Thursday, September 03, 2015


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.

Blessings   :-)


John Riegsecker said...

You're just upset because God Blessed Russel Wilson:

And, as it turns out, Coors was right -- it is the water:

Doug said...

Well JR - I hate to admit it, but you are right. Hard to imagine how God turned his back on good-old Peyton.

hoosierdaddy said...

Recovery water? Isn't that what we drove 1000 miles to Colorado for back in the day?

Bizzy Brain said...

I believe in an "attitude of gratitude." There are "blessings" both great and small, and it is healthy to appreciate the good things in life that happen to us, such as that parking place close to the door. It may be pure "dumb luck" and not God-engineered, but still a blessing to appreciate. LeBron James has a genetic anomaly that he very much appreciates. Whether it was God-given or, from the atheist point of view, an accident of nature, is beside the point. LeBron is thankful. That gratitude can express itself in the form of thanks to the Almighty, or from the atheist point of view, thanks to the great unknown powers of the universe. I agree that it is a little bit jarring when people publicly thank God for their material blessings, such as "I thank God for my home run that clinched the pennant," and should put emphasis on the non-material, such as love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness. gentleness, and self-control (Gal 5:22). I disagree that God not blessing everyone equally is not God-like. One hears from the atheist, "If there's a God, why does he allow suffering, blah, blah, blah." One final note, I am extremely grateful that Donald Trump is leading the race for the Republican nomination. Thanks, and praise be to God!

DES said...

Bizzy - I understand where you are coming from, and agree with some of what you say. I certainly agree that gratitude is an important attitude and that we should be thankful for many various and sundry things. My point however is that many people lump all of their 'blessings' as being as you say, God-engineered. It appears as though we agree that many blessings are non-material - another one of my points. Now regarding the Donald.....we can argue about that one later!!!