Friday, March 28, 2008

Kites!

It's been such a rough week. Between hospital visits, doctors, and PDaddy and P4 having a cold, it seemed like the weekend would never come. I think P1 and I are next on the flu/cold list since we're both feeling punky tonight. To celebrate the end of a hard week, Pdaddy and I decided to take the kids outside to fly kites for a bit. There's nothing like a family activity to put life back in perspective. I know that sounds really hokey, but...it's true.



After the kite flying, P1 and I watched 20/20. They had a segment about an armless, legless man who tours the world giving motivational speeches. Now, don't get me wrong: his tenacity is inspiring and I have a soft spot for people who deal with disabilities. I can't imagine what it would be like to grow up without your limbs. His choice to be a motivational speaker is honorable. However, the following discussion took place between this guy and the interviewer.
Interviewer: "You pray to God that he will give you your limbs back?"
Nick: "Yes. I still do."
Interviewer: "Do you think God can do that?"
Nick: "Absolutely, I do."
Interviewer: "Do you think God will give you your legs and arms
back?"
Nick: *hesitates* It's his will. I think he could if he decided
to.


That is paraphrased (as the transcript isn't up yet). I think it's pretty accurate, though. So...here we have a man who's a Christian motivational speaker who has admittedly prayed to god every day, since he was a toddler, to give him his arms and legs. But, this God he believes in chose not to. And, note that he feels God can do it, but won't. I say this with the most respect I can give to NickVujicic: How can you worship and serve a God who left you with a debilitating defect and claim that that God is the most awesome entity in the universe? Nick says:
"No matter who you are, no matter what you're going through, God knows it," he
said. "He is with you. He is going to pull you through."

How can God be attributed with benevolence if he allows a baby to suffer this fate. I don't care what the long term purpose is. Nick claims to have gone through phases where he wanted to commit suicide. To say that he was limited by this disability is an understatement. I ask this with sincere curiosity: How can you still worship that deity if you believe "He" created you to suffer? If God "knew it", then he allowed it. And, any manner in which this deity "pulls (you) through" is a situation of cruel predisposition. It's kind of like a mother with Munchhausen's By Proxy who makes her child sick to play the martyr. If God exists as a supreme ruler, then why would he need to make one his creations so physically handicapped just to get some glory? If a father chopped off his son's legs to allow the son to go on to be a motivational speaker and run a ministry, then we'd question the sanity and motives of that father. Why does God get a pass?

To top it off, Nick's father is a minister. A man who serves this same God that, according to his beliefs, left his son severely handicapped. If a parent worships the cruel person who takes away their child's limbs, then wouldn't we tend to call that person unstable?

The unanswered prayers he made as a child haven't left his mind, nor has he
stopped praying occasionally for arms and legs.


Interesting. So, God is purposefully ignoring a faithful devotee? Does the Bible not say that God will heal you and "ask and you shall receive"?

"I totally surrender that to God. I would be obviously elated if I had arms and
legs right now ... but I know that God's in full control. And do I believe that
He can give me arms and legs? Yes, sir ... The world doesn't understand how you
can have these two parallel thoughts, where you can say, on one hand ... 'yes, I
believe in the miracle,' and on the other ... say, 'You know what? I'm fully
content. I'm not discouraged if He doesn't give me arms and legs.'


I'm glad that Mr. Vujicic has found a way to live a meaningful life. He's done more than some non-handicapped people have done (including getting a degree in finance and accounting). But, am I the only one who thinks that any deity who would do this is cruel?

"That's where I am. That's the freedom and victory I have. I believe in a God
who can do all things, but if He chooses not to give me arms and legs, I know
it's for the better. And I may not understand it, but all I need to know is that
He's going to carry me through, that there is a purpose for it."


How is not having limbs "for the better"? I suppose it's good that Vujicic has found comfort with his disabilities and limitations, but I don't understand how a lack of legs and arms is "for the better" for anyone? What is the purpose? If God is all powerful, then you'd think He could rustle up some motivational speakers without maiming and torturing them. All his story serves to illustrate about this deity is that said deity, if he exists, uses and abuses innocent children.

12 comments:

Sean the Blogonaut F.C.D. said...

After this week of blogging I am having trouble reconciling this sort of religious stupidity.

SavedinChris said...

No comments from me for a while but I am back. I have read your blog starting in October. I talked to you then about giving your heart to God. It is healthy to examine yourself to see if you are living THE WORD. It is time to put away this ruse called atheism. Embrace what the Lord is offering. Who made the wind to keep your kite asail? HE who gave four children to you to protect in God's name.

If we have rightly used the Law (the Ten Commandments -- to bring "the knowledge of sin"), we merely say, "It doesn't matter that you don't believe the Bible. You still have to face God on Judgment Day, and you've admitted that you are a liar, a thief and that you have committed adultery in your heart." His conscience will afirm the truth of the Commandments, and the Word of God (regardless of his or her lack of belief in it) is faithful to bring conviction throught the power of the Holy Spirit.

We then, gently (in love), explain to him that if he walked on a freeway, saying that he didn't believe in trucks, his unbelief wouldn't change reality.

You are on the freeway with a truck nearing you. I have five children who I am commanded to teach in the spirit of the Lord. The frivolity on your blog is a front to draw attention away from the real obstacle for family bonding - God. n If we have rightly used the Law (the Ten Commandments -- to bring "the knowledge of sin"), we merely say, "It doesn't matter that you don't believe the Bible. You still have to face God on Judgment Day, and you've admitted that you are a liar, a thief and that you have committed adultery in your heart." His conscience will afirm the truth of the Commandments, and the Word of God (regardless of his or her lack of belief in it) is faithful to bring conviction throught the power of the Holy Spirit.

When we adopt God's standards as our own, we produce quality character that is different from a child's natural inclinations. Proverbs 22:6 emphasizes the significance of biblical parenting: "Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it." As parents turn to the Bible for instruction they are able to open up channels in their children's lives so that God's grace can flow in.

You are in worship of the family instead of being in worship of your God.

Nicest GIrl said...

I think this is actually pretty sad. Someone told him as a child that if he prayed, the one thing he wanted in the whole world would come true. Someone told him that if he stopped believing then it would never happen.

Now it might be easy to say "well, he should have realized by now" (and I'm not insinuating that your article is saying that... just that some must think it when they hear him) but when you give a child that kind of hope... and fear.. how can you expect them not to carry it into adulthood? When you tell someone that the moment they stop believing their dream will never come true and it will be THEIR fault... do you blame him for continuing?

For someone in his extreme position, I think it is simply the parents (or whomever fed him such a lie) fault for telling him that when he was a baby. That is a horrible thing to do. I think that if he had been told the truth from the beginning then perhaps he would have been able to lead a life MORE fulfilled in which he accepted his life and helped others who were in the same position to accept theirs. Or perhaps it would have taken a more negative turn... but feeding a kid lies like that? That's just horrible. To think that a grown man believes that if he keeps praying then someday a god MIGHT give him limbs "if he feels like it"... that's just sad to me.

Bifrost said...

I'm not sure how to post a URL, but this site is an excellent resource:
http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/god-toc.htm

I would really recommend it for savedinchris to help understand the futility of religion. That of course assumes someone wants to actually "think instead of "parrot."

Milo Johnson said...

So god is one of those "this is gonna hurt me more than it hurts you" kind of daddies? So your "creator" is a lying, sadistic hypocrite? That means that believers are worshipping the same kind of personality that pulls wings off of flies for amusement. Thanks, I'll pass on bowing to an imaginary psychopath.

Jim said...

@savedinchris: "Who made the wind to keep your kite asail?"

First, I think you mean 'aloft'.

Second, wind is caused by pressure gradients in the atmosphere. These gradients are formed by differential heating of the Earth's surface by the sun.

So, unless you're worshiping Ra, the only prime mover of the wind that's keeping Possum kites in the sky is an immense ball of hydrogen gas fusing into helium 93,000,000 miles away.

That alone, I submit, is more awe-inspiring than your "WORD".

As far as the Ten Commandments go...let me refer you to this nice little conclusion from

http://freethought.mbdojo.com
/butthatstheoldtest.html

In John 1:1, we read "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." In verse 14, we read: "The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us." We are told explicitly that Jesus Christ IS THE GOD OF THE OLD TESTAMENT! You probably already accept this. But, by logical extension, you must also accept therefore that it was Jesus Christ who ordered the Israelites to slaughter millions of defenseless men, women and children in the conquest of Canaan; it was Jesus Christ who killed every firstborn child in Egypt; it was Jesus Christ who ordered king Saul to butcher thousands of children and babies in the genocide of the Amalakites; it was Jesus Christ who ordered the Israelites to capture and mass-rape 32,000 young girls of the Midianite tribe after killing their families; it was Jesus Christ who struck dead 50,000 innocent people at Beshemish for merely looking into the ark of the covenant; it was Jesus Christ who caused the painful asphyxiation of every man, woman, child and animal on the face of the earth during the flood of Noah (with the exception of 8); and it was Jesus Christ who condemned every person ever born to a state of eternal suffering, all because 6000 years ago a curious and naive woman ate a piece of fruit. And, of course, it was Jesus Christ who sent 2 bears to chase down 42 little kids and disembowel them for just acting like kids.

Here's a clue: crap like that is why no one who posts here cares much for your religion...or any other really...

reVAMPed said...

savedinchris said "Who made the wind to keep your kite asail?

I use to tell my kids when they were little, the wind comes from giant dinosaur farts still circling the earth today. They USE to believe that too, until they were old enough to THINK FOR THEMSELVES.

Donna said...

When you take your child to the doctor for a shot and your child begs you to save them from the pain, you don't do it because you understand the big picture. God is in charge of the big picture for this man. And, BTW, He WILL give him his arms and legs back, if not in this life, in the next.

Chakolate said...

I don't think this has as much to do with religion as with the human desire to believe that bad things don't happen to good people. IOW, there has to be a reason for what happens to you. If you live a good life you'll have good things happen to you.

Of course real life doesn't work that way, but reality is hard for lots of people to accept.

Atheist in a mini van. said...

Donna said...
When you take your child to the doctor for a shot and your child begs you to save them from the pain, you don't do it because you understand the big picture.

I take my child to get immunizations because I realize that there is a very REAL threat involved with the diseases you're immunizing against. And, since most immunizations are made to eradicate CHILDHOOD diseases (meaning, at points in history, the disease was affecting more than half the population of children), it's not really the crap shoot you're making it out to be. I give my children immunizations because two minutes of discomfort is better than dead or gravely ill. On the other hand, what REAL evidence do you have that God exists?
God is in charge of the big picture for this man.
Other than a feeling or your faith, what evidence do you have for this statement. Even if God exists and is in charge, he's still a manipulative, abusive deity. Why would an all-powerful God need to physically maim an INFANT to make a point?
And, BTW, He WILL give him his arms and legs back, if not in this life, in the next.
Again... where's your proof? This isn't splitcoast, Anabelle/Dot/whatever name you're using now... you need to back up your opinions here with evidence or, at the very least, a moderatelyl well thought out response. Making statements of fact based on faith isn't the way it works around here.

April said...

I find I struggle the most when I slip into that childhood habit of trying to believe that everything happens for a reason (as in God's reason); that we are just puppets in His "higher plan." There's something that's much more freeing for me to just know that sometimes, stuff happens, and the best I can do is just keep living right.

Seven Crows said...

Donna's remark about god giving arms and legs back in heaven brings up other questions that she can perhaps answer for me.

Will we have real physical bodies in Heaven? And if so will we have to eat? If we have to eat will we have to deficate and urinate? If this young man is going to get arms and legs - what is he going to do with them? Will he be running around and why? Will he need to walk from place to place? Will he need to pick things up? What kind of things?

I have lots of other questions and I mean these seriously as it seems like people like Donna can tell us so much about heaven. I suppose she will be offended by my questions - but I would really like to know. And Donna - can you tell me how you know these things? Did god tell you directly or did another human being tell you about heaven?