Freedom of speech takes a hit in the U.S. Reply

By Tom Quiner

Larry David, the comedic creator of Seinfeld and Curb Your Enthusiasm, has gone into hiding. No one knows where he is. His career is over.

It all happened quickly following a controversial episode of his HBO sitcom, Curb Your Enthusiasm. Here’s what happened in the fateful episode. Mr. David’s character was medicated with a pill that would compensate for the shortcomings of his middle-aged prostrate. In his haste to relieve himself, urine (from Mr. David’s character) inadvertently splattered onto a painting of Jesus hanging on the bathroom wall. The show milked this low brow humor for all it was worth.

Typical Hollywood bathroom humor, right?

Pope Benedict found nothing funny about another assault on the Christian faith. The Pontiff had it and blew a liturgical gasket in a public address from St. Peter’s Square.  Here is an excerpt of the stunning pronouncement:

“My fellow Christians. The American media and entertainment establishment has heaped one blasphemy after another on our faith. We have meekly turned the other cheek time and time again. And where has it gotten us? The blasphemers are only emboldened. Each act of sacrilege is worse than the previous. In the name of God, in the name of Christ, this must stop. Today, I am calling on the faithful to act. The perpetrator of this outrage must be hunted down. He must pay for this atrocity with his life.  The honor of Jesus Christ demands it. The dignity of religious faith demands it. And I demand it.”

A terrified Larry David immediately went into hiding.

The reaction from the media was explosive.

The New York Times devoted a full six pages to denouncing the Pope and the Catholic Church specifically, and Christianity generally. The Times editorial called for immediate governmental action:

“It is time for Catholic Churches, and perhaps Christian churches everywhere, to immediately lose their tax-exempt status. God, if she even exists, only knows what is being said within the hallowed halls of these so-called churches. The Church and its representatives should not be allowed to foment unchecked fear and unrest. The social order demands quick government intervention to protect us from these religious crackpots.”

The Seattle Weekly was less reserved:

“It is time for the government to board up these simmering dens of anti-secular malcontents. More Americans are going to be hurt, more are going to be forced underground unless something is done, and done quickly.”

The Des Moines Register struck a more moderate tone:

“No one believes in freedom of religion more than the paper Iowa depends on. But the time has come for more government oversight and regulation of houses faiths in this country. Religion in American has become an inefficient hodgepodge with 33,000 competing denominations. We need to move to a single prayer system. We are not calling for the establishment of a state religion. However, we advocate that we begin a process of creating a more logical and orderly way for Americans to approach their spirituality.”

Okay, this isn’t quite what happened. The Pope didn’t really say that, nor did those papers write the above editorials. Larry David is fine. Yes, he offended the faithful in an episode of Curb Your Enthusiasm as described above. But no one threatened him. He is rich and famous and by all accounts doing well.

Here’s the real story. It’s about an American cartoonist named Molly Norris who has lost her identity because a Muslim terrorist has called for Muslims to murder her.

Ms. Norris reacted to the self-censorship imposed by Comedy Central, the Yale University Press, and other stewards of American culture when it came to Muslim matters. Muslim jokes are out. Muslim commentary must be carefully couched. Or you may be killed.

Molly Norris came up with the idea of a “Everybody Draw Mohammed Day.” The thinking went that if a ton of people do just that, Muslim terrorists can’t kill everyone, can they? No, just Ms. Norris.

Muslim terrorist, Anwar al-Awlaki, the man who inspired the Fort Hood mass murderer, learned of Ms. Norris’ idea. He immediately issued a fatwa, calling for her to be immediately murdered. She is now a marked person. She is in permanent hiding. Her identity is gone. Her career is finished.

I would find at least a little comfort if the media demonstrated even a smidge of concern for this, another barbarous assault on Western Civilization. I would feel that America was unified even if the media expressed some outrage for this Muslim-imposed assault on free speech.

Here is how the Seattle Weekly responded:

“You may have noticed that Molly Norris’ comic is not in the paper this week. That’s because there is no more Molly.

The gifted artist is alive and well, thankfully. But on the insistence of top security specialists at the FBI, she is, as they put it, “going ghost”: moving, changing her name, and essentially wiping away her identity. She will no longer be publishing cartoons in our paper or in City Arts magazine, where she has been a regular contributor. She is, in effect, being put into a witness-protection program – except, as she notes, without the government picking up the tab. . . .

Norris views the situation with her customary sense of the world’s complexity, and absurdity. When FBI agents, on a recent visit, instructed her to always keep watch for anyone following her, she joked, “Well, at least it’ll keep me from being so self-involved!” . . .

[W]e wish her the best.”

We wish her the best?

May I ask you a question? If the tables were turned, if public hits were being directed at members of the American media by Christians, if Christian-directed attacks on free speech were on the upswing in Western Civilization, would the liberal press say, “we wish her the best?”

The story the media doesn’t like to cover 6

By Tom Quiner

Thousands and thousands of people across America lined the streets of their communities in prayer for the end of abortion.   Here in Des Moines, masses lined Merle Hay Road.

The Life Chain in Des Moines, Iowa, October 3rd, 2010

The Des Moines Register did not photograph the event.  They didn’t include a single word of coverage in their Monday edition.  Keep in mind, the Register provides Planned Parenthood lavish news coverage and editorial support.  They provide little to none to pro life causes.

Quiner’s Diner was there.  We are providing you the photographic coverage of an event the mainstream media does not consider newsworthy.  Do you think they would have covered this event if it was a rally in support of abortion rights?

No need to answer.

Thanks to Lisa Bourne for providing photographs near the front end of the chain at St. Theresa’s Catholic Church.

Why Reduce the Number of Abortions? Reply

As seen in the Des Moines Register on October 4th, 2009

By Tom Quiner

“The president explicitly expressed his commitment to reducing the numbers of abortions and to listen to the church’s concern on moral issues.”

This is the news release much of the media missed on July 16th after President Obama met with Pope Benedict.

Think about this statement. It is relevant today, October 4th, 2009.  This is Life Chain Sunday across America.  In Des Moines, you’ll see members of your community standing along Merle Hay Road in respectful support of life.

I once believed there were only two positions on abortion: one believing the object in a mother’s womb is a person; the other believing it isn’t.  It follows that group one believes the unborn are entitled to human rights, group two doesn’t.

I was mistaken.  There is a third group, the one President Obama and much of his party are in.  This group tacitly acknowledges that the object in the womb is a person, but is unwilling to grant it human rights.  Why else should we reduce the number of abortions?

If the fetus is simply a collection of cells, much like a gall bladder, why did the President feel a need to reduce the number of abortions?

Scientists are universal in their assertion that life begins at conception, at which time its genetic code is complete.

In defense of my pro-choice friends, it is fair to ask:  “is the life in the womb really a person?” In other words, is it a “full” human entitled to full human rights?  Or is it, in fact, some sort of subhuman not entitled to human rights?

The implications are enormous.  The President’s party prides itself on looking out for the little guy.  If they’re wrong, they have abetted violence on an unimaginable scale directed at the most vulnerable persons in society, the unborn.

To my pro-choice friends, what if you’re wrong?  What if there is only a one-in-ten chance that we’re dealing with a human person in the womb?  Is the risk to our humanity worth it?

Some of you tell me you’re personally opposed to abortion, but that you can’t impose your view on someone else.  I don’t think you’re shooting straight with yourself.  Are you personally opposed to killing a baby with colic that cries all night?  Of course you are.  Are you willing to impose this view on the parent up all night with the crying kid?  Of course you are.   We impose values on others all the time. That’s why we pass laws:  to protect us from each other.

I know this is a tough issue.  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.”

Ted Kennedy said it so well.  Yes, that was the late Senator Kennedy’s beautiful defense of life in 1971.  Then he changed his position.  He didn’t change this core position for scientific reasons or moral ones.  It came down to politics.

Today, on these pages in the Register, notable Republicans suggest that we, too, should be less concerned about this issue.  I think not.  If anything, Republicans should stand up for the little guy more than ever.

Either all humans possess personhood or they don’t. In America, all are created equal. Today’s Life Chain simply recognizes that whether embryonic, fetal, infantile, young, old, or dying, we’re entitled to human rights.  This is an American value.  Join us on Merle Hay Road at 2 PM today.

Here’s something Republicans and Democrats can agree on 1

By Tom Quiner

Join us at the Life Chain tomorrow at 2 PM at the First Assembly of God Church on Merle Hay Road

Republicans and Democrats have differing viewpoints when it comes to the human fetus (Latin for offspring or Little One).

Republicans view the Little One as being worthy of human rights. Democrats don’t.

Republicans view the Little One as being a person. Democrats don’t.

Republicans view the Little One as having a fundamental right to life. Democrats don’t.

Democrats and their judicial soulmates have had far more power than Republicans over the past thirty-some years when it comes to formulating policy affecting Little Ones.  They have stripped just about every human right away from them.

Interestingly, though, both current Democratic President Obama and previous Democratic President Clinton have expressed the same sentiments, that abortion should be legal, but rare. Clearly, they sense there is something wrong with the wanton destruction of Little Ones, but they have been unwilling to do anything about it.

There is something Democrats can do with Republicans tomorrow.  They can join us in prayer on behalf of Little Ones everywhere during the annual Life Chain.  Here in Des Moines, the faithful will come together in respectful prayer along Merle Hay Road, stretching from St. Theresa’s Church to the First Assembly of God church.

Although Republicans will be praying for the end of abortion, Democrats can pray that a conflicted woman carrying a Little One will have a change of heart and let her child be born.

Democrats can pray that adoption will flourish in a land where broken-hearted couples unable to conceive pray daily for a Little One.

Democrats can pray that abortion won’t be needed because fathers and mothers recognize the humanity of the Little Ones in their mothers’ wombs.

The Democratic Party still has a sizable number of the faithful in their ranks. Republicans extend a hand of friendship to join with us in prayer starting at 2 PM on Sunday, October 3, that abortion will never be needed in America again.

We can agree on that, can’t we?