Current Events & Trends: January/February 2023

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January/February 2023

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Gay marriage codified—persecution of dissenters next?

In December 2022 U.S. lawmakers passed what’s called the “Respect for Marriage Act.” The purpose was supposedly to guarantee the legality of same-sex marriage nationwide out of concern that the Supreme Court’s 2015 Obergefell decision to legalize homosexual marriage might be overturned, as recently happened to the longtime Roe v. Wade abortion ruling. But the aims of the legislation are evidently more far-reaching.

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) opposed the bill, stating in a September podcast that the bill would punish religious institutions. “This bill, without a religious liberty protection, would have massive consequences across our country, weaponizing the Biden administration to go and target universities, K-12 schools, social services organizations, churches and strip them all of their tax-status,” Cruz stated. “That is enormously consequential” (quoted by Todd Starnes, Nov. 16).

The bill was amended to supposedly include protections to such problems, but religious liberty proponents argue this wouldn’t keep traditional marriage advocates from being targeted, as the amendment language has no teeth.

Commentator Liz Wheeler pointed out three major problems with the bill as it was being passed:

“First, the bill amounts to a direct assault upon religious liberty. The . . . secular mob will undoubtedly use this law to target people of faith. They will target non-profit organizations. They will target churches. They will target religious schools. You won’t be able to conduct business under the premise of the biblical definition of marriage or you will likely come under fire . . .  it even creates a cultural justification for market institutions such as banks to discriminate against people with traditional views . . .

“The second problem: this bill gives government the power to redefine words. This has nothing to do with sexual orientation or sexual attraction. It’s about the definition of the word marriage, and whether government at the federal or state level has the right to redefine what marriage is . . .

“Third—and perhaps most importantly—the bill will inherently become a legal catch-all for the . . . radical progressive agenda, which hinges upon the deliberate Marxist goal of destroying the nuclear family and ultimately deconstructing our society’s moral fiber” (“Twelve Republican Senators Betrayed the Institution of Marriage,” Daily Caller, Nov. 27, 2022).

“So truth fails,” the Creator God says of our wayward society, “and he who departs from evil makes himself a prey” (Isaiah 59:15 Isaiah 59:15Yes, truth fails; and he that departs from evil makes himself a prey: and the LORD saw it, and it displeased him that there was no judgment.
American King James Version×
). But that’s not the last word on the matter. God’s intervention is coming—severe judgment on this world’s evils to thankfully be followed by redemption and salvation for those who repent (verses 16-21). Do your utmost to stand with God, upholding the morality revealed through His Word. To learn more, download or request our free study guide Marriage and Family: The Missing Dimension .

 

British leadership and people undergoing major transitions

With the death of Queen Elizabeth II and the accession of King Charles III to the British throne, the United Kingdom is going through a period of transition in a number of major respects.

The international agenda of the World Economic Forum is advancing, with global issues like Covid and the supposed existential threat of climate change being used to promote the drive toward worldwide socialist utopianism. Notes one source: “The globalists around WEF founder Klaus Schwab will be happy that two seats of the highest offices on the island are now being occupied by people from their circle.

“The former Prince of Wales was one of the people who were the first to openly acknowledge the world transformation under the guise of sustainability via the ‘Great Reset.’ When Schwab published his manifesto, Charles presented the ‘Great Reset Project’ at the WEF on the same day. He spoke of a ‘golden opportunity’ in which there is only a limited window of opportunity for a power grab enabled by technology. He spoke of a ‘global Marshall Plan’ and in this context praised the ‘calls for action in the wake of the Great Reset’ . . . [saying it’s] ‘a moment where we should make as much progress as possible’” (“‘Great Reset’ King Charles III Set to Rule After Queen Elizabeth II Passes Away,” Free West Media, Sept. 9, 2022).

“For more than 40 years, Charles had championed environmental causes, including the need to transition the global economy off of fossil fuels so as to avert a climate catastrophe. In November, at the start of COP 26, the United Nations climate change conference in Glasgow, Scotland, Charles said climate change was an ‘existential threat to the extent that we have to put ourselves on what might be called a war-like footing’ and called on world governments to begin ‘radically transforming our current fossil fuel based economy to one that is genuinely renewable and sustainable’ . . .

“In 2020, Charles addressed the World Economic Forum, calling for ‘a shift in our economic model that places nature and the world’s transition to net zero [carbon emissions] at the heart of how we operate.’

On the death of his mother he did speak of a changed role, as the British monarch traditionally is not to weigh in on what could be seen as political matters. He stated he would no longer be able to give so much time and energies to charities and issues he cared deeply about but knew others would take over in that (“King Charles III Appears to Signal an End to Climate Change Activism,” Yahoo News, Sept. 9, 2022). He may not need to say much, given other shifts in government.

Britain just had three prime ministers over the course of three months, with Boris Johnson being replaced by Liz Truss for only 45 days. “Truss’ departure . . . sparked jubilation for the tabloid Daily Star, which had set up a livestream . . . featuring a photo of the prime minister beside a head of lettuce to see which would last longer. ‘This lettuce outlasted Liz Truss!’ it proclaimed . . .

“While many Britons joined the world in laughing at the lettuce joke, Bronwyn Maddox, director of international affairs think-tank Chatham House, said ‘there is no question that the U.K.’s standing in the world has been severely battered by this episode and by the revolving door of prime ministers’” (“Truss Quits, But UK’s Political and Economic Turmoil Persists,” AP, Oct. 20, 2022).

Replacing Truss is “Britain’s former Chancellor of the Exchequer (finance minister) Rishi Sunak, best known for signing the cheques on the mega-money lockdown policies of the Covid era and pushing the national tax burden to the highest levels in decades” (Oliver Lane, “Coronation: Covid-Era Tax and Spend Rishi Sunak Makes It Through Leadership Challenge Unopposed, Will Be Prime Minister,” Breitbart, Oct. 24).

At 42, Sunak is the youngest prime minister in more than 200 years and the first of non-European heritage. He’s the first with South Asian roots and the first to be a practicing Hindu. “When he became an MP, he swore his oath on the Hindu holy book, the Bhagavad Gita . . . [And] he became Prime Minister on the first day of Diwali, the religion’s most important festival” (“. . . Everything You Want to Know About New British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak,” Webdunia, Oct. 25, 2022).

Some concerns have been expressed: “‘A Hindu Prime Minister is now responsible for advising King Charles on appointments to the Church of England. Britain is dead,’ said Collin Pruett at The American Conservative . . . As per media reports, Sunak always keeps an idol of Shri Ganesh [the elephant-headed god of beginnings] on his table” (Sounak Mukhopadhyay, “Rishi Sunak’s Religious Identity Under Radar as Christian UK Gets First Hindu Prime Minister,” LiveMint.com, Oct. 25, 2022).

Yet perhaps this should not be so surprising, given the decline of British heritage and of Christianity in the nation, as we note more about in a separate news story (on the next page).

Returning to the prime minister, he was formerly an investment banker with Goldman Sachs and is married to the daughter of a billionaire, the sixth-richest man in India. “Sunak has the distinction of being so wealthy, with an estimated combined net worth of £730 million ($825 million) alongside his wife, that he will reportedly be the first inhabitant of Number 10 Downing Street to have a larger fortune than the reigning British monarch, leading to questions about his ability to empathise with the plight of the common man during the economic crisis, which he, in part, helped to create” (Kurt Zindulka, “Coup Complete: Globalist Rishi Sunak Installed as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom,” Oct. 25, 2022).

Like Canada’s Justin Trudeau, “Sunak is an acolyte of the World Economic Forum (WEF) and even gained the tacit endorsement of the Chinese Communist Party as a leadership candidate” (Lane, Oct. 24).

“Sunak appeared at the World Economic Forum’s Green Horizon Summit in 2020 to advocate for a ‘whole of economy transition’ to ‘green energy’ sources. ‘The challenge of climate change is clear and it is urgent,’ Sunak said. ‘We need to ensure a positive and fair transition to Net Zero and protect our environment’” (Zindulka, Oct. 25). Sadly, this would end up stripping Britain of its wealth and energy, but that is part of the globalist agenda.

“The connection to the WEF does not stop there, however, as the company founded by his father-in-law N.R. Narayana Murthy, Infosys, is a listed partner of the World Economic Forum. Murthy also previously served as co-chairman for the World Economic Forum meeting in Davos in 2005” (ibid.).

Populist statesman Nigel Farage tweeted on Oct. 24 that the ERG (European Research Group, a caucus of anti-EU members of Parliament) was not able to support any candidate for prime minister because “the globalist coup has succeeded. There is no Conservative party. It is dead.”

The globalist agenda has captured many leaders of Western nations. Where is it all heading? And what does this mean for the future of Britain and other nations of British heritage—Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the United States? To better understand, read our free study guides The Final Superpower and The United States and Britain in Bible Prophecy.

 

British heritage declining, less than half now Christian

Surprisingly, as the Associated Press reports, “fewer than half the people in England and Wales consider themselves Christian, according to the most recent census—the first time a minority of the population has followed the country’s official religion. Britain has become less religious—and less white—in the decade since the last census” (“Census: Christians a Minority in England; Non-Religious Grow,” Nov. 29, 2022).

Breaking this down, “some 46.2% of the population of England and Wales described themselves as Christian on the day of the 2021 census, down from 59.3% a decade earlier. The Muslim population grew from 4.9% to 6.5% of the total, while 1.7% identified as Hindu, up from 1.5%. More than 1 in 3 people—37%—said they had no religion, up from 25% in 2011” (ibid.).

The chief executive of the charity Humanists U.K. was remarkably able to say that “the dramatic growth of the non-religious” had made the U.K. “almost certainly one of the least religious countries on Earth” (ibid.). What a sad commentary for the British people, who have historically been blessed by God so abundantly among the nations.

Religion and culture are being transformed. As conservative columnist Melanie Phillips writes: “The findings of the 2021 census . . . reveal a country that is becoming unrecognizable before our eyes. Britain’s two largest cities, London and Birmingham, are now minority white British” (“An Altered State,” Nov. 30). And she further notes the decline of Christianity by 17 percent and the rise of Islam by 43 percent.

She goes on to comment: “The significance of these changes does not lie in skin colour but in the fact that minority cultures are increasing while the majority culture is waning. Statisticians have welcomed this as the development of a ‘multicultural society.’ But this is an oxymoron. While a multi-ethnic society is possible, there is no such thing as a ‘multicultural society.”

Moreover, she explains, “Christianity has been the glue that held Britain together. The decline of Christianity means Britain is becoming increasingly unglued. And the vacuum left by the retreat of Christianity doesn’t mean people are losing the impulse to religious faith. The vacuum is being filled by religious faith turned upside down—the growth of paganism, witchcraft and shamanism . . . cults, irrational conspiracy theories . . . man-made ideologies such as apocalyptic climate change [and] Islam is rising.”

What a sad mess—leading toward ultimate national collapse. This is all heading to severe times ahead, with hard lessons learned. Let us pray for the day when Britain and all nations are led back to God and His ways—and to the wonderful blessings that then will abound for all people.