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Author Topic: If God was pissed off about something society was doing
Pete at Home
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If God was pissed off about something that our modern society was doing, what might he do? Think Old Testament mere. How would you picture a manifestation of divine anger on modern society, and how would that be received?
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JoshCrow
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If God wanted to actually provoke a reaction, he could simply appear in the skies and defy the laws of the universe openly and with everybody watching. He could make it rain fire and turn lakes into salt and mountains into jello.

Since God will do none of these things (I can confidently say) we are left with the idiots who blame hurricanes on homosexuals and see divine anger in their morning Wheaties.

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Pete at Home
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Didn't Falwell and Robertson attribute 9/11 to God's wrath about homosexuality? Or was it on the single moms?

The Bible is kind of vague about things like that -- I mean we know why God sends plagues to get Pharaoh to bend; that's clear from context, but it's not always clear. Jesus at one point is asked about the collapse of a tower, and if that was a sign of God's wrath against the people that died, and Jesus replies, no, but unless you repent, you will likewise perish. I have my own interpretation of that, but am curious what others think. The book of Mormon says that God occasionally sends some crises (famines, etc.) to humble the people, that they might let go of their pride and turn back to God. But not all crises are so designated.

Maybe I'm seeing divine anger in my wheaties, but I've sometimes thought that the economic collapse of the 1930s was a response to the irresponsibility of the 20s. But that could work as well as consequence, without God's hand.

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Rallan
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I can't think of anything actually. Then again I come from a country that's always either in a drought, five feet underwater, or on fire, so how much worse could divine wrath be? [Smile]
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DonaldD
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It would cause a new book to be written and added to the Christian cannon some time in the next several decades describing a plague or equivalent punishment meted out on the populace without going through the muss and fuss of actually meting anything out.
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Pete at Home
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quote:
Originally posted by DonaldD:
It would cause a new book to be written and added to the Christian cannon some time in the next several decades describing a plague or equivalent punishment meted out on the populace without going through the muss and fuss of actually meting anything out.

Interesting, since that's quite consistent with the stories of holy writ -- God sends a Jonah to prevent destruction from becoming necessary, and he seands Isaiah and Jeremiah for the same purposes except in their cases folks didn't listen, so destruction followed.
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Pyrtolin
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Notice one common theme there- in every case God clues in a Prophet first and gets the message out that people need to listen up. So if OT-style wrath was on its way, there would be someone on the leading edge with the inside scoop. Of course, given modern society, we'd probably have hopped the current chosen one up on so many anti-psychotics that the message would have to be read out of drool drip-patterns.

More seriously though, I think this is closer to the truth:

quote:
Maybe I'm seeing divine anger in my wheaties, but I've sometimes thought that the economic collapse of the 1930s was a response to the irresponsibility of the 20s. But that could work as well as consequence, without God's hand.
The two do not have to be mutually exclusive. Divine will and power is expressed though people, and is inherent in natural cause and effect. The punishment for failures in stewardship and communal duty are pretty much inherent in the hell that naturally arises from them, even if it takes a while to catch up. And if we don't learn the lesson, we get it all over again.
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Rallan
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I wouldn't say in every case. The flood is probably the most famous piece of smiting in the Bible, and God didn't exactly say unto Noah "Go forth and tell everyone that I'm hella cranky right now, and they might want to start behaving if they don't want me to open the world's biggest can of whoopass". He just gave his one chosen family a heads up about what was about to happen, then wiped everyone else out without warning. Ditto for Sodom and Gommorah for that matter, and the Tower of Babel (although by oldschool smiting standards, Babel got off lightly).
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Pete at Home
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Bible doesn't say God *didn't* warn the people at some point. And since Sodom's inhabitants tried to gang-rape the messengers that came to warn Lot, I only imagine what they did or would have done to previous messengers come to warn them. IIRC Jeremiah and other unnamed prophets were killed for delivering such warnings.
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Pete at Home
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The Bible writes Babel as if it wasn't a punishment, but ... well, read it for yourselves. totally bizarre. Either something has been seriously lost in translation, or some human storyteller seriously misunderstood why God did something.

The wiki says God was displeased with their intent, but I don't get that from the text either:

quote:
4 Then they said, "Come, let us build ourselves a city, with a tower that reaches to the heavens, so that we may make a name for ourselves and not be scattered over the face of the whole earth."

5 But the LORD came down to see the city and the tower that the men were building.
6 The LORD said, "If as one people speaking the same language they have begun to do this, then nothing they plan to do will be impossible for them.
7 Come, let us go down and confuse their language so they will not understand each other."



[ July 14, 2010, 11:53 PM: Message edited by: Pete at Home ]

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Pyrtolin
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Nah, in the case of Babel, he's impressed, but thinks they don't quite have the understanding necessary to go with their accomplishments, so he pushes the bar a little higher by forcing people to learn to listen to and understand each other before we gain the advantages of such collaboration.

It comes full circle in the New Testament when the confusion of Babel is lifted from the devout and they can all intuitively understand each other's speech.

The fundamental point comes to - if people put half the effort into learning to understand and support each other that they do into building up worldly power, humanity as a hole would be elevated instead of just a pile of rocks.

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Pyrtolin
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quote:
Originally posted by Pete at Home:
Bible doesn't say God *didn't* warn the people at some point. And since Sodom's inhabitants tried to gang-rape the messengers that came to warn Lot, I only imagine what they did or would have done to previous messengers come to warn them. IIRC Jeremiah and other unnamed prophets were killed for delivering such warnings.

And heck, Lot's presence there in the first place was effectively to warn them, or at least to find evidence of even one redeemable person to start from.

I vaguely recall that Moses did try to give some warning- if nothing else from the grand scale of his effort, but was generally mocked and ignored. At the very least, after the flood God came back and effectively said "I think I over-did that a bit; it won't go that far again, I promise."

[ July 15, 2010, 12:52 AM: Message edited by: Pyrtolin ]

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Pete at Home
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Lot offered his daughters to satiate a rape mob, and then they got him drunk and date-raped him. I don't know that they were so much redeemable as God saved Lot & family as a special favor to Abraham. [Big Grin]

The thing to remember about God killing people is that from his perspective, he isn't killing them but moving them somewhere else.

Yes, that's pretty much how it went with Moses.

Interesting take on Babel.

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rightleft22
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God doesn’t' have to do anything; we are more than capable or reaping what we sow and creating or own hell without any help.

Besides ‘free will’ is a rock too big even for God to move so all he can do is watch… though he could destroy the rock but that would be cheating.

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Wayward Son
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Before you can figure out what God would do, you first have to determine what God wants to accomplish.

If He just wants to get rid of the vermin (irredemable people), then a suprise nuclear attack would work quite well today. One fell swoop and start all over, just like the Flood, but without having to make any pretty colors at the end. [Smile]

But if God wanted to teach us a lesson, that would be a bit tricker.

Back in OT times, natural disasters were understood to be punishment from God, either for the sins of the people or for the sins of the king. So the message was simple; wipe out a bunch of men, women and children, and the rest will look around to see what they or their king did wrong. Toss in a prophet to explain it to the numbskulls and voila! lesson learned.

That wouldn't fly today. Today, God sends in a hurricane and we blame it on Global Warming. [Smile]

I think God would work with the way we think today if He wanted to send a message. First, He would send a "prophet" (aka a Scholar, or at least a Best Selling Author) who would describe the inevitable consequence of our bad behavior. He'd make sure everyone heard the message. Then He'd turn on the consequence and watch us scramble.

The only tricky part of this scenario is the inevitable desire to have people "turn to Him" at the end. Although that is the first reaction to disaster ("There are not athiests in the foxhole"), it won't hold up for very long. Not when we have all these natural explanations for death and destruction, which both absolves God of any blame for them, but also wrecks any need for us to turn to Him for help.

There would be two ways I see He could do this. One would be to suspend the Natural Laws to prevent the consequences for a good number of people. That would get our attention and start us thinking about who could do that, as JoshCrow suggested. [Eek!]

The other would be to have His church and spokesmen to be consistently right all of the time. If a church consistently called it, down to when the Chicago Cubs will win the next World Series [Smile] , people would notice. And no amount of reason or logic could convince most people that this wasn't the Word of the Almighty; results speak louder than words.

Of course, He would also have to make sure His prophecies were not diluted through the media and that they came to pass on-time and under budget, which would entail almost as much work as temporarily suspending the laws of nature. And God has not chosen to do so in recent history.

Even when He started the Mormon religion (assuming that you believe that He did [Smile] ), He was not interested in making sure everyone believed. He could have done a lot more to convince the majority of His authorship of the Book of Mormon, if only by the simple matter of leaving the originals to be inspected by one and all. No, He is not interested in making everyone get the messge at this time. So neither of the two scenarios are likely to occur.

If God got wrathful today, I would expect that He would just wipe out those that peed him off through war, plague, hurricanes, etc.--the usual suspects. If He wanted us to learn, He'd hand out the lesson plan beforehand, or right after if He was really PO'd. But He would not worry if we understood that it was Him or just plain bad luck. He's apparently not worried about that right now.

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Pete at Home
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quote:
Originally posted by rightleft22:
‘free will’ is a rock too big even for God to move so all he can do is watch… though he could destroy the rock but that would be cheating.

Let's take that as a starting assumption for this exercise. That God can't or doesn't want to screw with free will, but he can change the circumstances to influence us the way he wants us to go.

quote:
God doesn’t' have to do anything; we are more than capable or reaping what we sow and creating or own hell without any help.
That's what I was wondering about when I started this exercise. That if we take the assumptions of free will, (and the LDS doctrine of the veil, which I don't have to introduce here since nonLDS folks don't believe in the pre-existence, anyway, so it's not necessary to this exercise), that what an intelligent powerful all-knowing God did for our general long-term spiritual development, might look a lot like natural consequences of stupid actions. Or in fact might not be, as some theories of parenting say stand back and let them deal with natural consequences.

As for Babel, do you know that the primary driving force for linguistic differentiation is pride/prestige within subgroups?

[ July 15, 2010, 12:24 PM: Message edited by: Pete at Home ]

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Pete at Home
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"That wouldn't fly today. Today, God sends in a hurricane and we blame it on Global Warming."

Right. After we'd locked the prophet in the nuthouse.

quote:
The only tricky part of this scenario is the inevitable desire to have people "turn to Him" at the end. Although that is the first reaction to disaster ("There are not athiests in the foxhole"), it won't hold up for very long. Not when we have all these natural explanations for death and destruction, which both absolves God of any blame for them, but also wrecks any need for us to turn to Him for help.

Can't remember which of the meteor about to strike earth movies had Morgan Freeman as the president, but remember how he asks everyone to pray that the astronauts will be able to prevent the disaster? And remember how his talk after disaster does get averted doesn't even mention or thank God? Yes, it doesn't hold up long for the general population; God turns back his "wrath" or alternately helps save us from the mess we made, and pretty soon it's back to business as usual, at least in the spiritual sense.

quote:
The other would be to have His church and spokesmen to be consistently right all of the time. If a church consistently called it, down to when the Chicago Cubs will win the next World Series , people would notice. And no amount of reason or logic could convince most people that this wasn't the Word of the Almighty; results speak louder than words.
Maybe Paul the Octopus should start a new faith.
[Smile]

Your 2nd to last paragraph is interesting and I will probably respond later but for now it would take the thread on a tangent, not to mention bring in a certain poster that will (I prophesy [Wink] ) bring the death of all interesting and civil discourse in this thread.

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stayne
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Well, leaving aside my thought that it would be pretty hard for an omnipotent (or even nearly so) being to get overly upset about the actions of mere humans, I'll play along.

Cowards! Weaklings! You all know the answer, but none of you wants to say it! So it falls to me.

Zombies. World War Z. Party of one million plus, your table is ready at the Brain Buffet.

And, yes, God has indeed provided warning and a chance at salvation for those who believe.

[ July 15, 2010, 09:53 PM: Message edited by: stayne ]

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Michelle
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quote:
Originally posted by Pete at Home:
If God was pissed off about something that our modern society was doing, what might he do? Think Old Testament mere. How would you picture a manifestation of divine anger on modern society, and how would that be received?

He would ignore us.
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Pete at Home
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Ignore? That doesn't sound very Old Testament.
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Pyrtolin
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quote:
Originally posted by stayne:
Well, leaving aside my thought that it would be pretty hard for an omnipotent (or even nearly so) being to get overly upset about the actions of mere humans, I'll play along.

Cowards! Weaklings! You all know the answer, but none of you wants to say it! So it falls to me.

Zombies. World War Z. Party of one million plus, your table is ready at the Brain Buffet.

And, yes, God has indeed provided warning and a chance at salvation for those who believe.

Nah- God already did zombies with Ezekiel, and he don't like to repeat a tick.
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stayne
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Wait, wait, I want to change my answer. It would definitely be an earthquake. Like in our capital or something.
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JWatts
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Perhaps, he would cause a great eruption from the earth that would darken the seas with a great flood of toxins. The fish would die, the birds would sicken, the turtles flounder, the fishermen would be without sustenance, the marshes would turn black, the people would flee the coasts, there would be great gnashing of teeth and pounding of breast and the President would golf. [Big Grin]
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rightleft22
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quote:
“That God can't or doesn't want to screw with free will, but he can change the circumstances to influence us the way he wants us to go.”
The problem I have is that, in my opinion, changing the circumstances to influence impinges on free will - its manipulation at best, definitely entrapment - as omnipresent and omniscient are part of the standard definition/characteristic of God - the cards are staked. With thouse cards if God, after seting things in motion acts to change circumstances at all free will is in question.

It does beg the question - what was Christ implying when he prayed “Lead me not into temptation”
God will, will be done and He will mess with you and in most religious traditions if you fail you’re damned for eternity.

Worse it would appear that changing the circumstances often requires pain and suffering for some just to make a point - often those who we might class as innocent whose only ‘sin’ is being born in the wrong place and time and given little time or change in circumstances to redeem themselves. All for the 'good' for those of us who get to witness and survive who now can make the changes God wants. - Which he had already knew about and planned accordingly for.

[ July 16, 2010, 10:59 AM: Message edited by: rightleft22 ]

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Pete at Home
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quote:
Originally posted by JWatts:
Perhaps, he would cause a great eruption from the earth that would darken the seas with a great flood of toxins. The fish would die, the birds would sicken, the turtles flounder, the fishermen would be without sustenance, the marshes would turn black, the people would flee the coasts, there would be great gnashing of teeth and pounding of breast and the President would golf. [Big Grin]

[LOL] [LOL] [LOL]
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rightleft22
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"And the President would golf."

It surprises me but I have to say after such a vivid description of the oil spill in the Gulf. The response "And the President would golf." seems right to me.

In the face of calamity, God inspired or not, how do we move forward, - you continue.

In the face of Gods whirlwind response to Job, Job can do nothing but reply with silenced and continue – start again – in effect play golf.

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Pete at Home
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So ... Obama takes upon himself all the sufferings of his people, and then dissipates it, by golfing? This is good. Tell me more Obama theology. Like, what does he do when he's angry?
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JWatts
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quote:
Originally posted by Pete at Home:
So ... Obama takes upon himself all the sufferings of his people, and then dissipates it, by golfing? This is good. Tell me more Obama theology. Like, what does he do when he's angry?

Just a guess, but I'm going with a rhetorical boot on the neck followed up by a game of basketball. The cardio work out is a great stress reliever. [Wink]
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rightleft22
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Not Obama theology but President as symbol.

After taking action putting people in charge setting direction should the President as symbol continue to run around micromanaging for appearances sake or is it better if we see that life continues.

Here’s a question - What is the proper response after you experiance a cataclysmic event instigated by God divine wrath or other wise. - Noting that these events usually demonstrate how little control over them we have.

Based purely on my observations – people either become bitter or they “pick up their clubs” and continue to play.

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Wayward Son
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quote:
Like, what does he do when he's angry?
He doesn't get angry. Didn't you see the "Rock Obama" skit on SNL? [Smile]
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Pete at Home
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Ah yes, bitter. [Big Grin]
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JWatts
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quote:
Originally posted by rightleft22:
Not Obama theology but President as symbol.

After taking action putting people in charge setting direction should the President as symbol continue to run around micromanaging for appearances sake or is it better if we see that life continues.

There's a significant difference between not micro-managing the situation and appearing to be blasé about it.

Indeed, Tony Hayward's yachting trip was widely ridiculed in the press, even though he had been relieved of his oversight of the Gulf BP Oil leak before he went yachting.

quote:
After Obama's golf game on Saturday -- the 39th of his presidency -- Republican Party chairman Michael Steele compared it to BP chairman Tony Hayward's infamous yachting excursion, saying "it is equally incredible that President Obama finds himself on yet another golf course as oil continues to spew into the Gulf."

According to CBS News correspondent (and White House record keeper) Mark Knoller, Obama has golfed seven times since the April 20 rig explosion that led to the oil spill.

Source

I'd think criticizing the President over one golf game would be petty, but 7 golf outings in two months (April 20th to June 21st) seems a bit much.

Of course, keeping Obama out of the White House might be a good thing. Perhaps I should donate to the Barack Obama Par Fund. [Wink]

quote:
President Barack Obama has played a remarkable 41 rounds of golf since becoming president, easily outpacing his predecessor and possibly damaging his ability to portray himself in 2012 as a populist advocate of average folks.

With the excursions lasting on average at least five hours, the president has devoted a total of more than 200 hours to golf, not counting time spent on the White House putting green. That’s the equivalent of twenty five eight-hour work days, or five work weeks spent smacking golf balls.

From a period stretching from April 3 to May 22 of this year, the president went golfing eight of nine weekends.

Source

I wonder if Chevy Chase is up for a new version of his famous Ford golfing skits?

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Pete at Home
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I didn't get pissed until his press dude came out and said that he was honoring father's day by taking time for himself and golfing. [Roll Eyes] [Mad]

Anyway, can you imagine the brooha if Bush had been seen repeatedly golfing while they were still digging for survivors at Ground Zero? Or during Katrina?

[ July 16, 2010, 05:58 PM: Message edited by: Pete at Home ]

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Pete at Home
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quote:
Originally posted by rightleft22:
should the President as symbol continue to run around micromanaging for appearances sake or is it better if we see that life continues.

Business as usual for most folks doesn't include yacht races and golf every week. I'd rather see the president reading kids "Pat the Bunny" during a crisis than "honoring father's day" by "taking time for himself."
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rightleft22
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You take the symbolic to literal - What yacht races and golf every week for some is darts and bingo for others.

So your own inner president after dealing with a climatic event and perhaps the wrath of God would read ‘Pat the Bunny'.

[ July 16, 2010, 06:53 PM: Message edited by: rightleft22 ]

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Pete at Home
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quote:
What yacht races and golf every week for some is darts and bingo for others.
By others, you mean the little people?
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rightleft22
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No - I'm not sure how to respond -

Interesting - I got the sense that part of what bothered you was the inequity of how people get to express returning to business as usual - “Business as usual for most folks doesn't include yacht races and golf every week”
So I’m not sure where this , “By others, you mean the little people?” question is coming from - unless its projected.

For myself if after experiencing a difficult event - a symbol of life continuing would be to go out dancing - but sure I’d like to give yachting a try… but that would mean something quite different to me.

[ July 16, 2010, 07:22 PM: Message edited by: rightleft22 ]

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Pete at Home
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quote:
I got the sense that part of what bothered you was the inequity of how people get to express returning to business as usual
that, colliding with your comparison of Obama to Job, when it's in fact the "little people" of the Southeast who are suffering.
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rightleft22
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I don't think I actually made the comparison of Obama to Job; – I actually don’t mention Obama I was trying to talk about the President as symbol. No politics
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Pete at Home
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quote:
Originally posted by rightleft22:
I don't think I actually made the comparison of Obama to Job; – I actually don’t mention Obama I was trying to talk about the President as symbol. No politics

quote:
In the face of Gods whirlwind response to Job, Job can do nothing but reply with silenced and continue – start again – in effect play golf.
Setting that aside, it's hard to start over right in the middle of the whirlwind.
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