- The Washington Times - Sunday, November 11, 2001

What's happening to our world? An animal rights organization is ticked off because a church-sanctioned bazaar gives away goldfish, then the same group suggests that the reason sharks have been attacking swimmers along the Atlantic Coast is because we're not vegetarians. Now comes a lone judge in the midwest who disagrees with entire state legislative committees that deal with wildlife, so he rescinds the hunting of a bird species. Not to be outdone in all this silliness, a large nationwide retail store chain caves in to the first bunch of left-wing protesters that shows up at its headquarters and decides to stop selling handgun ammunition.
Are the biggest, toughest grizzly bears on the international block the people of the United States slowly turning into whimpering crybabies anxiously hoping to please everybody but in the end only earning the disrespect of those who still care?
Let's begin with the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), the group that recently fired off a nasty letter to the Rev. Tom Quinlan, the pastor of the Church of the Holy Family in Virginia Beach, to protest the church's bazaar during which some goldfish were given away as prizes. Sounds innocent enough, doesn't it?
Not so if you ask PETA animal cruelty caseworker Amy Rhodes, who claims her organization received calls of concern for the welfare of the goldfish.
My heavens. Is this woman serious?
But the pastor, Quinlan, showed a bit of old-fashioned spirit when he responded, calling himself a "Cruelty Caseworker to the Human Race," pointing out PETA's cold-hearted stance toward human beings.
"I waited until after our parish fair was over before responding to your calumnious, judgmental, inane and arrogant letter," he wrote. To PETA's accusation that booth operators at the fair viewed animals as expendable commodities, Quinlan wrote, "That is a sin of calumny against human animals. You are totally out of ethical order." He also reminded PETA that it should study Catholic teachings that direct "the faithful to be compassionate, concerned and nurturing towards all of God's creations."
Sadly, PETA has no inkling of what it is Quinlan means by that. Just look at the billboard PETA planned to erect directly after 8-year-old Jesse Arbogast was attacked during the summer by a shark in an Atlantic surf. The billboard, scuttled for the time but whose wording is available on the animal rights group's Web site, stated, "Would you give your right arm to know why sharks attack? Could it be revenge?" It finishes by providing a Web address that advocates vegetarianism. Talk about being heartless, are these folks sick, or what?
Next, consider the fact that Wisconsin hunters, with the help of the national Wildlife Legislation Fund of America, worked diligently for two years to have a dove hunting season. Yes, there are some states that consider the mourning dove to be a songbird, hence will not allow the hunting of the species that has been a favorite game bird in Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia and Pennsylvania for decades.
The dove hunting issue passed overwhelmingly at administrative hearings last year, the WLFA reminds us. It also cleared various legislative committees that oversee the rule-making for the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, but when animal rightists asked a judge for an injunction against the impending hunt, he granted it. Bingo. Imagine, an entire hunting season being scuttled because a judge one voice decides he doesn't like what many experts thought was perfectly in line with accepted wildlife management practices. Talk about being drunk with power and arrogance, this judge has it all.
Now consider that Kmart decided to pull handgun ammunition from its shelves the moment film maker Michael Moore and a group of people who identified themselves with the Columbine High School shootings showed up at Kmart's corporate headquarters in Troy, Mich.
Moore is well know for his support of every wacky cause espoused by the country's Left.
Kmart, in a sea of financial troubles because it is being eaten alive by the competition (ammunition-selling Wal-Mart, for one) caved in to a handful of protesters, along the way even suggesting that it will also look at its policy of selling firearms. It could mean the chain will stop the sales of all firearms. Way to go.
Don't forget to fly the American flag while you tug in your corporate tails, you wimps. Teddy Roosevelt must be spinning in his grave.


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