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The Trumpet Herald

Giving the trumpet a certain sound

October 2008

More Hurricanes

At the time of this writing, hurricane Ike is passing over Cuba. The storm follows Gustave and Hanna which have already hit the U.S. mainland. Another hurricane is offshore in the Atlantic and one is offshore in the Pacific.

CAMAGUEY, Cuba (AP) -- Deadly Hurricane Ike roared across Cuba on Monday, blowing buildings to rubble and sending waves surging over homes. Some 900,000 Cubans evacuated from its path, which forecasters said could take it to Louisiana or Texas later this week.

Ike, which raked the Bahamas and worsened floods in Haiti that have already killed 319 people, made landfall on Cuba as a fearsome Category-3 hurricane, then weakened to a still-potent Category-2 on Monday as it ran down Cuba's spine. ("Deadly Ike rakes Cuba, could hit Havana head-on," The Associated Press in www.usnews.com, Sept. 8, 2008)

Readers may recall that 2005 was a year with more hurricanes and storms than weather predictors had names for ("... at least 2,280 deaths and record damages of over $128 billion USD. ("2005 Atlantic Hurricane Season," www.wikipedia.com, as of Sept. 7, 2008)). 2008 may not beat that record, but it seems to be trying to make an impression.

Inspired commentary

It seems that natural disasters do not always make an impression that takes in all the factors. Inspiration suggests that at least one factor is God's wrath, some causative factors in which are mentioned in the following:

The law of God is made void. We see and hear of confusion and perplexity, want and famine, earthquakes and floods; terrible outrages will be committed by men; passion, not reason, bears sway. The wrath of God is upon the inhabitants of the world, who are fast becoming as corrupt as were the inhabitants of Sodom and Gomorrah. Already fire and flood are destroying thousands of lives and the property that has been selfishly accumulated by the oppression of the poor. (Testimonies, v. 8 p. 49)

Mortgage Troubles Worsen

As housing values diminish and the numbers of foreclosures increase, the United States government has stepped in to try to help -- at substantial expense to U.S. taxpayers.

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Uncle Sam has just become the 800 pound gorilla in the U.S. mortgage market. The Bush administration announced Sunday it was seizing troubled mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in a bid to help reverse a prolonged housing and credit crisis.

But private analysts worried that it may not be enough to stabilize the slumping housing market given the glut of vacant homes for sale, rising foreclosures, rising unemployment and weak consumer confidence. ...

"Effectively, the federal government has now become the nation's mortgage lender," he said. "This takes a major financial threat off the table."

Officials announced that both Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were being placed in a government conservatorship, a move that could end up costing taxpayers billions of dollars. ("US government takes on big role in mortgage market," Associated Press at www.tbo.com, Sept. 8, 2008)

One other problem was mentioned in the news item:

[U.S. Treasury Secretary] Paulson said that it would be up to Congress and the next president to figure out the two companies' ultimate structure and the conflicting goals they operated under - maximizing returns for shareholders while also being required to facilitate home buying for low and moderate-income Americans. (ibid.)

Inspired commentary

A quotation that was mentioned in the previous Trumpet Herald also relates to this item. Interestingly the moral dimension of the situation is raised and a solution direction suggested.

There are not many, even among educators and statesmen, who comprehend the causes that underlie the present state of society. Those who hold the reins of government are not able to solve the problem of moral corruption, poverty, pauperism, and increasing crime. They are struggling in vain to place business operations on a more secure basis. If men would give more heed to the teaching of God's word, they would find a solution of the problems that perplex them. (Testimonies, vol. 9, p. 13)

Catholics, Politicians, and Abortion

As the U.S. is in a presidential election season, religion is again a factor in the thinking of some of the electorate.

But the party's hopes of winning the critical Catholic vote took a hit Sunday when Archbishop Charles Chaput of Denver said Mr. Biden should avoid taking Communion as a result of his pro-choice stand on abortion. ...

The debate underscored what has emerged as a central theme of this year's convention: the tension between the Democratic Party's renewed outreach to religious voters and its long-standing support for unfettered access to abortion.

At a panel discussion Monday sponsored by Google on "The Shifting Faith Vote: What It Means for the Election," panelists said that concerns over social issues, such as poverty, are moving some faith-based voters away from the Republican Party.

At the same time, they haven't aligned with the Democrats, primarily because of the abortion issue. ("Archbishop scolds pro-choice Biden," www.washingtontimes.com, Aug. 26, 2008)

The abortion issue has been an area where both Roman Catholics and conservative Protestants have found themselves in substantial agreement. One might wonder if such agreement might one day lead to a common response to other issues.

Inspired commentary

A familiar passage in the Bible book of Revelation is worth remembering:

And I beheld another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb, and he spake as a dragon. And he exerciseth all the power of the first beast before him, and causeth the earth and them which dwell therein to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed. And he doeth great wonders, so that he maketh fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men, ... Rev. 13:11-13.

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