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.

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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.

Do you believe in miracles? Reply


By Tom Quiner

A miracle may have recently taken place.

I will tell you about it in a moment.  But first, I’d like you to ask yourself:  are miracles really possible?  And if they are possible, have they ever really occurred?

There are four possibilities as postulated by Dr. Peter Kreeft, professor of philosophy at Boston College and the author of many books related to the Christian faith.

According to Kreeft:

“Possibility One:  If miracles are not possible, then they cannot be actual.  That we know.

Possibility Two:  And if they are actual, then they are possible.  That we know.

Possibility Three:  But if they are possible, we do not yet know whether they are actual.

Possibility Four:  And if they are not actual, we still do not yet know whether they are possible.”

As a Christian, I believe miracles are possible.  Fundamental Christian doctrines of incarnation, resurrection, and salvation depend on the reality of the miraculous, on the idea that God can … and does … intervene in the system of natural causes.

Some scientific-minded folks are highly uncomfortable with the idea of a Cause that comes from outside the system of natural causes.  For example, what caused the Big Bang?  As Dr. Kreeft says, “this does that mean that such questions are unreal, only that science as such cannot answer them.  A scientist who believes that God caused the universe to exist has not abandoned scientific method, but merely acknowledged its limits.”

So what is the possible miracle to which I referred?  It happened in 2005.  Sister Marie Simon-Pierre, a French nun, suffered from Parkinson’s disease.  It is a degenerative disease of the nervous system, the same one with which Pope John Paul II was afflicted.  Sister Simon-Pierre has suffered from Parkinson’s since 2001.

She had reached a point where she couldn’t drive.  She had difficulty walking.  Her left arm hung limply at her side.

On the evening of June 2nd, 2005, she prayed.  Her prayer was specific:  she asked Pope John Paul II, who had died two months earlier, to pray on her behalf for the remission of her illness.

The Catholic faith believes in the Communion of the Saints.  Even more, it believes they can intercede on our behalf, that death doesn’t mean the end of our ability to pray for others.

So Sister Simon-Pierre prayed to the late Pontiff to intercede on her behalf.

On the morning of June 3rd, 2005, this French nun awoke without symptoms of Parkinson’s disease.

Did a miracle take place?  “All I can tell you is that I was sick and now I am cured.  It is for the church to say and to recognize whether it is a miracle.”  These are the words of the 46 year old nun who regained her health.

The Catholic church is investigating her case.  Convincing evidence of two miracles need to be attributed to Pope John Paul II before he attains the status of a Saint.

Time will tell if the case of Sister Marie Simon-Pierre qualifies.  A medical cure must have no scientific explanation; it must be sudden, complete, permanent, and inexplicable by doctors.

It is a comforting thought.  An army of angels of saints are praying for us.  Ask them to intercede in your life.

Be not indifferent 2


By Tom Quiner

“Never again.”

That was the pledge the world made following the Holocaust.  Six million Jews were murdered by the Nazi regime in the late 1930’s through 1945.  They were killed out of hatred.

Even the moral relativists of today grudgingly admit that the Holocaust was an evil act.

Has the civilized world lived up to their pledge of “never again?’

No.  Below are a few cold and impersonal statistics of post-Holocaust holocausts:

A still from the film The Killing Fields

Cambodia:  more than three million men, women, and children were exterminated by the communist government, Khmer Rouge, in the 1970s.

Rwanda:  500,000 to one million killed in 1994.

Uganda:  more than 200,000 killed in the 1980s.

Sudan:  2 million (and counting) killed starting in the 1980s.

Kurdistan:  tens of thousands Kurds killed by Saddam Hussein in the 1980s.

This list, unfortunately, merely scratches the surface of state-sanctioned mass murder since the U.N. General Assembly officially forbade it in 1951.

In other words, the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, as the U.N. calls it, has been ineffective in the eyes of the millions who are dead due to genocide SINCE international law made it illegal.

These crimes, tragic beyond human comprehension, are immediately urgent in light of the growing international isolation of Israel.

Hatred of the Jews is growing exponentially.  It takes two forms:  those who simply want Jews dead out of brute bigotry; and those who suggest that maybe Israel really isn’t entitled to its homeland.

The latter view was eloquently expressed by Helen Thomas last week.  As reported in my previous post, she said “I think the Jews should get the hell out of Palestine” and go back to Germany and Poland.
Helen Thomas

I would like you to think about what Ms. Thomas said.  She referred to Israel’s territory as, in fact, belonging to Palestine, despite the fact that it was established as Israel’s in 1948 by the United Nation.

So, what the U.N. says is only binding to liberals like Helen Thomas if it is sanctioning or censuring Israel.

The White House, to their credit, called her remarks “offensive and reprehensible.”

However, let us turn the clock back to 2007.  In an interview with Tim Russert, Helen Thomas said, “I do think it’s wrong to take somebody else’s land and displace them.”

In other words, she said the same thing in 2007 as last week, only without the word “hell” or the Poland or Germany references.  Her central concept, that Israel took land from Palestinians and doesn’t belong there, generated not even a peep.

The notion that Israel is the offending party is increasingly beyond question with liberal elites who dominate media outlets and universities around the world.

This same media has portrayed last week’s flotilla as a “humanitarian mission.”  The humanitarians on board the flotilla refused to allow inspections for weapons because they had weapons on board.

The humanitarians on board the flotilla radioed to the Israelis this humanitarian message:  “Shut up, go back to Auschwitz.”

The humanitarians on board the flotilla also sent out another humanitarian message:  “We’re helping Arabs go against the U.S., don’t forget 9/11.”

These aren’t humanitarians at all, they’re thugs who support terrorism.

Much of the Arab world is comfortable expressing their true intent when it comes to Israel.  Take the Deputy Minister of Religion for Hamas, Abdallah Jarbu.  He said that Jews “want to present themselves to the world as if they have rights, but, in fact, they are foreign bacteria – a microbe unparalleled in the world.”

This Deputy of Religion then offered up his fervent prayer:  “May He annihilate this filthy people who have neither religion nor conscience.”

Over in Iran, the Kayhan, the newspaper that is the mouthpiece for Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei characterized Israel as a “cancerous tumor” that must be excised from the “Islamic Middle East.”  Their goal?  According to the Kayhan:  Israel’s “total annihilation from the political geography of the region.”

This is the same country that is building a nuclear bomb.

What is striking about all of this is the lack of outrage from liberals toward an Arab world increasingly comfortable expressing their desire for another Jewish holocaust.  They reserve their outrage for Israel.  They exercise rhetorical restraint when it comes to the Arab world.

We’re heading toward an unimaginable worldwide tragedy if anti-Semitism is allowed to continue its rapid rate of growth.

On June 7th, 1979, Pope John Paul II visited Auschwitz.  He called it the “Golgotha of the modern world.”  Golgotha is the place where Jesus was crucified.

He knelt before the tomb of the unknown victims:

“In particular I pause with you … before the inscription in Hebrew.  This inscription awakens the memory of the people whose sons and daughters were intended for total extermination.  This people draws its origins from Abraham, our father in faith, as was expressed by Paul of Tarsus.  The very people who received from God the commandment ‘thou shalt not kill’ itself experienced in a special measure what is meant by killing.  It is not permissible for anyone to pass by this inscription with indifference.”

Pope John Paul II was famous for his encouragement to “be not afraid.”

Based on his remarks at Auschwitz, let us paraphrase what he is telling us now:  “be not indifferent.”

And pray this prayer:  “never again.”