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

Volume 1
Issue 5

November 8, 1998

Day 20, 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.

For more information on Q.U.A.R.L. and it's organizations, visit us on the web at http://members.tripod.com/~Thepines

Table of Contents

Article 1 -- Actor Woods Makes It on His Own
Article 2 -- French Mayor in on Halloween Prank
Article 3 -- Vandals Wreck Czar Nicholas Statue
Article 4 -- Clinton Urges Blacks To Vote
Article 5 -- Profiles of Nation's New Governors
Article 6 -- Michigan Catholic Conference Statement on the Defeat of Proposal B
Article 7 -- Hemlock Society Comments on Defeat of Michigan's Proposal B
Article 8 -- Catholic Editorial Assailed
Article 9 -- Islam Classes in Berlin Criticized
Article 10 -- Religious Right Had Tough Election

Article 1 -- Actor Woods Makes It on His Own

James Woods made it in Hollywood -- without connections.

This article is here at the request of the Apathetic Blockade Group. I feel it is an appropriate lead article.

"I don't think I know a single person working in the business who isn't related to somebody -- except me!'' Woods says in Sunday's Daily News.

"I hate to say that, but name an actor, and I'll tell you who they're related to. It's unbelievable! So I came out here, this sort of skinny geeky kid, and it just took forever. I didn't get my first sort of break until I was 30, which was `Holocaust' in '78.''

Woods is currently starring in "John Carpenter's Vampires'' as a cranky Nosferatu slayer who ad-libbed a whole slew of diatribes against religion, women, homosexuals and other targets just to amuse the director, and was shocked when they wound up in the film.

"One day I saw him choking from laughter on the camera deck,'' Woods said of Carpenter. "I said, `Do not use this scene in the movie. My movie career will be over! But John had the (courage) to go for it.''

We thank John Carpenter and James Woods for their courage to freely express their opinions.

Article 2 -- French Mayor in on Halloween Prank

Exploding vases and flying candlesticks at the village church?

The spooked residents of this village of 200 people in eastern France had reason to believe Halloween had come early this year. And that there was more to it than just a party.

Until the mayor admitted it was all a hoax.

Two weeks ago, I commented on this article. I made a mockery of the church for bringing in an exorcist. I even made reference to the whole thing as a joke. It looks like I was closer to the truth than I thought.

Mayor Thierry Marceaux, 32, was detained last week after confessing that he had been behind the apparently supernatural events in mid-October.

Moving the altar a few inches seemed to trigger the flotation and explosion of holy objects, witnesses said.

Little did they know that Marceaux was hiding in the shadows and throwing the objects. He would appear seconds later to express his horror.

An exorcist was even called in to try to figure out the goings-on.

Marceaux, later freed by police, has been ordered to see a psychiatrist, the newspaper Le Parisien reported. He faces charges of wasting police time.

Remember that the next time you want to have fun.

Article 3 -- Vandals Wreck Czar Nicholas Statue

Vandals blew up a statue of Russia's last czar Sunday, the second time in two years a monument to Nicholas II has been destroyed.

The statue destroyed Sunday was in the city of Podolsk, about 15 miles south of Moscow. According to the ITAR-Tass news agency, the statue was destroyed and its foundation partly damaged in the blast.

No one immediately claimed responsibility.

In April 1997, a statue of Nicholas II was blown up in the village of Taininskoye, a Moscow suburb. Both that statue and the one destroyed Sunday were created by the same sculptor, Vyacheslav Klykov.

Klykov lamented that vandals apparently were "hunting'' his statues of Nicholas.

"The church is preparing to canonize him. That means that vandals blow up not only monuments but our memory of Russian saints,'' he told ITAR-Tass.

It is understandable for some people wanting to defame someone who the church plans to make a saint.

Article 4 -- Clinton Urges Blacks To Vote

With a slew of Democratic candidates alongside him, President Clinton urged members of a black church congregation Sunday to turn out in large numbers and support his party's candidates on Election Day.

This sounds like a clear violation of church and state to me.

"On Tuesday, you control the arithmetic,'' he said.

Trying to boost turnout among blacks, a loyal Democratic constituency, Clinton cited reports of voter intimidation in Maryland and other states and said black Americans in particular have a responsibility to belie expectations of low turnout in their communities on Tuesday.

"Your vote counts just as much as mine, just as much as Speaker Gingrich's,'' Clinton said as some congregation members hooted at the mention of the Georgia Republican.

The Rev. Walter Thomas delivered a fiery sermon during the three-hour service that compared this election to "a spiritual war'' that can be fought and won by the "flawed folk'' to whom God reveals truth.

"It is time to quit rolling over and playing dead,'' Thomas said. "No army has ever won a war in retreat. You've got to get on offense. You may be flawed. Your glory may be a little damaged. But you've got to make it happen.''

This country was founded on the traditions of democracy. I believe that every vote does count and every vote matters. I find nothing wrong with President Clinton urging people to vote, minority or otherwise. However, he can easily do this from the oval office. He had no reason to stand on the church pulpit.

Article 5 -- Profiles of Nation's New Governors

Gov.-elect Don Siegelman, a Democrat in a Southern state that has grown increasingly Republican, dared to take on the religious right in Alabama over gambling.

I applaud anyone who will take on the religious right.

From a lieutenant governor's office that traditionally has been a political dead end in Alabama, Siegelman ousted Republican Gov. Fob James by campaigning largely on his promise to start a lottery for education.

His GOP critics labeled him a liberal and Bill Clinton clone, but Siegelman won by currying the support of business and independents enthusiastic about his plan to create college scholarships and bolster funding of public schools.

Siegelman drew fire from Christian conservatives who sided with James largely because of his stand in favor of teacher-led prayer in public schools. They're expected to fight any lottery legislation.

I knew it couldn't be perfect. How can he fight the religious right and support prayer in school? Where did we go wrong?

Article 6 -- Michigan Catholic Conference Statement on the Defeat of Proposal B

The following statement was issued today by Sister Monica Kostielney, R.S.M., President and C.E.O. of the Michigan Catholic Conference:

"We are most grateful to the voters of Michigan for the landslide defeat of Proposal B."

"The people have spoken and they have sent a very clear message based an traditional Midwestern values. Assisted suicide is not a desired public policy in this state. Any attempt to bring this back will be a slap in the face to voters who have so overwhelmingly rejected this issue."

"It has been our privilege to be associated with the thirty five organizations of Citizens for Compassionate Care in working together to defeat the legalization of assisted suicide."

"We look forward to working with many of them as Michigan can now shift efforts and energies to promote state law on advanced directives, to promote hospice care and to insure that patients receive appropriate pain relief, which is their right. In this way, those among us who are seriously ill will receive true dignity, compassion and comfort."

The Michigan Catholic Conference is the public policy voice of the Catholic Church in this state.

Instead of my usual rant about this subject, I will let the following article do so for me.

Article 7 -- Hemlock Society Comments on Defeat of Michigan's Proposal B

The following statement was issued today by Faye Girsh, executive director of Hemlock Society USA, following Tuesday's defeat of Michigan's Proposal B to legalize physician aid in dying. Hemlock, the nation's largest death with dignity organization, supported the grass roots initiative that was placed on the ballot by Merian's Friends. Girsh stated:

"The Catholic Church and Right to Life groups spent $5 million to pick apart a carefully crafted initiative. As a result, a small number of suffering people will not be able to get help from a compassionate physician to hasten the dying process."

"To produce misleading, frightening TV ads about a measure that would take away some of the anxiety of dying is unforgivably inhumane. The money spent to defeat Proposal B could have been used more effectively to lobby Congress for catastrophic health care insurance -- a void that causes more deaths than assisted dying ever will. Or, hospice care could be extended, nursing homes could be improved, and suicide prevention programs could be expanded."

"End of life suffering will not go away; neither will the need for an option to hasten death with medical assistance. It happens now in Switzerland, in Holland and in Oregon. Surveys show that more than 70% of people want this -- in the U.S., in the United Kingdom, in Europe, in Australia and in Canada. If the Catholic Church and the Religious Right want to limit their members' choices for divorce, contraception, abortion, and help in dying, that is their right. But they should not be free to inflict these restrictions on others through the use of an outrageously unbalanced political campaign."

I could not have said it better myself.

Article 8 -- Catholic Editorial Assailed

An editorial in a Roman Catholic Church newspaper has drawn sharp criticism by suggesting that the murders of abortion-performing doctors "might have some positive effects.''

The problem of modern religion is the belief in gray matter.

The editorial, written by B.C. Catholic editor Paul Schratz, said several times that murder is evil.

But controversy has flared over one passage in the editorial.

"How can anyone help but be pleased that the murders of some abortionists just might have some positive side effects?'' Schratz wrote.

It's hard to imagine that a religious advocate says this.

"Fewer doctors are willing to face the stigma and now the threat of personal harm associated with performing abortions. It goes to show that our powerful and all-loving God can bring good from any evil situation.''

This is blind faith and devotion if I ever saw it.

Among those criticizing the editorial was Penny Priddy, British Columbia's health minister.

"To think that anyone's murder could have a positive side effect distresses me very much,'' she said.

Even though I agree with this, I can't help imagine if the same thing could be said if we could go back in time and kill Hitler to prevent him for the millions he allowed to be killed.

Vancouver Archbishop Adam Exner, who oversees the newspaper, defended the overall thrust of the editorial, saying it condemned the killing of abortion doctors.

However, Exner said Schratz "could have been clearer in what he meant'' and will be asked to "express himself in ways which are not open to misinterpretation.''

No matter what anyone says, everything will always be open to misinterpretation.

"I find the suggestion that the church condones the killing of anyone absolutely abhorrent,'' Exner said.

Imagine how the Jews felt during the inquisition.

Article 9 -- Islam Classes in Berlin Criticized

A court ruling allowing Islamic religious instruction in Berlin schools has worried some members of the city's Muslim community as well as conservative Germans.

The Berlin court said the Islamic Federation, representing 12 of 70 mosques in the city, had the right to organize voluntary religious instruction in public schools, just like Catholic and Protestant churches.

Which is why you should separate church and state in education. You either teach all or none, not some.

Predictably, the ruling did not sit well with Germans resistant to "multiculturalism,'' who argue it clashes with western, Christian traditions.

But it also has drawn criticism from the city's other two Islamic associations, which consider the Islamic Federation too radical.

The liberal Turkish Union urged Berlin's Muslim parents to keep their children out of the religion classes, which could begin as early as next August. There are about 32,000 children of school age in Berlin.

"The Islamic Federation is not a religious organization, but a political one,'' Turkish Union chairman Kenan Kolat was quoted by the BZ newspaper as saying.

Even in the United States we have a hard time separating the two.

But the court, overturning a lower court's ruling, found that the Islamic Federation's members represented a broad enough spectrum of Islam to qualify it to be accepted by the school system as a religious community.

Religious classes are mandatory in most of Germany, but voluntary in Berlin and two other states. Generally they focus on Catholic and Protestant teachings. However, North Rhine-Westphalia has offered courses on Islam since 1986.

Good for them. When can we expect to see classes on Taoism?

Article 10 -- Religious Right Had Tough Election

Election Day 1998 was a disappointment for religious right groups, which spent millions to get their supporters out and their favored candidates elected.

They should not have spent millions in matters that don't really concern them.

"They saw some of their staunchest allies defeated. ... And many of their challengers didn't win,'' said a non-partisan observer, political scientist John C. Green of the University of Akron.

Religious right favorites lost numerous high-profile races, even in the Southern stronghold of conservative Protestantism. Voters ousted Alabama Gov. Fob James, South Carolina Gov. David Beasley, and North Carolina Sen. Lauch Faircloth. There were gubernatorial defeats in California, Georgia, and Iowa; and U.S. Senate defeats in Arkansas, California, South Carolina, and Washington State.

Christian Coalition analysts said local peculiarities rather than ideological trends explain many of those results.

In other words, they are looking for an easy excuse for the millions they spent supporting a bunch of losers.

Looking for bright spots, coalition strategists cited the new governors in Florida, Colorado, and Nebraska, and these gains in opposing abortion: victories by three new House Democrats and three new Senate Republicans who agree with the organization's stance. Also: a net gain of one Senate vote to override President Clinton's veto and ban late-term abortions.

Besides its signature issue of abortion, the Christian Coalition rated congressional candidates on such matters as: school prayer, preventing religious persecution overseas, tax breaks for private school families, affirmative action for homosexuals, needle exchanges for drug abusers and funding for the National Endowment for the Arts.

Basically, a bunch of things the religious right had no business doing.

Opponents were gleeful.

Barry Lynn of Americans United for Separation of Church and State said a backlash against the movement has begun. "It was a humiliating defeat. They've really hit the wall. They have embarrassingly little to show for the millions they poured in.''

The movement's most publicized organization, Christian Coalition, said it spent $1.3 million distributing 35 million voter guides to churches, plus a million postcards and 500,000 phone calls to get supporters to the polls.

In the post-ballot recriminations, Christian Coalition executive director Randy Tate said the Republicans failed to offer a "clear conservative agenda'' to match Democratic proposals, as they had done in 1994.

If you don't win, then blame someone else.

"Republicans tried to win a campaign based solely on anti-Clinton sentiment,'' he said.

Charles Cunningham, the Christian Coalition's national field director, also criticized Republican tactics and contended that the movement remains vital to the party's prospects .'' If the religious conservatives weren't there as a firewall the Republicans would have lost control of the House, and would have had a net loss of seats in the Senate."

Lux disputed that interpretation. "The lesson they're drawing is the Republicans didn't follow what we want so they lost,'' he said. "I would argue the Republicans followed what the religious right wanted too closely and that's why they lost.'' He predicted a tough internal fight in the Republican Party between those viewpoints. "You're going to see a blood bath.''

C. Welton Gaddy at the Interfaith Alliance, a group of 80,000 religious moderates and liberals, remarked that if the right's scenario held true, "Fob James would still be governor of Alabama. He had the issues, he had the rhetoric, he had the spirit, but he didn't have the votes.''

Movement leaders command a solid core of voters, he said, "but I think there's a good possibility they are losing some influence in the Republican Party. For the health of our two-party system, I hope so.''

From outside the battle lines, political scientist Green saw a more nuanced situation. By and large, he said, Democrats who were successful did not campaign as social liberals. "They didn't take on the Christian right on the issues, but raised other issues and built a broader coalition.''

For instance, South Carolina's governor-elect Jim Hodges "wasn't running against the religious right. He was running past it. He didn't send off liberal cultural vibrations and he focused on the need to fund education.''

Meanwhile "the Bush boys'' won governorships in Florida and Texas by building coalitions of their own, attracting Hispanics, blacks, and moderates.

"You want to follow the George W. Bush strategy, a broad-based coalition that doesn't ignore social issues but puts them alongside tax cuts and limited government,'' said Green. "If candidates are too closely identified with the movement so that they put its agenda ahead of other issues, they're vulnerable. Even in the Deep South.''

Final Thought

With every election comes many changes. And it is important to remember that religious freedoms are always subject to change with every election. Remember, always scrutinize those who you would have represent you, including behind the pulpit.