Current Events

Ongoing Terror in Iraq

USA Today reported on March 2, 2004:

“Coordinated attacks in Baghdad and Karbala, aimed at Shiite Muslim pilgrims celebrating one of the holiest days of the year, left more than 143 dead and another 100 wounded and raised new concerns about civil war in Iraq.” The paper explained:

“The holiday marks the 7th-century killing in battle of Imam Hussein, the grandson of Mohammed, Islam’s founder. It is the most important religious period of Shiites, who represent 60% of Iraq’s 25 million people… The attacks threaten to increase tensions between the minority Sunni Muslim community, which was favored by former leader Saddam Hussein, and the majority Shiites.”

Der Spiegel Online added that under Saddam Hussein, the celebration of the holiday was prohibited, and that many of the Shiites injure themselves on this day with whips and swords to express their grief for Imam Hussein. A member of the Shiite party was quoted as saying: “How is it possible that a Muslim can do such a thing [killing others] on the day of Hussein? Today, war has been declared on Islam.”

Iraq does not find peace and tranquility. USA Today listed some of the deadly bombing attacks in Iraq since the war began March 20, 2003. According to the paper, over 120 people died in August; almost 50 died in October; almost 50 died in November; 25 died in December; over 80 died in January; almost 250 died in February; and at least 125 died so far in March, 2004. The gruesome lesson of history is again written in blood in the country of Iraq: War leads to more war; and bloodshed leads to more bloodshed. Will man ever learn that he cannot achieve the way to peace through war and violence?

Gay Marriages in California

As BBC News reported on February 21, 2004, “more than 3,000 gay couples have been married in San Francisco since the city’s new mayor decided to defy state law and allow such weddings.” After two failed attempts by a conservative group to secure court injunctions barring the union, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger wrote the state’s attorney general to act against the city of San Francisco. He stated in his letter:

“Our civilized society and legal system is based upon a respect for and adherence to the rule of law… The city and county of San Francisco’s unfortunate choice to disregard state law and grant marriage certificates to gay couples directly undermines this fundamental guarantee. Because the city and county of San Francisco’s actions are directly contrary to state law and present an imminent risk to civil order, I hereby direct you to take immediate steps to obtain a definitive judicial resolution of this controversy.”

However, as USA Today reported on February 27, 2004, “The California Supreme Court declined a [subsequent] request by the state attorney general Friday to immediately shut down San Francisco’s gay weddings and nullify nearly 3,500 marriages already performed.” The paper continued: “[The] justices… told the city and a conservative group that opposes gay marriages to file new legal briefs by March 5.”

The paper also reported that “the Social Security Administration has told its offices nationwide not to accept marriage certificates from San Francisco as proof of identification for newlyweds looking to make name changes on Social Security cards.”

In the midst of this hotly debated controversy, President Bush announced that he backed a constitutional amendment that would ban gay marriage. A measure to do so was introduced nearly a year ago and is pending before Congress. However, it takes years for a federal amendment to make its way through Congress and the state legislatures. Three-fourth, or 38, of the states would have to ratify a constitutional amendment. It is therefore obvious that a constitutional amendment, should it ever pass, will do nothing to resolve the current situation in California.

The following statistics (adopted from USA Today) show how wide-spread is the controversy on marriages or civil unions of same-sex couples:

Full-fledged same-sex marriages are only allowed in The Netherlands, Belgium, and two Canadian provinces (Ontario and British Columbia). Several countries register same-sex partnerships or same-sex cohabitations, namely Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Iceland, Norway, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and three Canadian provinces (Manitoba, Nova Scotia, and Ontario). In addition, some countries grant certain civil rights to unregistered cohabitation of same-sex couples, namely Argentina, Australia, Croatia, Hungary, New Zealand, Portugal, Scotland, South Africa, Switzerland, and six Canadian provinces (British Columbia, New Brunswick, Newfoundland, Northwest Territories, Saskatchewan, and Yukon Territory).

In spite of these different opinions, rules, regulations and laws, if man were to only look at the Bible for guidance and directions, none of those opinions and rules would exist, as there would not exist same-sex marriages or cohabitations. But even our Christian nations that embrace the commandments of God, may do so in word, but not in practice.

A Mockery of the Sabbath

News Journal published an article on February 7, 2004, titled, “All days the Sabbath.” It continues to point out that “area pastors” claim that the Sabbath day “may be Saturday or Sunday — or even another day of the week — depending on a person’s beliefs.” To support this incredibly human reasoning, which is in total defiance of God’s Holy Word, the Bible, those “area pastors” are quoted as follows:

“The seventh day can be at any time that we take to cease from our work to rest and to commune and fellowship with God… Sunday is literally the Sabbath, the day I worship, but then I figure my day off is my Sabbath, too… I think Sabbath is a matter of the heart more than it is a specific day or time.”

It’s not important, however, what man “thinks.” God has made it very clear that the commandment to keep the Sabbath holy refers to a specific day, and that day is distinctively NOT Sunday. How tragic it is that “ministers” don’t teach the truth of God, but rather self-invented arguments derived from the carnal human mind. When Christ returns, He will NOT allow such heretical preaching to continue.

To learn more about the TRUE weekly Sabbath, as well as the annual Holy Days that GOD has enjoined us to keep, please read our free booklet, “God’s Commanded Holy Days.

Schroeder and Bush Meet

As and other sources reported on February 27, “German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder and U.S. President George W. Bush say their differences over the war in Iraq are in the past,” stating that the “relations are good” between the two countries. In a common statement, the two leaders announced, according to Focus Online, that both countries are to work for a free Iraq and the vision of two states, Israel and Palestine.

The German press reported about the first meeting in the White House in 25 months with caution. Bild Online stated that the two leaders are not personal friends – -“but they have never been” personal friends. The paper also stated: “Why the sudden change of heart of Mr. Bush? He is under much pressure due to the beginning of the governmental election campaign. There are not enough jobs, and the budget deficit is getting larger [According to of February 27, “Bush Budget Said to Cause $2.75 Trillion Deficits.”] Now the strong man in the White House needs help from without.”

Der Spiegel Online commented on February 28, 2004: “This is not a close friendship.” On February 27, 2004, Focus Online translated into German an article of the Wall Street Journal, claiming that Schroeder has become Bush’s “plaything.” The article claimed that Bush is in desperate need of new friends, and his group photograph with Schroeder can be used to give the impression as if Schroeder is again on board. However, many observers in Germany don’t buy it.

An article in Der Spiegel Online, dated February 27, 2004, published the results of a poll of the highly respected Allensbach-Institute. According to the poll, over 71 percent of Germans feel that the United States looks after its own interests in a “reckless and egoistic, selfish way.” About half do not feel that the United States is capable of solving international problems. Only 20 percent believe that the United States is the only world power that is capable of intervening in crisis situations. At the same time, over 90 percent believe that good relations between the United States and Europe are important. Almost 68 percent feel that Europe and the U.S. need to stay partners, but that Europe should pursue a more independent policy from the U.S.

The Bible has prophesied thousands of years ago what the relationship between the United States of America and Europe will be, just prior to the return of Jesus Christ. To find out, please read our free booklet, “The Great Tribulation and the Day of the Lord.

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