Why the Tea Party movement is weird 6

By Tom Quiner

This is the way our system works:

Teachers want more money for schools (and salaries, of course).

Defense contractors want more money for defense.

Social justice advocates want more money for welfare and society’s safety net.

Planned Parenthood wants more money for abortions.

Senior citizens want more money for Social Security and Medicare.

AIDs advocates want more money for AIDs research.

Lovers of the Tipton Kangaroo Rat want more money for enforcement of the Endangered Species Act.

We have created a system of governance in America with an endless list of groups with their hands out asking taxpayers for money for their causes.

Some of them are very good.

Some of them are very bad. It depends on your perspective, I guess.

That’s why the Tea Party movement is so weird. They don’t want anything.

They don’t want taxpayers to hand out money for their pet project. In fact, they want taxpayers to hand out less money to these causes.

They want government to live within its means.

They want government to be governed by the Constitution rather than special interests.

No wonder the Democratic Party tries to portray them as being weird.

No wonder our Founding Fathers would love them.

The new Emancipation Proclamation 1

By Tom Quiner

Congress passed the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and a president who was a member of the Democratic Party signed it into law.

Years later, another Democratic Party President said he simply didn’t like the law, so he refused to enforce it.

End of story.

James Clyburn

Today, a Congressman from South Carolina, James Clyburn, had a simple solution to the debt ceiling crisis: ignore Congress. He said the President should just ignore the co-equal branch of government and sign an Executive Order raising the debt ceiling:

“I’ve said time and time again, if the President gets up to August 2nd, without a piece of legislation, he should not allow this country to go into default. He should sign an Executive Order invoking the 14th Amendment and send that to all the governmental agencies for us to continue to pay our bills. He could do that with a stroke of a pen.

“We’ve seen many big things done in history that way. I’ve joked with my staff the other day, ‘tell me what was the bill number of the Emancipation Proclamation.’ It was an Executive Order. We integrated the armed services by Executive Order. We integrated public schools by Executive Order. Sometimes executives must order that things get done.”

It’s an interesting thought, isn’t it, from Mr. Clyburn who is African American.

I propose that a new Emancipation Proclamation be signed on January 20th, 2013 by the hypothetical new President of the United States, Herman Cain.

Herman Cain

The  minimally revised rhetoric would boldly state:

“That on the first day of February, in the year of our Lord two-thousand thirteen, all pre-born persons within any State or designated part of a State, shall be then, thenceforward, and forever free; and the Executive Government of the United States, including the military and naval authority thereof, will recognize and maintain the freedom of such persons, and will do no act or acts to repress such persons, or any of them, in any efforts they may make for their actual freedom.”

President Cain would be doing more than making a proclamation. His would be a proud STATEMENT of justice and emancipation for society’s unborn.

History would quickly recognize this statement as the Justice & Emancipation for Society’s Unborn Statement (JESUS).

JESUS would be a godsend for the African-American community, over half of whom are aborted each year.

It’s gotten so bad that the replacement birth rate for African-Americans has plummeted below replacement level.

The African-American community is literally dying off, exacerbated by an orgy of abortion on their pre-born.

JESUS would immediately end the carnage.

JESUS would immediately restore the principles of social justice to their proper place by proclaiming that “peace begins in the womb.”

Two African-American politicians, Barack Obama and James Clyburn, both denigrate the role of Congress in making critical decisions for America.

Following their lead, another African-American politician, Herman Cain, could quickly undo a generation of human right abuse toward a voiceless constituency in America, the pre-born, much as Abraham Lincoln did for the slaves.

JESUS could be the savior of African-Americans come 2013.

JESUS would be the savior of the pre-born everywhere.

Evidently, all it takes is an Executive Order.

John the Baptist. Barack Obama. Melissa Ohden. Rick Santorum. 1

By Tom Quiner

John the Baptist and Jesus

Do you know who John the Baptist is?

The Catholic Church considers him the greatest and last in the line of the prophets.

He was the voice in the wilderness paving the way for Jesus, the Christ.

He did something interesting while still in his mother’s womb. I quote the King James Bible, the book of Luke 1:41:

“And it came to pass, that, when Elisabeth heard the salutation of Mary, the babe leaped in her womb; and Elisabeth was filled with the Holy Ghost.”

Scripture suggests personhood for the Baptist even when he was in the womb, that he had an awareness of another person, Jesus, while He was still in his Mother Mary’s womb.

Contemporary Americans in this political cycle should contemplate these two historical figures, both of whom are “giants” in the world of Christianity.

Consider the possibilities:

1. A baby leaping in the womb at the precise moment another fetus is present may be just a fluke of timing.  Let’s face it, babies are moving and kicking in the Mom’s womb at six months. John may have let out a kick at just the moment the pregnant Mary walked up. No big deal, right?

2. The writer may have romanticized the whole encounter or made it up.

3. John and Jesus were portrayed as persons while in the womb, their human potential revealed as immediately significant.

It is this third possibility that is at issue today.

My question to you contemporary Americans is: is the human potential of the baby in the womb significant?

Pastor Rick Warren asked then-candidate Barack Obama: “At what point does a baby get human rights, in your view?” The future President was evasive:

“Well, you know,” he said, “I think that whether you’re looking at it from a theological perspective or a scientific perspective, answering that question with specificity, you know, is above my pay grade.”

In other words, Mr. Obama suggested that human rights are subjective, not inalienable, a view not unlike those held in communist China.

Human rights are conditional and determined by people in power.

Mr. Obama was put to the test on this issue while a state senator in Illinois. The legislature was attempting to pass a law that would require health care workers to save the life of a baby “born alive,” one that survived an abortion.

Without that law, the fetus (now a baby) would be left to die without treatment or comforting, something we wouldn’t even do to a dog.

This is what happened to Melissa Ohden as Quiner’s Diner recounted on Monday. Ms.

Abortion survivor, Melissa Ohden with her little girl

Ohden was aborted when she was a 5-month old fetus.

She survived.

Iowa law demanded medical treatment, which she received.

Mr. Obama would not have provided that treatment. He recognized the pitfalls of “Born Alive” legislation. He recognized that it would put his pro-abortion political supporters at some risk, because it would become rather challenging to offer human rights to the Melissa Ohdens of the world only if she could survive the abortionist’s assault on her little body.

What is the difference between Melissa Ohden in the womb and Melissa Ohden lying on a table fighting for breath five minutes later?

Tough call. Let’s face it, there is no difference. Mr. Obama said:

“(T)he Equal Protection Clause does not allow someone to kill a child, and if this is a child, then this would be an anti-abortion statute.”

There you have it.

By characterizing a statute as “anti-abortion,” Mr. Obama revealed that his political ties to a powerful (and financially supportive) political lobby trumped Melissa Ohden’s life.

Human rights are conditional to this, America’s first African-American, President.

Rick Santorum

This is where presidential candidate, Rick Santorum comes in. Mr. Santorum has displayed a great deal of courage during his political career in defense of life.

He stakes out politically unpopular positions, and sticks to them, no matter how much it costs him politically.

Mr. Santorum staked out a position similar to one Martin Luther King Jr. stated while the latter was in a Birmingham jail. Mr. King said a law is just if comports with natural law, and it was unjust if it didn’t. He said segregation was unjust because it didn’t comport with natural law.

Mr. Santorum sees a similarity when considering human rights for the pre-born:

“Every person, every child conceived in the womb has a right to life from the moment of conception,” said Santorum. “Why? Because they are human, genetically human, at the moment of conception … so it’s a human life. I don’t think you’ll find a biologist in the world who will say that that is not a human life. The question is — and this is what Barack Obama didn’t want to answer — is that human life a person under the Constitution? And Barack Obama says no. Well, if that person, human life, is not a person, then I find it almost remarkable for a black man to say: No, we are going to decide who are people and who are not people.”

Melissa Ohden shared a rather unpleasant experience when speaking to a woman’s group. A representative from a well-known abortion provider was present. Melissa went up to her after speaking and extended her hand. The abortion provider refused to take it, turned her back on her, and walked away.

Ms. Ohden should have been dead. She had no right to be there talking, did she?

The president demurred when questioned by Rick Warren on when does a baby get human rights.

He wasn’t shooting straight with us.

It is up to him, he is saying in a sense. It’s up to men and women like him to determine when human rights shall be dispensed based on politics, not natural law.

On the other hand, Rick Santorum says human rights occur at conception, that it is not up to man, that it is not up to the Party to determine these things. He says that human life is immediately significant regardless of where it resides.

As I wrote in my post yesterday, courageous leaders are a rare commodity. Rick Santorum has it in spades.

Courageous leaders 5

By Tom Quiner

Ronald Reagan said "no" to Mikhail Gorbachev at the Reykjavik Summit in 1986

The stakes were high.

The world was watching. An historic arms control treaty with the Soviet Union was within our grasp.

The date was October 12th, 1986. The place was Reykjavik, Iceland.

If Ronald Reagan said yes to Mikhail Gorbachev, Mr. Reagan would be hailed as a hero.

If he said no to the treaty they had hammered out, he would be reviled as a failure.

Mr. Reagan said no.

And the world reviled him for his “failure” at the Reykjavik Summit.

Reagan advisor, Richard Perle, described the scene:

“In a hot, crowded room in a turn-of-the-century house overlooking Reykjavik harbour, the President of the United States listened intently to his advisers. A few hours earlier, after a day and a half of intense negotiation, Mikhail Gorbachev had agreed to accept American proposals to slash nuclear arsenals–but only if Ronald Reagan would confine his Strategic Defence Initiative (SDI) to the laboratory, effectively killing any chance it could be built. The question was whether to accept Gorbachev’s offer and abandon SDI, or reject it and return home without an agreement, leaving the US free to continue work on a defence against ballistic missiles.”

In other other words, Gorbachev wanted Reagan to get rid of “Star Wars” as the press called it then. Perle continues:

“As happened often, the president’s advisers were divided. Reagan asked his chief of staff, who was among those urging him to accept the Soviet proposal. “If we say ‘Yes’, won’t it be just so we can leave here with an agreement?” It was a rhetorical question. The President had made the most consequential decision of his political life.”

In other words, he wasn’t going to agree to something just to be popular if he thought it was wrong for America. He wasn’t going to make a decision just to win a Nobel Peace prize. Perle conludes:

“Thus did Ronald Reagan’s “No” to Gorbachev end the 1986 Iceland summit. Immediately, a breathless world press reported the apparent failure at Reykjavik. Without an agreement, the rebuilding of American defences, including SDI, would continue. Relations between the U.S. and the Soviet Union, already deeply strained, would surely worsen. Experts were despondent. Reagan was not.”

Ronald Reagan had courage. He knew what he believed in. He made an unpopular decision at that historic summit knowing the press would blast him. Mr. Reagan knew history would vindicate him.

And it did with the collapse of the Soviet Union, thanks in part to Ronald Reagan’s steadfastness at Reykjavik.


The date was January 10th, 2007. President George W. Bush was reviled by much of the country for the way the Iraq War was going. His political enemies had effectively (if inaccurately) made the case that “Bush lied and people died.”

The President went before the American people that evening and announced a new strategy in the war, which was called “the surge.”

In other words, the President wasn’t pulling out of Iraq, he was doubling down.

The popular thing to do was to pull out of Iraq. Mr Bush said in response: “We are not going to lose our nerve and abandon the people of Iraq the way we did the people of Vietnam, from an embassy rooftop.”

One of the President’s speech writers at the time was William McGurn, now a columnist for the Wall Street Journal. Writing in today’s Journal, Mr. McGurn said:

” It made for a lonely presidency. Rather than accept defeat, he ordered a surge that almost no one—including some around him—wanted: not the Pentagon, not a weary American public, certainly not Republicans or Democrats in Congress.”

Mr. Bush had the courage to do what be believed to be the right thing. And it worked.

I mention these two courageous leaders in light of the current political campaign. Republicans should scrutinize their crop of candidates in search of their courage quotient.

Intelligence is important, yes.

The right political views are important, yes.

But how much courage have they demonstrated in the course of their political career, in the course of their entire life?

Courage is an attractive and critical attribute for any leader.

Look at President Obama. He supported the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) with his rhetoric. But when the heat was on from his ultra liberal base, he quickly caved and proclaimed that he refused to enforce this law of the land.

His cowardice on this issue is a lesson to voters for the next election.

Who among this current crop of candidates most demonstrates courage?


Life is beautiful 3

By Tom Quiner

I witnessed something extraordinary a week ago.

In many respects, it was life-changing. More on it in a minute.

It made me think of a wonderful story told by the late Dr. Norman Vincent Peale. Dr. Peale was a minister and author of the classic book, “The Power of Positive Thinking.”

Dr. Peale was walking with a friend who complained incessantly about all the problems in his life. Oh … his life would be wonderful if it wasn’t for all those problems.

Dr. Peale told him he knew of a place where no one had any problems, not a one.

His friend exclaimed, “Where is this place? You must take me to this place!” Dr. Peale turned the corner and led him to the gate of the local cemetery. “Not a single person here has any more problems.”

His friend sputtered something again about all of his problems to Dr. Peale who responded, “My friend, problems are a sign of life.  Welcome them.  The man with 6 problems is twice as alive as the man with 3 problems. I encourage you to go home tonight, get down on your knees and pray for God to give you more problems!”

So what did I witness last week?

I heard a woman talk about her life, how she is changing the world, how she is making the world a better place.

Melissa Ohden, abortion survivor

What is unique about Melissa Ohden? She was aborted at five months.

The year was 1977.

The place was St. Luke’s hospital in Sioux City, Iowa.

For five days, an abortionist pumped saline solution into her mother’s womb.

On the fifth day, Melissa was aborted. She was presumed to be dead, her little body left lying on a cold, undignified table while the nurse tended to her nineteen year old unmarried mother.

And then the nurse noticed Melissa. She was still alive, struggling for life.

By Iowa law, the medical community was required to treat and try to save this aborted child.

And they did.

She lived. She was adopted into a loving family. Miraculously, she was left unimpaired by the saline assault on her baby skin and eyes.

My life was changed listening to Ms. Ohden. She taught about Christ’s call to forgive. Despite the devastating knowledge that her natural parents wanted to abort her, she forgave them.

She truly forgave them. She wasn’t just saying it, she was living it. And she was at peace with that little problem from her life.

She told us about answered prayers. She met a priest one day who told her something interesting. In 1977, he made it a habit to pray in front of St. Luke’s hospital for God to spare a child targeted to be aborted.

Melissa told him that she was that child. Prayers are never wasted she told us.

And she is proof.

She talked about divine irony. Thirty years after her undignified entrance into this world, she herself gave birth to a beautiful daughter. Who was the attending nurse? You guessed it, the nurse who tended to Melissa in the same hospital thirty years earlier.

The nurse told her she would never forget that experience.

Abortion causes such intergenerational pain. That is Melissa’s mission in life, to help heal the pain caused by the “problems” of abortion. To that aim, she has founded “For Olivia’s Sake.”

What would the world be like without Melissa Ohden?


Ms. Ohden told us something tragic, that some surveys reveal as many as 60% of women were coerced into their abortions … and regret it the rest of their lives.

That’s what happened with her natural mother, she subsequently learned.

One of her quotes that stuck with me is that “abortion doesn’t do beautiful things for a family.” She said we’re living in a post-abortive world, surrounded by the walking wounded.

Who are these wounded?


And fathers.

Think about YOUR life for a moment. If it’s like mine, you’ve got problems. But those problems are a sign of life, as Dr. Peale reminds us.

Even more, each of our lives is a gift.

Each of our lives has purpose.

And despite the problems, despite the pain, Melissa Ohden reminds us how wonderful each of our lives are.

I thank Iowans for Life and their Director, Maggie Dewitte, for bringing Melissa Ohden to Des Moines last week with her simple message:  life is beautiful.