New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - January 11, 1996, New Braunfels, Texas
i*t Herald-Zeitung □ Thursday, January 11,1996
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Z e i t ii n g
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Q ll O T A B“I Democracy is] one little candle with a lot of wind trying to blow it out.”
— Lillyanne Pierre-Paul Haitian radio executive, 1995
EDITORIALBlessed are the I peacemakers| Catholic churches should heed suggestion I of archdiocese and post weapons-ban signs
Local Catholic churches, like businesses throughout Texas, are grappling with the new concealed weapons law in Texas.
The San Antonio Archdiocese, which includes Comal County, has adopt-1 cd a policy of banning guns in church. However, the policy is just a suggestion to local churches, and not a mandate, according to the archdiocese office in San Antonio. Local Catholic churches have been provided with signs that read in Spanish and English "Blessed are the peacemakers. Please no guns permitted on these premises. Property of the Archdiocese of San Antonio.”
But it is not clear whether the three New Braunfels Catholic churches will post the signs. At one church, the priest declined to comment on the issue. At another, the priest said he expects to post the signs in the church hall, but not rn the church itself,although he may put a notice on the bulletin board.
Businesses may also adopt a “no guns” policy, but it does not have force of law. Businesses can ask a gun-toting patron to leave the store, and if the person refuses he can be charged with trespassing. But it is hard to imagine a Catholic church charging a parishioner with trespassing.
Of course, it is also hard to imagine a parishioner packing heat at mass. After all, the church is a place of sanctuary, and a weapon would be out of •place.
But although it may not seem necessary, the gun ban in churches is a good idea. Even if no parishioners would bring weapons to church, the signs will serve as a reminder of how pervasive violence has become in society. 'The signs are a pjirt of an overall anti-violence outreach effort the archdiocese has launched through its churches, and the signs are just the most visible part of that outreach.
The anti-violence campaign is a worthy cause, and one our local churches should do all they can to promote, and that includes posting the gun ban signs prominently. Our town and county are no stranger to senseless violence, i.ast year there were shootings police believe were gang related in town, and just this week a disturbing and senseless animal mutilation occurred in our county.
"'I'hese signs or these posters will proclaim our belief that our security rests in God and not in guns," said Archbishop Patrick Flores.
"We’re trying to take a position that is based on our teachings, on our moral teachings, that violence is not the answer,” said Rev. Michael DeGerolami, director of the archdiocese’s office of social concerns. ‘The whole thing is bigger than simply the gun control issue."
Guns have no place in church. The signs do no harm, and the three local Catholic churches should heed the advice of their archbishop and post them. (Today’s editorial was written by City Editor Roger Croteau.)Write us
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POffTMASTEJt: Send address changes to the New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung, P.O. Drawer 311328, New Braunfels, Tx. 78131 -1328Some call for retreat on abortion
As a good portion of the world prepared to observe the virgin birth of Jesus Christ, Republicans were again arguing over abortion.
The Weekly Standard magazine, subsidized by Ruper Murdoch’s money and William Kristol’s intellect, had a cover story recently that tried again to offer a compromise it thinks ought to be acceptable to the party: Get rid of the call for a human life amendment in the platform and replace it with a pledge to reduce abortions “through aggressive, though voluntary, and noncoercive means.” Writer Noemie Emery believes Republicans should state, “We intend to address abortion not as one issue only, but as a symptom and cause of a social disorder, a sign of a frayed and decaying cultural context, in which the value of life is at risk.” Emery is right about that Yet abortion, like drugs and crime, didn’t cause our decadence. It reflects it. Still, there is no other area in which we seek to manage a great evil. Do we say that the murder of the already bom is a reflection of social disorder and so, rather than attempting to stop it (by either incarcerating or executing those who commit murder), we seek only to discourage it?
This latest attempt to dilute a principle comes at a time when the number of abortions has leveled off and, in some states, is declining. And it comes when pro-life candidates are winning elections. The real reason behind this push is that some political “leaders”
are uncomfortable with abortion. It hurts their social batting average to be identified with “religious fanatics” and those deemed less educated by the intellectual elites.
Why must there be a procedural choice? Why not continue to press for a human life amendment, no matter how long it takes, and work all the harder to reduce the number of abortions through the aggressive means called for by Emery? Will women have fewer abortions because they know pro-lifers are no longer calling for a constitutional amendment? It is a silly argument. Most women have abortions because they have not been fully informed of the procedure or alternatives to it. Many have abortions because husbands or boyfriends or parents pressure them, often against their will.
Those who would compromise a principle must know that once you’ve lost it you can never get it back. Besides, why seek to limit the number of abortions if what is being destroyed is not human life? No one is appealing for fewer appendectomies. What is needed is an aggressive campaign to provide more
information to the public and to women with unplanned pregnancies about what happens during an abortion and about the loving and free alternatives to the financially and emotionally expensive procedure. Why not a campaign to tell the truth instead of a retreat to supposedly “safe” and “more acceptable” territory?
The angel Gabriel told Mary, “Fear not.” And Mary had a lot to fear. She lived in an era in which Jewish law allowed a woman found pregnant out of wedlock to be stoned to death. And her betrothed, Joseph, would have been justified before the law not to marry her and to cast the first stone. But the same angel told Joseph he also had nothing to fear because the child’s Father was God Himself. As people of great faith, they accepted what they had been told, and the result of their faith turned the world upside down.
That’s the kind of faith and strength needed now. When America’s social fabric is eventually repaired, those who held fast to principle will be the ones honored for standing firm. The compromisers, if they are remembered, will be reviled.
Consider those we honor in marble and bronze in our national and state capitals. Are they compromisers? No, they are those who refused to be intimidated and who believed that leadership meant leading people where they ought to go, not taking polls
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Congress goes home, but still no budget
By JIM ABRAMS
Associated Press Writer
WASHINGTON (AP) — With chances waning for a balanced budget agreement this year, House Speaker Newt Gingrich says he may try to pass a series of short-term spending bills that would keep the government operating at reduced levels until the November election.
With ro new negotiations likely before the middle of next week, Congress finally took a break Wednesday aller its leaders and President Clinton failed to come to terms on a seven-year budget-balancing plan that would resolve the threat of another government shutdown Jan. 27.
Stock and bond markets tumbled Wednesday shortly after Gingrich, speaking in Casper, Wyo., predicted: “The odds are better than even, as of today, that there will be no agreement.”
Talking with reporters later in Seattle, Gingnch, R-Ga., said Republicans were looking at the possibility of approving so-called continuing resolutions — temporary spending bills that would keep the gov-
Today In History
By The Associated Press
Today is Wednesday, Jan. IO, the tenth day of 19%. There are 356 days left in the year.
Today's Highlight in History:
On Jan. IO, 1776, Thomas Paine published his influential pamphlet, “Common Sense.” In his call for American independence from England, Paine wrote, “Everything that is right or reasonable pleads for separation.”
On this date:
In 1861, Florida seceded from the Union.
In 1863, London’s Metropolitan, the world’s first underground passenger railway, opened to the public.
In 1870, John D. Rockefeller incorporated Standard Oil.
In 1920, the League of Nations was established as the Treaty of Versailles went into effect.
In 1928, the Soviet Union ordered the exile of Leon Trotsky.
In 1946,50 years ago, the first General Assembly
eminent in business. The current short-term spending bill expires Jan. 26.
“What we’d like to do is to have an occasional continuing resolution for, say, 30 days at 75 percent, then 30 days at 70 percent,” he said. “And for the general bureaucracy of the government, gradually shrink it over the course of the year."
When Clinton and congressional Republicans suspended budget talks Tuesday, big differences remained on Medicare and Medicaid spending and the size of a tax cut.
"Our attitude should be positive” in the next week, said Senate Republican leader Bob Dole of Kansas. “But can we reach an agreement? I do not know. Is it doubtful? Probably. Is it possible? Yes.”
Dole said “fundamental differences” remain. Republicans are pushing for basic changes in the way government operates. Democrats insist they will not accept major cutbacks rn health, education and environmental programs.
of the United Nations convened in London.
In 1946, the first man-made contact with the moon was made as radar signals were bounced off the lunar surface.
In 1947, the musical fantasy “Finian’s Rainbow,” with music by Burton Lane and lyrics by E.Y. Marburg, opened on Broadway.
In 19S7, Harold Macmillan became prime minister of Britain, following the resignation of Anthony Eden.
In 1967, Massachusetts Republican Edward W. Brooke, the first black elected to the U.S. Senate by popular vote, took his seat.
In 1978, the Soviet Union launched two cosmonauts aboard a Soyuz capsule for a rendezvous with the Salyut Six space laboratory.
In 1980, former AFL-CIO President George Meany died in Washington, D.C., at age 85.
In 1984, the United States and the Vatican established full diplomatic relations for the first time in more than a century.
In 1990, Chinese Premier Li Peng lifted Beijing’s seven-month-old martial law, and said that by crushing pro-democracy protests, the army had saved Chi-
Dole’s comment came as he formally adjourned the Senate until Jan. 22, the day before Clinton’s state-of-the-union address. That gives lawmakers a longawaited vacation after spending much of the holiday season wrangling over the budget and two separate government shutdowns. The House adjourned Tuesday.
Pessimism over whether the talks are salvageable increased chances that how to balance the budget would be left to voters in November’s election. Such a course could result in more government shutdowns and havoc as Congress tnes to work out budgets for both 19% and 1997.
“It may just be that we need one more election” to get a balanced-budget plan into law, Gingrich said.
Lawmakers on both sides were pointing fingers of blame over the possible demise of the budget talks.
Republicans, said House Majority Whip Tom DeLay of Texas, have made good-faith efforts to craft common-sense proposals. "The president has stonewalled these efforts at every turn,” he said. "I hope they will ultimately come to their senses, but I will not hold my breath.”
na from “the abyss of misery.”
Ten years ago: Heavy rain at Cape Canaveral, Fla., forced a seventh delay in the flight of the space shuttle Columbia.
Five years ago: Five days before the U.N. deadline for Iraq to withdraw from Kuwait, peace efforts intensified, with U.N. Secretary-General Javier Perez de Cuellar setting off on a mission aimed at averting war.
One year ago: Russia announced a 48-hour truce in breakaway Chechnya, but the cease-fire fell apart after only a few hours. President Clinton declared flood-stricken areas of California major disaster areas.
Today's Birthdays: Singer Gisele MacKenzie is 69. Opera singer Sherrill Milnes is 61. Baseball Hall of Famer Willie McCovey is 58. Singer Frank Sinatra Jr. is 52. Singer Rod Stewart is 51. Singer Pat Benatar is 43.
Thought for Today: “People generally quarrel because they cannot argue.” — G.K. Chesterton, British v rn sr (1874-1936).