Current Events

Germany’s Economic Interests

On October 18, 2004, Spiegel Online reported: “Chancellor Gerhard Schröder is hurriedly redefining the priorities in German foreign policy. Human rights have become a subordinate issue, business is the way to maintain influence. First Turkey, then China and most recently Libya — what started off as a vague outline is now assuming concrete shape: an about-face in German foreign policy. Instead: the focus lies on promoting German economic interests. The new strategy does not only include the demand for a permanent seat on the United Nations Security Council; the portfolio also comprises a new attitude towards German arms exports and overall a more relaxed approach to Germany’s own interests.”

In a related article, Associated Press reported on October 26, 2004: “The euro hit an eight-month high against the U.S. dollar on Tuesday, with fears over high oil prices weighing on the greenback. The euro traded at $1.2841 Tuesday morning, the highest since a record of $1.2927 on Feb. 18 – the peak since the shared currency came into existence in 1999.”

The Bible reveals that in the very last days, a United States of Europe under German leadership will emerge. This power bloc is prophesied to be very strong politically, economically and militarily. Revelation 18, in particular, describes the enormous and wide-ranging economic influence of this soon-coming power bloc.

The U.S. Presidential Elections and Germany

On October 26, 2004, the German mass tabloid, Bild, has become the first — and so far, the only European newspaper or magazine that endorsed an American candidate as president. Under the headline, “Why George Bush Is the Better President,” the tabloid listed 10 reasons for its endorsement, as follows: (1) Bush’s priorities are clear — he views Islamic fundamentalism as the greatest danger in the world; (2) Bush has learned the lessons from history — that one must fight with military strength against fanatics; (3) Under Bush, mostly the US will carry the costs and responsibility in the “Holy War” against Islamic fundamentalists; (4) Bush will do everything to prevent that new nuclear powers develop; (5) Bush will seek international cooperation, without being dependent on Syria or Iran; (6) Bush knows that Europe has no means of helping the U.S. militarily and won’t therefore ask for their help; (7) Under Bush, America will be a reliable partner of Israel; (8) Bush will support free trade; (9) Bush made mistakes, from which he learned; and (10) We know what to expect from Bush.

Der Spiegel speculated what Bild is trying to accomplish, given the fact that Germans don’t vote in American elections, and that, according to the poll by the weekly, Der Stern, 75% of Germans are favoring John Kerry as the next President. Could it be that Bild, on behalf of Germany, wants to tell Bush that not all Germans are against him, should he be re-elected?

Churches and the IRS

Tax-exempt churches and religious organizations must be careful that they don’t violate IRS regulations, when they are tempted to endorse a political candidate for the U.S. Presidency. As WorldNetDaily reported on October 28, 2004, “In a letter of clarification requested by a traveling minister, the Internal Revenue Service has declared people gathered in tax-exempt churches can’t pray for President Bush to win the election on Tuesday.” In addition, the Pittsburgh Tribune reported on October 27, 2004, that “A watchdog group [Americans United] that pushes separation of church and state claims that ministers at churches in Pennsylvania and Ohio are abusing their tax-exempt status by supporting Democrat presidential candidate John Kerry from their pulpits. Under the Internal Revenue Service code regulating tax-exempt organizations, churches can be cited for a violation if they endorse political candidates… Americans United says churches that support or oppose a candidate may face an IRS audit, fines and loss of tax-exempt status.”

More Money for War

On October 26, 2004, the Washington Post reported: “The Bush administration intends to seek about $70 billion in emergency funding for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan early next year, pushing total war costs close to $225 billion since the invasion of Iraq early last year, Pentagon and congressional officials said yesterday… In making cost estimates for the supplemental budget request, Pentagon officials have distanced themselves from the Bush administration’s public optimism about trends in Iraq. Instead, they make the fairly pessimistic assumption that about as many troops will be needed there next year as are currently on the ground… Yale University economist William D. Nordhaus estimated that in inflation-adjusted terms, World War I cost just under $200 billion for the United States. The Vietnam War cost about $500 billion from 1964 to 1972, Nordhaus said. The cost of the Iraq war could reach nearly half that number by next fall, 2 1/2 years after it began.”

What a world it will be, when all nations recognize the futility of war and when they, as prophesied in Isaiah 2:4, “beat their swords into plowshares, And their spears into pruning hooks; Nation shall not lift up sword against nation, Neither shall they learn war anymore.”

Murder Rate High in the U.S.

On October 25, 2004, Associated Press stated: “After reaching a low point in 1999 of about 15,500 homicides, the number has crept up steadily since then to more than 16,500 in 2003 – or almost six murders for every 100,000 U.S. residents… James Alan Fox, criminal justice professor at Northeastern University, said the recent rise in murders is partly traceable to an upsurge in urban youth gang violence. The FBI report indicates there were 819 juvenile gang killings last year, compared with 580 in 1999… The report showed more than two-thirds of last year’s murders were committed with a firearm, roughly the same portion as every year since 1999.”

Especially young people are growing up with violence and without hope for the future. Easy access to firearms is a terrible indictment against a society which is unable to control its fears and to eradicate capital crime, such as murder.

Biological Weapons Biggest Threat

On October 26, 2004, reported: “The threat posed to the world by biological weapons is now far greater than that from nuclear and chemical because of the ‘riotous’ development in biotechnology, a leading scientist [Professor Malcolm Dando, the head of Peace Studies at Bradford University] has warned. He said if nothing is done, bio-weapons technology could be harnessed by terrorists to target specific ethnic groups to release devastating diseases, such as the 1918 Spanish flu. Among the biological weapons with the potential to wreak havoc are genetically engineered anthrax and a synthetic version of the polio virus.”

Halloween, Witchcraft, All Saints and Guy Fawkes Days

On October 27, MSNBS reported about Halloween and its connection with witchcraft, All Saints Day and Guy Fawkes Day:

“Over the weekend, millions worldwide will adorn a witch’s hat, cape, and broom or some other outlandish garb, but how do real witches celebrate Halloween? And where did the holiday originate?… The Catholic observance of ‘All Hallows Day’ — or ‘All Saints Day’ — now lends its name to the occasion. But, the holiday is actually rooted in a harvest festival first celebrated around five centuries before the birth of Christ by the Celts who lived in what are now Ireland, Britain, and northern France. The Celtic summer officially ended on the last day of October and the New Year, called Samhain (pronounced Sow-en), began on the first of November. On the night between years, the Celts believed that the living and the dead could interact with each other. And most modern-day witches believe they can too…

“While the modern American version of Halloween — which has recently been exported back to Britain — is a potluck of Celtic, Roman, and Christian tradition, heavily infused with its own commercial traits, practitioners of witchcraft relate more closely to the original celebration of Samhain… Until 1951, witchcraft was illegal in Britain. Since then, the ancient religion has crept out of the occult and into the mainstream… Although Halloween has its origins in Celtic Britain, until recently the holiday was largely celebrated here in unison with Guy Fawkes Day — the Nov. 5 anniversary of a conspiracy to blow up the English Parliament and King James in 1605… From Britain’s most haunted city of Exeter to its mysterious stone circles, thousands of witches and pagans will be gathering to commune with the dead this Oct. 31.”

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