Catholic Europe vs. Islamic Hordes: Round 2

Catholic Europe vs. Islamic Hordes: Round 2

JULIEN WARNAND/AFP/Getty Images

The same forces that made the Battle of Tours-Poitiers inevitable are at work today.

In his enduring tome The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, Edward Gibbon wrote that the clash between Muslim and Catholic armies on a dusty road 200 miles south of France in a.d. 732 was “an encounter which would change the history of the whole world.”

If the outcome of the battle of Tours-Poitiers was different, Gibbon wrote, perhaps “the interpretation of the Koran would now be taught in the schools of Oxford, and her pulpits might demonstrate to a circumcised people the sanctity and truth of the revelation of Mohammed.” In other words, were it not for the Catholic army of Frankish General Charles Martel—aka “Charles the Hammer”—Europe might now be a Muslim continent.

We need to think about the battle of Tours-Poitiers. When you consider the conditions that made Tours-Poitiers inevitable, it’s hard not to conclude that those same factors are in place today.

The eighth century was the golden age of Islam. Muslims were empowered and Islam’s global reach was rapidly expanding. By 732 the Saracens had conquered the southern shores of the Mediterranean and established Islam across the underbelly of Europe—from Palestine, Syria and Egypt, across North Africa to Morocco, and even into Spain and Portugal. By the mid-eighth century, Muslim ambition—hot, focused, menacing, and with decades of momentum behind it—was making a dash toward its ultimate target: the conquest of Christian Europe.

Studying the global presence and power of Islam today, and the fact that millions of Muslims have put down roots inside Europe, it’s evident that Islam is positioned much like it was in eighth century—just before the battle of Tours-Poitiers. In 732, the factor that made the clash of civilizations inevitable was the willingness of Catholic Europe to defend itself.

Today, this same willingness is brewing inside Europe!

“The baseline in Europe for what politicians say and do about immigration and the role of Islamic communities in their countries is moving,” the New York Times reported this week. “It is shifting in a way that mainstream politics now permits its leaders to say flatly that immigrants, Muslims in large part, must accommodate the rules and traditions of the societies they enter, rather than vice versa.”

Anti-immigration, particularly anti-Muslim, sentiment is swelling across the Continent.

On Sunday, national elections in Sweden saw the Sweden Democrats, a far-right, anti-immigration party, snap up 20 parliament seats and deprive the ruling Social Democrat government of its majority. There was nothing ambiguous about the campaign of the Sweden Democrats, blogged the bbc’s Gavin Hewitt: “In one advertisement they showed a white pensioner being edged aside by burka-clad mothers in the benefits queue. Their leader, Jimmie Akesson, described Islam as the biggest threat to Sweden since World War ii.”

Sweden is not an anomaly. Anti-immigrant parties are in government in Italy and brandish significant influence in the parliaments of Austria, Bulgaria, Denmark, Hungary, Latvia, Slovakia and Sweden. In the Netherlands, Geert Wilders, the leader of the anti-Islam Freedom Party, is one of the most popular politicians in the country and is on the cusp of securing a place within the government.

In France last week, the Senate voted 246 to 1 in favor of a bill banning the burka-style Islamic veil in public. Although one or two hurdles remain, the bill has apparently been written in a way that will ensure its safe passage to becoming law. Moreover, France’s burka ban could be the first of many in Europe. A Financial Times survey in March showed that in the UK, Italy, Spain and Germany, a majority support banning the burka. Belgium is currently in the process of passing a similar law.

Politically, railing against immigrants, especially Muslims, is becoming a sure way to win votes in Europe. Across the Continent, politics is becoming “nationalistic and nativist,” warned economist Nouriel Roubini recently. This is “reflected in an anti-immigrant backlash, raids against the Roma, Islamophobia, and the rise of extreme right-wing parties.”

Witness the ruckus touched off by Thilo Sarrazin, the former head of Germany’s Bundesbank and the current poster child of anti-Islamic sentiment. Sarrazin’s recently released, best-selling book, Germany Doing Away With Itself, is a no-holds-barred assault on Muslims as the cause of most of Germany’s problems. The presence of genetically inferior immigrants, Sarrazin argues, is the reason Germans “have accepted as inevitable that Germany will be smaller and dumber.”

“With no other religion,” he writes, “is there such a fluid connection between violence, dictatorship and terrorism as there is with Islam.” Muslims are “unwilling or incapable of integrating into Western society,” he warns.

At first, Sarrazin’s book was met with disgust and disdain from German politicians and the media. The German elite began to rethink their self-righteous standpoint, however, as it became apparent that Sarrazin’s book was striking a chord with millions of Germans.

A grassroots movement quickly emerged in support of Sarrazin, and his anti-immigrant beliefs. A September 5 survey conducted by Emnid pollsters of Germany’s Bild am Sonntag newspaper revealed that nearly one in five Germans would vote for a political party led by Thilo Sarrazin. Another study from Bielefeld University showed that 50 percent of Germans feel there are too many foreigners in the country. “Rarely has a man influenced the German public discourse as much as Sarrazin has done with his book,” Der Spiegel wrote.

Inside Germany and across Europe, the growing popularity of anti-Muslim sentiment—and the increasing proclivity to confront Islam publicly—will ensure tension continues to intensify between Muslims and Europeans. As Europeans become angry and confrontational toward the Muslims in their midst, don’t be surprised if radical Islamists retaliate, which will serve to compound the crisis.

In the context of Bible prophecy, the rising tension between Europe and Islam is one of the most important global trends that we could watch. In chapter 11 of his book, the Prophet Daniel prophesies specifically of a clash between Europe, which Daniel terms the “king of the north,” and radical Islamic armies led by Iran, called the “king of the south.” “And at the time of the end shall the king of the south push at him: and the king of the north shall come against him like a whirlwind, with chariots, and with horsemen, and with many ships; and he shall enter into the countries, and shall overflow and pass over” (verse 40).

Before this colossal clash, Bible prophecy reveals that a modern-day Charles the Hammer will emerge to lead Europe. As Iran and radical Islam “push” and provoke, begging for conflict, this powerful leader, in conjunction with the Vatican, will come to embody the spirit that empowered Charles Martel at the Battle of Tours-Poitiers.

Edward Gibbon wrote that the battle of Tours-Poitiers changed the “history of the whole world.” Bible prophecy says the second “battle of Tours-Poitiers,” which will set off events resulting in the Second Coming of Jesus Christ, will change the history of the universe!

‘American Pride’ Isn’t What It Used to Be

‘American Pride’ Isn’t What It Used to Be

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In our own minds, we have nothing to be ashamed of.

Though times are tough for America in a lot of ways, the country still tops the world at one thing, hands down: selling smut.

In movies, television and pop music, the U.S. remains the world’s behemoth. Exports of American tv are more than triple those of the next three international competitors combined. American films make twice as much money from foreign audiences as from those at home.

What happens, though, when foreigners base their opinions of America on The Dark Knight and Desperate Housewives? They “can’t help but believe that we are a nation in which we have sex with strangers regularly, where we wander the streets well armed and prepared to shoot our neighbors at any provocation, and where the lifestyle to which we aspire is one of rich, cocaine-snorting, decadent sybarites.” Thus wrote Jerrold Keilson in a State Department study of international visitors. (In case you, like me, didn’t know, sybarites are people glutted on luxury and pleasure.)

America’s global influence is plummeting—the dollar is losing its popularity, American interests are being ignored at international summits, allies are peeling away from U.S.-led war efforts. The simultaneous growth of America’s noise and filth industry is not a contradiction. It is actually the mirror image of the same trend: a former superpower in the throes of decline.

The America increasingly on mass-communicated, high-def display to the rest of the world is one feverishly stricken with moral and spiritual sickness. Even as America’s economy shrinks, its corruption grows. As its problems increase and the need for true statesmanship expands, its politics becomes more divided and riotous.

Where the U.S. once led the world in producing oil, coal, steel and iron, it now leads in producing pornography. Where it once dominated the world in automobile manufacturing, it now dominates in celebrity scandal.

Americans have less to be proud of, and more to be ashamed of, than ever. Yet somehow we seem only to get ever louder, brassier, more immodest. The very concept of shame has become antique. In fact, shame is equated with repression—now apparently one of the worst sins someone can commit. Self-control is a psychological hang-up. Condemnation of immorality is, at best, prudishness; at worst, a hate crime.

In the age of FaceBook, YouTube and reality tv, the line between public and private has been erased. What was even recently a cause for humiliation is now texted, posted, tweeted, shared, uploaded and broadcast. In an “anything goes” world, many remain convinced that the boundaries can never be pushed far enough. Nothing is shameful. And nothing is sacred.

A uniquely flamboyant symbol of the trend is “gay pride.” Supposedly seeking acceptance, homosexuals and transsexuals trumpet their moral superiority. As the military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy is being debated, the Army’s deputy chief of staff in charge of personnel matters, Lt. Gen. Thomas P. Bostick, said, “Unfortunately, we have a minority of service members who are still racists and bigoted and you will never be able to get rid of all of them. But these people opposing this new policy will need to get with the program, and if they can’t, they need to get out.” And while officials and policymakers publicly lump Bible-believers in with Neanderthals, Nazis and flat-earthers, homosexuals and transsexuals publicly parade their swagger and self-adoration. What other group holds “pride” marches? We never hear of heterosexual pride, or intact traditional family pride.

America is the greatest, most powerful single nation in human history. Recent decline notwithstanding, it retains enormous influence. It still captivates the world’s attention.

That is what makes its current conduct especially disgraceful.

John Winthrop said in 1630 that if America would conduct itself righteously, “the Lord will be our God and delight to dwell among us, as His own people, and will command a blessing upon us in all our ways, so that we shall see much more of His wisdom, power, goodness and truth than formerly we have been acquainted with. We shall find that the God of Israel is among us, when ten of us shall be able to resist a thousand of our enemies, when He shall make us a praise and glory, that men shall say of succeeding plantations: The Lord make it like that of New England. For we must consider that we will be as a city upon a hill.”

“The eyes of all people are upon us,” he continued, “so that if we deal falsely with our God in this work we have undertaken and so cause Him to withdraw His present help from us, we shall be made a story and a byword throughout the world.”

How prophetic his biblically based words are proving to be. America has become a story and a byword throughout the world—a story filled with far more indecency and debauchery than Governor Winthrop could have even begun to imagine—a byword of greater scorn and contempt than his sensibilities could have tolerated.

But according to biblical prophecy, it is going to get a whole lot worse. As America today is a model of depravity, Scripture shows it is about to become a model of devastation.

In Ezekiel 24, God has some scathing condemnation for America. “Utter a parable unto the rebellious house,” He told the prophet. He is speaking about the modern nations descended from ancient Israel, which include, most prominently, America. He gave instructions to take a pot filled with water and pieces of choice meat, and let it burn up on a raging hot fire. He compared the people of Israel to a pot pitted with rust, completely corroded with wickedness. “If you want to know how God feels about the sin of Israel, listen to what He says in this parable!” writes Gerald Flurry in Ezekiel: The End-Time Prophet. “He says our sin is like rust or green corrosion—it clings to our people, and it seems you can’t get it off unless you burn it off!”

Notice verse 7: The Living Bible paraphrases it, “For her wickedness is evident to all—she boldly murders, leaving blood upon the rocks in open view for all to see; she does not even try to cover it.” This is talking about bold, unrestrained sin, put out on top of a rock—unabashedly publicized using modern technologies—broadcast for the whole world to see!

This precisely describes the exhibitionist effrontery and shamelessness we see in America today.

And how will God respond? “Israel takes the greatest imaginable evils and spews them into the mind and psyche of the world! God will punish them in the same way,” Mr. Flurry writes. “God prophesies, You like to publicize your evil? Then I’ll publicize your bloody punishment! I’ll put it out where the whole world can see it!”

The verses that follow prophesy of how God will fulfill that promise. “Heap on the logs, kindle the fire, boil well the flesh, and empty out the broth, and let the bones be burned up. Then set it empty upon the coals, that it may become hot, and its copper may burn, that its filthiness may be melted in it, its rust consumed” (verses 10-12, Revised Standard Version).

These words should strike fear in us. God is going to empty Israel of its inhabitants—and then burn the pot. Many other prophecies describe America and the other nations of Israel being engulfed in nuclear warfare. (Some of these are described in our booklet We Have Had Our Last Chance.)

As John Winthrop suggested, God actually intended America to be a model of righteousness—and the recipient of untold blessings. This is a deep and inspiring truth, rooted in God’s wonderful purpose for calling the nation of Israel in the first place. Studying Israel’s history, and understanding its connection to the United States today, gives you profound insight into God’s thinking—and His masterful plan to reach all humanity. You can grasp this exciting truth by studying Herbert Armstrong’s book Mystery of the Ages, particularly Chapter 5, “The Mystery of Israel.”

And though prophecy foretells the downfall of the modern nations of Israel, it also foretells the subsequent restoration of their honor—and ultimate fulfillment of their exalted calling: as a positive example to the rest of the world.

Europe’s Roma Controversy

Europe’s Roma Controversy

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What France’s attitude to the Roma tells us about Europe.

Over 1,000 Roma (gypsies) immigrants have been kicked out of France, as Paris draws international condemnation and even comparisons with the Nazis.

“[T]his is a situation I had thought Europe would not have to witness again after the Second World War,” said EU Justice Commissioner Viviane Reding on September 15, as she announced that she planned to take France to the European Court of Justice on charges of ethnic discrimination.

The true situation, while far from Nazi-like—Reding has since apologized for her remarks—does raise some important concerns about Europe’s future.

France’s Roma situation began in late July, when Roma travelers in the small town of St. Aignan rioted, attacking police infrastructure and private property. A French youth was killed during the riot.

In response, French President Nicolas Sarkozy ordered police to close down 300 illegal camps over the next three months.

Although Roma from Romania and Bulgaria have the right to enter France without a visa, as fellow members of the EU, they need residency permits to stay there over three months.

French officials claim they can legally deport these immigrants if they are a burden on society.

The hundreds of thousands of Roma and other travelers who are longstanding inhabitants of France are being left alone.

France is pressuring the Roma to leave “voluntarily.” It pays deportees €300 (us$386) per adult and €100 (us$129) per child—a fact often left unreported by sensationalist journalists and indignant politicians.

France’s actions attracted criticism, but little action, until a memo from the Ministry of the Interior dated August 5 leaked out. The memo stated that of the 300 illegal camps to be dispersed, those belonging to the Roma should be a priority.

This evidence of racial discrimination prompted Reding’s comments, and could lead to legal action from the European Union.

But France is not alone in expelling Roma. They are unpopular in many parts of Europe—often accused of causing a lot of crime.

France’s Interior Minister Brice Hortefeux, for example, stated that crime statistics show that the number of Romanians—most of whom would have been Roma—arrested in Paris rose 138 percent in the past year. Pickpocketing was their most common crime.

Italy’s Roma troubles have also made world headlines. In 2008, a 60-strong mob burned a Roma camp in Naples. The government’s response? Interior Minister Roberto Maroni said, “That is what happens when gypsies steal babies, or when Roma commit sexual violence.” The leader of the right-wing Northern League—whose party is part of Italy’s coalition government—Umberto Bossi, said, “The people do what the political class isn’t able to do.”

Italy proclaimed a state of emergency two years ago—extended in 2009—due to the Roma. It attempted to categorize all Roma in the country, but backed down after stiff opposition.

Denmark also expelled a group of “criminal Roma” in July. Germany has signed a deal to return 12,000 to Kosovo.

As Jean Quatremer, writing in the French paper Liberation, said, “Paris is only guilty of having said loud and clear what others are doing discreetly.”

Morally reprehensible or not, what France’s Roma incident teaches us is this: Europe can be roused to act against a generally unpopular ethnic group.

Instead of the Roma, imagine it is the Muslims: A major act of terrorism causes right-wing politicians to speak out against Islam. Since 9/11, anti-Islamic sentiment has been growing in Europe. This terror attack pushes Europe over the edge—nations start deporting their Muslim populations. Tensions between Islam and Europe rise sharply.

This kind of anti-Islam persecution is not far from what is already happening with the Roma. And the Trumpet has been foretelling it for years.

When the Debtor Challenges the Creditor

When the Debtor Challenges the Creditor

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Could Congress’s attempt to punish China ignite a global trade war?

If the crash of 1929 had been like previous ones, the subsequent hard times might have ended in a year or two. But instead, unprecedented government meddling prolonged the misery for more than a decade by igniting a trade war.

Eighty years later, is America on the cusp of repeating the mistakes of the past?

The Telegraph is reporting that a trade war with China could be imminent. Chinese officials are warning Washington that the U.S. will come off worst if it imposes trade restrictions over allegations that China is artificially suppressing the value of the yuan.

Ding Yifan, a chief official at China’s Development Research Center, said if America became more belligerent, China could respond by not only refusing to lend more money, but by dumping its current holdings of U.S. government debt. Ding’s comments came during a conference in which officials questioned the creditworthiness and reliability of the dollar.

Chinese policy makers are currently deciding how to respond to Washington’s moves to punish Beijing for holding the yuan’s value constant to the dollar. Officials at China’s central bank, however, publicly stated that they would not use America’s vast debt to China to influence U.S. policy.

Tensions are rapidly rising. According to the Telegraph, “The dispute risks escalating if China’s trade surplus with the U.S. climbs further and more U.S. jobs are lost.” Making matters more explosive is the fact that Chinese officials seem convinced that the U.S. is in decline and that China now has enough power to economically challenge America, says analyst Ambrose Evans-Pritchard.

Most Western analysts don’t take the Chinese threat seriously enough. Yes, if China were to dump its dollar holdings it might cause interest rates to soar, but the move would hurt China the most, they say, because it would destroy its best customers. Additionally, the Federal Reserve could just print up whatever money was needed to cover government spending and push interest rates back down. Thus China would lose the most in any trade war, goes the argument.

Unfortunately, these views are childishly simplistic. If the Federal Reserve began widespread dollar printing—of the scale required to redeem China’s vast holdings—it could send the dollar’s value plummeting and even risk destroying the dollar’s place as the world’s reserve currency.

The importance of reserve currency status cannot be overstated. Since the world uses dollars to conduct international trade, there is a built-in demand for dollars that supports their value even when the government runs gargantuan budget deficits. This is why interest rates can be so low, and Americans are able to borrow so much for so little, even though the government has become the world’s largest debtor with a national debt approaching 100 percent of gross domestic product.

If America’s biggest creditor, which is also the world’s biggest exporter, pulled the plug on America, would the world even want dollars anymore? Even if America could survive China’s “nuclear” dollar option, what would happen if just one other major country, like Germany, Japan or Saudi Arabia, took China’s side?

The world is not such a friendly place for America these days. Calls for the end of the dollar as the world’s reserve currency have been heard from more than just Iran and Russia. Other powers and emerging powers, like France and Brazil, have also called for a new global currency. Even the International Monetary Fund is pushing to use some form of an international currency.

Even if American analysts are right, and China would lose more than America in a currency war, that doesn’t mean it won’t happen. Should Americans trust that China will react the way American politicians think it should?

Yet, America is in a very difficult predicament. While it may be perilous to risk a currency war, over the longer term it is equally as perilous not to challenge Beijing.

As British historian Niall Ferguson points out, under the current relationship China gets 10 percent growth while America gets 10 percent unemployment. This is clearly an unstable and highly friable relationship. Eventually something will have to give.

America is losing more than $1 billion per day in trade with China. During the second quarter of this year, the trade deficit came in at $123.3 billion—the fourth consecutive quarterly rise. Additionally, America’s full embrace of free trade costs the country millions of jobs. Free trade only makes sense if the playing field is level—and it is far from level. China’s giant state-owned corporations benefit from a strong mercantilist policy.

Nucor Corp. ceo Dan DiMicco sums up sentiment in many of America’s manufacturing centers. The giant steelmaker ceo says the proposed legislation being pushed by Congress “is a jobs bill, pure and simple.” He says those who call the legislation “protectionist” and who warn it could start a trade war are naive.

“We are already in a trade war,” he says. “[W]e just haven’t shown up yet.”

Unless China backs down on its exchange-rate policy, allowing the yuan to rise substantially, and thus making American manufacturing more competitive, a trade war with America’s most important lender could be on the horizon.

But here is the real danger. Trade wars have a nasty proclivity to snowball out of control.

Remember the Great Depression. During the four years after the 1929 stock market crash, the nation regressed like at no other time in its history. Forty-two percent of America’s banks folded. Production at the nation’s factories, mines and utilities fell by more than half. People’s real disposable incomes collapsed 28 percent. Stock prices cascaded to one tenth of their pre-crash height. Unemployment rose from 1.6 million in 1929 to a whopping 12.8 million by 1933—leaving one out of every four workers jobless. People lost their savings, their homes, their health and their hope.

But what made the 1929 crash turn so much more deadly than the previous short-lived crashes of 1920 and earlier?

According to many economists, this crash was unique because just months later, the first shots of a trade war that quickly engulfed the world were fired.

Post-World War i industrial America, reeling from the effects of the stock market crash and subsequent job losses, erupted into protectionist fervor. Riding a populist wave, U.S. politicians imposed the Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act—one of the most draconian protectionist policies in America’s history.

Historian Richard Hofstadter, with the benefit of hindsight, described the tariff act as “a virtual declaration of economic war on the rest of the world.” And that is just how the rest of the world saw it. Foreign nations were outraged. Within two years, 25 countries had retaliated; U.S. and foreign trade took massive losses. America exported $5.24 billion in goods in 1929; by 1932 the total had fallen to just $1.6 billion. Overall, world trade declined some 66 percent by 1934.

What does this all have to do with 2010 America? The first shots of global trade war have already been fired—and don’t think the economic bombshells will only fly across the Pacific.

Trade specialist Gary Hufbauer from Washington’s Peterson Institute warns that populist fervor risks igniting a hot trade war. Americans have grievances piling up over tires, aluminum, paper and steel, and it is all coming to a head.

But here is the catch: What happened when America curbed the import of Chinese tires? Sales just shifted to Mexico and Brazil—not to U.S. producers, noted Hufbauer.

So where does it all end? Does America need to slap restrictions on Mexico and Brazil now too? And what will happen when they retaliate?

The last thing America needs is a trade war. The economy is already mired in recession. America is reliant on imports, unemployment is sky high, the housing market is collapsing again, the banking industry is far more fragile than government regulators admit and the Treasury is more dependent on foreign borrowing than ever. And don’t forget—China mines some essential products like rare earth minerals that are produced nowhere else in the world. Cut off the supply of rare earths and you no can no longer manufacture lasers, super-efficient light bulbs, iPods, flat-screen tvs, hybrid cars, wind turbines, radar systems, precision-guided missiles, and a host of other military technologies.

Yet at the same time, America can no longer afford to let American companies offshore manufacturing jobs to other countries without consequences. America must do something to keep the jobs, and hence more business profits, at home.

There are no easy choices, and as the economy continues to deteriorate, the calls for political action will mount. Trade war looks inevitable.

Bible prophecy shows that America will be economically besieged in the near future. Prophesies in both the New and Old Testaments indicate that America will be the biggest loser in a looming global trade embargo. Trade war is coming. The worst depression America has ever witnessed will be the result. Will the tension over the value of the yuan be the trigger?

Crisis Unites European Union on Financial Reform

Crisis Unites European Union on Financial Reform

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The euro crisis is solidifying the EU just as the Trumpet has long predicted.

Since the EU’s inception, member states have been hesitant to hand over power of their finances to Brussels, but recent trends show that the global economic downturn is eradicating this hesitation.

The title of a September 13 Der Speigel article says it all: “Crisis Forces Europe to Unite on Financial Reform.” The article explains that the financial fear of European Union members has now reached a level sufficient to push through Europe-wide financial reforms. In doing so, member nations are relinquishing more power to Brussels.

The article documents a September 6 meeting in which European Council President Herman Van Rompuy presented EU member state finance ministers with a plan to stabilize crisis-ridden Europe:

The finance ministers listened attentively before going on to discuss the issue. But instead of rushing headlong into the usual squabbling session, a cozy feeling of harmony spread through the conference room.

Following the meeting, Austrian Finance Minister Josef Pröll enthusiastically said that the European Union is finally implementing what it has “been discussing for years.” He said that the EU was on the cusp of taking a “quantum leap” that will “fundamentally change Europe.”

EU officials are not the only ones who, for years, have been discussing a quantum leap in the solidification of the European Union.

In numerous passages, Bible prophecy reveals that, immediately prior to Jesus Christ’s Second Coming, a German-led European empire will control world affairs. For this reason, the Trumpet, following in the footsteps of its forerunner magazine the Plain Truth, has been monitoring the EU’s rise with great interest.

In the November/December 1954 issue of the Plain Truth,Herbert W. Armstrong wrote, “Germany inevitably [will] emerge as the leader of a united Europe. It will require some spiritual binding force to inspire this confidence—to remove these fears—and that spiritual binding force must arise from inside Europe!”

In April 2006, Trumpet editor in chief Gerald Flurry explained that European unity would solidify in a time of crisis and thrust Germany to the helm of leadership in the Union:

Europe doesn’t have a single powerful leader, or a unified foreign policy, to back up its drive for world power. But that is now set to change—and change rapidly! Throughout Europe’s history, what has helped it to overcome its division has been a unity of purpose between church and state. ... Usually the two have been drawn together because of a crisis—an emergency.

Mr. Flurry went on to forecast the cause and nature of the crisis that would bring this unification about:

What emergency might unify Europe again? Mr. Armstrong believed that crisis would be the fall of the dollar. The dollar’s collapse could trigger a world financial crisis and make the European currency an attractive alternative for investors around the world. … Today the dollar is in real trouble. … We can be sure that the dollar is going to collapse. The massively debt-burdened American economy simply can’t remain afloat much longer. … When this trend plays out, it will strongly empower and unify Europe.

A little over two years following the publication of Mr. Flurry’s article, the United States was struck by its “financial 9/11,” and a blow was dealt to the dollar which time will prove fatal.

In October 2008, Trumpet columnist Robert Morley wrote about the American banking crisis slashing into Europe:

When crisis looms in Europe, especially in Germany, the world should take notice. European leaders have been waiting for years for just such an economic crisis. A crisis of this magnitude allows them to sweep away national sovereignties and consolidate power “for the greater good.” … But it will not be Brussels that will come out on top of the federalist European superstructure. … The European crisis will not only act as a catalyst to unite Europe, but it will also cement the status of its leader, Germany.

The Der Speigel article continues:

A monetary union cannot succeed in the long term if every member state simply pursues the economic policies that suit its own interests. This is something that economists have always known, but it has never been politically feasible: Eurozone member states were not prepared to relinquish more power to Brussels.That has changed since the euro crisis shook the monetary union and the realization sank in that things cannot continue as they are. Suddenly there is talk of an “economic union” and even the necessity of an “economic government,” yet there is no sign of the usual outcry.At the meeting last Monday, finance ministers said again and again that “more Europe” is needed—and for the first time, most of those present apparently meant it.

On September 7, the day after the meeting, EU finance ministers launched a series of initiatives backing up their unified talk, establishing a trio of new financial regulatory bodies. EU leaders have already drawn up a report listing proposals, procedures, regulations and austere threats and penalties for member states. Der Spiegel points out that, because the “regulatory zeal” is designed to stabilize the shaky Union during this time of crisis, it is meeting with little or no resistance.

According to the usual political reflexes, such regulatory excesses by Brussels’s Eurocrats would normally immediately lead to trouble. There’s not much indication of that this time around, though—in fact, the report’s “conclusions” state that in Europe’s capital cities there is a feeling of belonging to “a community that shares a common destiny.” It goes on to say that those who distance themselves from this new sense of public spirit will find themselves “increasingly isolated.”

In March of this year, Trumpet columnist Brad Macdonald wrote an article called “Germany: A Potentially Momentous Summer Looms,” in which he said that “Germany is exploiting this crisis to forge Europe into a vehicle of Teutonic ambition.”

Now, on the other side of the summer of 2010, EU officials are looking back to see that the season was indeed momentous, as the Der Speigel article outlines:

The EU has come further over the past few months “than over the past 10 years,” says a delighted Jean-Claude Juncker, prime minister of Luxembourg. … European Commission President José Manuel Barroso is already rhapsodizing that the monetary union is now underpinned “by a genuine economic union.” … “During these hours,” says Pröll, “a new European community was born.”

Europe is in crisis, and its members are putting aside their nationalism to unite. A new superpower is about to rise, just as the late Herbert W. Armstrong predicted for decades it would. To get a more detailed picture of where this European crisis is heading, read Germany and the Holy Roman Empire.

Biblical Family—Our Most Noble Institution

Biblical Family—Our Most Noble Institution

Index Open

Homosexuality destroys that vision, which is man’s only hope.
From the October 2010 Trumpet Print Edition

In 2008, the California Supreme Court made homosexual “marriages” legal. Millions of Californians voted in the election five months later, and they passed a state constitutional amendment that banned these “marriages.” But this past August, one homosexual federal judge from San Francisco struck down that ban. He said the religious belief that homosexual relationships are inferior to heterosexual relationships harms homosexuals. Believing the Bible is harmful! He also ruled that the Constitution guarantees the right to homosexual “marriage.”

What a false and twisted judgment! The Constitution was founded to a great extent on the law of God and the principles of the Bible. All 13 of the original colonies defined sodomy as a criminal offense!

Only Sodom and Gomorrah ever had a constitution that guaranteed the right to homosexual “marriage”! America’s recent voting record shows that we are close to becoming a modern Sodom and Gomorrah.

Do we have any idea what this says about our spiritual condition? Do we see how dangerously degenerate we have become since the time of our original 13 colonies? Do we realize what this portends for our future?

George Washington said that of all the things that lead to political prosperity, “religion and morality are indispensable supports.” John Adams said that the Constitution was made “only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.” This judge, by contrast, hates God’s law. To men like this, even the secular constitutional law carries no authority!

It’s all about lawlessness.

Even religious people—people who say they love Christ—hate the lawof God!

In 2006, when liberals swept into the majority in both houses of Congress, I wrote that American politics had been changed forever. Nancy Pelosi became speaker of the House of Representatives and brought “San Francisco values” to Washington. “San Francisco values will now permeate every major decision made by the American government,” I wrote at that time. “San Francisco is the homosexual capital of America. It is the seat of liberalism, and one of the most morally and spiritually bankrupt cities in the country. Now a leader saturated in San Francisco values and beliefs [Mrs. Pelosi] is one of the most powerful politicians in the land.”

In this environment, a homosexual judge has forced his twisted views on millions of people. When those “San Francisco values” become so powerful, there is no way a nation can stand.

The Bible is abundantly clear about God’s view of homosexuality. Sodomy is a grievous sin. God calls it an abomination! If you understand God’s purpose in creating family, you clearly see how it goes against everything God stands for. Even the way human beings are created teaches you that. (Request our booklet The God Family Vision. All of our literature is free.)

Where are the religious people who will stand up and proclaim the truth of God? Religion today is sick and pitifully weak.

This nation is spiritually bankrupt!

God wants us to stand up and fight for our belief in Him and His law and tell the world His message!

The devil is behind the scenes doing everything he can to destroy any understanding of marriage, because it is a type of marriage to Jesus Christ! (Ephesians 5:22-32). He is trying to destroy any understanding of family, because it is a type of the Family of God. These are God-plane relationships! Marriage was designed to lead the Church into marriage with Christ. The family was created to lead humanity into the Family of God. Satan is twisting these most noble institutions to push people into a black abyss! (Request our free booklets Why Marriage! Soon Obsolete? and God Is a Family.)

Making Them an Example

One of the strongest warnings in the Bible is against homosexuality. So we must bring God into the issue. There are many specific scriptures we could go to, but notice 2 Peter 2:4—in the New Testament: “For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell,” that is, restrained them to this Earth, “and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment ….” Satan and the demons are in chains of darkness, the highest degree of darkness. “And turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah into ashes condemned them with an overthrow, making them an example unto those that after should live ungodly” (verse 6).

What happened to Sodom was a warning of how God will respond to sodomy!—fire, nuclear fire, from heaven coming down on your nation! God did not spare the rebellious angels, and He is not going to spare us! These verses tell us that evil spirits are the moving force behind homosexuality.

Jude 7 repeats that same warning.

When I read these scriptures, I realize that even when the best thinkers in the world come up with a worst-case scenario, it’s not even close to the suffering that is about to come on our people. God is going to blot that sin out with nuclear annihilation!

What is happening here tells us a lot about where we are in Bible prophecy.

We must understand that homosexuality is a rotten fruit from a fatally diseased family tree! How abominable does it have to get before Americans truly repent of their ungodly marriages and families?

Those sins have deeply infected the entire Western world.

Many professing Christians in this world talk about loving God, but they ignore what He says and they excuse homosexuals. In some cases they are homosexuals. The Italian press claims that a huge percentage of priests themselves are homosexuals. Meanwhile some of these people who are supposed to represent God perform “marriages” for two homosexuals. The media is always there to take a lot of pictures, and America broadcasts it around the world. Everyone can view our families falling apart, our nation falling apart, our churches falling apart. Everything falls apart when God-plane family falls apart. Satan knows that.

These people know nothing about God and His plan for man. They think they can live however they want. But that is opposite from the good news that Christ came and died to deliver to us!

Right here in the New Testament, God says, I will not spare you!

Israel, anciently, was the only nation that has ever known God, and God wanted it to set an example that other nations could follow. But what if the nations follow the modern nations of Israel—America and Britain—today? They follow them right into exalting sodomy—and reaping destruction!

Repentant homosexuals are going to be forgiven, like everybody else. But we should be deeply alarmed by these dysfunctional, upside-down families producing dysfunctional, upside-down people, and twisting family and sex. We should be very troubled by them trampling so many of God’s laws, and trying to destroy the beautiful vision of the Family of God.

Homosexuals call themselves gays. That is only a pitiful attempt to cover their profound misery. Homosexual lifestyles can never produce happiness! That is because they are trampling all over God’s law of happiness (Proverbs 29:18; John 13:17).

Developing close relationships between parents and children may be the most important job we have yet to do before Christ comes. It is a beautiful thing for parents and children to have a close relationship. What an inspiring, sacred institution! And it leads to something really special: the Family of God!