Friday, March 25, 2011

Smile at Me or Face the Consequences

          There's a great church I attend occasionally that has a woman who dutifully readies the altar for services.  She is absolutely dedicated to her work.


          Every now and then we pass one another and I smile.  She won't smile back.


          I've made inquiry.  She has good teeth.  She just doesn't smile at anyone. Ever.


            I  tried just about everything to break through and get her to smile.  It became a personal challenge.


          I finally designed a new tactic.  I decided to give her what I call my "Obama" smile.  You know the smile, the huge grin of joy that has made the President so popular and projects such positive vibes.


          You have to be careful with the Obama smile because it threatens to be so broad and beaming that people might think you're  a little goofy.   Although it was little too toothy, Jimmy Carter's great smile got him into the Georgia governor's mansion and then all the way to the White House.


          I planned the attack with careful precision.


          I knew the hallway she used after services so I was positioned to achieve maximum impact.


          She looked right at me and I launched the full Obama smile.  Megalevel.


          Nothing.  Nothing at all.  How is this possible?


          Is anyone's life so completely encrusted with misery that those facial muscles that otherwise reflect joy are  in a complete state of atrophy?


          There's an old song that Nat King Cole   turned into a hit called Smile.


          Part of the lyric goes like this:  Smile though your heart is breaking, smile even though its breaking.


          Within each one of us is part of  the  divine.  You know, we are all created in the image and likeness of God.


          The God part of us may be buried deeply in some.


          However, I think the pilot light of God inside of us never goes out.


          And where does it show itself?


          In your smile.


          So don't hold back.  Share the joy that's in you somewhere.


          Even if the world seems to be closing in on you, don't let world snuff out your smile.


          After all, you might run into me.


          Just call me Barack.



David M. Lynch

Friday, March 18, 2011

Roe v. Wade to end abortion?

        Those who are praying in the 40 Days For Life Campaign are hoping that the unspeakable reality of millions of children murdered in the womb will come to an end, with God's help.


          Amazingly, we may be headed to the end of Roe v. Wade because  of Roe V. Wade.


          What ?


          Yes, that's what I said.  Roe v. Wade will end Roe v. Wade.


          Here's the story.


          In 1973 Roe v. Wade was hailed by abortion advocates as the case that established abortion rights.


          However, like some kind of divine computer virus held dormant until the time was right, the Supreme Court opinion in Roe contained the demise of abortion.


          Associate Justice Harry Blackman said that States cannot prohibit abortion until the unborn child is "viable outside the womb".


          In 1973, based on the technology of that era, "viability" meant after the second trimester.


          Fast forward to 2011, where new medical technology is allowing continued fetal development through artificial means outside the womb.


Amelia Taylor, of Homestead, Florida was born way premature at 21 weeks, weighing just ten ounces. She is doing just fine.


Today, babies are born at  21 to 23 weeks gestation and surviving on a regular basis.


And let's not forget the  "Snowflake" babies, frozen emryos that today are healthy citizens running businesses and yes, even  giving speeches at pro-life rallies.


Most observers missed the comments of Justice Sandra Day O'Connor in 1983 when she said Roe v. Wade was "on a collision with itself."  She saw that medical advances were pushing viability to earlier stages of pregnancy, perhaps even to the point of conception.


Modern medicine, motivated by the desire to save life, is pushing the viability date further and further back toward conception.


          The day is not too far off when the fertilized egg will be able to live completely on external technology.


          If the Supreme Court lives by its own precedence, that is, the principles of Roe, then that not too far off day will mean the end of abortion as a legal activity.


          Thank God for that.


          Let's promote the medical research that slides the viability point back as far as we can go.


          So let's hear it for the 40 Days For Life campaign.


          Just remember to save a few of those prayers for medical researchers           



David M. Lynch

Friday, March 11, 2011

Looking For George McGovern

A few years ago, I was waiting for my wife to join me for lunch in a popular eatery off  Connecticut Avenue in  downtown Washington, D. C.


                At  a corner table by himself was a stately-looking older gentleman:  George S. McGovern, former Senator and standard bearer for the Democratic party in the 1972 presidential race.


                 I asked if I could join him for a  few moments.  He gracefully consented and then regaled me with tales from his spectacular career in politics.  Though long since retired from government service, he still had the spark of civic involvement burning brightly within him.


                We talked about music and he revealed that he was just starting piano lessons.  Who says you can't teach  an old dog new tricks?  Optimism and ambition emanated from him despite his advanced age.


                Some might not know that this prototype of the "dove" during the Vietnam era was actually a decorated war hero.


                During World War  Two,  he flew dangerous bombing missions against Germany.


                In his autobiography, McGovern recounts his sadness over the destruction caused by American bombs he dropped all over Europe.  McGovern says that despite this sadness,  he'd do it all over again because the defeat of the Nazi regime was essential to the survival of civilization.


                In the 1970's, on French television, McGovern  discussed bombs he dropped in the French countryside  and their devastation.  An old woman came to the studio and explained how her farmhouse had been destroyed by one of those blasts.


McGovern, overcome with emotion,  tried to say how sorry he was.   Before he could finish, she stopped him and hugged him, telling him how he was among the brave young American boys who risked their lives to free the French from the cold blooded invaders.  His courage gave her liberty, she said, and she was grateful.


Those of you who read this column know that I am a conservative thinker.


But I must confess that I value character above politics.


McGovern, left winger though he may be, truly believes in his causes in his heart. He loves America and saw liberty worth fighting for in Europe.


He did not believe that we were fighting for liberty in Vietnam and he feels that way  about Afghanistan.


I think McGovern is wrong.  But I also think McGovern is   a man of high character.  Despite my Republican roots, I'd take a liberal with honor above a charlatan conservative any day.


This leaves me searching for the liberals of character today.  The Michael Moore and Barney Frank style of liberalism is typified by  hypocrites looking for space in the New York Times or face time on MSNBC. Even President Obama seems unstatesmanlike as he tosses aside his positions on Guantanamo Bay or Immigration in favor of political maneuvering.


So here's a challenge to the left side of the aisle:  bring us the worthy warrior of integrity. 


Bring us a George McGovern.  Whether right or wrong, someone like him carries with him the missing component in today's political discourse.




David M. Lynch

Friday, March 4, 2011

Talk To God

Do you pray?


No, you haven't  inadvertently wandered into the Religion section of the Newpaper.


I just want to know:  Do you pray?


As we allow life's burdens to clutter the landscape of our minds with mortgages, difficult bosses, and insurance claims, I'm asking.


Do you pause with the static of modern life turned off and talk to God?


In a little chapel at E. 40th Street and Euclid Avenue, nuns are praying.


The traffic zips by on the newly rebuilt Euclid Avenue and no one really is really aware of it.  But inside that old church called St. Paul's Shrine, nuns are praying 24 hours a day, seven days a week.  It's been going on for years.  They'll even pray for you if you ask them.


Some people are cynical, viewing prayer as a psychological crutch for those not strong enough to face life's realities.


I must admit, prayer does help me face my problems but it's not because it's some form of spiritual anti-depressant.  It's because God is real and prayer results in God giving you the precious gift of peace, among other things.


Catholics grip Rosary beads in a prayer that follows the story of the gospel.   Padre Pio, the sainted stigmatist, referred to his Rosary as his "weapon".


Jim Markel, the well known church organist, recalls the establishment of a "prayer chain" at his parish where worshipers focused prayers on those  facing medical crisis.


The result?  A marked decline in funerals.  The dying become well.


The medical journals are full of studies showing your chance of recovery increases significantly when people pray for you.


Father John Corapi describes old folks praying in a nursing home as more powerful than whole armies because they call upon God in their suffering.  The weak are waging war against evil from their wheelchairs.


Glen Beck has been reporting on a whole town that realized that they had a nuclear arsenal at their disposal within their own hearts in the form of prayer.   Wilmington, Ohio is praying around the clock.


It's nothing new.  It's as old as time itself and it can change the universe.


So please.


Turn off the Ipod, the cell phone, the radio, and the television.


Find a place of complete quite and . . . . pray.


God's capacity to love us  and to forgive is infinite.


As Ash Wednesday looms, Christians around the world reassess their relationship with  The Creator.


But, lets face it, it's not much of a relationship if you're not talking.


So talk.  To God.  Today, and for the rest of your life.





David M. Lynch