What do the current unrest and economic turmoil portend for the United States and the future of its people? Does the Bible really mention America in prophecy, and—if so—what does it foretell?
Street protests turning violent. Murder rates going up. City blocks taken over by anarchists. Historical monuments defaced and torn down by mobs. Citizens without police protection resorting to guns for the defense of their lives and homes. What is happening to America the beautiful, the land of the free and the home of the brave?
To be sure, Americans are hardly without their faults, any more than the citizens of other nations. Yet the United States still stands today as the only true superpower—though for reasons very different than most people understand. Ancient empires have come and gone: Babylon, Persia, Greece, Rome. All these empires had their day in the sun and then collapsed, most often weakened by forces within before they were toppled by forces from outside. Even the greatest of all, the British Empire, which ruled over nearly a quarter of the earth, is hardly an “empire” now.
How long will it be before the fall of the “American empire”?
Considering all that is happening in their own country, Americans may be forgiven for not knowing the latest news from the tiny, far-away state of Israel. However, what is happening there says a lot about how the world sees the tattered “Stars and Stripes.” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is embarking on a plan to annex portions of the West Bank—in effect, a land grab. The idea is unpopular outside of Israel (among those who even know about it), but it is also unpopular within Israel. So, the questions are, Why? and Why now?
The answer is found largely in the Israeli perception of what is happening in America, Israel’s most important ally. War-weary Israelis are not much distracted by the street protests over the death of George Floyd. Rather, what they see goes much deeper. They look at the political divide in the U.S. and they see weakness. They see anarchists and milquetoast mayors and governors who cave to looters and rioters. They see America’s foundations being attacked, as statues of national heroes—not just those associated with the Confederacy, but monuments of the nation’s Founding Fathers themselves and even abolitionists (including one who literally gave his life to end slavery)—are disrespected, vandalized, and destroyed. They see the guardians of law and order in society openly disrespected. Israeli leaders recognize the difference between understandable rage over an injustice and the tearing down of the very foundations and institutions that define America.
On July 5, The Times of Israel published an article titled “How fear of a US retreat from the Mideast is driving Netanyahu toward annexation.” Under the subhead “Crumbling before our eyes,” it explains,
When Israeli defense planners who support an annexation move talk about a “window of opportunity” in Washington, they mean something larger than the expected end of the Trump presidency. There is a fear that America itself is in retreat, and with it a global order that could be relied upon to ensure some measure of stability and security for a small country like Israel. “American hegemony is crumbling before our eyes,” said Dr. Eran Lerman, a prominent conservative defense thinker who supports the annexation plan.
For all of its shortcomings, the U.S. has generally been a benevolent power in the world. Nations that have taken it on militarily have often come to regret it, as the strength of America and its allies has crushed those who have challenged it. Yes, there have been defeats such as in Vietnam, and stalemates in Korea and elsewhere, but Germany, Japan, and Iraq learned painful lessons. Yet this same America helped rebuild Germany and Japan into prosperous and leading nations that once again stand on their own. Its post-World War II efforts were not Soviet-style occupations such as Eastern Europe suffered. While communist nations built walls to keep people in, the U.S. must build walls to keep people out—people who simply want something better than they currently have. How ironic that while throngs of foreigners want to come to America for the opportunities they see, some of its own citizens want to tear it down!
America was born of humble beginnings, as a colony of the then-greatest empire in the world, Great Britain. But when pushed too far by taxation without representation and other grievances, the tea went into the harbor. That may be stating the situation a bit too simplistically, but it sums up much of what many of us were taught in grade school.
We grew up saying the Pledge of Allegiance to the flag, a symbol of all that America stood for. Some of us also began the school day reciting the “Lord’s Prayer,” but in 1962 the U.S. Supreme Court ruled prayer in public schools to be unconstitutional. Only two years later, in 1964, turmoil was rampant across the nation: The U.S. Congress passed the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution that thrust America into the Vietnam quagmire, and the “Free Speech Movement” began on the campus of the University of California, Berkeley—eventually spawning the “Filthy Speech Movement” the following spring. That same year, the Beatles rock band arrived in New York singing “I Want to Hold Your Hand”—later, they wanted to put a marijuana joint in it.
It is difficult to describe the turbulent decade of the ’60s in this brief article, nor is it my purpose to do so. Suffice it to say that many threads were knit together—the Vietnam War, campus protests, the Civil Rights movement, and the assassinations of President John F. Kennedy, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and Senator Robert F. Kennedy. It was the decade of hippies, “free sex,” and a new sound in music brought by the “British Invasion.” Some today still glorify Woodstock, a drug-infested rock music festival celebrating “free love” and rebellion. But it was also the decade when American Neil Armstrong set foot on the moon, fulfilling the goal set by President Kennedy only eight years earlier.
The 1960s and 1970s set the stage for what we see happening in the Western world today, especially in America. No country is without faults, and that is certainly true of the United States. Its barbarous chattel slavery was an early evil, and correcting it took a heavy toll. The American Civil War was the bloodiest war in the nation’s history, taking more American lives than all its other wars combined, and staining the land with the red blood of white and black citizens alike. That was a start, but it did not end the problems in race relations, and some of those problems continue to this day. However, the demeaning practices of mandatory racial segregation—including separate drinking fountains, separate restrooms, and separate seating on buses for different races—have been a thing of the past for decades.
It is easy to view every protest as an isolated incident, but over the years it has become clear that there are those who protest for seemingly any and every cause. We might call them “professional protesters.” One must wonder how they have the money to travel from one location to another to stir crowds to violence. Why do they hate the country of their birth and the country that gives them the freedom to protest?
The protesters and rioters of the ’60s and early ’70s gave new meaning to “love your enemies.” One celebrity who embodied this new love of enemy was Jane Fonda, still known to many as “Hanoi Jane.” She earned that moniker by traveling to North Vietnam, a country with which America was at war. From enemy soil she made ten radio broadcasts condemning America’s involvement in the war, but she is mostly remembered for a photograph showing her sitting in the seat of an anti-aircraft gun that was used to shoot at American airmen. While she has since expressed much regret over her choice to sit at that gun, the whole of her actions in Hanoi showed great contempt for America. Yet, she came back to enjoy the privileges her country bestows upon her.
Fonda married activist Tom Hayden in 1973. Hayden was part of the radical left and what became known as the Chicago Seven. Along with Abbie Hoffman and five others, he was charged with stirring up violent protests at the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago. Hayden would later go into California politics, where he could further spread his radicalism and political violence. Abbie Hoffman was a true rabble-rouser, described as a revolutionary, a socialist, and an anarchist, and his 1968 book Revolution for the Hell of It sums up his life well. These, and others like them, were not children of poverty, but they hated America and passed their hatred along to following generations.
Most of the turbulence of these two decades was spawned on university campuses—most famously the University of California at Berkeley and San Francisco State University, but these had plenty of company from academia across the land. The Vietnam War was unpopular in the U.S., and a ready cause for American socialists and Marxists. It was from Hollywood and universities that seeds of hatred for America and a love of socialism were sown. The fruit we currently see among so many young students is a testimony to the success of academia’s radical leftist professors.
We are naïve if we think that the U.S. and the Soviet Union were not involved in attempts to overthrow one another’s governments. Such activities have gone on for millennia between nations, and what we see in today’s America is part of that game. But to fully understand why we are where we are today, we must go back earlier than the middle of the twentieth century.
Many of the problems we face today originated much earlier—all the way back at the beginning of humankind—but for our discussion we will start in the nineteenth century. Charles Darwin undercut belief in God with his theory of evolution—an attempt to explain creation without a Creator. The concept of godless evolution that is so much a part of today’s academic thought is understandably popular among a young generation and others who desire to cast off all restraint.
Karl Marx was also a product of the nineteenth century. Most people are familiar with his name and know he is connected to Communism, but how much do they know about the kind of man he was? The nature of his temperament is woven into his diabolical philosophy that has inflicted pain and suffering upon millions of people over the last century.
Paul Johnson is a brilliant and prolific British author. His 1988 book Intellectuals describes Marx’s temperament in detail, but the best summation is the title to its third chapter: “Karl Marx: ‘Howling Gigantic Curses’” (p. 52). Johnson also paints a fascinating picture of Marx’s influence on our world. Note this prescient statement:
The notion that Marxism is a science, in a way that no other philosophy ever has been or could be, is implanted in the public doctrine of the states his followers founded, so that it colours the teaching of all subjects in their schools and universities. This has spilled over into the non-Marxist world, for intellectuals, especially academics, are fascinated by power, and the identification of Marxism with massive physical authority has tempted many teachers to admit Marxist “science” to their own disciplines, especially such inexact or quasi-exact subjects as economics, sociology, history and geography (pp. 52–53).
Johnson rightly notes that individuals and nations influenced by Marx are obsessed with power—so it is not surprising that they end up becoming totalitarian. He also rightly observes that Marx’s philosophies are especially attractive to intellectuals and academics—thus it is also not surprising that his ideas have infiltrated and taken root in our universities. This is evident by the extreme hatred so many students have for their own country and their widespread calls for socialistic ideas. What else can you conclude as you see them burning the flag, tearing down and defacing monuments and statues of the founders of America, accusing anyone who disagrees with them for any reason of being “white supremacists,” and even going so far as to topple statues of abolitionists such as Frederick Douglass and Hans Christian Heg?
Yesterday’s university graduates with extreme-left ideologies are now schoolteachers at all levels and are openly pumping anti-Americanism into their students’ brains. Anything white, European, male, or “cisgender” is labeled racist, misogynistic, “white privilege,” and fascist. Core values of Western civilization, such as the nuclear family and patriarchy, are assaulted. The evidence is there for anyone who has eyes to see.
Many of those protesting the killing of George Floyd are sincere, and not all of them are Marxists, to be sure. Not all hate America. Many protesters have publicly decried the violence that overtook the movement. However, the collateral damage from the influence of Marxist university professors is clearly evident. Their students share the angry temperament of their mentor, Marx—angry young punks who spit, scream obscenities, throw bricks, and show total disrespect for law enforcement.
The political organization Black Lives Matter, or BLM, suddenly became everyone’s darling, with mobs and some politicians claiming their banner and calling for the defunding of police. So what is behind the movement? While many sincere people use the term “Black Lives Matter” as part of a broader movement for social justice, many quickly jumped on the BLM bandwagon with no clue about the goals and beliefs of the organization behind the slogan. Do all those jumping aboard really support the dismantling of the nuclear family? Do they support the LGBTQIA+ movement? Yes, the BLM organization supports these goals and ideas. All this and more can be discovered simply by going to the BlackLivesMatter.com website, which openly calls for such cultural and moral changes far removed from the noble goal of caring for black lives. And how many riding the BLM bandwagon know about the organization’s connection with shady characters from the past? To uncover those ties, you must dig a bit deeper.
Patrisse Cullors, Alicia Garza, and Opal Tometi founded Black Lives Matter. Two of them openly and publicly refer to themselves as “queer.” Further, Patrisse Cullors claims a Marxist connection. How many supporting BLM know that? What exactly did she mean in a 2015 interview titled “A Short History of Black Lives Matter” on TheRealNews.com when she described herself and Garza as “trained Marxists”? From whom and where did they get that training?
The average person has never heard of Thousand Currents, a funding agency for nice-sounding causes around the world. Its website seems innocuous enough and would not raise eyebrows: “Thousand Currents funds grassroots groups and movements led by women, youth, and Indigenous Peoples in the Global South.” Yet Patrisse Cullors’ comment about being “trained Marxists” and the fact that Black Lives Matter partners with Thousand Currents should prompt a closer look into this agency. When we take that closer look, we find the name of Susan Rosenberg. Who is she?
Rosenberg was heavily influenced by the radical left of the ’60s and ’70s. She became a member of or was associated with a number of violent terrorist organizations: the Weather Underground, the May 19 Communist Organization, and the Black Liberation Army. She was considered a suspect in a 1981 armored car robbery and was later charged for her part in the 1983 bombing of the U.S. Capitol Building. Rosenberg and Timothy Blunk were arrested in 1984 in Cherry Hill, New Jersey, where the two were off-loading weapons and 740 pounds of dynamite into a storage facility. In 1985, she was tried and sentenced to 58 years in prison, but had only served 16 years when her sentence was commuted by President Bill Clinton on his last day in office.
Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) joined then New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani, a Republican, in criticizing the decision to set free Susan Rosenberg, convicted on weapons and explosives counts, and connected to the Weather Underground’s robbery of an armored car in Rockland County, New York that led to the deaths of two police officers and a Brinks’ guard (“Obama’s VP Screener Missed Problems with Controversial Clinton Pardons,” ABCNews.Go.com, June 20, 2008).
During an April 2008 Democratic presidential primary debate, candidate Barack Obama criticized President Bill Clinton’s decision to commute Rosenberg’s sentence. Considering the length of her sentence and the rarity of such a deep-seated bipartisan outcry, Rosenberg and those associated with her must clearly be taken seriously.
Numerous sources report on the connection between BLM and Susan Rosenberg:
Formerly known as the International Development Exchange (IDEX), Thousand Currents is a left-of-center grantmaking organization. As of June 16, 2020, Rosenberg sat on the Thousand Currents Board of Directors serving as Vice Chair. However, the organization subsequently deleted the Board of Directors information listing Rosenberg’s biography from its website.
While still known as IDEX in 2016, Thousand Currents began a sponsorship of the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement. In 2019, financial documents showed the group held over $3.3 million in assets earmarked for BLM. As of June 24, 2020, access to financial information had been deleted from the organization’s website (“Susan Rosenberg,” InfluenceWatch.org).
This deletion of financial information is not surprising, considering the millions of dollars suddenly flooding in from corporate America. Rosenberg continued promoting her leftist agenda in her 2011 book An American Radical and is a lecturer on university campuses.
Communist front organizations are adept at hiding behind good-sounding causes. The BLM movement is no different. No decent person disagrees that black lives are important and matter just as much as non-black lives. Of course they do! So why is it considered racist to say that white lives, Asian lives, Hispanic lives, and all other lives matter—and to talk about a larger view that sees all people as equals, as they truly are in the eyes of God? Some claim pointing out that “All lives matter” is insensitive at this current moment and fails to recognize the hurt felt by black individuals who feel that their lives have been especially discounted. That’s a conversation worth having. After all, if the statement is intended to convey that “Black lives matter also,” that’s a truth with which we should all agree. But the ambiguity of the BLM slogan provides room for a lot of bad actors on all sides of the discussion. Sadly, no discussion at all takes place.
Rather, any comment about “all lives” generates instant accusations of racism. Why? Because “racist” is what you are labeled if you dare to question the ideologies of the radical left. A word once reserved for the most powerful of condemnations now flies out of lips as easily as breaths of air, diluting the term and providing cover for the truly hateful. And the accusations multiply quickly. You are also deemed sexist, misogynistic, fascist, and suffering from “white privilege”—simply because of the color of your skin or because you refuse to bow before the latest nonsense being spewed from Berkeley, Columbia, or any of the smaller colleges trying to keep up with the big boys.
The fact that all lives matter was proclaimed clearly nearly 2,000 years ago, long before Patrisse Cullors or Susan Rosenberg came along! That truth today is declared on billboards, homemade placards, and rocks in front of churches, but it was first inscribed in the most important book ever written: “For God so loved the world [that is, every man, woman, and child on the face of the earth] that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life” (John 3:16). Every single life does matter to God, and we at Tomorrow’s World teach that fearlessly!
The anger many feel over what they believe to be injustice in their countries is not entirely without justification. In America and elsewhere, chattel slavery was once legal and common. As we noted earlier, even after the bloodiest war in American history, fought partially to solve the problem, racism continued. Some former Confederate soldiers terrorized black people during Reconstruction, and continuing racism fueled the resurgence of the Ku Klux Klan well into the twentieth century. There are many other modern examples.
However, progress has been made. This is not the 1960s. “Defund the Police” and burning down cities was never the message of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., John Lewis, and earlier courageous protesters. How different was the courage and grace of the Freedom Riders and others who fought for civil rights, and what a difference the peaceful protests of an earlier age made.
But, as we have noted, there was violence from radical groups in that era as well. We see a resurgence of it today, but—in many ways—on a more frightening scale. What we see now is essentially a new civil war, and it is being carried out on many fronts: in academia, in the media, in the political arena, and in left-wing corporate culture. Many intend to rewrite the nation’s history, dismantle constituted authority, and cause general mayhem in the streets. Today, the U.S. is at a tipping point in a far more dangerous world than the nation faced in its first civil war. Many people understand this but are so turned off by news of COVID-19, flag-burning, and politics that they have tuned out. But the Israeli attempt to annex portions of the West Bank at this time—however delayed by the recent UAE peace deal—is a clear indication of the dismal future many nations see for America.
Will there be a backlash from the “silent majority” as there was with the New York City “Hard Hat Riot” in 1970? And if so, how will it come, and in what form? Let us hope and pray that it will not be in the form of further violence.
America has never been the godly nation that many think it is or was, but neither has it been the “Great Satan” that others have accused it of being. However, America has undergone a massive turning away from the nuclear family and other values rooted in biblical morality. This decline has accelerated in the last decade and continues to pick up speed. Moral decline is not just an American phenomenon, of course. It seems that all the nations descended from Great Britain are taking the same path, and the Bible warns of what will happen if we continue turning away from God’s laws.
The prophet Isaiah asks a question that is far more relevant to the U.S. and other British-descended nations than most realize:
Why should you be stricken again? You will revolt more and more. The whole head is sick, and the whole heart faints…. Your country is desolate, your cities are burned with fire; strangers devour your land in your presence; and it is desolate, as overthrown by strangers…. Hear the word of the Lord, you rulers of Sodom; give ear to the law of our God, you people of Gomorrah (Isaiah 1:5, 7, 10).
He goes on to say,
I will give children to be their princes, and babes shall rule over them. The people will be oppressed, every one by another and every one by his neighbor; the child will be insolent toward the elder, and the base toward the honorable…. As for My people, children are their oppressors, and women rule over them. O My people! Those who lead you cause you to err, and destroy the way of your paths (Isaiah 3:4–5, 12).
In a very real sense, the second American Civil War has already begun. How long will it last and how will it end? Even though God gave ancient Israel reprieve after reprieve, He said His patience would eventually run out and His people would destroy themselves and be taken into captivity. However, there is good news for those who will listen: “But from there you will seek the Lord your God, and you will find Him if you seek Him with all your heart and with all your soul. When you are in distress, and all these things come upon you in the latter days” (Deuteronomy 4:29–30).
We cannot control whether our nations will listen to such warnings. But we, ourselves, can choose to listen.