Saturday, January 30, 2010

Celebration of Family, Life, and the First Amendment

Tim Tebow is an All-Star quarterback and Heisman Trophy winner at
the University of Florida. He is well known for his leading his Florida
Gator team to a national championship in 2008, as well as a couple of
Southeast Conference titles and four bowl games. Now he is also known
for his religious views and his view on the subject of abortion. He is the
focal point of an ad that is scheduled to air during the Super Bowl when
the NFL's seasonal classic is to be played on Sunday February 7, the ad
already drawing protest and rage from various left-wing groups which
include NOW (National Organization for Women).

The reason for the brouhaha? Tebow's birth was a dangerously difficult
one, so much so that his mother Pam Tebow was risking death to carry
the pregnancy to term. She was advised by her doctor to have an abortion
but refused, holding to her Christian faith (she and her husband, Bob, were
Christian missionaries in the Phillippines at the time) that views abortion
as a morally abhorrant. She safely gave birth to the now-famous college
football star. Tim Tebow recognizes that he has been fortunate in that his
mother chose to give him an opportunity at life, at the distinct possibility
of ending life for herself. So, he made a commercial celebrating life, and
the virtues of family. And even before it had a chance to air, the following
had transpired:

*Gloria Allred, a fairly famous lawyer and feminist, and wife of an owner of
a chain of abortion clinics, had written a fiery letter to Leslie Moonves,
President and CEO of CBS (the network which will present the Super Bowl)
threatening to sue to stop the ad from airing. Allred wrote "If this ad airs
and fails to disclose that abortions were illegal at the time Ms. Tebow (oh,
it steams hard-core feminists no end for married women to have "Mrs."
before their names, so when refering to one they feel compelled to correct
the offending term with the substitution of their politically-correct creation
"Ms."!) made her 'choice', then I intend to file a formal complaint of mislead-
ing advertising with the Federal Communications Commission and the Federal
Trade Commission."

*Terry O'Neill, President of NOW, also took a shot at the ad, citing I'm sure
her concern for the women who would be deprived of a fundamental human
right to have abortions. I have not found any quotes from O'Neill on the matter
but knowing her organization I know that this is their standard rhetoric for
whenever someone from the pro-life side of the abortion issue speaks their

*A spokeswoman for the Women's Media Circle stated concerns that the ad
would be "divisive", and would therefore be dividing Americans at a time
when Americans should "come together", given the problems that the country
is facing.

And furthermore, these people and their respective groups are wondering why
CBS has altered their policy regarding advocacy commercials, as they had pre-
viously shied away from airing them. But CBS now states that they have no such
problems now with airing such commercials as long as they adhere to CBS'
standards for what they consider to be, well, not over-the-top (i.e. advocating
violence, defaming anyone, etc.). And in this sickly economy, why shouldn't CBS
find new ways to enhance revenue from their operations, including broadening
their scope of sponsorship?

Besides, why should a person, or a group of people, be prohibited from express-
ing their point of view publically, and at one of the most public of public events,
the Super Bowl? A pro-choice person or group could do what a christian-based
advocacy group is doing with Tim Tebow, producing an advocacy commercial
for their cause. If the ad meets the criteria established by the network (as stated
by CBS), they can, and should, be able to get it on the air. What are the femi-
nists afraid of? The Constitution's First Amendment guarantees that right to
both sides of the issue, and to us all.

Allred alluded in her letter to Moonves that the Phillippines has long had a
strict prohibition on abortions and that it may still have had same when the
Tebows were there in the 1980s, when Tim Tebow was born there. Doctors
and midwives would be fined andimprisoned for performing, or even recom-
mending, abortions. But Mrs. Tebow was advised by her doctor to abort her
child in order to save her life. Perhaps the Phillippine's law was made more
lenient by then. Or maybe Phillippine law applied only to women who were
citizens of the country and not foreigners. I myself do not know, but I can
safely say that it is highly likely that Pam Tebow still would have made the
choice that she made in giving birth to her son, given her strong faith and
its informing of her living her life.

And I can also say that such a choice, and the making of it, sends
the hard-core feminist Left into fits of apoplexy.


Friday, January 22, 2010

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Coronation...

Another special election to fill a vacant seat in Congress took place three days
ago. The contested seat was the U.S. Senate seat vacated with the passing of
Sen. Edward M. (Ted) Kennedy (D-MA) who held that seat for nearly half a
century. Massachusetts, the home state of the Kennedy family, is considered
by many to be the bluest of the blue states with its entrenched and formidable
state Democratic Party being in charge of its government for many decades,
with the Kennedys as its First Family. The Bay State Dems handpicked state
Attorney General Martha Coakley to be their candidate and heiress apparent
to what they, and the national media, haughtily proclaimed to be "The Kennedy Senate Seat".

Now, bear in mind that Massachusetts has not sent a Republican to the United
States Senate since 1972. In presidential elections since just before FDR's time,
with the exception of 1984, it has backed the Democratic candidate. Coming
into this election, the entire delegation to Congress from Massachusetts has
been midnight blue; not a single GOP member in the bunch. Also note that
Coakley is an experienced pol with strong name recognition, while Scott Brown,
the Republican candidate, was a virtual unknown even though the Tea Party
activists were behind him. So it seemed like the election would be a coronation
for Coakley. Until....

Just one week before Election Day, polls revealed Scott Brown pulling even or
ahead of Martha Coakley. The reason? Brown ran on a platform consisting of
a few key planks: 1) Ending runaway spending on stimulus packages that don't
stimulate; 2) Making government transparent and responsive to the people
(you know, the niceties that Barack Obama promised when he ran for the
presidency but once elected never delivered), and 3) casting the 41st vote
in the Senate to kill Obamacare, as Brown would give the GOP 41 senators
to the Democrats' 59, thus taking away the latter's "fillibuster-proof" majority
and their ability to keep their hopes for state-provided health care alive, if a
bit bruised and bloodied. Coakley took the opposite stands on these matters
as her platform's planks. Also, Coakley showed a distinct reluctance to meet
the electorate and "press the flesh" with the masses; not behavior one would
expect from a member of "The Party of the People", champions of Joe & Jane
Working Stiff. She showed herself throughout her campaign to be what she
is --- an elitist with a haughty disdain for everyday, workaday people whom
she is supposed to work on behalf of in elected office. Coakley didn't even make
an effort at pretense as to the contrary. And the Tea Party folks helped make
the public aware of it all.

So Scott Brown achieved one of the greatest and most shocking upsets in the
history of elections in the United States. The "Scott Heard 'Round The World"
will give a world-class headache to President Obama and the Democrats in
Washington. The cure for their pain would be to work with the Republicans
and the people on health care and the economy, rather than literally locking
them out of the deliberations; to listen to the people rather than ignore and
condescend to them, and to make everything going on in Congress open for
all to see. Until they do this, the Tea Party acivists will party on, and the people
will run the rascals out of office. And by the way, Democrats take note: the
seat in the U.S. Senate that was won contested in this election is not, and never
has been, the property of Ted Kennedy, his family, nor your party. It is The
People's seat, and as such belongs to the people. They choose who gets to
occupy it, and has the occupants remain in it at their pleasure. That's how
democracy works.


Saturday, January 16, 2010

Sister Helen Prejean's Visit to Milwaukee

On Thursday, January 16 Sister Helen Prejean, famous for her ministry

which works for the abolition of capital punishment, gave her much

anticipated address to the Cathedral Ministry Conference hosted by

Milwaukee's Cathedral of Saint John the Evangelist. This event was

publicized in this blog last week. She talked about her life and the

factors in her becoming an opponent of the death penalty.

For those of you, my loyal readers, who would like to learn more about this

remarkable woman, Sister Helen gave me this information to pass along:

To order her books about her ministry work, "Dead Man Walking"

and "The Death of Innocents", please e-mail Sr. Helen: to order by credit or debit card,

or send a check to her thus:

Sister Helen Prejean

3009 Grand Rt., St. John #5, New Orleans, LA 70119.

Each book costs $15, but you can order BOTH for $25 plus

$2.00 shipping, a splendid bargain! The proceeds will fund

her ministry.

I had a great time at her presentation and enjoyed meeting this

dynamic, charming, and irrepressibly witty and optimistic lady!

"Dead Man Walking" is Sr. Helen's first book; you may know it

via the movie made of it, also with the same title. "The Death of

Innocents" is her latest offering, in which she relates the stories

of wrongfully convicted and executed murder suspects. These

prisoners were wrongfully killed for a variety of reasons:

questionable evidence, false testimonies of "witnesses" presented

by prosecutors, politicians' pandering for votes at election time

by seeming to be "tough on crime", and even the defendants having

the misfortune to be of "the wrong skin color". Both books have

gut-wrenching stories that will make supporters of the death penalty

think twice about their favoring it, and will give renewed vigor to those

who oppose the death penalty. And if you learn of Sr. Helen coming to

your city or town to give a presentation on her ministry I highly recom-

mend that you go see her, regardless of your opinion on capital punish-

ment! Keep in mind that she also ministers to the families and friends

of murder victims, who often feel that no one is there to hear their cries

of grief and anguish, that no one seems to care about their feelings and

their loss. Sister Helen will also tell you about relatives and friends of

murdered people who say that killing their loved ones' killers will not

fill the emptiness inside of them, nor quell their pain. Sr. Helen recog-

nizes and ministers to all of the afflicted in capital crime situations; she

has no political axe to grind, she has no agenda other than ending capital

punishment and ensuring justice for all involved; death row inmates and

grieving families and friends, those employed by the prison systems in

capital punishment practicing states, and the concerned citizens who,

having been impacted albeit indirectly, follow it all.

For further information on the campaign to abolish capital punishment,

also visit the website of Death Penalty Focus, a group based in California

which Sister Helen has worked with on many an occaision. They have a

wonderful site packed with information on how to work for abolition of

killing as a state-sanctioned punishment for deadly criminals, including

a compelling "Top Ten List" of reasons to oppose the death penalty. The

list makes some points which will not merely surprise but astound you!

I know, as I have read this list myself! I visit their web site regularly.

Visit DPF at: .

Over time I will occaisionally post stories and commentary on this topic

I want for our country to be ever vigilant in deterring crime and bringing

all criminals to justice, but we as a nation can be bulldog-tough on crime,

especially violent crime, without our government sanctioning as

punishment for what it, and we, prohibit as behavior. Sister Helen

can show us how.



Thursday, January 7, 2010

A Great Way to Start the New Year!

Happy 2010! I trust everyone had a wonderful Christmas and a wonderful
New Year's Eve and Day.

I've got some exciting news for anyone who will be in Milwaukee on Thursday,
January 14. Sister Helen Prejean, well known for her work to abolish capital
punishment in the U.S., she of the "Dead Man Walking" movie fame, will be
in town to address the gathering for the 7th National Cathedral Ministry
Conference. The annual event is being hosted this year by the Cathedral of
Saint John the Evangelist (where your favorite Peasant is a parishioner).
Sister Helen will devote her presentation to her ministry, in which she assists
the prisoners on Death Row in states with the death penalty, their families,
and the families of the victims of the condemned prisoners, as well as her
efforts to end the death penalty.

Now I realize that many conservatives are in favor of capital punishment for
heinous crimes, i.e. murder. I, too, held this position for many years, but in recent years I have become aware of compelling reasons to cease my support
for this mode of punishment for deadly felons which include but are not at all
limited to:

*People convicted of capital offenses on the flimsiest of evidence; some even
on manufactured evidence (which is really not evidence at all!), as well as
false testimony.

*Judges who refuse to hear appeals or retry cases because of selfish political
motives, i.e. looking good in opinion polls close to election time.

*Governors who refuse pardons for those on Death Row, even with compelling
facts and or new evidence having come to light which could prove innocence,
for these same aforementioned reasons.

*Courts which ignore the diminished state of capacity of some defendants
tried for capital offenses, i.e. mental retardation, brain damage, etc.

You get the idea. But DO NOT get the idea that The Peasant is less than
rock-hard on crime and criminals! One can be uncompromisingly tough
here, and still draw the line at state-sanctioned killing of killers and such.
Life sentences without parole would certainly stop convicted killers from
further staining our streets with any more victims' blood. And most
importantly, a life sentence can be reversed in case of any errors in the
prosecution of the defendant or the emergence of new evidence proving
innocence. An execution is irreversible; its deadly results are forever.

Sister Helen will be appearing at 10:00 AM at the Pfister Hotel, at
424 E. Wisconsin Ave., Milwaukee (P: 414-273-8222), just a few blocks
SW of the Cathedral (P: 414-276-9814). Again, this is on Thursday morning,
January 14. Sister Helen will give her address on the 7th floor of the Pfister
in a gathering hall there. Admittance to see her is $10 per person, payable
on arrival. If you have any questions, call the Cathedral or the Pfister.

Meanwhile, look for your loyal Peasant to address the issue of abolishing
capital punishment in my next posting. There are solid reasons for
conservatives to oppose capital punishment, and some of them will surprise
you. Indeed, many conservatives do oppose the death penalty, and on the
other side of the political coin some liberals support it. So you can see that
this is not at all a Left vs. Right battle. It is, rather, a Right vs. Wrong battle.