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

Volume 1
Issue 8

November 29, 1998

Day 41, 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 -- Being an American is a Privilege, Say Native and Foreign-Born Parents; Learning English is a Priority, Especially with Immigrant Parents
Article 2 -- Cyprus Bishop Quits in Controversy
Article 3 -- Chinese Protestants Appeal for Help
Article 4 -- German Minister Backs Muslims

Article 1 -- Being an American is a Privilege, Say Native and Foreign-Born Parents; Learning English is a Priority, Especially with Immigrant Parents

At a time when rancor and cynicism appear to be dominating the national political scene, parents offer a more positive view of America, according to a study released today by the nonpartisan, nonprofit Public Agenda. More than nine in ten foreign-born parents, as well as white and Hispanic parents, and more than eight in ten African American parents, say the United States is a better country than most others. Highlights from A Lot To Be Thankful For: What Parents Want Children To Learn About America are available at www.publicagenda.org.

For the Thanksgiving holiday, I thought it might be nice to give thanks for being able to live in a country such as ours. Let's review a few of the things we are thankful for.

"America's parents convey a deep, yet realistic loyalty to the nation. Theirs is not a knee-jerk patriotism -- they readily acknowledge America's imperfections -- but those born here, and those not, embrace with pride a common agenda they expect the public schools to teach about what it means to be an American," said Deborah Wadsworth, Executive Director of Public Agenda.

Freedom, But Wisely Used

America's parents treasure freedom, but they also believe that with freedom comes responsibility.

-- 88 percent believe equal opportunity for people regardless of race, religion or sex is essential.

-- But 76 percent also say what makes America special is the expectation that people will work, earn their living, and not rely on the government.

English A.S.A.P.

America's parents fully reject the theory of bilingual education, believing schools' first priority with immigrant students should be to teach English.

-- 67 percent of parents overall say it is more important for the public schools to teach new immigrants English as quickly as possible, even if they fall behind in other subjects. Foreign-born (75 percent) and Hispanic (66 percent) parents agree.

Beyond English, What to Teach About America

Parents of all demographic groups embrace the teaching of traditional American ideals.

-- By a 79 percent to 18 percent margin, parents think schools should teach kids to be proud of being part of America and the responsibilities of citizenship, rather than focusing on their ethnic group's identity.

But respect for diversity is also critical:

-- 85 percent say it is absolutely essential to teach children to respect others from different backgrounds. 69 percent want schools to teach the holidays and traditions of different cultures.

The study was sponsored by the Thomas B. Fordham Foundation, the American Federation of Teachers, the National Education Association and an anonymous donor. It is based on a national telephone survey of 801 parents of public school students conducted in September of 1998 (margin of error plus or minus 3 percent), and six focus groups. Interviews were also conducted with 200 foreign-born, 203 Hispanic, and 198 African American parents. Contact Public Agenda to order the study and/or the complete questionnaire results.

Article 2 -- Cyprus Bishop Quits in Controversy

A months-long upheaval in the Cyprus Orthodox church over fraud allegations against a bishop was settled quietly Tuesday with the cleric's resignation and temporary suspension from ecclesiastical duties.

This is really sickening. What kind of a world do we live in where stuff like this can be quietly swept under the carpet?

However, an independent inquiry by the Cypriot attorney-general into fraud allegations involving Bishop Chrysanthos of Limassol is continuing.

Good for them.

An official announcement by the Holy Synod of the Cyprus Orthodox Church said the synod accepted Chrysanthos' resignation submitted the previous day and imposed a two-year suspension on him for involvement ``in every holy duty.''

This means that the bishop retains his rank and will continue to live in the official residence but will not conduct church services, explained synod secretary Archimandrite Vassilios Papafotis.

So, if I do something bad, yet resign from my position, I basically get away with it.

The synod reached its verdict after considering a report by a special committee of bishops that found Chrysanthos was involved in fraud and profiteering through currency speculation and had taken advantage of his office for illicit gain.

Bishop Chrysanthos rejected charges he made personal profits from his actions. But he apologized to the synod for becoming what he called naively involved in alleged quick-profit schemes to raise funds for charity.

Who's charity?

Article 3 -- Chinese Protestants Appeal for Help

Leading members of China's vibrant underground Protestant churches appealed to the government to stop persecuting their followers, a Hong Kong-based rights group reported Saturday.

When will the Chinese learn that if they want freedom of religion they will just have to leave their country?

In a pair of open letters, leaders of four churches in central Henan and Anhui provinces demanded the government stop ``beating, confronting, fining, detaining in labor camps and otherwise persecuting'' underground Protestants, the Information Center of Human Rights and Democratic Movement in China reported.

The letters laid out disputes with official Protestant churches and their government supervisors. China's Communist Party-led government requires all Protestant groups be part of the umbrella, nondenominational China Christian Council.

The underground, or ``house'' church leaders decried limits on evangelizing, age restrictions on preachers and prohibitions against ties with overseas churches, the group cited the letters as saying.

``For these reasons, the great majority of religious believers recognize house churches and don't follow the official church,'' the group paraphrased the letter as saying.

The council estimates its churches have 11 million followers, but some missionaries claim there are now 100 million Chinese Protestants.

Well, when the Chinese government becomes democratic, maybe they will get their wish.

Article 4 -- German Minister Backs Muslims

Germany's interior minister supports giving the Islamic religion the same official status as the Roman Catholic and Protestant churches, making it eligible for government funds, a news magazine reported Saturday.

Of course, if there were no government funds available to the other religions, we wouldn't need this.

Granting Islam the government status could help set a national standard for introducing Islamic teaching in public schools, Otto Schily was quoted by Focus as saying.

Followers of religions with the status pay so-called ``church taxes'' and their children can take voluntary religious classes in public schools.

The new center-left Social Democrat-Greens coalition government, elected in September, is eager to develop new policies acknowledging the multiethnic quality of modern Germany. It has proposed relaxing citizenship laws to make it easier for foreign nationals to become Germans.

They will probably change their minds in about 10 years when they start to suffer the overpopulation problems we suffer.

Schily's comments followed a controversial ruling by a Berlin court last month giving the Islamic Federation, representing 12 of the city's 70 mosques, the right to organize Islamic religious instruction for public school students.

Liberal Muslims who find the Islamic Federation too radical opposed the ruling. A lawmaker of Turkish descent has urged the government to set a standard for Islamic curriculum nationwide to avoid giving control to a single group that might support fundamentalism.

This is definitely what shouldn't happen. They should use China as an example.

Schily said a government-recognized Islamic movement could introduce Islamic teaching in public schools while at the same time make sure Muslim children also are learning the German language and laws.

The Berlin court ruling also was opposed by Germans resistant to ``multiculturalism'' who argue it clashes with western, Christian traditions.

Well, maybe they should clash with western Christian traditions. Look where it has gotten us.

Schily emphasized that Islamic laws and customs should never take precedence over German culture, saying that Muslim residents should learn German. Germany's largest minority population is its 2 million Turks.

``It cannot be that a Turkish minority in Berlin can demand that street signs ... be written also in Turkish,'' he said.

Well, this part I do agree with.

Final Thought

With the holidays come the droves of people to the churches. But most Christians celebrate pagan rituals and national holidays rather than the spirit of God. Thanksgiving is the time of year we give thanks for our time of survival when we first colonized this country. We should give thanks to God daily for sending his Son down to forgive our sins. We don't need a special holiday to give thanks to God.