SARS — AND NO END IN SIGHT
USA Today reported on May 24 that “despite a possible scientific breakthrough linking SARS to animals, the disease continued to vex health authorities trying to contain it.” Apart from new outbreaks of the disease, the really frightening news is its possible origin. USA Today continued, “Researchers in Hong Kong have found evidence of the SARS virus in three types of small animals including the civet cat, which IS EATEN (!) as a delicacy by some Chinese… Civet cats are from the same animal family as ferrets.”
The German papers of MAX and NETZEITUNG confirmed the report. MAX added that “people in Southern China have probably caused the spreading of the SARS disease through their fondness of exotic dishes… The civet cat (viverra civetta) has been eaten in the region for centuries.” NETZEITUNG pointed out that a certain substance, found in civet cats, has been used for certain types of medical products, as well as for perfume.
Although not entirely proven, the transmission of the disease from animals to men through animal consumption appears more and more likely. As “HowStuffWorks,Inc.” pointed out on its Webpage, under “How SARS Works,” “And, while coronaviruses have been a known culprit in acute sickness among animals (such as dogs, cats and pigs), this has not been common among humans. Researchers have been investigating the possibility that this coronavirus jumped between species. This would not be the first time a disease has migrated from animal to man. All of these conditions were first evident in animals: buffalopox; Creutzfeldt-Jacob [sic] disease (also known as Mad-Cow disease); Ebola haemorrhagic [sic] disease; HIV-AIDS; and Nipah virus.”
The Bible warns us that in the end time, many people will die “by the beasts of the earth” (Revelation 6:8). The transmission of diseases through animals would certainly constitute a fulfillment of this prophecy. In addition, God has told man not to eat certain animals designated in the Bible as “unclean.” The civet cats, as well as monkeys, dogs or pigs, are designated unclean animals which are not to be eaten. God gave us those health laws to abide by, as their violation causes sickness, disease and even premature death, as most recent events have demonstrated. When we obey God’s commands, we will be blessed. When we disobey God, curses are the consequence.
EUROPE ON THE RISE
The Telegraph in the United Kingdom reported on May 27 about “sweeping plans for a new European constitution, with an elected president and overriding powers to legislate across the whole range of national life… The draft of the constitution, which was presented in Brussels yesterday, includes plans for a common foreign policy, a legally binding charter of fundamental rights, control over economic and employment policies and the explicit primacy of EU law over member states for the first time…” The article continued that the draft Constitution has been described as attempting to create “a European state with a European government.” It pointed out, too, that “the EU envisaged by the 105-strong convention would have a full-time president elected by EU leaders to give strategic direction… A foreign minister would be elected, also by EU leaders, to conduct a common policy. EU defense and security policy initiatives would also come under his remit.” The German press is speculating whether Joschka Fischer might become the first European foreign minister.
At the same time, relationships between continental Europe and the United States don’t seem to get any better, but they seem to continue to deteriorate. The NETZEITUNG reported on May 24 that, according to U.S. Security Advisor Condoleeza Rice, no betterment of the relationship between President Bush and German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder is expected. According to Rice, President Bush does not accept German Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer as a “statesman,” due to his past as a sometimes violent demonstrator.
USA Today reported on May 28 about the challenges which President Bush will have to face during his next overseas trips. It stated, “The most important and precarious meetings, with Arabs and Israeli leaders, will mark Bush’s first direct involvement in the quest for Middle East peace. History suggests that odds of success are minimal. Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat already is showing signs that he wants to undermine the talks… Bush also faces tricky encounters with some of his most fervent critics in Europe… Bush will have his first face-to-face meetings with Russian President Vladimir Putin, French President Jacques Chirac and German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder since the war, which they opposed… They’ll all be in St. Petersburg, Russia, for Saturday’s celebration of the 300th anniversary of Putin’s hometown… All three leaders seem to want reconciliation. After preventing a vote in the United Nations authorizing the war, they joined the United States in voting for a resolution ending sanctions against Iraq. Even so, aides say Bush will let each leader know, with varying degrees of subtlety, that all is not yet forgotten.”
The Bible speaks of a time when they will say, “peace, peace,” but there will be no peace. We are hearing a lot about a “road map to peace” in the Middle East, or attempts of peaceful reconciliation between nations, especially the United States and continental Europe. The Bible prophesies, however, that in the future, a powerful European power bloc will be at odds with the United States, and that it will be Europe — not the United States — that will become influential in bringing about a very temporary “peace” in the Middle East. Once all of that happens, the time of Christ’s return will have arrived.