Tag Archives: advantages

If God is for you …

2 Nov

If God is for you …

L. Stewart Marsden

By now, unless you live under a rock, you know the Houston Astros won the World Series last night over the LA Dodgers.

No doubt, in some interview, some Houston ball player is going to thank God for the events leading up to the franchise’s first World Series win. Don’t get me wrong. I don’t fault anyone for thanking God for strength to endure something.

I also suspect there are those who are convinced that God engineered the victory. All of the sponsors are thanking Him, as is ESPN, for the full seven-game event. One of the most exciting events in baseball drew unprecedented viewers. Thank God!

This, after God apparently judged Houston earlier in the fall with Hurricane Harvey. Now I can say that with some certainty because all of the insurance companies that had to and are digging through their coffers call the weather event an Act of God. Therefore we know God did that. I haven’t checked in with Westboro Baptist Church to see what exactly God was judging through the storm’s devastation. No doubt some pretty bad things.

Apparently God then had second thoughts, and decided He’d been pretty tough on the Texas Gulf area. Like when he was surprised at Abraham’s commitment to sacrifice his son in obedience. “Wow!” He said. “Didn’t really think he’d go through with it!”*

At the same time, God had been busy judging California through massive fires. Either that, or He has a lot of stock in the NAPA Valley wine companies, and figured the price of a bottle of Pinot is going to go through the roof.

Everyone from the New York area knows that the once Brooklyn Dodgers skipped west years ago, and needed to be punished. And since the Yankees were upended by the Astros in league championship play, this was poetic justice. I think the Eleventh Commandment* is “THOU SHALT NOT LEAVE BROOKLYN!”

Whatever His reason, God favored the Astros, and shook things up before giving them the final “Well done” nod.

Do I really believe this? Take the notion forward a bit and the following holy conclusions would have to be reached:

The New England Patriots are NOT satanic;
Peyton Manning really IS funny;
If you don’t own an iPhone (whatever the latest edition), you really are less of a person;
Colin Cowherd is the last word in sports commentary;
45 is God’s man.

*While not scriptural in terms of the exact words, I figure if the Televangelist Pastards (borrowing this term from a friend) can make up stuff like this and get away with it, then sell tap water as Miracle Water, then I can take a little poetic license.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Equal … and the same?

15 May

Equal … and the same?

An opinion

By L. Stewart Marsden

The worst form of inequality is to try to make unequal things equal.
— Aristotle

In a recent address at Georgetown University, President Barak Obama made assertions and statements that have once again raised the hackles of a variety of opinionators.

He said, “Part of what’s happened is, is that elites in a very mobile, globalized world are able to live together, away from folks who are not as wealthy, and so they feel less of a commitment to making those investments.” (http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2015/05/12/obama-wealthy-ignore-poverty-by-sending-kids-to-private-schools/).

He also … “insisted that there needed to be more investments in public schools, public universities, public early child education and public infrastructure, insisting that funding these organizations both “grows our economy and spreads it around.” (breitbart.com, op. cit.)

I wonder by any chance is this a discussion of equality? And, does equality necessarily mean sameness?

At age sixty-five I have no delusions of recapturing a time in my youth when my body was able to do things it can no longer do. I was a fairly decent basketball player at one time — back in the days when middle schools were junior highs. As I got older, however, my early prowess was eclipsed by many, many others.

Guess what? I didn’t play college ball. Guess what? I wasn’t drafted by the Boston Celtics to play in the NBA. Others around me grew and developed skills I didn’t have in my DNA.

The same goes for a host of other areas, not only sports: math, science, business, et. al., were not my areas. I didn’t have or develop the skills. Hence I missed out on a Nobel Prize in Physics. I never made it to the cover of Forbes.

But should I have?

Granted, I grew up in a neighborhood of privilege. My dad was successful, and my siblings and I benefited as a result.

But should I have?

It doesn’t seem fair.

We hold these truths to be self-evident … not only are they evident, according to the Declaration of Independence, but they are elementary.

All men are created equal.

But are we? Should we be?

A child is born addicted to heroin due to his mother’s addiction.

Hard to disagree this child is disadvantaged.

But should he be?

Another is born into a family of social, economic and political influence, and those powers are thrust upon her at an early age.

How fair is that when compared to a thousand others who are unlikely candidates given parentage and economic position at the start of their lives?

Not to be glib, but it’s obvious to me few — if any — are born into equality. In fact, it is the complete opposite.

All [people] are NOT created equal.

The question then becomes how to create a level playing field so every individual or group has the capability to succeed in the inalienable rights of all: life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

We’ve witnessed throughout the ages attempts at parity. Wars and the overthrows of governments and political systems are the norm for humankind. Some clearly want to impress sameness on the rest of the world through aggressive tactics of many kind. Their names and biographies litter tomes of history books.

Equal. The same.

Even evolution rails against the concept. Genetic differentiation providing for the survival of the fittest.

Equal? Fair? Where’s the self-evidence? Perhaps the NFL Patriots? Rory McIlroy? Michael Jordan? Bill Gates?

A few people have told me “I could never write as easily as you do.”

Equal? Fair?

Of course, the skills of writing are developed and honed over years of practice and doing. I suppose the argument could lead to the self-evident conclusion all can write. And all can play NFL football. Or play PGA golf. Or in the NBA. Or create a dominant world-wide company.

Equal? Fair?

No. And no, perhaps. Depending on what you mean by the word, “fair,” as Bill Clinton might say.

Be it ever so gloomy and dire, my assessment of life is it is not dealt out equally. There are those who are privileged to have to fight and struggle for their successes, while there are those underprivileged who have it all through no effort at all.

Sound strange to you? Would you reverse my definitions of privileged and underprivileged?

Jesus said, “For ye have the poor with you always …”

Equal? Fair?

Of course, he also said, “…. and whensoever ye will ye may do them good …” (Matthew 14:7, KJV).

So, not equal. Not so fair. But the onus is on those with superior ability to enable those with inferior ability to at least reach their capabilities.

It’s how separation of the species differentiates us from every other creation on this planet. We’re not equal. Not the same.

I would hold our troth, though, is not just to survival in this life.

Copyright © by Lawrence S. Marsden, 15 May, 2015