Be Kind 1


By Tom Quiner

I’d like to talk about two persons, both nameless.

Before I talk about them, let me share two things, or rather two ideas.  The first idea comes from the man who help to lay the foundations of Western philosophy and science.  His name is Plato.  As you know, he is the famous classical Greek philosopher who died in 347 BC.  Here is what he said:

“Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.”

The second idea flows from a story that’s been around.  I don’t know to whom to attribute this story, or short sermon,  but it is wonderful.  Thank-you who ever you are:

***

THE CRACKED WATER POT

A water bearer in India had two large pots, each hung on each end of a pole which he carried across his neck.

One of the pots had a crack in it, and while the other pot was perfect and always delivered a full portion of water at the end of the long walk from the stream to the master’s house, the cracked pot arrived only half full.

For a full two years this went on daily, with the bearer delivering only one and a half pots full of water in his master’s house.

Of course, the perfect pot was proud of its accomplishments, perfect to the end for which it was made. But the poor cracked pot was ashamed of its own imperfection, and miserable that it was able to accomplish only half of what it had been made to do.

After two years of what it perceived to be a bitter failure, it spoke to the water bearer one day by the stream. “I am ashamed of myself, and I want to apologize to you.”

“Why?” asked the bearer. “What are you ashamed of?”

“I have been able, for these past two years, to deliver only half my load because this crack in my side causes water to leak out all the way back to your master’s house. Because of my flaws, you have to do all of this work, and you don’t get full value from your efforts,” the pot said.

The water bearer felt sorry for the old cracked pot, and in his compassion he said, “As we return to the master’s house, I want you to notice the beautiful flowers along the path.”

Indeed, as they went up the hill, the old cracked pot took notice of the sun warming the beautiful wild flowers on the side of the path, and this cheered it some.

But at the end of the trail, it still felt bad because it had leaked out half its load, and so again it apologized to the bearer for its failure.

The bearer said to the pot, “Did you notice that there were flowers only on your side of your path, but not on the other pot’s side? That’s because I have always known about your flaw, and I took advantage of it. I planted flower seeds on your side of the path, and every day while we walk back from the stream, you’ve watered them. For two years I have been able to pick these beautiful flowers to decorate my master’s table. Without you being just the way you are, he would not have this beauty to grace his house.”

The moral of this story is:

Each of us has our own unique flaws.

We’re all cracked pots. But it’s the cracks and flaws we each have that make our lives together so very interesting and rewarding.

You’ve just got to take each person for what they are, and look for the good in them.

There is a lot of good out there.

***

So who are the two persons I’d like to introduce you to?  The first is a pregnant woman who shall remain nameless.  She is unhappy she is pregnant.  She is not sure if she wants to keep the daughter in her womb.  She faces rejection from the most important people in her life if they find out she is pregnant.  She doesn’t know if she can afford this baby.  Her life will be more difficult if her daughter is born.

She is fighting a hard battle.

I suspect she is a “cracked pot” herself, much like I am.  Probably much like you, too.

This flawed creature is in need of something important right now:  love.

The second person to whom I’d like to introduce you is truly nameless, because she hasn’t been born yet.  It is the woman’s daughter.

Like her mother, she is fighting a hard battle.  She is fighting for her life.

Like her mother, like you and me, she too is a cracked pot.  She simply hasn’t had the time to show us her flaws like the rest of us have done time and time again.  However,  we know something about this girl in her mother’s womb:  she is happy she is alive.  She doesn’t know anything else.  Life is beautiful once you take your first sniff of its intoxicating bouquet.  She desires life, although she doesn’t yet realize its challenges.  She only knows its beauty.

To the nameless mother, yes, you are a cracked pot.  But what a beautiful pot.  You have a lovely flower in you that the world desperately needs.

We love you.  We love your daughter.  And you’re not alone.

If you feel you’re alone, there is an organization called BirthRight that can give you practical help and encouragement.  In Des Moines, call 515-633-2133.  Or call their national crisis hotline now:  1-800-550-4900.

You are not alone.

To the rest of us, be kind.  The woman you meet may be fighting a hard battle.

Modern Auschwitz 2


By Tom Quiner

The Nazis exterminated 4 million human beings in Auschwitz.

Pope John Paul II visited the site on June 8th, 1979.  His remarks are immediately relevant.  The late-great John Paul said:

“Can it still be a surprise to anyone that the Pope born and brought up in this land, the Pope who came to the see of Saint Peter from the diocese in whose territory is situated the camp of Oswiecim (Auschwitz), should have begun his first Encyclical with the words “Redemptor Hominis” and should have dedicated it as a whole to the cause of man, to the dignity of man, to the threats to him, and finally to his inalienable rights that can so easily be trampled on and annihilated by his fellowmen?”

How easy it is to trample on the inalienable rights of man.

Governor Charlie Crist of Florida set back the cause of human dignity in Florida by vetoing a bill that could have saved human life.  He vetoed a Woman’s Right To Know legislation which required abortionists to give an ultrasound test before performing an abortion.

Doesn’t human dignity demand that an abortionist fully inform a Mother on what is in her womb before it is removed?

Think about this remark by the Pope at Auschwitz in the context of abortion:

“Is it enough to put man in a different uniform, arm him with the apparatus of violence?”

Picture a doctor’s uniform, picture the tools as being a suction device.

“Is it enough to impose on him an ideology in which human rights are subjected to the demands of the system, completely subjected to them, so as in practice not to exist at all?”

We once had an ideology in America in which the human right to life was inalienable.  The Democratic Party has participated in the eradication of those rights.  Governor Crist of Florida has left the Republican Party and no longer feels compelled to uphold the dignity of life.

Finally, reflect on this comment from John Paul, to which I referred in a previous post (Be Not Indifferent).  Again, think of it in the context of abortion:

“I have come and I kneel on this Golgotha of the modern world, on these tombs, largely nameless like the great tomb of the Unknown Soldier.”

Mankind’s aborted babies are nameless and faceless, like the unknown Soldiers we venerate.  Only the Democratic Party does not venerate the aborted babies, they only pass laws to increase their numbers.

“I kneel before all the inscriptions that come one after another bearing the memory of the victims of Oswiecim in languages: Polish, English, Bulgariam, Romany, Czech, Danish, French, Greek, Hebrew, Yiddish, Spanish, Flemish, Serbo-Croat, German, Norwegian, Russian, Romanian, Hungarian, and Italian.”

There are no inscriptions for dead babies in any language.

The modern Auschwitz is located in the abortion mills of America and around the world, protected and funded by liberal politicians who deny the dignity of human life.

Should we give up?

Did Poland give up?  No!

Did America give up! No!

Pro-lifers are at work in the trenches of America making a different.  We’re not giving up.

The stakes are too high.  Liberal politicians are misguided.  They are motivated by power.  The victory will come from the bottom up, not the top down.

When I get discouraged thinking about Governor Crist’s tragic veto, I think of John Paul’s final remarks at Auschwitz:

“Holy is God! Holy and strong! Holy Immortal One! From plague, from famine, from fire and from war … and from war, deliver us, Lord.”

***

I make no apologies for posting the photo above.  It is brutal to look at.  But don’t we need to be aware of what the violence of abortion looks like?  This photo shows America’s Auschwitz.  Support A Woman’s Right to Know” legislation in your state.

Dear Abby’s dilemma reflects America’s dilemma 4


By Tom Quiner

Did you read Dear Abby on Saturday?

Read it here:  http://www.kansascity.com/2010/05/21/1962299/dear-abby-couples-polar-politics.html#ixzz0onsfxhFQ

In a nutshell, a young couple are experiencing difficulties in their relationship due to significant political differences.  The writer poses this question:  “How can we learn to have a mutual respect for our political opinions while not compromising what each believes?”

The question reflects a deeper problem facing America.  Political differences were manageable as long as both sides share some basic values.  Those values were stated in the Declaration of Independence:   that each person has God-given fundamental rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

Both political parties agreed on this value system until this generation.

Today’s Democratic Party has moved away from the value system that served America so well. Instead, today’s Democrats pointedly reject the notion that a person has a fundamental right to life.

Their position on that issue today is certainly reminiscent of their position in 1860 when they rejected the notion that certain human beings had a right to freedom, a right to their own life. President Lincoln’s famous warning is relevant today:  “a nation divided against itself cannot stand.”

What a chilling thought.

There’s hope.  Polling data shows America is becoming more pro life.  Technology lets us see into the womb in wondrous way.  Anyone willing to look sees the beauty of humanity unfold from the moment of conception.

The spark of creation is dazzling.  One peek and the case for Life becomes compelling and the case for abortion becomes sickening.

Just as the couple in Dear Abby are having a tough time, America is faced with a huge challenge as long as one political party wishes to impose their radical vision on the rest of us.

Neither side has any respect for the other’s view.  We’re at war with each other.  None expressed the dilemma more eloquently than a famous Senator: “While the deep concern of a woman  bearing an unwanted child merits consideration and sympathy, it is my personal feeling that the legalization of abortion-on-demand is not in accordance with the values our civilization places on human life.  Wanted or unwanted,  I believe that human life even at its earliest stages has certain rights which must be recognized.  The right to be born; the right to love; the right to grow old.”

The late Senator, Teddy Kennedy, said it so well.  Yes, you read correctly.  Senator Kennedy later changed his mind for political reasons.  My hope is that Democrats will change their mind again for political reasons as a growing number of Americans realize what is actually in the womb:  a person.

The Democrats were on the wrong side in 1860.  They are again in 2010.

Why we need to pass “A Woman’s Right to Know” Legislation Reply


By Tom Quiner

“What’s a fetus?”

That was the question posed by the young woman to an employee of Planned Parenthood.  She asked because she was six to eight weeks pregnant.

Here is what Planned Parenthood told her:

“The fetus is the developing embryo inside of you.  But at this point, there’s nothing developed at all.  There’s no legs.  No arms.  No head.  No brain.  No heart.  At this point, it’s just the embryo itself.”

The Planned Parenthood employee went on to tell the pregnant girl that raising a baby is expensive.  She suggested abortion is the cost-effective solution.

And then she says that if someone is truly against abortion, they should be willing to take in all of these ‘aborted’ children and raise them themselves.

These are direct quotes taken from an undercover video at a Planned Parenthood clinic in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.  The video was shot by Live Action Films.

To clarify:  The fetus does have a head.  It does have a brain.  It does have arms.  It does have a heart.  It does have legs.

The Planned Parenthood employee was either misinformed or chose to be untruthful.

To clarify:  Approximately 555,000 married American couples seek to adopt.  But only 22,000 infants are adopted.  These stats come from the National Council for Adoption.

The Planned Parenthood employee was either misinformed or chose to be untruthful.

Take a few minutes and watch the film below.

I wrote a piece that appeared in the Des Moines Register on Super Bowl Sunday.  You’ll find the column below.

It expressed my concerns on the high abortion rate in the African-American community.

It expressed my advocacy for passage of “The Woman’s Right to Know” legislation.

This type of legislation requires women to undergo an ultrasound and listen to a detailed description of the fetus before getting an abortion.

Such legislation was passed in Oklahoma.  The Center for Reproductive Rights, a pro-abortion group, is aghast.  They say the law forces women to hear about information that is irrelevant to her medical care, like does the fetus have a heart, a brain, arms, and legs.

Evidence of the fetus’ humanity is irrelevant to pro abortion groups.  However, this kind of evidence is apparently very important to pregnant women.  Among women planning an abortion, nine out of ten who view an ultrasound of the baby in their womb change their mind.  The sight of an object with arms, legs, and a head opens their minds and hearts to the reality that they carry a person in their womb, not a blob of formless cells.

After the column below appeared in the Des Moines Register, a Planned Parenthood spokesperson responded as follows:  “Suggesting that the Women’s Right to Know Act would help reduce abortion in the African-American community is insulting. That implies that women of color are incapable of or unable to make this very personal, difficult decision. In reality, this bill is designed to shame women, to intimidate them when they are in a vulnerable situation.”

The video above says it all.  Planned Parenthood personnel may not always be trustworthy with the facts about the fetus.  They insult their clients (regardless of their color) by withholding critical information on the most important decision a woman will ever make:  whether or not to terminate the life of the baby in her womb.

In fact, withholding information of this nature is more than an insult, it is criminal.

Peggy Hamill, State Director of Pro Life Wisconsin, knows how important accurate information is to pregnant women:

“As a sidewalk counselor at Milwaukee Planned Parenthoods, I have had post-abortion women fall apart in my arms, sobbing, immediately regretting their abortions. Nothing can prepare a woman for an abortion.  This new footage reconfirms that Planned Parenthood is not providing women with complete, accurate medical information about their developing baby, much less the after effects of the abortion ‘procedure.'”

A Woman’s Right to Know legislation is a compassionate way to stem the abortion epidemic that particularly afflicts the African-American community.  Yes, it would impact Planned Parenthood’s profits.  Perhaps that’s why they’re so opposed to this type of legislation.

Encourage legislators in your state to pass A Women’s Right to Know bill next session.  Do it in the name of compassion.

Does Black Genocide Matter? 3


By Tom Quiner

As seen in the Des Moines Register on February 7, 2010

One out of two African-American pregnancies end in abortion.

Does it matter?

I was advised by a voice I respect that I’m walking into a minefield, that perhaps a white guy shouldn’t be writing about black abortion.  I drove out to the Maple Street Baptist Church to ask Reverend Keith Ratliff about it.

Reverend Ratliff, who is African-American, said “any caring individual has a right to write about life.”  Even more, he characterized abortion as a “silent genocide” in the African-American community.

Blacks represent twelve percent of the population, but account for 36% of all abortions.  He told me abortion is the biggest killer in the African-American community, topping cancer, heart disease, AIDs, and homicide.

Why talk about black abortion today?  Here’s why:  this is Black History Month.  It’s a fair bet our schools aren’t going to talk about it.  After all, they had a chance to hear about it a couple of years ago when Dr. Alveda King visited Des Moines.  Dr. King is Martin Luther King’s niece.  She speaks out nationally on the impact abortion is having on the African-American community.  Roosevelt High School, which had invited her to Des Moines to speak, rescinded the invite.

Her topic evidently isn’t a fit subject for public schools.

I ask again, does it matter?

After all, a revered woman influenced the world with these words: “It is a vicious cycle; ignorance breeds poverty and poverty breeds ignorance. There is only one cure for both, and that is to stop breeding these things. Stop bringing to birth children whose inheritance cannot be one of health or intelligence. Stop bringing into the world children whose parents cannot provide for them.”

Yes, Margaret Sanger’s legacy is alive today.  Her organization, Planned Parenthood, has built clinics in inner cities throughout America with much support from our political establishment.  In fact, Reverend Ratliff says 78 percent of PP clinics are in minority neighborhoods.  Although they can’t be credited with performing all of the 650,000 annual abortions being performed on the African-American unborn, they have the lion’s share of the market.  At $450 per abortion, the African American community accounts for nearly $300 million a year in revenue for Planned Parenthood and other abortion providers.

Abortion is big business.

Its impact is measurable.  The total fertility rate for the African-American community has dropped well below the replacement rate of 2.1, down to 1.97.

An important part of our American community is dying off in what is characterized as genocide by some in the black community, to the financial benefit of others.

Today is Super Bowl Sunday.  Focus on the Family is running a controversial Super Bowl ad that celebrates the life of Heisman Trophy winner, Tim Tebow.  His Mom was faced with a tough choice when she carried Tim in her womb.  Her doctor encouraged her to abort because of health risks she faced.  She chose life.

Today’s Super Bowl ad is dangerous.  It humanizes “choice.”  Women’s groups are outraged and demand that CBS drop the ad.  Erin Mattson, VP for the National Organization for Women (NOW) said “This ad is hate masquerading as love.”

Try to follow that logic on that one.  Here is the ad that appeared on Super Sunday:

The solution to abortion is education according to Reverend Ratliff.  Here in Iowa, our legislature has attempted to do just that with the “Woman’s Right to Know Act.”  This bill requires an informed consent before an abortion takes place.  It includes the opportunity for a woman to view an ultrasound of her fetus.

Something amazing happens when the mother views her fetus:  it turns into a person.  It turns into a she, instead of an “it”.  Nine out of ten moms change their mind and don’t have the abortion after viewing this ultrasound.  She chooses life, just as Tim Tebow’s mom did.

Isn’t that what our President wants, for abortion to be legal, but rare?

Dehumanizing slavery was a tragic chapter in the history of Black America.  Dehumanizing abortion is our current history.

If this matters to you, ask your legislators to let the Woman’s Right to Know Act come to the floor for a vote.

If this doesn’t matter to you, I ask why?