Thanking God

I’ve been puzzled by the following and everything I say is meant to be respectful: 2 houses look exactly alike. During a lighting storm one burns to the ground and the other is untouched. The owners of the untouched one say :Thank you God for looking after us. What about the house that burned to the ground? Similarly, in a plane crash with survivors, each one says something like “God looked after us” If He or She looked after the survivor what is the reason He did not look after the dead. The Doctrine of Free Will does not seem to cover this. Should the people whose house burned down to the ground with possible loss of a loved ones thank God as well? And if so, for what?

I often wondered about this myself, and finally came to attribute it to a false dichotomy.

“It is lucky for rulers that men do not think.” — Adolf Hitler

IMHO, the insurance companies’ “act of God” exclusion violates the Third Commandment. I doubt He’s in the business of torching houses whose occupants fail to pray to him. The Divine Extortionist is a pretty far stretch in anybody’s book!

Admittedly, this does raise a serious question about His responsibility given His omnipotence. But I’ll defer to some of the folks that enjoy catching Him out and letting Him know how He’s slipped up.

What about atheletes that pray to win a game, or thank God when they do? Is God fixing games? :slight_smile:

You never hear a wide receiver say, “I would’ve made a touchdown, but Jesus made me fumble!”

I remember how,years ago,Pat Robertson made a big to-do about how he prayed that a hurrican was heading toward Virginia or somesuch,and he prayed it would be diverted. It diverted away alright(sp),but it ruined the place it diverted to! Why didn’t he just pray it would cease? Seems God doesn’t listen to Pat(thank God)

An injection of levity, courtesy of The Simpsons.

(After his house is blown down by a hurricane)
Ned Flanders: “Rev. Lovejoy, with all that’s happened, I’m beginning to feel a little bit like Job!”

Rev. Lovejoy: “Oh, Ned, don’t you think you’re being a little melodramatic? Also, I believe Job was right-handed.”

Flanders: “Reverend, I have to ask–is God punishing me?”

Lovejoy: “Ooooh . . . short answer, ‘yes’ with an ‘if’; long answer, ‘no’ with a ‘but.’ If you need more words of inspiration, I’ve got a copy of something-or-other by Art Linkletter in my office.”

They can, for example, thank God that they are still alive, despite loss of the house. Even if other people did die, why not thank God for those who did not die? Yes, of course there will be some mourning - maybe even anger - mixed in with that gratitude, but humans are quite capable of mixed emotions, and one should not exclude the other entirely.

OC, that one was rather ironic in a lot of ways. As you’re probably aware, Walt Disney World has, among the numerous special days it hosts (when senior citizens, paraplegic children, Asian American youth, or whatever can have a day set aside for their SIG), a “Gay Day” for the homosexual community. The allegedly Rev. Mr. Robertson picked up on this and predicted that the hurricane which was at the time in the Atlantic north of the Greater Antilles would bring God’s judgment by devastating that din of iniquity unless Disney revoked the special day, Orlando condemned it, or some such disavowal. The hurricane did not hit Florida but instead headed north and made landfall in the Hampton Roads area where his ministry is headquartered. Anybody with a knowledge of what Jesus got upset about as reported in the Gospels could have figured out which would tick Him off more. But some people never learn! :slight_smile:

AWB asked

I recall a story about the US Civil War. One Sunday morning, as they were leaving church, the preacher said something to President Lincoln about his confidence and/or his prayers that God was on their side. Lincoln answered with something to the effect that “With all due respect, Reverend, we should instead pray that we are on God’s side.”

I guess God must really hate the 49ers.

Perhaps, but He loves Wisconsin dairy farmers: “Blessed are the cheesemakers” - Life of Brian

Y’know, I’ve been reading and analyzing insurance policies for 15 years now, and I’ve never seen an “act of God exclusion.”

I mean, think about it. Insurance companies pay out for damages caused by “acts of God” all the time. Lightning cause your house to burn down? Your fire policy will pay it. Hurricaine, tornado, windstorm? It’s covered. You gotta get a special policy for earthquake and flood, but they’re covered too.

Any other insurance professional out there with either more years or more experience than me? Have YOU ever seen this alleged exclusion? In what kind of a policy?


Melin: Corporate contracts, however, often refer to ‘Acts of God’ or a similar concept, usually with respect to something like disavowing damages to be paid due to a failure to perform, if the cause of the failure was not avoidable or foreseeable. Perhaps that has become conflated with insurance in the popular perception? Perhaps even because fear of just such an occurrence would be a reason to buy business insurance?

Well, I think that if one says “Thank God!” when something good happens to him, he should be able to say “Fuck you, God!” when something bad happens.

The Orthodox Jewish perspective, straight from the Talmud: One must thank G-d over both the good and the bad (because the bad stuff that happens really is in our best interests, we just don’t yet understand how). When something good happens, we thank him with the blessing, “Blessed are you, O G-d, who is good and does good.” When something bad happens, we say, “Blessed are you, O G-d, the true judge.”

Chaim Mattis Keller

“Sherlock Holmes once said that once you have eliminated the
impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be
the answer. I, however, do not like to eliminate the impossible.
The impossible often has a kind of integrity to it that the merely improbable lacks.”
– Douglas Adams’s Dirk Gently, Holistic Detective

Melin and Df have me to rights. That’s what I meant. I know it’s not what I said, but you folks are supposed to read my mind and understand what I mean! :slight_smile: At least our moderator, who is possessed of omniscience.