The eyes have it


by Michael H. Brown

       More than a year ago I received a call from Associated Press. They wanted to know what I thought of a remark Al Gore had made. During a stop in New England the vice president had declared that it was he who had found the problems at the famous toxic site known as Love Canal. They were calling me because when I was a reporter in 1978, my newspaper and I had been involved in the actual discovery of the situation. 

       Vice President Gore, it seemed, was in a habit of taking credit for things that weren't really his. Besides Love Canal, he had claimed credit for discovering the internet and according to the media had told people that while in college, he and wife Tipper had served as the inspiration for the famous novel Love Story

         I decided not to comment. I wanted no involvement in politics. I don't like criticizing people. I had seen goodness in Gore. I remember another dump known as "Bloody Run," which was leaking into the Niagara River. I had also written about this, and when, as a young congressman, Gore learned of it, he had flown to Niagara Falls without any fanfare -- without alerting the media that he was there -- and climbed down a 200-foot gorge to view the situation. 

       Very few congressmen would hike down a steep ravine to view toxic chemicals. 

        He was a person who seemed to care about the health of others, and he had a bright, fresh look. 

       Since then, however, things have changed. The same man who exposed toxic situations because they threatened children now supports partial-birth abortion. This is spiritual disorientation. And when I see Gore on TV now, he often has a hard, glazed look. I see the same in too many people in politics, the legal system, and the media  -- in virtually every segment of society -- and it bothers me because, to put it bluntly, it can indicate the presence of evil. We're not supposed to look for a speck in the eyes of another (Lord knows, in the years since Love Canal, I've had to go through my own deliverance), but we are called to discern and then pray about what we have discerned.

       We really do need to invoke the Holy Spirit. There are all kinds of prayers and novenas flying around and we should take part in them. For the past decade our nation has witnessed a horrible spirituality. Maybe it was being around this that caused Gore to assume a hardened spirit himself. We have seen abortion, homosexuality, materialism, the New Age, anti-Christianity, public lewdness, coarse language, secularism, and public corruption brought to new heights. We have seen Hollywood and rap music and the greedy take over.

       In the next few years we'll be deciding on Supreme Court justices. We'll be confronting cloning. We'll be deciding how our children will be educated.

       A cold hard spirit -- the spirit of secularism and rationalism -- will not do. Such decisions must be made with the warmth of love. If we continue on the secular route, it will bring us to ruin. I don't know what George W. Bush would bring. I don't know about his own past. I only know that it is a time to pray with urgency for all politicians. We can't survive another four years of immorality. We can't survive more societal unraveling. We won't survive unless the glint of ice leaves all our eyes and warmth returns.       

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