Change in an unchanging world

When I was decades younger, I recall older people lamenting how the “world today” had changed from when they were young. Now I’m one of them and grumble about change the same as they did. Then again, some things haven’t changed. Perhaps I’m just more aware of contradictions, absurdities and outrages.

• Opening a social-media account on Facebook (2.32 billion active users according to Statista, January 2019) is not so easy. For several years, persons not comfortable registering as either a male or a female have been able to select from dozens of gender choices to describe themselves. (“Facebook’s 71 gender options come to UK users,” Telegraph [UK], June 27, 2014)

• Frankenstein reborn? The US Department of Health and Human Services has extended its $10 million contract with the University of California San Francisco to raise “humanized mice.” The government agency is funding research to develop HIV therapies by implanting mice with human fetal tissue taken from late-term aborted babies. (, March 1, 2019)

• Appallingly, dozens of children (girls as young as nine, boys as young as 15) have been executed in Iran without a fair trial, according to the Norway-based Iran Human Rights and Amnesty International. There are currently 160 young offenders on death row according to the United Nations. (Gatestone Institute, Majid Rafizadeh, March 8, 2019)

Undaunted, the European Union, clamoring for business with Iran and led by France and Germany, is scrambling to find ways to circumvent US President Donald Trump’s economic sanctions on Iran.

• Re-elected Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu regularly cites Germany as one of Israel’s best friends, but is that so? As recently as last November, there were 21 anti-Israel resolutions at the United Nations General Assembly. Germany sided with Israel’s enemies 16 times and abstained four times. (The Jerusalem Post, February 6, 2019)

• On February 17, 2019, at the Islamic Education Center of Houston, Texas, ceremonies marking the fortieth anniversary of the Iranian Islamic Revolution included American children denouncing the USA and singing praises to Iran’s Supreme Leader: “Allah akbar! [Allah is great!] Allah akbar! Khamenei is our leader….We are your followers, we are your soldiers.” (Middle East Media Research Institute [MEMRI], February 20, 2019)

• Consider Mufti Muhammad Ibn Muneer, the imam of a New York City mosque. He says polygamy is “healthy competition” for wives, and “asking permission to take a second wife proves you are a weak man.” Since Allah permits multiple wives, “Anyone who rejects that rejects common sense and logic.” (MEMRI, March 8, 2019)

• Rumors abound that US President Donald Trump’s peace plan will offer statehood and tens of billions of dollars of aid to the Palestinians for making peace with Israel. The Palestinians, in turn, have begun a campaign declaring their absolute rejection of Trump’s “Deal of the Century.” Dismissively, they state, “Normalization and reconciliation means empowerment of Jews [and]…surrender to the infidels.” (Gatestone Institute, Khaled Abu Toameh, March 4, 2019)

• Priorities clear: Short on funds and rejecting transfers of tax monies collected by Israel, the Palestinian Authority declared on February 20 it would reduce salaries of public employees, but continue paying full pensions to terrorists in Israeli jails and their families. (Palestinian Media Watch [PMW], February 20, 2019)

• In Gaza, the Al-Aqsa TV station is broadcasting music videos urging Palestinian Arabs to murder Jews: “Send them to hell…Let fire burn them, turn them into body parts, roast them.” (The Jerusalem Post, March 7, 2019, transl. by PMW)

• Daily incitement is continuing, and so are acts of terrorism. In an interview broadcast on Al-Aqsa TV on February 14, 2019, the mother of 19-year-old Jerusalem resident Muhammad Said Muhammad Ali praised her son, who was killed when he attacked Israeli policemen at the Damascus Gate with a knife: “You could see in the video of the attack how practiced he was in wielding a knife, because…Muhammad was a butcher and knew how to slaughter.” (MEMRI, February 20, 2019)

In a sometimes-changing world, old hatreds endure. David wrote about the wicked enemy who plots iniquities and lays snares fearlessly (Ps. 64:2-6 [3-7]). They will fail, while “The righteous will rejoice in the Lord and will take refuge in Him; and all who are upright in heart will be glorified” (v. 10 [11]).