Filed Under: Musing

He taught me how to wash, fight and pray

Cast:

I really love this sorta weather. Sunny, but a little on the cold side[1] When I headed out this morning I could actually feel the chill in the air. Autumn weather, when dry, is great.

And look, Paul O’Connell[2] has been named captain of Munster. I’ve a great grá for Paul, so yet another reason this is a happy day. But Anthony Foley has been named as vice-captain, and I’m sure that he’ll end up playing as captain on numerous occasions as Paul’ll won’t play all the matches. Ronan O’Gara has also been named as vice-captain.

I’m almost regretting my decision to go home this weekend, as we don’t have Setanta Sports in Sligo, and so I won’t be able to watch Munster V Ulster. This is the first weekend that all the international players will be back playing so it should be a good game.

I was watching C4′s BodyShock programme last night. All about how doctors are killing people to save them. Well freezing them so that they appear dead and their metabolic rates drop so that they can operate on their brains. It was all very interesting, but yer man who was being operated on obviously came from a fairly religious family, and kept saying things like God would help him, and his belief and faith would carry him through. And that got me thinking.

Supposing for a moment that the Christian god exists and all that, does this fella then believe that god will only look out for people who have faith and belief in him? I’m not saying he shouldn’t believe, or that he shouldn’t pray, and i’m not suggesting he shouldn’t believe that god helps him, it was just the way he phrased it. God helped him, not because god is good and helps people, but because this dude believes and has faith. And there was me thinking you weren’t supposed to bargain with god, or put “the Lord your God to the test”?

Linknotes:
  1. yeah, I reserve the right to complain about the very same type of weather later on in the year when Ive grown bored of it
  2. yes, yes, shamelessly self linking, but its my blog and I’ll do what I want
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7 Comments

  • 26 September 2006 - 1:41 pm | Permalink

    Reminds me of that other rather irritating Christian turn of phrase. When something good happens like traffic home after work is free-flowing or something equally insignificant, they say "Thank you Lord" or "I was so blessed with the traffic today"….

    So what about the heathens in the traffic? Was it just dumb luck that they had a pleasant journey home as well?

    I mean, I get giving thanks for the big stuff, like passing exams or births or recovering from illness, but why the need to see every little instance of good luck as a blessing from on high?

    Bugs the crap out of me it does.

  • 26 September 2006 - 1:56 pm | Permalink

    Hey FM, shouldn't you be baby-watching :)

    It is a little strange for me to complain, because I suppose thank god is a saying we all use at some stage. I know I do. But do I actually mean thank god? I don't think so. More, itsn't it a good thing.

    But these phrases were said with belief, which also makes it hard to criticise, because obviously yer man believes in god, and that god helped him. And fair enough, it is just the way it seems to suggest that he thought he was better than other people who didn't believe, and deserved to be okay. Which probably wasn't what he meant at all.

  • 26 September 2006 - 8:02 pm | Permalink

    I obviously don't have enough faith then cos I always get stuck in traffic.
    That just doesn't seem fair. D'ya think there are more believers on the Southside than the Northside? And what happens when two believers meet at an intersection? Who gets right of way?
    OK I think I'll quit now before I get struck by lightning or something.

  • 27 September 2006 - 12:21 am | Permalink

    To me its all about perception. I realize that some comments are made that are tongue in cheek. There's absolutely nothing wrong with thanking God for anything good that happens to you. It doesn't mean the person is inferring that God only helps them but it does mean that they feel the need to acknowledge God for even the little things that they are thankful for.

    (Provided you believe in God, otherwise this conversation is a moot point) God does indeed help everyone in a general way…there's a scripture to this point saying that God allows it to rain on both the evil and the good (an agricultural lesson about general good coming to everyone) but there is an aspect of relationship with God that involves faith. Its not about putting God to the test, its much deeper and has to do with one's spiritual connection to God. Belief and faith are a major part of this.

    People have a tendency of saying things that can be taken as smug or exclusive…kind of like the example that you gave of what that guy said…but I still think some of that has to do with perception. When God and politics come into the equation I think we all have a tendency to get very defensive about what people are saying and tend to read more negative stuff into the text of the conversation than we would otherwise.

    That's my opinion anyway. :)

  • 27 September 2006 - 9:51 am | Permalink

    Terri, it is simple really. Both believer's faiths take on corporeal form and "do battle". The winner is the person with the strongest faith.

    Carl, it does have a lot to do with perception. But I also think that some, not all, religous people have a tendency to be smug about it. As though god will help them at everyone else's expense.
    You know the type who think they can't lose because god is on their side. That's the sort I'm really talking about, not really the people who may be total believers but don't feel the need to push anyone else toward religion.
    And, in retrospect I think I was a little unfair to Mr. Bodyshock, because he was undergoing a life a death situation so obviously he'd be hoping and praying that god would help him out, and use anything at all to persuade himself that things weren't going to turn out bad.

  • 27 September 2006 - 5:55 pm | Permalink

    I agree Fence. I think what bothers me is that often we don't take into account that when a person is being smug, or lets be honest: being an ass, that it isn't because of their religion or God…they were that way before they became a believer. Now with some people their beliefs give them the ammunition with which to be a more prominent jerk but the perception that I see in the media is that somehow it is their beliefs that are the sole cause for their negative behavior. While I do believe that faith, if a person allows it, can have positive effects on their personality I also believe that many people don't get beyond a surface understanding of their beliefs to allow it to make true positive change to their lives. Instead they glom on to the ideas or principles of their religion and them spout them off everywhere they go. These are the people that don't have a true understanding of how their behavior actually puts forth an image opposite to what they are professing to believe. None of us are perfect representatives for God, or for the human race, or whatever but some are defintely worse representatives than others. What bothers me is when those people are held up as the example as what it means to be Christians while many 'true' Christians, for lack of a better word, lead quiet, positive, life-changing existences and have to deal with the fact that our representatives in the world are often the flakes that we have nothing in common with.

    Good post, good thoughts all around. Sorry to prattle on so.

  • 28 September 2006 - 10:30 am | Permalink

    Prattle away all you like, makes for interesting reading.

    Generally I think that the more a person proclaims themselves to be a Christian, the less christian they actually are.

    Was watching Trading Spouses last night, where one "religous" fella, who believes in the literal bible, said that the bible says "if you do not accept Jesus as your saviour then you can go to hell" Which I found an interesting attitute to have.

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