Mountain Views News, Combined Edition Saturday, May 18, 2019

MVNews this week:  Page 11



Mountain View News Saturday, May 18, 2019 


A Weekly Religion Column by Rev. James Snyder




Susan Henderson


Dean Lee 



Patricia Colonello




John Aveny 




Mary Lou Caldwell

Kevin McGuire

Chris Leclerc

Bob Eklund

Howard Hays

Paul Carpenter

Kim Clymer-Kelley

Christopher Nyerges

Peter Dills 

Rich Johnson

Lori Ann Harris

Rev. James Snyder

Dr. Tina Paul

Katie Hopkins

Deanne Davis

Despina Arouzman

Jeff Brown

Marc Garlett

Keely Toten

Dan Golden

Rebecca Wright

Hail Hamilton

Joan Schmidt

LaQuetta Shamblee

As circumstance would 
have it, and I like to give 
circumstances due credit, I 
was visiting my grandchildren 
without the Gracious 
Mistress of the Parsonage.

 Normally, if there is such a status, my wife 
travels with me when we visit the grandchildren. 
However, when she is along I do not 
have a chance. I will not say that she hogs the 
grandchildren, she does, I just will not say so. 
As a husband, I know when to speak my mind 
and when to mind my speaking. The inexperienced 
husband does not know the difference 
and pays for it.

 With the opportunity before me to go solo 
with the grandchildren, I determined to make 
the best of it. I never know when this kind of 
a situation will repeat itself. When my wife is 
with me, she always holds the reins, but now I 
have nobody to curtail my visit with the grandchildren. 
I am a freelance grandpa.

 What many people may not know are the 
rules governing the successful grandfather. 
Most people do not know these rules because 
the most prominent grandparent is usually the 
grandmother. I'm not complaining, just explaining. 
Somebody needs to explain this and 
the sooner the grandfather knows and understands 
these rules the sooner he can enjoy exploiting 
his role as grandpa.

 The first rule that should be understood is 
simply this: whatever makes the grandchildren 
happy makes the grandfather happy. This 
brings out the unselfish nature of grandfatherhood. 
It is a wise, not to mention a happy, 
grandfather who invests his resources in making 
the grandchildren happy, whatever it takes. 
I say invest because there are marvelous dividends 
to be reaped.

 This is perhaps the greatest burden the grandfather 
has to shoulder. Everybody knows how 
difficult it is to make and keep the children 
happy. In addition, during the grandfather's 
visit it should be one long happy adventure.

 Another rule associated with grandfathers is 
rather basic. Jellybeans ARE fruit. Anybody 
with any kind of common sense can see the 
different colors of jellybeans and understand 
that they represent fruit. It is the dutiful responsibility 
of a grandfather to have an endless 
supply of jellybeans on his person at all times. 
After all, children do need their fruit.

 While on the subject of food, another rule 
has to do with vegetables. Every grandfather 
knows that vegetables are not all that grandmothers 
say they are. And absolutely 
forbidden when grandpa is at the table. 
Another important aspect of eating at the table 
is, cleaning up everything on your plate is not 

 Also, when grandpa is at the table the order 
of the dinner is drastically changed. For example, 
the dessert should be eaten first because of 
the danger of eating too much and not having 
enough room for the dessert at the end of the 

 When going out to a restaurant together for a 
meal there is another rule that is most crucial. 
This is something dear to my heart and something 
I wish to pass on to my grandchildren. 
Simply put, it is this, a straw has many functions. 
And the beautiful thing about a straw is 
it comes with its own supply of ammunition. 
There are many wonderful things to be done 
with a "loaded straw."

 Another grandpa rule is that noise is welcome 
and since grandpa is a little hard of hearing, 
the louder the better. A grandchild yelling like 
a wild banshee is the music of the gods. And 
the most important part of this music is all the 
grandchildren should be yelling at the same 
time. This idea of taking turns is something 
that only grandmothers think up.

 With the children's health in mind, this next 
rule is crucial. Jumping on the furniture is 
good exercise, especially when grandpa hits 
the ceiling with his head. And because of the 
great deal of laughter involved in such exercise, 
it adds to their health and longevity. I 
read somewhere where laughter adds to your 
life. Whether it is true or not is immaterial, the 
fact is children need to laugh and laugh a lot. 
Grandmothers do not understand.

 Then, as long as grandpa is staying overnight, 
bedtime is merely a goal. This idea of having an 
exact bedtime is not healthy, especially when 
grandpa is visiting. Bedtime should be a negotiable 
commodity, not something that is an exact 
science. What does science have to do with 
going to bed at night? Leave science at school 
where it belongs.

 There is one last rule that I need to mention. 
Grandpa's rules trump everyone else's rules... 
except grandma's, which is why grandpa 
needs to visit the grandchildren by himself 

 Understanding the rules enables everybody 
to enjoy the time together. Without rules, there 
would be chaos. With grandpa's rules, the chaos 
is a marvelous harmony of joy, excitement 
and fun. Every grandchild needs a grandpa 
who understands the grandpa rules and who 
has the opportunity to exploit those rules.

 There is one rulebook that I go by implicitly. 
That is the Bible. It is the most profitable book 
I have ever discovered. "All scripture is given 
by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, 
for reproof, for correction, for instruction 
in righteousness: That the man of God 
may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all 
good works" (2 Timothy 3:16-17).

When you know the rules of life, it becomes a 
wonderful and exciting adventure.

Dr. James L. Snyder is pastor of the Family of 
God Fellowship, and lives with the Gracious 
Mistress of the Parsonage in Ocala, FL. Call him 
at 352-687-4240 or e-mail jamessnyder2@att.
net. The church web site is www.whatafellowship.


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Prom season is upon us. We all know what that means: More 
American adults are doing their proms all over again.

A New York Times headline about a growing number of 
adults says they are taking “A Second Shot to Have the Best 
Night of their Lives.”

 And carry on like a bunch of retrograde adolescents.

The modern prom, reports Slate, “may be traced to the Ivy 
League and the annual tradition of a ‘presentation week,’ 
during which formal dress and dancing accompanied a 
promenade concert.”

 Not content with only the well-to-do experiencing the awkwardness and misery of 
the prom, high schools across America embraced it, particularly after World War 
II. Now the prom is a rite of passage for American teens everywhere, with many 
blowing thousands of dollars on their big nights.

But I certainly wouldn’t want to do my prom over.

 I didn’t know my date very well. She was in my photography class, very pretty and, 
more importantly, still available.

 When she agreed to go with me, she greatly disrupted the Bethel Park High School 
prom-date pecking order. Whereas my date greatly raised my social status - even 
my friends and family were shocked she’d go with me - I lowered hers. She was 
awfully sore about it.

 “I heard about you,” she told me at our pre-prom date. “A regular class clown! 
You better not show up in a limo, wear a top hat or cane or do anything else to 
embarrass me!”That set the tone for an incredibly unpleasant weekend. 

 We got lost on the way to the prom, lost on the way to my friend Cook’s cabin in 
Ohio and lost on the way home. My first foray into the adult world was rough, to be 
sure - a precursor, regrettably, of many more unpleasant adult experiences to come.

 Similarly awkward prom experiences may motivate the growing number of adults 
trying to “get it right” during a second round. 

 But there are no “do overs” in life. Didn’t novelist Thomas Wolfe make it clear that 
we “can’t go home again”? The prom is supposed to be a teen’s first foray into the 
adult world, not an adult’s eager return to adolescence.

 That’s not stopping ever more “adults” from trying. Too many are not just doing 
their proms over, they’re doing summer camps over, too - another hot trend.

 To be sure, a growing desire for perpetual adolescence among today’s “adults” is 
revealing itself all over the place - from delaying moving out of their parents’ homes 
to delaying marriage and parenthood. That same desire leads Hollywood to keep 
recycling favorite movies and TV shows from their adolescence.

 Look, if you had an unpleasant prom experience when you were 18, as I did, those 
are the breaks.

 I wrote an earlier, light-hearted newspaper column about my experience. It was 
published all over the country.

 After that piece ran, I bumped into my old prom date at the grocery store. She still 
looked great, but, boy, she was really sore now.

 It turns out her husband was so delighted by her rare rude behavior - so delighted, 
for once, that she, not he, was the one deserving a lecture - he carries the column 
around in his wallet, showing it enthusiastically to total strangers. 

 The joy I get from that story almost makes my lousy prom experience worthwhile 
- but certainly not enough to make me want to do the prom all over again.

Tom Purcell, author of “Misadventures of a 1970’s Childhood,” a humorous memoir 
available at, is a Pittsburgh Tribune-Review humor columnist.


Anyone who still assumes that legal abortion is here to stay, and 
that Roe v. Wade is the settled law of the land, should take a hard 
look at what’s happening right now in red America.

 Indeed, to best understand Alabama’s passage of a bill outlawing 
virtually all abortions (even in cases of rape and incest), 
and Georgia’s passage last week of a bill outlawing virtually all 
abortions at six weeks (before most women even know they’re 
pregnant), and the recent passage of similar six-week bans in 
Ohio, Mississippi, and Kentucky (even though Roe says that 
most abortions are legal up to 24 weeks), we need only reference 
the words of the current president. The same guy who used to 
give money to Planned Parenthood.

 On the 2016 campaign trail, Trump morphed into an anti-abortion zealot. During 
a televised event in March of that year, when asked how he would ban abortion, 
Trump replied: “You’ll go back to a position like they had where people go to illegal 
places. But you have to ban it. There has to be some form of punishment (for 

 A ban that would force women to “go back” to back-alley illegal abortions? No 
wonder the religious right got so excited. Trump promised that, if elected, he’d 
remake the Supreme Court and ensure that Roe was erased. During an autumn 
debate, he vowed that his conservative appointees would overturn the 1973 ruling 
that gives women the right to control their bodies. In his words, “it will happen, 

 Duly inspired, the GOP’s evangelical base suppressed its qualms about Trump’s 
amoral character and forged a marriage of convenience. It delivered landslide support 
- favoring him over Hillary Clinton by 81 to 16 percent, the widest margin of 
any 2016 voting constituency.

 And today, duly encouraged by the ascent of Supreme Court justices Neil Gorsuch 
and Brett Kavanaugh, conservative allies in various red-state legislatures are concocting 
draconian anti-abortion laws that are blatantly unconstitutional and will 
likely be tied up in litigation limbo. But that’s precisely what they want, because 
they’re playing a long game. As one key Alabama sponsor says, “What I’m trying to 
do here is get this case in front of the Supreme Court so Roe v. Wade can be overturned 
... This is the way we get where we want to get eventually.”

 The days of incrementally undermining Roe at the margins - with state laws that 
require waiting periods, anti-abortion “counseling,” various costly regulations that 
are impossible to meet - are decidedly over. Republicans now believe they finally 
have five high court votes to kill Roe entirely, thanks to Trump, and they’re hoping 
that their new frontal attacks on abortion will wend their way to the bench for an 
historic decision.

 Their strategy may not necessarily work. Linda Greenhouse, a Yale Law lecturer 
who covered the court for decades as a journalist, acknowledges that the anti-abortion 
extremism currently being unleashed in red states is “shockingly aggressive 
(and) purport to take us back to the pre-Roe regime where abortion was criminal.” 
But Greenhouse also thinks the new laws in Alabama, Georgia, Ohio, Mississippi 
and Kentucky are too extreme for John Roberts’ majority coterie, and believes the 
court will simply continue to whittle away at Roe.

 “If Roe finally falls, it’ll fall with a little push of a pinkie, rather than a frontal assault,” 
Greenhouse said. 

 Perhaps. But it’s clear that the anti-abortion forces, with Washington winds at 
their back, have all the momentum - and there’s a lesson in that for pro-Roe liberals 
and Democrats, a lesson that never seems to be learned.

 Republicans and their religious right allies don’t care what the polls say (according 
to the Pew Research Center, 58 percent of Americans want abortion to be legal 
in all or most cases, while only 37 percent say otherwise). Instead, they simply act 
on their convictions. They plan for the long haul and they execute that plan. They 
forged a transactional pact with Trump because they prioritized the importance of 
the Supreme Court.

 Liberals and Democrats have never prioritized the Supreme Court. One might’ve 
assumed that the Democratic base would be ginned up about the court’s future 
composition - given the fact that Senate GOP leader Mitch McConnell spent most 
of 2016 burying President Obama’s nomination of Merrick Garland - but nope.

 So Democrats - and the majority of women who typically vote for Democrats 
- are now suffering the consequences. The protections for women, enshrined in 
Roe 46 years ago, now hang in the balance. In Linda Greenhouse’s words, “It’s 
all about the dignity and agency of the female half of the population. And that’s 
what’s at stake.”

Dick Polman is the national political columnist at WHYY in Philadelphia and a 
“Writer in Residence” at the University of Pennsylvania. 


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