The Trumpet Herald
Giving the trumpet a certain sound
As of this writing, the Washington Post is reporting that Democratic opposition to parts of the Homeland Security bill (now working its way through Congress) has been defeated and “the bill appeared headed for swift enactment” (“Amendment to Homeland Security Bill Defeated,” washingtonpost.com, Nov. 19, 2002).
Also on the “homeland security” front, the Associated Press reported that a three-judge panel, the U.S. Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court of Review, “erased restrictions on information sharing and upheld the government's powers under a new law passed after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks” (“New Surveillance Powers Scrutinized,” AP Digital - The Associated Press, Nov. 19, 2002).
Civil liberties groups say the decision makes it easier for the government to listen to telephone conversations, read e-mail and search private property of people who have done nothing wrong.
“The barrier between the citizens and their government has been lowered significantly,” said Vermont Law School professor Stephen Dycus, who specializes in national security. “I don't think the American public has even begun to grasp the kind of sacrifices we've been called to make in civil liberties in this war on terrorism” (ibid.)
Inspiration has noted a coming parallel:
In the future, men claiming to be Christ's representatives will take a course similar to that followed by the priests and rulers in their treatment of Christ and the apostles. In the great crisis through which they are soon to pass, the faithful servants of God will encounter the same hardness of heart, the same cruel determination, the same unyielding hatred.
All who in that evil day would fearlessly serve God according to the dictates of conscience, will need courage, firmness, and a knowledge of God and His word; for those who are true to God will be persecuted, their motives will be impugned, their best efforts misinterpreted, and their names cast out as evil. (Acts of the Apostles, pp. 430, 431).
One has to wonder if the newly authorized tools of surveillance will one day be used against those who stand for truth.
DeLay on Church-State Separation
House Majority Whip Tom DeLay (R-Texas), who has been selected to be the House Majority Leader in the next Congress, made his position fairly clear at a July 2001 luncheon reported by Americans United for Separation of Church and State. DeLay stated that the “faith-based initiative” would be a way of:
... standing up and rebuking this notion of separation of church and state that has been imposed upon us over the last 40 or 50 years. You see, I don't believe there is a separation of church and state. I think the Constitution is very clear. We have the right and the freedom to exercise our religion no matter what it is anywhere we choose to do it. We have an opportunity to once again get back into the public arena. (“Rep. DeLay Calls Faith-based Initiative an Opportunity to 'Rebuke Church-State Separation,'” Americans United press release, July 11, 2001).
A word of inspired prophetic guidance has warned:
When the Protestant churches shall unite with the secular power to sustain a false religion, for opposing which their ancestors endured the fiercest persecution; when the state shall use its power to enforce the decrees and sustain the institutions of the church-then will Protestant America have formed an image to the papacy, and there will be a national apostasy which will end only in national ruin (“The Sign of Loyalty,” Signs of the Times, March 22, 1910).
Unions of church and state are especially objectionable when dealing with issues described in the first four of the Ten Commandments.
Tornado Destruction in Five States
On November 10 clashing weather fronts spawned a series of tornadoes that caused widespread destruction. As the federal government responded, CNN.com reported:
Bush declared 16 Tennessee counties disaster areas Wednesday, freeing funds for a state that lost 17 people in weekend tornadoes that cut a deadly path across five states. In all, 36 people were killed in Tennessee, Ohio, Alabama, Mississippi and Pennsylvania” (“Tornado-ravaged Tennessee a disaster area,” CNN.com/US, Nov. 14, 2002).
Tennessee officials said more than 1,200 homes were damaged and 117 others were destroyed. At least 15 public buildings and 43 businesses also were damaged (ibid.).
Another CNN article noted:
The storms puzzled scientists because tornadoes rarely touch down in the South at this time of year.
And according to the Tornado Project, an online encyclopedia of tornado data, no tornadoes have been reported in November in the three most affected Tennessee counties since detailed record-keeping began in 1950 (“Residents clean up after killer storms,” ibid., Nov. 13, 2002).
While appearing to the children of men as a great physician who can heal all their maladies, he will bring disease and disaster, until populous cities are reduced to ruin and desolation. Even now he is at work. In accidents and calamities by sea and by land, in great conflagrations, in fierce tornadoes and terrific hailstorms, in tempests, floods, cyclones, tidal waves, and earthquakes, in every place and in a thousand forms, Satan is exercising his power. He sweeps away the ripening harvest, and famine and distress follow. He imparts to the air a deadly taint, and thousands perish by the pestilence. These visitations are to become more and more frequent and disastrous. Destruction will be upon both man and beast. “The earth mourneth and fadeth away,” “the haughty people . . . do languish. The earth also is defiled under the inhabitants thereof; because they have transgressed the laws, changed the ordinance, broken the everlasting covenant.” Isaiah 24:4, 5.
And then the great deceiver will persuade men that those who serve God are causing these evils (The Great Controversy, p. 589, 590).
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