I have an awesome idea!
How about if we swapped out Thanksgiving for Gripes-giving? This would be a day where we sat around the table and asked everyone to share their gripes and complaints. Get ‘em all out on that day. You couldn’t gripe the rest of the year, just on Gripes-giving.
Just the opposite of what we have now.
Have you ever noticed that thankfulness is pretty much missing the rest of the year? Of course! That’s because we used them all up at the Thanksgiving table where everyone, in labored fashion, had to dig really deep to share something they were thankful for. You know how it goes: “well, I’m thankful for…ummm…well, for my dog…and…ummmm…for my iPhone…and, uh…next!”
Now, on the flip side, look at the rest of the year. You never hear someone at the water cooler pop out with a “you know, guys, I would like to just share something that I’m really thankful for…”.
That would be a weird moment, wouldn’t it?
No, the daily conversations that I usually hear are filled with gripes and complaints. It isn’t quite like the protests going on all over our country, where it’s 100-proof griping, but we have to admit that complaining is a major part of our daily conversations.
I just returned from a trip to Iowa that had two major objectives: conduct a Truth Encounter conference and attend Saturday night’s Presidential candidate forum.
I believe there was something providential about these two events coming back-to-back, for they provoked within me some serious thoughts and observations regarding the upcoming primaries and elections.
Basically, they all focused upon this one important question: What is the criteria we should use to select our next presidential candidate? --appearance? --eloquence? --financial backing? --testimony?
What is the key criteria?
I was struck by this question as I sat through the forum, listening to Paul, Bachmann, Santorum, Perry, Cain and Gingrich. Frank Luntz, who moderated the forum, was attempting to get past the sound bites and dig into the person, the worldview, the character of each candidate. That resulted in some emotional reflections about battles with cancer, divorce, addictions, birth defects in their children… And as I listened, I realized just how good all of these people were.Perfect? No. They even talked about flaws in their lives. We all have them. But these were good people. I heard them express their faith in God, their submission to Him and their desires to help our country overcome some of our most difficult challenges.
I was proud of them.
Obviously mine was a different opinion from Rahm Emanuel, who was speaking at a Democratic fundraiser across town. He stated that the Republican event was “called the Thanksgiving Family Forum, which is fitting because I have never seen such a collection of turkeys.”
How sad. How wrong. These were good people.
But that observation kept raising the question: “How does one decide between them?” “What is the proper criteria?”
Sorry to be absent, but I've secluded myself in a hollow in the middle of Tennessee to work on three things:
--the Truth Encounter (follow-on to the Truth Project);
--a draft of a book that could be the start of a 12-book series entitled "Worldview Tour Guide Books: Book 1: Veritology"--it would provide a combination of material that was in the Truth Project, that which will be in the Truth Encounter, and a bunch that got left out of both;
--and finally a teaching on the fascinating way God protected and directed the genealogical "seed line" from Adam and Eve to the birth of Jesus.
I'm writing this as I sit outside of the nearest large town's library using their "hot-spot".
Back in a week...Blessings to all of you!
Well, I certainly didn’t expect the emotional responses to my previous two blogs. A number of you took exception to what I was saying, and that is fine, when the rebuttals are respectful. Some were unprintable, name-calling, and by-the-way, “anonymous” which I don’t post.
But I wanted to respond to the general thrust of those who disagreed and then we’ll be done with the subject.
The main issues were the following:
1. “The OWS people aren’t really saying that profits and people are contradictory.” Well, I would agree that there are probably some who don’t think so, but I have spent years and years with university students and I can tell you truthfully that many have been infected with the common Marxist thinking that pervades our universities today. It may not always be on top, but it is certainly there underneath: corporations and profits are evil; the pie is fixed, if someone has become wealthy, it is because they have exploited someone else; one gains, another loses. That is why profits are evil, because it has been snatched out of the mouth of another. When the OWS folks chant “people over profits” I would submit that they are conveying directly or indirectly this kind of thinking. I wanted to address that.
2. “The OWS people are rightly pointing out that our economic problems have come from the greedy corporations.” I agree that there is greed in corporations. I also agree that there have been ridiculous compensation packages for CEO’s. If I were a stockholder in those companies, then I would have the right to speak out about that and I hope that I would. But I would contend that the OWS folks are barking at the wrong tree.
One of the consistent signs exhibited at the OWC (Occupy Wall Street) protests is the slogan: “People Over Profits”. If you hear them chanting anything, it will probably be this slogan.
It is intended to make the reader or hearer believe two things: --1st that people and profits are a contradiction. That is, one can either support uplifting people or pursue profits, but obviously not both; --and 2nd, given this horrible dilemma, one must choose people.
Now, if the 1st premise is true, then I would agree that choosing people is the better choice.
However, this is a much-used ploy in attempting to fool the opponent with faulty logic by setting up a false contradiction.
Actually, there are very, very few things in life that are truly contradictory. That is because contradictions can’t exist in the realm of reality—a light bulb cannot be both on and off at the same time in the same place. Humans, however, can, and do, introduce logical fallacies.
One that I hear all the time is the argument regarding evil and suffering. It goes like this: 1. Evil and suffering exist; 2. If God were good and all-powerful, He would prevent evil and suffering; 3. Therefore, God is either not good or He is not powerful or He doesn’t exist at all.
This is the classical fallacy of setting up a contradiction when there really isn’t one in order to cause the hearer to make a false conclusion.
Teenagers do this all the time: 1. I will be happy if I can go to Sam’s party tonight; 2. You won’t let me go to Sam’s party; 3. Therefore you don’t want me to be happy and you obviously don’t love me.
Now, a naïve parent can fall for this and say: “Oh, honey, I do love you and want you to be happy.” With big crocodile tears, the kid says, “Then I can go?”