The Weekly Q.U.A.R.L.

Volume 1
Issue 3

October 25, 1998

Day 6, Season of The Aftermath, AM 3164

The Weekly Q.U.A.R.L. is an editorial based on actual news articles sent across various news agencies all over the world. It is full of conjecture and comments that will upset some people. Unless you are tied to a chair and have your eyelids taped open, you are not being forced to read this.

The articles are gathered by the Docile Evasion Foundation, a sub-organization of Q.U.A.R.L.

The editorials are provided by Master Thepines, EFG, KSC, spokesperson for Q.U.A.R.L.

The Weekly Q.U.A.R.L. is published by the Erisian Freedom Group, a sub-organization of Q.U.A.R.L.

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Table of Contents

Article 1 -- Witch Fights Christian Town
Article 2 -- Christian Chicken Shop Comes North
Article 3 -- Pope Reflects on Last 20 Years
Article 4 -- Cops: Man Raped Woman After Praying
Article 5 -- French Town Calls In Exorcist
Article 6 -- Chicago Minister Could Be Defrocked

Article 1 -- Witch Fights Christian Town

There are times, Jean Webb admits freely, when she thinks of running, just as far and as fast as she can from this quiet little town that has become her personal hell.

The times when the phone rings and a caller lets loose with a string of obscenities. The times when a formerly amiable supermarket clerk sees her in line and closes the register. The times when a neighbor stands outside and shouts that Mrs. Webb is a witch who will face eternal damnation for what she's done.

Once again the words "Judge not" come to mind. When will people learn.

``There is a part of me that would just love to pack and run,'' says this outgoing, 36-year-old mother of two teen-agers who, in fact, considers herself a witch.

``But if I did that,'' she continues, ``all it would do would send them a message. That if there was any other minority they dislike, all they would have to do is be nasty to them and they would run.''

I encourage her strength. Most people would run. I wish more Christians would grow up.

And so Mrs. Webb, who was born and raised a Baptist, married in the Baptist church and then, in her mid-20s, converted to the pagan faith Wicca, says she is in this fight for the long haul.

She won't run and she won't drop the lawsuit she and the American Civil Liberties Union have filed against this bedroom community just west of Springfield for refusing to remove the fish symbol of christianity from its city seal.

You go girl. My thanks to the ACLU. That fish symbol should not be on the city seal. That is what separation of church and state is all about. Give unto Caesar that which is Caesar's.

``I know how important the ichthus symbol is to some people,'' she says of the small, simple fish drawing that has graced the city seal since 1990. It's as important, she realizes, as her symbols are to her.

But such symbols don't belong on a government seal, she says, adding that having the fish there is not only a violation of the constitutional separation of church and state but also a signal that Republic is a town where only Christians are welcome.

I guess the town forgot they were in America.

Mayor Doug Boatright and other supporters of the symbol say it was never placed there to foster discrimination, only to reflect the community's deep commitment to religious values.

But Mrs. Webb says for her it has become a symbol of hatred in a town of 6,000 people that she and her family moved to three years ago because everyone seemed so nice.

The first she heard of the dispute over the fish was when a man came to the weekly newspaper last February to complain that the ACLU was threatening to take the city to court because someone had objected.

``He was very hyperactive and the editor said, `Just blow him off,''' she recalls. ``He said this is not an issue we're going to get involved in.''

But then she went to a rancorous Board of Aldermen meeting where it was decided to keep the fish, an experience that moved her to write an editorial opposing the symbol.

Soon after it was published, she says, she was fired, and she can only assume it was over the editorial and the controversy it stirred. The newspaper declines to discuss her departure.

On July 1, less than a month after leaving the newspaper, she became the plaintiff in the suit brought by the ACLU. A trial is probably a year away, said ACLU attorney Dick Kurtenbach.

In the meantime, she said, she hasn't been able to find another job, and her daughter has taken so much abuse at school that she is being schooled at home.

She is suing, Mrs. Webb says, not for the money or the attention but because she believes she is right.

I believe she is right as well.

Article 2 -- Christian Chicken Shop Comes North

There will be more than savory chicken sandwiches and potato waffle fries on the menu when southern chicken maker Chick-fil-A debuts in two Massachusetts malls next month.

Customers are going to get a little religion with their meals.

Please say it isn't so. I thought praying before eating was bad.

Kids will find children's meals with surprise toys containing moral messages, not action figures. And parents will find Chick-fil-A's food counters closed on Sundays as a reflection of the company's biblical heritage.

I think a ban of Chick-fil-A is in order. I won't be eating at an establishment that wants to force its morality on me.

The mixture of Christian influence and quick-service food are longtime trademarks of the Atlanta-based chicken chain, which had $671 million in sales last year.

Although Chick-fil-A Inc. (pronounced ``chick-fil-AY'') ranks as the nation's third-largest chicken company -- with 800 restaurants in 35 states -- most New Englanders have never heard of the chain, founded in 1967 by S. Truett Cathy.

Cathy's son, Chick-fil-A executive vice president Dan Cathy, said he believes the chain can fit right in, even though there is a bit of a cultural gap between the typical New Englander and the Bible-belt tie-ins of his company.

The traditional Christians will probably love them. The rest of us will just eat somewhere else on Sunday.

``They are Mom, apple pie and American values,'' said Cathy, 46, describing coloring books emphasizing values such as friendship and responsibility, and child-oriented games culled from the adult bestseller ``Book of Virtues.''

``We try to stay away from the big movie promotions, trinkets, that kind of thing,'' he said. ``It's an opportunity for parents to have a discussion with their children about something important.''

The Sunday closings are a crucial part of keeping that spirit alive, Cathy said.

``Our employees are fresher when they come in on Monday after a day of rest,'' said Cathy. ``We have one of the lowest rate of turnover in the industry.''

He says the day off hasn't hurt the bottom line, either.

There's our true Christian spirit. I knew it was there somewhere.

``We make more sales in six days than our competition can make in seven days. That's the only reason the malls keep us,'' he said with a grin. ``But our competition really appreciates us being closed on Sunday.''

Now if they would close the other six days we would accomplish something. Actually, I'll be happier when they stop dropping the moral messages.

Article 3 -- Pope Reflects on Last 20 Years

Wiping away a tear, Pope John Paul II reflected on his 20 years as pontiff Sunday and wondered aloud how well he has served the church.

I have more concern with how well I serve my God.

``After 20 years of service on Peter's seat, on this day I cannot help but ask myself some questions,'' the pope said.

``Have you been a diligent and vigilant master of the faith of the church?''

And, another question to himself: ``Have you tried to satisfy the expectations of the faithful of the church and also the hunger for truth that we feel in the world, outside of the church?''

In my opinion, he has overlooked the big picture. I'm sure the faithful to the Roman Catholic church are satisfied.

He looked tired, but his voice was strong as he thanked people for their ``precious'' support in these two decades.

``The people's prayer supports he who has the task of guiding them,'' said the ailing John Paul, who walks with difficulty and has a constant hand tremor.

After the Mass, John Paul turned his thoughts to the value of truth.

``Woe to humanity which loses the sense of truth, the courage to seek it, the faith to find it,'' the pope told the crowd.

What a shame. The pope had something intelligent to say. I dare say that Jesus himself may not have said it better. I hope the pope supports his statement with those who don't hold the same beliefs.

Article 4 -- Cops: Man Raped Woman After Praying

A paroled rapist talked and prayed with a 71-year-old woman for nearly an hour after she returned from church, and then, ignoring her pleas for mercy, raped and sodomized her, police said.

James Singleton, 30, who was on parole for raping a 74-year-old woman, was arrested Monday for the weekend attack.

According to police, Singleton pushed his way into the woman's Long Island City apartment as she returned home from church.

The woman tried for an hour to reason with her attacker and finally persuaded him to pray with her. After the prayer, he raped and sodomized her, police said.

This furthers the cause that prayer is a dangerous thing. History is full of cases like this. One could say that God works in mysterious ways. I believe that most people don't know what prayer really is, or how to pray properly.

Singleton was charged with rape, sodomy, sex abuse and burglary. If convicted, ``he will never again see the light of the day,'' said Queens District Attorney Richard Brown.

Article 5 -- French Town Calls In Exorcist

When the French villagers of Delain saw vases explode and candlesticks soar through the town church this weekend, first they called police -- then, just to be cautious, the local exorcist.

Here's something you don't see every day. The only problem is an exorcist is usually called for a person who is possessed. I think they should call the ghostbusters.

About 50 people saw the strange events, which began last weekend as townspeople were re-arranging the church for an orchestra concert. Moving the altar a few inches seemed to trigger the flotation and explosion of holy objects, witnesses said.

Big boom. If there was an explosion, how did people survive?

The exorcist, the Rev. Max de Wasseige of the Archdiocese of Besancon, was called in by the archbishop -- but he didn't hold a seance.

They don't try to contact the dead. They try to expel demons. When will people learn?

``It was more like a prayer session where people testified to what they saw,'' Marceaux said.

Possibly even an interrogation.

Marceaux doesn't believe the strange goings-on could be a prank played by some local youngsters getting ready for Halloween.

``They'd have to be pretty talented,'' he said.

It might be that Marceaux isn't that bright. In any case, I think they got the wrong person for the job. It's no wonder there are restless spirits.

Article 6 -- Chicago Minister Could Be Defrocked

A United Methodist minister could be defrocked by a jury of fellow ministers for performing a gay marriage.

``I did what I understood faithfulness to Christ and my ordination vows require,'' the Rev. Gregory Dell said Friday. ``I extended ministry to two men who love each other, love God and love the church.''

Nobody's perfect. When will the church learn?

Last August, the church's Judicial Council ruled that ``ceremonies that celebrate homosexual unions shall not be conducted by our ministers and shall not be conducted by our churches.''

On Sept. 19, Dell performed a ``holy union'' ceremony for Keith Eccarius, 41, a systems analyst, and his partner, 33-year-old teacher Karl Reinhardt.

Dell's bishop, C. Joseph Sprague of the Northern Illinois Conference, filed a charge against him Oct. 12 for violating the church's Book of Discipline.

Sprague said he filed the charge ``despite my high regard for the Reverend Dell as a person of integrity, who possesses an enviable record of pastoral faithfulness and effectiveness, my evaluation of the Reverend Dell as an exceptional pastor, and my own theological and pastoral disagreement with this component of church law.''

When did church law become more important that God's law?

The jury of ministers could revoke Dell's ordination, suspend him or impose another, unspecified penalty.

I never understand why people that minister need to be ordained. Why do they need permission to perform God's work?

Final Editorial

A slow week is not a good sign. This means that more is happening in the background. The is danger in what we do not know. It is important to stay alert, for there is more happening here on earth than in heaven.