Saturday, September 24, 2016

LCG's Flawed Article on Black Lives Matter Protest Movement

In response to the mass protests and rioting in Charlotte following the shooting to death Keith Lamont Scott LCG, which is headquartered in Charlotte, highlighted an article by Jonathan Bueno discussing protests against police brutality which was released last month. It is entitled "Race Riots Ahead?" (August 16, 2016.)

The main problem in this article is that the author fails to discuss the disadvantages that African Americans experience. He writes as though the racial disparity endured by the African American community does not need to be discussed in this topic.
If only Ferguson, Missouri were the end of a terrible, disheartening story. Sadly, it was not. Recent publicized shootings of black men by police officers has ignited waves of protests in the United States, and has resulted in two confirmed retaliatory shootings of police officers in both Dallas, Texas and Baton Rouge, Louisiana. 
What is going on? Will there be an end to the divisions in this country? Or are there even more troubling things ahead for America, including race riots? Furthermore, how should Christians respond?
Those frightening and dreadful acts of murder in Dallas and Baton Rouge were not acts of protest at all. They were foul acts of murders. The protest movement is an attempt to stop police violence. The vast majority of those involved do not want violence and want less violence afflicting their societies. It is, to say the least, problematic that the author should equate those foul acts of murder with a predominantly peaceful protest movement that arose to stop violence.
This growing rift in our society, regardless of who is to blame, has serious implications.
In other words the cries of African American protesters for the violence to stop and their publicly stated yearning to live without the fear of violence is ignored and de-emphasized.
Jesus Christ predicted racial tensions 2,000 years ago—and unless there is nationwide repentance, tragic incidents like what happened in Baton Rouge and Dallas will continue and increase!
Why does the author choose to highlight those two terrible incidents and not mention the other fatal incidents which sparked the Black Lives Matter movement? Are not the lives of ordinary African Americans as important as any other human life?
The answer is simple, though most will completely dismiss it. There is a real spirit world, filled with fallen angels possessing power to influence mankind and stir up wrong attitudes and emotions—including hatred and murderousness.... The Bible reveals that Satan the devil is the “god of this age,” and will increasingly exert his evil influence with terrible consequences—leading to worldwide destruction....
This de-emphasizes the issue of police brutality. If African Americans were not afraid of experiencing violence at the hands of police officers this protest movement and the unfortunate riot in Charlotte would not have happened. Alas, one protester in Charlotte, namely Justin Carr, has already been killed during the disturbances. By ignoring the issue of police violence the author makes the protests and the comparatively rare riot appear to have arisen from nowhere. That is not a helpful view.
Black lives matter—and so do white lives, and members of all other races. All people, black, white, male and female are made in the image of God.... And in times like these, when negative emotions run high, Christians must stand fast in God’s word.
This statement inaccurately implies that Black Lives Matter protesters think "only black lives matters." This is not true. It is an unfortunate misunderstanding. Rather they are saying "black lives matter as well." They are persuaded that the lives of African Americans are not valued as much as whites. They want to be valued as much as whites in order to reduce police violence and protect themselves, their families and friends. Any other community enduring a similar situation would surely protest such a situation as well.
The Bible instructs what Christians should do. First, violent retaliation is never the answer in the face of injustice, whether real or perceived.
The Black Lives Matter movement for the most part has been peaceful. But there have been comparatively unusual exceptions to this rule in Ferguson, Baltimore and now Charlotte that tend to, among other things, divert attention from the vast majority of protesters who are peaceful. These problems do not happen for no reason. This protest movement is a response to police violence. Address the police violence and the situation will calm down.
Racial tensions are predicted to continue on a global scale, especially the more this world turns away from God. There are dire straits ahead for any country that abandons morality, even as secular historians note. This is especially true for an ethnically diverse United States.
Is the author implying that racial diversity somehow weakens society? This is, to say the least, a terribly inaccurate view.

Will racial tensions continues? Regardless of what happens in the future it deserves to be noted that LCG does not know what will happen in the future. Armstrongism has a long history of making many false prophecies over the years.

Sadly this article fails to hear the cries of the Black Lives Matter protesters and ignores the problem of police violence. With an attitude like that LCG's leaders will never understand what is happening and will be inclined to inaccurately view these problems as inexplicable thus hindering them and their followers from helpfully addressing this issue.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Protests and Riots in LCG's Hometown, Charlotte

In the hometown of LCG HQ an African American, Keith Lamont Scott, was shot to death by a police officer and in response there have been protests and, unfortunately, rioting. Family members say that he was unarmed and was simply reading a book while waiting to pick up his son. Police said he had a gun on him.
Police fatally shot an African-American man named Keith Lamont Scott in Charlotte, North Carolina, on Tuesday evening. According to the Charlotte Observer, officer Brentley Vinson, who is also African American, fired the shot that killed the 43-year-old father in the parking lot of the Village at College Downs apartment complex. Protests erupted at the site of the shooting, during which which “several dozen police officers in riot gear” fired tear gas into the crowd. Witnesses of the shooting and the officers involved give vastly different accounts of what actually transpired. (Kalli Halloway, Charlotte Cops Kill Man Who Was Allegedly Unarmed and Reading in Car Setting Off Protests, Alternet, September 20, 2016.)
Considering that this is happening in LCG's hometown let us note the following tweet they sent to the world.



This tweet ignores the problem of police violence and scare mongers about "race riots", as though this problem is simply because people of different races living together. It inaccurately implies that these problems are unsolvable. What a terribly flawed way to view these unfortunate events.

These protests and the (compared to the protests) rare and quite unfortunate riots do not just happen. If the issue of police violence is handled properly then events such as these protests and this unfortunate riot will stop happening.

Time.com Mentions PCG's Unaccredited "College"

Time magazine recently made a list of the fifty best places to live in the United States. One entry was for Edmond, Oklahoma, the site of PCG's headquarters. It mentioned PCG's unaccredited college. The article does does not mention the $24 million Armstrong Auditorium,
Around town you’ll find almost two dozen recreational parks plus two other universities: Herbert W. Armstrong College and Oklahoma Christian University. (Time, Money, 50 Best Places to Live 2016, 48. Edmond, Oklahoma.)
No mention of the organization behind HWA College. No mention of the problems surrounding PCG. No mention that PCG's college is unaccredited.

Time magazine is overlooking a great story. A magnificent and wonderful story awaits any journalist willing to look just a little closer at the organization sponsoring the unaccredited Herbert W' Armstrong College, namely the organization that is named the Philadelphia Church of God which is led by one Gerald Flurry.  

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Mark Armstrong Vilifies Muslim Immigrants in Europe as a Plague

Haven't made a post on Mark Armstrong's weekly update since May 23 but Intercontinental COG's leader has lost none of his venomous, misanthropic invective as may be seen in his September 16, 2016 weekly update. This time he decides to moan about Muslim immigrants. This implies that immigrants are fine for him so long as they do not follow a particular religion he does not like. That is known as religious discrimination.

It is well known that many of the refugees going to Europe are fleeing the catastrophic war in Syria that has been raging since 2011 and which has killed so many people. Of course not all the refugees are from Syria but that cataclysmic war is a major factor in the current mass immigration into Europe. By complaining about Muslim immigrants instead of Syrians or any other specific nationality Mark Armstrong, intentionally or not, obscures their the connection with the war in Syria.

He complains about Muslim immigrants. Not terrorists. Not violent people. Not people of a particular ethnicity. Just people who happen to be Muslim.
In the United States, you either accept and embrace the president's importation and settlement of Muslim immigrants into the cities and towns of America or you're a bigoted xenophobe. Those who oppose the squalid influx in Europe are now reliably described by the liberal media there as neo-Nazis.
Discriminating against people just because they belong to a certain religion is illegal. It is not legally permissible for the United States to simply ban Muslims or other religious from entering the country. Embittering his followers at their presence in the country does nothing worthwhile and merely inflames tensions unnecessarily.

He gleefully denounces Chancellor Merkel for accepting refugees into Germany.
The identification of terror plots was a top priority for law enforcement long before the admission of a million some odd “refugees” from the Middle East and north Africa by the ever-so compassionate German Chancellor Angela Merkel.  Despite the fact that she's defended the move and relentlessly tried to manipulate public opinion, what's transpired in the aftermath of her disastrous policies, supported by the “globalist” masters of the European Union, goes way beyond the “problems” European cities were already experiencing with lawless Muslim ghettos.  
Who are these "“globalist” masters of the European Union" he talks about?

Young Muslim men are vilified as taking advantage of charity before hiding into "sprawling Muslim ghettos" which he compares with a "plague".
Thousands of young Muslim men registered at asylum centers in Switzerland, many as “unaccompanied minors,” making them eligible for special financial benefits and treatment.  For weeks or months, they took advantage of food and shelter services offered them, often staffed by well-meaning volunteers, before disappearing completely.  They're somewhere in Europe, absorbed into the sprawling Muslim ghettos that plague nearly every big city or inhabiting one of the lawless camps like the “jungle” on the northern coast of France. 
Note how he view the mere presence of Muslims in these European cities as a "plague". This is very disturbing rhetoric. It is a terrible thing to talk about human beings as though they were a "plague".

Mark Armstrong then makes a wild and ridiculous accusation that the left are plotting to give themselves "over to Muslim cultural demands."
Obviously it would be, as the EU elite have put it, “giving in to right-wing sentiment” should the truth about the situation be reported in the mainstream press. There is every indication that Europe, at least the media and EU leadership, is giving itself over to Muslim cultural demands.  President Francois Holland has called for the creation of an “Islam of France” saying that there's no conflict between Islam and secularism. In Germany, television ads are running to encourage the wearing of burqas and headscarves.  They're beautiful!   And they might prevent a female from being attacked and raped, that's the subliminal message. 
It is a very common theme in right wing Islamophobia to link (stereotyped and vilified) Muslims with the left in order to discredit the both of them.

Talk like this seems designed to imply that Muslims are going to take over. This is a ridiculous claim.

He gleefully notes that Merkel's party did not do very well in the recent elections. He also resorts to red baiting by alleging that she is using "Marxists economic policies" to gain popular support.
So far, Angela Merkel and EU leadership with the media in tow seem to have a majority of public support in their “humanitarian treatment” of Muslim immigrants.  But that may be starting to crack.  The party of Angela Merkel just suffered a humiliating defeat in a district of formerly East Germany that knows her well.  A telling article in the American Thinker asks “Is Germany Lurching to the Far Right?”  It cites the dwindling chances of Mrs. Merkel being re-elected next year and shows that she is relying on Marxists economic policies to convince voters that there is enough wealth to support German social programs and take care of all the Muslim immigrants. 
But Mark Armstrong lives in the United States. Most of his followers are in the United States. So naturally his scare mongering of Muslim immigrants in Europe is to make his American followers scared and fearful. He scare mongers that Europe has already reached the point of no return making the acceptance of immigrants sound really scary.
We in the United States are lectured with similarly deceptive nonsense almost daily.  It is a deception that will become widely apparent only after the situation has deteriorated to the point of no return.  For Europe, with its millions of Muslims who have no intention or desire to assimilate, that point has been reached.   
Did he talk with any of these immigrants? How does he know what they intend? More ridiculous scare mongering.
The United States is headed rapidly in that direction thanks to a philosophy, taught in nearly every school and university, that our founders were slave owners and therefore ours is an unjust racist system that deserves to be overthrown and overrun. 
It never ceases to amaze me how he choose to throw so many different topics together almost (but not quite) like a word salad.

Also it is well known that Thomas Jefferson was a slave owner. Mentioning that is a statement of fact, not a philosophy.

There is nothing wrong with addressing problems but he implies that people seeking to reform society to address problems of inequality afflicting African Americans and other ethnic minorities are somehow plotting to overthrow and overrun the United States. What a ridiculous thing to say about such reformers.

And so we see that Mark Armstrong's weekly updates have lost none of their rhetorical venom or chaotic shifting of topics. He continuously writes like this in his weekly updates.

Mark Armstrong's weekly updates are only available for a week.

*******

More of Mark Armstrong's weekly rants have been discussed in the following posts:
  • Mark Armstrong, Now Living in Sodom and Gomorrah, Speaks Out Against "Queer Matrimony", Banned by HWAJune 27, 2015.
  • Political neutrality, Armstrong style, Ambassador WatchMarch 16, 2016.
  • Mark Armstrong Rants About Refugees Trying to Destroy Western Civilization, April 1, 2016.
  • Mark Armstrong Insinuates Syrians Refugees are Not Refugees, April 3, 2016.
  • Mark Armstrong Scare Mongering About Mexican and Muslim Immigrants Again, April 10, 2016.
  • Mark Armstrong Weekly Melt Down...You Won't Find Him Riding In A Gay Parade!, Banned by HWAMay 23, 2016.

Monday, September 19, 2016

Kentucky Governor Muses of Blood Being Shed to Overthrow a Clinton Presidency

Back in March PCG's Joel Hilliker tried to make his readers more fearful of Black Lives Matter protesters by citing a quite headed but marginal article calling for a new Constitution. But the author of that article was a student in California, a state that already leans toward the Democratic Party anyway and he does not hold any public office.

At the Values Voters Summit that occurred recently Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin mused that blood would be shed, seemingly in order to overthrow a Clinton presidency.
Somebody asked me yesterday, I did an interview and they said, “Do you think it’s possible, if Hillary Clinton were to win the election, do you think it’s possible that we’ll be able to survive? That we would ever be able to recover as a nation? And while there are people who have stood on this stage and said we would not, I would beg to differ. But I will tell you this: I do think it would be possible, but at what price? At what price? The roots of the tree of liberty are watered by what? The blood, of who? The tyrants to be sure, but who else? The patriots. Whose blood will be shed? It may be that of those in this room. It might be that of our children and grandchildren. I have nine children. It breaks my heart to think that it might be their blood that is needed to redeem something, to reclaim something, that we through our apathy and our indifference have given away.
These inflammatory words were reported on by Right Wing Watch, a blog affiliated with People For the American Way and, according to The Washington Post, these inflammatory words gradually gained increased attention. Lexington Herald LeaderHuffington PostWashington Post, Vox and other media outlets have reported on this matter.

While there seems to be an audience within the COGs that can be made fearful over what a student in California may happen to say what about the inflammatory words of the governor of Kentucky? Do they fear these words? If not then why are such troubling words ignored by them?

Saturday, September 17, 2016

PCG Scare Mongering Against Immigrants (September 9, 2016)

So Dwight Falk and Grant Turgeon (Gerald Flurry's grandson) hosted another radio broadcast. Let's take a little look. (Trumpet Radio Live, September 9, 2016.)

It is stated that we are living in a time like the days just before World War II.

There is fear mongering about German military expansion. Meanwhile in the real world the United States is still by far the most powerful military power in the world.

Exploiting Suffering European Jews

They discuss a Breitbart article, a right wing media outlet that has been quoted in PCG's writings in at least twenty articles since 2006, discussing Jews being persecuted in Europe and migrating from there at record levels (31 minutes).

One wonders if PCG's 1% have ever discussed what has recently been said about a certain individual involved with that media outlet.

At one point it is mentioned that there are millions of Muslims in France. Unfortunately PCG has a long history of demonizing Muslims in general.

Cites Danny Danon, the Israeli Ambassador to the United Nations.

At one point Falk says anti-Semitism is popular. (33 minutes.)

Bigotry of all forms, including anti-Semitisim, must be most stridently opposed. To cite the anxiety and fear of many European Jews at present to promote the paranoid idea that some sort of World War III will soon erupt in which the United States is destroyed by a German led European Union (as is taught elsewhere in PCG's writings) is a shameful exploitation of their fears and of the tense situation they are in. They need helpful solutions, not being used as a prop to promote PCG's message of doom for non-members.

There are many problems today but a nuclear war of the sort that PCG preaches is most unlikely.

Scare Mongering Against Immigrants

Starting at 34 minutes they then discuss a story about a Mongolian woman who falsely told the police that she was being stalked by her boyfriend. The story is from Fox News. They then go into a rant about illegal immigrants, feminists, liberals, people saying Trump says racist things, etc.
[Grant Turgeon:] They're still fast tracked to citizenship despite, even if they, even if they're proved wrong. So it is quite extraordinary that we have laws like that in this country that would make such a thing possible. 
[Dwight Falk:] I think that's a great example of people coming into the nation and seeing a way to manipulate it to stay. I mean they know that the popular thinking is, you know, "Oh, the persecution. Oh, the inequality." And all of that. Which if you're not a citizen that's a ridiculous comment anyway. You don't, I mean, yeah, a citizen.  
But you can see how they know that people are sympathetic. They know that people are going to jump onboard with it. So they are just playing the system. Do they actually feel that way? Like they're being taken advantage of? Of course not. But they, it doesn't matter because they are playing the media and that liberal thinking against itself for their own advantage. And they're just being played for fools, quite frankly, and going along with it. 
[Turgeon:] People from afar, all over the world, can see that we're easily taken advantage of now in these areas. (37-38 minutes.)
Turgeon then complains about feminists describing a rape culture making a clumsy comparison with immigrants allegedly trying to gain citizenship on false pretenses.
[Turgeon:] It reminds me a lot actually of the feminist cause of, you know, promoting or saying there's a rape culture in society and how anytime a girl said someone raped her she should be believed. There are cases where the girl's been raped. There's also a lot, a lot of times where it's just an accusation. And they're even distorting the definition of rape to mean regret after the fact and that's still rape somehow. It's just a ... there's no truth involved. I think that's the whole crux of the issue. There's no truth but it's just exploiting a system, gaining the status of victim hood which is pretty much the height [of] status in America today. (38-39 minutes.)
What a terribly bad choice of talking about this most serious issue with immigrants in this context. It would have been better to bring up another topic in such a conversation.

Then Falk lambaste people who call Trump racist.
[Falk:] If you ask a lot of people about, say, a Donald Trump they'll say well that he's a racist and a bigot. And say well what did that, you know, he say that well that is that way. And they don't have anything or an, "I don't know." Or they'll say that he wants to build a wall. But again they've just heard it. It's just the thing to say. They don't even really know. They don't have any thoughts on it personally about how that works logically. It's just the thing to say. (39 minutes.)
There is already a border there with fences and guards monitoring it. Under President Obama deportations have reached record levels. But PCG leans far to the right so they are not inclined to note facts like that.

Perhaps he should recall how Joel Hilliker described Trump when he first discussed his presidential campaign.
And they [voters] are so disenchanted with politics as usual that they’re willing to overlook this man’s considerable flaws—his arrogance, his narcissism, his public, petty, childish insults. (Joel Hilliker, How Much Confidence Do You Have in America’s Political Process?, October 9, 2015.)
PCG's 1% tend to live cocooned in an information bubble of media sources they choose to trust which tend to lean to the political right. I do not condemn PCG for choosing to be right wing but it is important to note that they are right wing. Perhaps this radio host should get out of this right wing information bubble and listen to people who condemn Trump. Here is one example listing 176 complaints about Trump.

They then go into more scare mongering about immigrants supposedly getting into relationships to gain citizenship in the United States. Turgeon even claims that "plenty of Hispanics" support Trump's proposal to build a wall.
[Turgeon:] That's why there are plenty of Hispanics who actually do support Donald Trump's plan to build the wall. They're here legally. That's the difference. The ones here legally actually largely would support Donald Trump. ... Now they're seeing people just flood across the border and being allowed to stay. That would obviously be infuriating to a lot of them. It's not that these are policies against all races and all immigrants and that we don't want anybody here. But the ones who that are coming here illegally and then causing problems while they're here. Why should we put up with it? (45-46 minutes.)
And right after that Falk then criticize those who oppose Trump's proposal to build a wall.
It's so funny if people get upset at building a barrier because everybody has a barrier. If you have a house or a place of residence what is it ... what is it made up of? A series of walls. Why are they there? It's so other people can't get in. (46 minutes.)
There is already a barrier at the border and deportation levels have reached record highs under President Obama. Furthermore a house is not like a nation state. This is a false equivalence.

And so we see that PCG's leaders continue to peddle fear and despair to their followers. But there is no need to fear their dire proclamations. PCG's leaders are but false prophets.

PCG's Stephen Flurry Lambaste Trump as a Socialist

PCG's Stephen Flurry recently denounced Trump's proposal to give paid parental leave to some parents should he become president by calling him a socialist. 
Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump has gained a huge amount of support this election season by promising to undo the policies of the Obama administration. But as we draw closer to the general election, Mr. Trump has embraced views typically espoused by Democrats. As columnist Charles Krauthammer recently put it, Trump is trying to "out-Democrat the Democrats.” On today’s Trumpet Daily Radio Show, Stephen Flurry discusses this development and more. (Stephen Flurry, Trump's New Entitlement Program: Make Socialism Great Again?, September 15, 2016.)
If even the Republican nominee for president can be labelled a Socialist according to PCG's heir apparent then does the word "socialist" even mean anything to PCG's 1% except as a term of deprecation for politicians they do not like?

The proposal to provide parental leave to some parents is condemned as giving more entitlements to people. He complains that it means taxpayer money will be wasted. He complains that it is an expansion of government and that government needs to be reduced.

Buttressing this claim Stephen Flurry even talks as though the United States is at this very moment broke. If so then why does no one act like it? Why are the police officers still getting paid? Why do so many people choose to invest in US bonds? Why are interest rates so low for US bonds?

Here are some facts that contradict Stephen Flurry's dire assertions that America is somehow broke.
The U.S. dollar is a global reserve currency. It is considered the least risky asset in international finance. If investors have to start taking haircuts on this debt, it means that the way money is measured around the world would be thrown into question. All kinds of businesses, both domestic and foreign, would grind to a halt as investors stopped to figure out how to sort out the mess. Even in a best-case scenario, the results would be catastrophic. Financial markets eventually sorted things out after the 2008 meltdown, but it still sparked the worst recession in 75 years. A default on U.S. government debt would be worse. 
And there is no reason for the government to default. The U.S. government owes $12.8 trillion to the public. The majority of this money is owed to American citizens and businesses. And the annual output of the U.S. economy is currently $18.1 trillion and growing. The federal government collects over $3 trillion in taxes every year. The national debt just isn’t that big a deal. If it were, you’d see investors demanding high interest rates on American debt. But interest rates are in fact very low, meaning investors think the U.S. will not have trouble paying its debts.

Even if the United States eventually saw interest rates rise, the government could easily deal with it by raising taxes or simply printing more money. Printing money would pose the risk of modest inflation over the long term, and inflation isn’t an ideal way to deal with problems. But a little bit of inflation is way better than crashing the global economy. (Zach Carter, "Great, Donald Trump Threatened To Default On The National Debt," Huffington Post, May 6, 2016.)
It is nonsense to say that the United States is broke. It is simply not the case.

Later in the broadcast Stephen Flurry talks approvingly of President Calvin Coolidge who is praised for cutting bureaucratic regulations, cutting the national debt and is held up as a true conservative unlike Trump.

Just a few months after President Coolidge left office the Great Depression struck the United States. Economic collapse such as that does not just happen. Such an event happens for a reason. Perhaps Stephen Flurry should be weary of idealizing him.

Stephen Flurry ends with a religiously themed section talking about the need to be a responsible assistant citing David and Paul.

At first PCG's 1% seemed to like Trump but they don't like him anymore.