May 1, 2010
Noise Free America
For immediate release
Albany: St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Kenosha, Wisconsin has won this month’s Noisy Dozen award from Noise Free America offering its blessing to illegal motorcycle noise.
Recently, St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, a member congregation of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, sponsored its 21st annual “bike blessing.” Pastor Grant Quever, donning a red, white, and blue doo-rag, climbed a ladder and proclaimed to 500 bikers, “God is good!” A biker in the crowd responded, “And he’s good all the time!”
According to the Kenosha News, Pastor Quever stated that many motorcyclists “have had close calls, and for those who want to be good disciples of Christ, our goal is also to help people connect through Christ.”
Ted Rueter, Noise Free America’s director, commented that “the decision of Pastor Quever and St. Paul’s Lutheran Church to ‘bless’ motorcycle riding is a disgrace. Undoubtedly, the vast majority of the motorcycles at this event were blatantly illegal. The federal Noise Control Act of 1972 prohibits modifying a motorcycle exhaust for the purpose of making noise. Motorcycles are quiet when they leave the factory; they are noisy because of the intentional, illegal actions of bikers.”
“Also,” Rueter continued, “there are numerous Bible verses which support the importance of peace and quiet:
-Psalms 107:30: “Then are they glad because they be quiet; so be bringest them unto their desired haven.”
-Isiah 32:18: “And my people shall dwell in a peaceful habitation, and in sure dwellings, and in quiet resting places.”
-1 Thessolonians 2:2″ “For kings and for all that are in authority: that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty.”
Rueter also noted that Pastor Quever’s “blessing” of illegal motorcycles is directly contrary to Biblical emphasis on respecting the law. Romans 13:1-2 states: “Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. Consequently, he who rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves.”
Pastor Quever’s “blessing” of illegal, obnoxious motorcycle noise violates the principle of loving thy neighbor. Romans 13:8 states: “Love thy neighbor as yourself. Love does no harm to its neighbor. Therefore, love is the fulfillment of the love.” Pastor Quever’s actions also run counter to Matthew 5:5, which states: “Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.”
“Thunderous motorcycle noise greatly harms neighbors,” Rueter stated. “Motorcycles with illegal exhausts can reach 120 decibels–which is physically dangerous. Excessive noise is threatening and intimidating. It can cause hearing loss, sleep deprivation, chronic fatigue, and aggressive behavior.”
Pastor Quever’s “blessing” of illegal motorcycle noise is nothing but pandering, Rueter said: “Jesus came to heal the sick and comfort the afflicted, not to sanction unrighteousness and lawlessness. St. Paul’s Lutheran Church’s attempt to be popular with the Harley crowd is a theological disgrace. I cannot believe that God looks favorably upon this endorsement of criminality.”
Noise Free America is a national 501c3 citizens organization opposed to noise pollution. Past “winners” of the Noisy Dozen award include the Wisconsin state legislature and the city of Madison.