A MISSOURI LAWYER'S
JANUARY 7, 2005
Archived Prior Ramblings
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Greets and Huggers. Posted the evening of January 7,
2005. In light of the Tsunami, I have been doing a bunch of personal
questioning. I have been agonizing over how a just, loving God, could
allow such suffering? How could a just, loving God allow us to
inflict horrendous pain and suffering on each other: to kill, at
times, on an unprecedented scale? Do such damage to HIS creation. How
could a just, loving God allow "natural disasters" that kill so
many? If you assume there is a beginning, then by definition, that
which caused the first movement, "creation", we call God.
Look around, all things are changing, with new species evolving while old
species die off, (some, as a result of the impact, we as a species, have
on the environment). Even mountains come and go. One can only conclude
that creation must be an ongoing process, a work in progress, encompassing
both chaos and order, with the ultimate goal being harmony and unity.
If God gives us freedom of choice, that freedom of choice must encompass
not just the decisions/choices we make as human beings .... but must
also include the consequences of such choices ... and the
random consequences of the natural forces put in motion by the first
movement. Isn't "creation" the resultant harmony and order
that evolves over time, out of chaos? Since harmony and order are not yet
complete and chaos still exists, wouldn't that suggest,
"creation" is not yet complete? Since this rational suggests a
"hands off" God because of "freedom of choice", where
does "prayer" fit in? [For a review of the studies dealing with
the healing power of prayer, click HERE.
There is conflicting evidence.] Where does Jesus fit in? Why would a
God who "started the ball rolling" need to send his "only
begotten son", if in fact, HE is in control? A
statement/reminder that death is not absolute? That there are many other
dimensions to this reality? A mandate to keep searching for the truth?
Don't know ... but while thinking about it, in an Instant Message, I asked
my daughter to comment ... and she replied:
"Why does God sanction the killing of innocent lives through natural disasters..?" I was going to write something deep and meaningful, choosing my words carefully and being sincere. Dad asked me to participate in his "ramblings" with him, and I don't want to disappoint. This is a touchy subject for alot of people, everyone having built their own faith and belief system, terrified that someone will come try to bulldoze it down. I'm not terribly religious. I am Christian and having attended Catholic school for sometime, I have many view points to choose from. I'm not going to try to decorate my words. What I say, I mean sincerely and with the intention of sharing my beliefs and not trying to belittle anyone else's. So here I go, wish me luck.
I really think, first of all, that it is unfair to blame God. God gave us the free choice to be who we are and make the choices we make, because He loves us. I suppose if He didn't love us, then we would be His servants, loving Him because He tells us too. It makes all the difference when you love someone because you want to, you do things for them because you want to make them happy. I believe it is the same with God. Now I don't want to get all researchy, but I am going to assume that we don't take care of our environment as we should. Polluting, littering etc., there are alot of things we do to the Earth that affects the climate and weather. I'm sure God takes that into consideration and when its time to call His people to Him, He does .. in reflection of our choices. Now your thinking, "what about those left homeless, those without parents, those whose lives have been literally, washed away .. what did they do to God?" To keep this short, there have to be bad times in order for us to know the good times. Everything we do touches someone, in some way. Perhaps God is .."allowing" this to happen for our own good, trying, in subtle ways to tell us that we need to work together to make good things happen, to help others in their time of tragedy. He is giving us reasons for faith, and community. God put us on this world to do four things, to quote my mother: "to be happy, healthy and holy people and to love Him like He loves us." Bad things happen and life is unfair, but that doesn't mean that we can't all work together and try to make it better. Maybe that sounds a bit naive, but everything else is complicated so why should faith be?"
<smiling> ..... she is my daughter! :)
In Detroit this weekend, the opening of the North American International Automobile Show. Seems the common denominator for new cars, is increased horsepower! "By the end of this year there will be at least 23 car and truck models on the US market with 10 and 12 cylinder engines, more than double the number in2003. At least 18 models will have 500 horsepower compared with 4 in 2003 ... don't be surprised if some get only 8 or 9 miles per gallon around town." Reminds me of the "muscle cars" of the late 60's ... remember the 64' - 65' GTO? Or the 66' - 68' Roadrunner? Or the 70' Hemi Cuda? I remember "Chicken Bob" had a "Roadrunner" ... when I came home on leave after basic: he took me for a ride and scared the hell out of me!!! The damn car had enough horsepower and torque to smoke it's wheels at 80!! The insurance industry killed these cars off!! By 1971, folks could not afford to insure them ... and by 1980 .... they had all but disappeared. So why are they making a comeback? Probably because the members of my generation can afford them and want to relive the shear thrill of driving a vehicle that will do a 12 second quarter mile. hehehe ... even "station wagons" are making a come back, take a look at the Dodge Magnum, (there are rumors that Dodge will reintroduce the 426 Hemi). Guess its time for old men, (and women), to have their last "hurrah" :)
In the KC Star today, an article announcing the winner of the "wacky warning label" contest sponsored by "Michigan Lawsuit Abuse Watch", (M-LAW was created by concerned citizens who believe it's time to stop the lawsuit "lottery" and restore common sense to our courts. M-LAW's supporters include consumers, job providers, professionals, community leaders and taxpayers). The winning warning label was on a toilet brush: "Do not use for personal hygiene." The second runner up? A popular scooter for children that had the warning: “This product moves when used.” The following warning was on a digital thermometer that can be used to take a person’s temperature several different ways: “Once used rectally, the thermometer should not be used orally.” Funny stuff. So, share with me where the general public gets the perception that our court system needs to be reformed? “Warning labels are a sign of our lawsuit-plagued times,” said Robert B. Dorigo Jones, M-LAW president. “From the moment we raise our head in the morning off pillows that bear those famous ‘Do Not Remove’ warnings, to when we drop back in bed at night, we are overwhelmed with warnings. Plaintiff’s lawyers who file the lawsuits that prompt these warnings argue they are making us safer, but the warnings have become so long that few of us read them anymore-- even the ones we should read." For a really eye opening interview, see this interview of Bernard Marcus, (co-founder of Home Depot), in Philanthropy Magazine: "Americans believe in personal responsibility. They need to know that the trial lawyers have made personal responsibility all but irrelevant in the courtroom--and that their $470 million political contributions have played a crucial role in preventing reform ... Someone likes McDonald's food too much. What do they do? They sue ... Well, about 90 cents out of every $1 in trial lawyer contributions goes to Democrats ..." And my Dear and much respected Friend Rob Pennell shared this today: "An advertising campaign saying the mouthwash Listerine is as effective as floss at fighting tooth and gum decay is false and misleading and poses a public health risk because it can undermine the message of dental professionals, a judge has ruled. U.S. District Judge Denny Chin said in a decision Thursday and made public Friday that he will order Pfizer Inc., the maker of Listerine, to stop the advertising campaign", (click HERE for the link). So, again, where does the general public get the perception that our court system needs to be reformed? You can gnash your teeth or wring your hands all you want but isn't the posing of this question on the SFIG today self revealing: "Couple is going to have a repairman come to Home but aren't going to be there. Couple has Mother-in-Law come over to let the repairman in. While there, Mother-in-Law is trying to reach something in the kitchen. She steps on a chair, the chair slips, and she falls and cracks her head open (requiring 17 staples in head). Mother-in-Law wants to make a claim on Couple's insurance." Have you considered the possibility that perhaps there should not be a legal remedy for every injury? Have you considered the possibility that the general public's view of us ... may be in part, be accurate?
Sitting here editing these Rambling while watching the evening news. The Tsunami death toll is now 159,000 ... and climbing. The devastation is overwhelming. 2,000 Americans remain missing. The environmental impact will be felt for years. The ocean floor in the region has been shifted: whole islands moved as much a 60 feet. On the other side of the world, Iraqi security forces are no match for a growing insurgency ... and elections are looming. The barbaric actions of a few, as has historically been the case for our species, hinder the birth/growth of a new democratic order in the region. Sadly, it will be years before our men and women in uniform can come home: some never will. Palestinians will elect a new leader, while 52% of Palestinians want an end to the violence. The other 48% will ensure it can not end. Looking around, there is such chaos, such strife, such hatred and senseless violence. But, as my daughter wrote: "Bad things happen and life is unfair, but that doesn't mean that we can't all work together and try to make it better." She is indeed my daughter, but more important, she is right. We can work together and make this world a better place ... one relationship at a time: she, being a part of my life again proves that. Doesn't it? And if you have doubts, look at the volunteers, from just about every nation on this earth, working to make a difference in the lives of Tsunami survivors :) In spite of my soul searching, I continue to believe prayer/good wishing works, (or .... hehehe .... it does no harm). Tonight, as I fall asleep, holding the best partner any person can have, I will give a prayer of thanks ... for having my daughter back in my life, for our men and women in uniform .... <whispering> .... (Please, Please, Please, God ... let them come home safe and soon!!) .... for you and our America. Be and sleep well ... the best there is, is on watch so you can, (please remember our men and women in uniform in your prayers/good wishes). If my post offends, I apologize ... that is not my intent. As always ...
Karl H. Timmerman M.A.J.D. © 2005
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