-serving members of the House of Representatives began facing trial in the Capitol on Thursday. Rep. Charles Rangel, 80, faced charges of a long string of unethical actions, including tax evasions and inappropriately using his congressional office to raise money. Rangel has been a member of the House for 40 years and is only the latest lawmaker to be exposed as corrupt.

msnbc.com reported on Thursday that personal details for 100 million users of Facebook have been compiled and published online in a downloadable file. An online security consultant, Ron Bowes, used a code to collect details not hidden by privacy settings and assemble a directory of personal information that is available online and has been downloaded by several thousand people. Those people can now access non-hidden information on the 100 million users, as well as other users who were “friended” by them, even if those third parties had their names hidden on Facebook.

On Wednesday, a federal district judge blocked the most contentious parts of Arizona’s new immigration law, preventing police from asking suspected illegal aliens for identification. The injunction was granted to the U.S. Department of Justice, which sued Arizona, the state that is at the epicenter of illegal immigration into America. Gov. Jan Brewer said she would take the case to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals and all the way to the Supreme Court if necessary. Watch this situation closely for its explosive potential to exacerbate racial tensions and social unrest in the United States.

Harvard Flunks Final Exams

Harvard Flunks Final Exams

Index Open

In a world with no absolutes, why bother with testing?

When graded next to their international counterparts, American students rank near the bottom in science, math and literacy scores. And it’s only getting worse. As we reported a few years ago, an International Adult Literacy Survey found that Americans educated in the 1950s placed second against international competition. American students in the 1960s came in third—in the 1970s, fifth.

And those educated during the 1990s had plummeted to 14th place on the international scale.

One way to avoid these declining scores, Harvard now seems to be saying, is to do away with exams altogether. Until recently, unless a professor received permission in advance to waive the final exam, it was assumed that each course would have a test at the end of the semester.

Not anymore. As of this September, according to National Review Online, unless a teacher officially informs the registrar that he or she intends to end their course with an exam, the administration will assume the teacher will not administer one.

It’s been trending this way for some time. According to Jay M. Harris, the dean of undergraduate education, out of 1,137 undergraduate-level courses this past spring, only 259 scheduled finals. It was the lowest number of tests since 2002, when Harvard offered 200 fewer courses.

At the graduate level, out of 500 courses, only 14 had final exams.

Harvard’s new General Education Curriculum also plans to forgo the requirement for final examinations. The English and history departments, for example, have already dropped senior-year general examinations. Last fall, the English department had only five courses that offered final exams.

Not surprisingly, one professor of German art and culture observed that attendance diminished late in the semester of courses that didn’t offer exams. He also noticed a connection between dropping exams and professors being absent from the campus during the month of May. Harris is already hinting that Harvard will shorten its academic calendar due to the ease in testing demands.

“What’s really happening,” observed National Review Online, “is that Harvard is yielding to education’s most primitive temptation: lowering standards and waiving measurements for the sake of convenience.”

But there is more to this than just dumbing down academic requirements for the sake of convenience. The purpose of modern education, Prof. Allan Bloom noted in his 1987 classic, The Closing of the American Mind, is certainly not to turn students into scholars. It’s to teach them that truth is relative; that there are no absolutes—just openness and tolerance.

And in the moral relativist world of modern education, it’s only fitting that America’s foremost institution of learning abandon the last results-based method of instruction on campus: the final exam.

Soon, other colleges and universities will follow Harvard’s lead. As Herbert W. Armstrong wrote 45 years ago, “To question this world’s system of education, or its standards, would seem ridiculous. That’s because people are prone to assume—to carelessly take for granted without question whatever is popular—whatever has general public acceptance” (Plain Truth, December 1965).

New System of Education Coming

In the world of tomorrow’s educational system, to be established at Jesus Christ’s return, the evil source of man’s nature will be fully exposed for what it is and then transformed into God’s divine nature. What few people realize—even in the world of religion—is that this plan of salvation will actually be offered to mankind through a universal system of true education!

Besides being Maker and Ruler over all there is, God is also mankind’s Teacher and Master. In John 3:2, Nicodemus referred to Jesus Christ as a teacher who came from God. The Greek word for “teacher” appears dozens of times throughout the gospels—oftentimes translated as “master.” Jesus Christ was a teacher who taught His disciples, or students,lessons that came from the Father.

As our primary Educator, God “reveals knowledge beyond and outside the scope of human mind of itself to comprehend,” Mr. Armstrong wrote in The Incredible Human Potential. He reveals that knowledge to submissive students who are willing to look to Him as the final authority for what is right and wrong.

Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves,” God inspired the Apostle Paul to write. “Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?” (2 Corinthians 13:5). The Greek word for “examine” means to test, to scrutinize, or discipline. And “reprobate” refers to someone who fails to pass the test.

If there is anything we have learned about the twisted and perverted approach to modern education in this present evil world (Galatians 1:4), it’s that if we’re going to be educated the right way, we must first examine ourselves in relation to the authoritative Word of Almighty God.

FHA: ‘Subprime’ Is Our Name

FHA: ‘Subprime’ Is Our Name

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Ancient Israel and the Federal Housing Authority connection

Ancient Israel is famous for not learning from its history. Over and over again the nation would commit the same sins, and consequently suffer the same punishment. Do we see the same thing happening in America today?

This month the Federal Housing Authority (fha) said it would no longer back mortgages for individuals with credit scores of less than 500. But don’t worry; if you have a score of 501, you won’t have a problem.

In case you are unfamiliar with credit scores, a rating of 500 is low—as in terribly, atrociously, horribly low—as in, how is it possible that you got such a low score?

That raises a question: What was the government thinking issuing these kind of loans for the past three years?

Does it make any sense risking taxpayer money on people who are virtually guaranteed to default on their mortgage? Why would the government help people purchase homes they cannot afford? If you have a score below 500, you have probably never made a single payment on time, and you have probably defaulted on loans multiple times.

It is as if the government never learned a single thing from the subprime mortgage meltdown that triggered Wall Street’s spectacular banking collapse, which resulted in the worst recession since the 1930s.

Apparently nothing has changed in Washington. As cnn brings out, the “practical impact of this move will be extremely limited.” And why is that? Because virtually no one has such a bad score.

What this means is that, as far as the government is concerned, anyone who wants a loan can still get one courtesy of taxpayers.

Where private banks stopped issuing subprime mortgages (because it almost bankrupted them), the government has jumped in with both feet. In fact, 95 percent of all mortgages issued in America are now guaranteed by the government. That means that if the homeowner defaults and he owes more on the mortgage than the house is worth, taxpayers pick up the tab.

Bad credit score? No down payment? No problem! The government has a loan program for you. Just ask the fha, Ginnie Mae, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, the Department of Housing and Urban Development, or the Department of Veteran Affairs. Even the U.S. Department of Agriculture is getting in on the subprime action.

The Department of Veteran Affairs (VA), for example, makes possible “zero down” mortgages as high as $1 million available to borrowers. By law, the VA offers most of its loans with no down payment required. It even subsidizes some loans to make possible 1 percent interest mortgages! And the average VA loan is over $200,000. Taxpayers, through this government program, now guarantee close to $300 billion worth of mortgages.

It is obvious that America hasn’t learned a thing from the mortgage meltdown. In 2008, it was the private banks that put the economy at risk. Now, instead of letting the bubble pop and the housing market reestablish at sustainable levels, the government is doing everything it can—including lending money to people who can’t afford it—to keep home prices artificially inflated.

This cannot end well.

Ancient Israel never learned its lesson: If you keep doing what you are doing, you will keep getting what you are getting. Thus the cycle perpetuated: broken laws … removal of blessings … escalating curses … and eventually captivity. When things finally got bad enough, the nation would repent and cry out to God. God would have mercy and send a deliverer. But once things improved, Israel would soon forget God and return to paganism.

But at least Israel knew enough to ask God for deliverance. Things would have to get pretty bad—as in end of the present world—before America would do the same.

And so America’s problems will only intensify.

When the next housing downturn comes, will taxpayers even be able to borrow the money from foreigners to pick up the tab again? Or will the world cut off the world’s biggest subprime nation?