Weekly Update from Mark Armstrong – 28 March 2014

Greetings from Tyler,

As the president tours Europe, attending the economic conference (formerly known as the G-8 until Russia was excluded as punishment for its invasion of Crimea), before swinging through Italy for meetings with the pope, Congress is “alarmed” about Putin’s military buildup along Ukraine’s eastern border.

First, the president and the pope gave curiously different accounts of the subject matter they discussed.  The president wanted to stick to matters of “income inequality,” poverty and the plight of refugees.  But the Vatican claims that religious freedom in the United States was broached in relation to government mandates that violate matters of conscience.  You may be aware that the government is suing the “Little Sisters of the Poor” nun’s organization over contraception and abortion-pill mandates in the controversial national health-care law.

Given the respective histories of the United States of America and the Catholic church, does it strike anyone as ironic that Catholic officials would be lecturing a U.S. president about religious freedom?!?  That in itself is a commentary on the insanity of the times in which we live.

Meanwhile, Congress is desperately concerned about Russia’s military maneuvers on Ukraine’s eastern border.  Members are particularly concerned that the White House apparently isn’t taking the matter more seriously, and isn’t sharing intelligence about Russian troop and equipment movements with Ukraine.  But the president said, in what must be one of the most un-presidential public statements of all time, that he’s more concerned about the prospect of a nuclear weapon being detonated in Manhattan.  It’s hard to know how to read a statement like that one.  Apparently we’re to conclude that Putin’s ambitions are not that great a concern?

Europe’s current leadership is in no position to respond.  They’ve been hesitant to even participate in economic sanctions designed to punish Putin’s brazen grab of Crimea, believing that the damage to the European economy would be too costly.  However, a lot could change if Putin continues his push to try to reconstruct the parameters of the old Soviet Union.  It just might be the catalyst that pushes Europe to adopt calls for a “United States of Europe,” including unified political leadership and a unified military force.  We shall see.

The vice president of the European Commission issued statements calling for just that, without mentioning the military angle. “We need to build a United States of Europe with the Commission as government and two chambers the  European Parliament and a “Senate” of Member States.”  And get this.  They’re not worried that Britain won’t go along.  Another EU official is quoted (UK Telegraph article We want a United States of Europe says top EU official) saying, “We assume Britain’s leaving the EU so we don’t even bother thinking about British sensitivities at the moment.”

If you’ve followed this work for any amount of time, some bells must be ringing.  Things are beginning to take shape along the lines of the warnings made over a period of decades.  Surely no one could have foreseen exactly what could bring about a transcendent European government, without British participation.  But the threat posed by Putin’s aggression just may be the catalyst.

That certainly does not discount dire concerns over what is transpiring in the Middle East.  To the contrary, Putin has become a counter player to the United States in Iran and Syria.  Unbelievably, our administration’s handling of the debacle in Egypt, clinging (for reasons unknown) to the legitimacy of the Muslim Brotherhood, has driven Egypt into the arms of Putin as well!

Meanwhile, every exercise of American power at this time seems to target our own citizenry.  We will respect queers marrying, we will go “green,” we will sign up for government-mandated health-care, we will support abortion, we will embrace radical communists at the head of every American agency, whatever it takes.  That is the whole thrust of the message coming out of D.C., and that is what the national press is happily informing our population continually.

Well, NO WE WON’T, no matter what they throw our way.  We’re Americans, not socialist peasants.  We don’t believe in “government mandates,” particularly when they require compromise with God’s Laws.  And finally, we can appeal to a much Higher Power than some vain, self-absorbed “officials” or Federal Judges who’ve done nothing but desecrate everything we stand for.  Don’t be discouraged, this is far from over.

The new monthly letter has been printed and as of today, mailed.  We’re getting very positive reactions to the new TCW, and we’re already working toward another issue.  Plans are well along for Passover and the Days of Unleavened Bread, and we’re looking forward to hosting visitors on the weekend of April 19, and the last Day of UB April 21.  You may have heard, we had 7 baptisms and a wedding here last Sabbath.  A straight one!

Mark Armstrong