Modern man’s struggle to be humane 2

By Tom Quiner

How could this happen?

I refer to the tragic child molestation accusations at Penn State. Children and adolescents have once again gotten caught in the cross hairs of modern man’s self absorption with gratification. The carnage in the wake of America’s assault on the defenseless is beyond human calculation.

We were shocked when we discovered how the Nazis had systematically exterminated the Jews because they simply hated them. Never again! is how the world responded. And yet the Penn State horror is not new in America and is of a magnitude that surpasses the Holocaust.

To my Jewish friends and readers, I do not minimize the profound inhumanity of the Holocaust. I do not mean to trivialize the loss felt by mankind in the needless deaths of six million Jews.

But America has exterminated 35 million pre-born babies in the name of women’s rights. And it wasn’t even done out of hate, it was done out of convenience.

Mankind has fought an ongoing battle to be humane. What does it mean to be humane? To treat people as human beings.

We’re not doing a very good job when we treat Jews as objects instead of seeing each Jew as a human being.

We’re not doing a very good job when we treat the baby in the womb as an object instead of seeing each as a human being.

We’re not doing a very good job when we let pornography flourish, a sickness that treats people as objects instead of as human beings.

We’re not doing a very good job when we turn marriage upside down and make it about desire and feelings alone without consideration for the children it affects.

We’re all struggling hard to be more human, more fully alive. Civil society has a self-interest in promoting policy that nurtures our “humanity gene.” Abortion, pornography, and redefined marriage laws work against humanity. They’re breeding self-absorption and self-gratification.

It’s no wonder children are getting caught in the cross fire.

The Catholic Church has taken the lead in cleaning up the mess in its own house. The incidence of reported child abuse in the American Catholic Church has dropped to almost nothing. Not so in our public schools.

As Edmund Burke said, “all that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.” We need to be diligent in protecting the pre-born, the children, and adolescents in our institutions.

Our struggle to be more humane starts with protecting the most vulnerable. We need to do so much better.

We capable of so much more.


The Catholic vote will determine the next president 5

By Tom Quiner

I sat in a Catholic bible study a week before the 2008 presidential election. We briefly discussed the upcoming election. Most in the room were voting for Barack Obama. I asked how a Catholic could vote for a man who had told Planned Parenthood that passage of the Freedom of Choice Act (FOCA) is the first thing he intended to do.

FOCA posed a direct threat to conscience protection for Catholic doctors, hospitals, and pharmacists that wanted nothing to do with abortion.  It would definitively replace via legislation a fundamental right to life with a fundamental right to an abortion.

In other words, FOCA was considered anti-Catholic.

Interestingly, people asked why they had never heard about any of this! Perhaps it was because the media downplayed Mr. Obama’s extreme position on abortion.

Mr. Obama himself talked soothingly to Catholics when he spoke at Notre Dame:

“Let’s honor the conscience of those who disagree with abortion, and draft a sensible conscience clause, and make sure that all of our health care policies are grounded not only in sound science, but also in clear ethics, as well as respect for the equality of women.”

It worked. Mr. Obama won 54% of the Catholic vote, a seven point pick up from the 2004 election.

Now, faithful Catholics can see they’ve been conned.

The president and his party are expanding abortion availability, forcing taxpayers to pay for it, and targeting conscience-protection for Catholics who believe that abortion kills a human being.

Catholics are a huge voting block, representing 27 percent of all voters. The president is going to be hard-pressed to win a majority of Catholics next go-round in light of his relentless pursuit of anti-Catholic legislation.

It’s not just abortion. It’s marriage issues that concern Catholic voters. As the president and his party throw their political clout behind the gay marriage movement, Catholics social services are taking a hit. Catholic Charities have been forced out of the adoption business in Massachusetts and San Francisco. Now it has come to the Midwest as the Catholic Diocese of Bellevue (Illinois) had to get out of the adoption business and turn it over to another entity that adopts babies out to gay couples.

Five years ago, Maggie Gallagher of the National Organization for Marriage asked:

“Is the fate of Catholic Charities of Boston an aberration or a sign of things to come?”

If Democrats and their pressure groups have it their way, it is a sign of things to come.

In light of Mr. Obama’s antipathy to core Catholic values, it seems unlikely he’ll capture the Catholic vote this time around. In a tight election, that can make all the difference. The Catholic vote may very well determine the next President of the United States.

The relentless assault on our religious liberties 1

By Tom Quiner

The Bill of Rights hits it head on with the First Amendment:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

According to the primacy of its position in our Constitution, the “freedom of religion” is THE most important right we have.

Someone should tell the president and his administration. They are hard at work at stripping away our freedom of religion.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services used the heavy-hand of the State to require nearly all private health insurance plans to provide coverage for sterilization and contraception, including abortifacients, whether the insurance company wanted to provide it or not; whether their customers wanted the coverage or not.

The Catholic Church said this is a violation of the religious freedom of Catholics.

The Obama administration said “tough.”

The Catholic Church works with human trafficking victims. The Obama administration now bars them from helping these tragic people unless they offer the ‘full range’ of reproductive services including abortion.

The Catholic Church said this is a violation of the religious freedom of Catholics.

The Obama administration said “tough.”

Catholic Relief Services works to help prevent and treat AIDS in Africa and other developing nations. Now the State Department’s U.S. Agency for International Development is pressuring them and other contractors to provide contraception or bow out, this according to Bishop William Lori, the first chairman of the Catholic bishops’ Ad Hoc Committee for Religious Liberty.

Bishop Lori expressed concerns that the Obama administration has not only decided to ignore the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA)  but that they are “filing briefs actively attacking DOMA’s constitutionality, claiming that supporters of the law could only have been motivated by bias and prejudice.”

For the record, DOMA was passed by overwhelming bi-partisan majorities. In the House, the vote was 342-67. In the Senate, the vote was 85-14. A Democratic president, Bill Clinton, signed the bill into law.

Were all of those Democrats biased and prejudiced? Of course not.

In this election cycle, a lot of voters are fixated on economics and government finances. These are vital issues. But nothing trumps our religious liberties.

There has never been an administration so willing to challenge this fundamental right as the Obama administration. As Bishop Lori said.

“Thus government has a perennial obligation to acknowledge and protect religious liberty as fundamental, no matter the moral and political trends of the moment.”

A defining Republican debate 1

By Tom Quiner

I just finished watching tonight’s Republican debate. I had four reactions:

REACTION #1: Rick Perry is done. If you didn’t see the debate, Mr. Perry said he would eliminate three government agencies. He began to list them off but couldn’t remember the third. It was painful to watch. A million Republicans asked themselves this question: do we want this man debating President Obama? The answer is a resounding no. Mr. Obama would chew him up and spit him out. Mr. Perry bores me. I can’t wait until another candidate gets a chance to speak.

REACTION #2: Mitt Romney is consistent. No one has knocked him off his perch. I don’t think many folks are passionate about Mr. Romney. I’m not. I will not vote for him in the Iowa caucas. Nonetheless, he comes across as presidential in these debates.

REACTION #3: Newt Gingrich always electrifies an audience. I want Newt to have more time. He demonstrates a breadth of knowledge on the issues that goes beyond everyone else. He is articulate. His ideas are profound but accessible. He is rising in the polls. He will move up even more after tonight’s debate at the expense of Herman Cain. Mr. Cain’s response to every question seems to be his 9-9-9 Plan. “Mr. Cain, how would you bring about world piece?” “With my 9-9-9 Plan.” “Mr. Cain, what should Joe Paterno have done to save his job at Penn State?” “If only he had listened to my 9-9-9 Plan.” By the way, the 9-9-9 Plan is a good plan. But one gets the idea that Mr. Cain is hiding behind it to mask his lack of knowledge on a lot of the questions he is asked. Who do Republicans want debating Mr. Obama? Newt Gingrich. Surely not Herman Cain.

REACTION #4: Michelle Bachman came across strong tonight. Even more, she showed guts with one of her answers. She was the only candidate against maintaining the payroll tax cut. President Obama sold it as job stimulus, which of course it isn’t. But it is politically unpopular to call for a return to the higher, normal rates. Ms. Bachman made an eloquent case for how this has hastened the fiscal implosion of Social Security. She pointed out how this tax cut has been counter-productive by putting seniors at risk. She came across as strong and knowledgeable. Good job. In my book, she won the debate tonight.

Although Herman Cain cannot be written off yet, I see the race coming down to Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich.

The Cain Mutiny 1

By Tom Quiner

I like Herman Cain. But he’s not ready to be President of the United States.

I don’t base this opinion on the recent spate of sexual harassment allegations against him. I base it on his ongoing flip flops.

I base it on his handling of the crisis his campaign is in right now.

I base it on a lack of experience to be president.

I have been put off by the Cain campaign’s tendency to blame everyone for this story, Democrats and Republicans alike. They’re shooting from the hip without thinking. The most recent example is the false assertions of Mr. Cain’s top strategist, Mark Block, on Sean Hannity’s show last night:

“It’s become quite apparent that Mr. Cain’s candidacy and his rise in the poll is the — both the left and the right’s worst nightmare. You have all of these allegations coming out, you know, eight, nine days ago from Politico. You start connecting the dots and trying to figure out whether it’s coming from opponents on the left or opponents on the right. I mean, just at the press conference it was brought up that the — Karen Kraushaar come out as one of the women. So we’ve come to find out her son works at Politico, the organization that originally out the story out.”

Sean Hannity asked:

“Have you confirmed that? I’ve been hearing that all day. You’ve confirmed that now, right?”

Mr. Block responded:

“We confirmed it — that he does indeed work at Politico and that’s his mother, yes.”

It turns out the reporter to whom he referred, Josh Kraushaar, neither works for Politico nor is related to Ms. Kraushaar.

I don’t know if the allegations against Mr. Cain are true or not. Either way, he’s not prepared to be our President.