Bizzy suggested that if I write about The Donald, there would be many comments. But, writing about religion might generate even more responses and opinions! So, time for a bit of a rant:
I must admit that I often shake my head in disagreement when I hear or see people thanking their God for a blessing that in my opinion is nothing more than dumb luck, serendipitous circumstance, or privilege. Let me run through some examples:
** I know people who believe that God is blessing them when they find a parking place, or don't run out of gas, or some other trifling thing - no, you were just lucky. Similarly, if they are well-off financially, it is claimed to be a blessing - no, most likely privilege played an important part. I find the prosperity gospel reprehensible.
** LeBron James [and countless other athletes] - "I was blessed with a God-given talent..." No, LeBron, you are basically a genetic anomaly [I will avoid saying a freak of nature]. Walk down the street in Anywhere USA and tell me how many 6'8" 249 pound fellows with an incredible physique you see. James won a genetic lottery that highly rewards over-sized people with basic coordination. Admittedly James has skills, but so do I - if I had been 10 inches taller, I believe that I too could have been a basketball star - I blame it on short Ed and short Mary!
** And speaking of countless athletes, how many times do we see baseball players point to the heavens, thanking God for the home run or the winning hit. Duh - if you think that God blessed you with such a fundamentally useless happening, what does it say about God and the pitcher? It seems logical that God must have cursed the pitcher if he blessed the batter. Does God really bless the winners? Blessing one winner and abandoning countless losers does not seem very God-like.
** And what the hell do people mean when they say/sing God Bless America? I think that most folks who mouth this really mean, make us prosperous, keep us safe from the foreign hoards, make sure that my version of Christianity prevails, etc.
** This is the one that bothers me the most: "God blessed me for surviving this tragedy" [pick your tragedy]. Examples are abundant - plane crashes, theater shootings, tornadoes, ad infinitum. If survival is a blessing, then it follows that all who died were not blessed. Again, doesn't seem particularly God-like.
So, you are now possibly asking, so what is a blessing from God? Nothing material, IMHO. Here is my non-all-inclusive list - unconditional love, grace, forgiveness, reconciliation, justice, mercy, truth, fairness, knowledge, wisdom, joy - hopefully you get my point.