09
Jul
08

G8 Leaders Feast After Discussing World Food Shortages

[Art by Gustave Doré.  Taken from Creationism.org]

“G8 Leaders Feast on 8 courses After Discussing World Food Shortages”

When I read this headline, the first thing that popped to my mind was this: Luke’s Gospel, Chapter 16, Verses 19-31.

I’ve copied the text from the New American version of the Bible, but it should read the same regardless of the version you have access to.  Please read the excerpt, then click on any part of it to be taken to the story about the great feast.

Peace and Much Love.

jw

<Click on any text below to be taken to the story.>

“There was a rich man  who dressed in purple garments and fine linen and dined sumptuously each day.

And lying at his door was a poor man named Lazarus, covered with sores, who would gladly have eaten his fill of the scraps that fell from the rich man’s table. Dogs even used to come and lick his sores.

When the poor man died, he was carried away by angels to the bosom of Abraham. The rich man also died and was buried, and from the netherworld, where he was in torment, he raised his eyes and saw Abraham far off and Lazarus at his side.

And he cried out, ‘Father Abraham, have pity on me. Send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, for I am suffering torment in these flames.’

Abraham replied, ‘My child, remember that you received what was good during your lifetime while Lazarus likewise received what was bad; but now he is comforted here, whereas you are tormented.

Moreover, between us and you a great chasm is established to prevent anyone from crossing who might wish to go from our side to yours or from your side to ours.’

He said, ‘Then I beg you, father, send him to my father’s house, for I have five brothers, so that he may warn them, lest they too come to this place of torment.’

But Abraham replied, ‘They have Moses and the prophets. Let them listen to them.’

He said, ‘Oh no, father Abraham, but if someone from the dead goes to them, they will repent

Then Abraham said, ‘If they will not listen to Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded if someone should rise from the dead.'”

*Story [http://preview.tinyurl.com/TimesOnline] courtesy the Times Online.

*Find out more about the G8 Conference here: http://preview.tinyurl.com/G8-Summit

Peace and Much Love.

jw

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9 Responses to “G8 Leaders Feast After Discussing World Food Shortages”


  1. 1 AG
    July 9, 2008 at 1:19 pm

    Gordon Brown is joking, right? Kind of a “let them eat cake” moment. Like when someone mentioned to Bush about gas being over $4/gallon and he was shocked. It was like “hello, wherehave you been?” It obviously isn’t effecting him, in fact he’s making gazillions as an oil-profiteer. It just goes to show how disconnected they are from the problems of the average person on the ground level. How can we trust them to come up with sustainable solutions that aren’t just re-packaged in an undercover way to benefit the very rich?

  2. 2 anonyjw
    July 9, 2008 at 2:41 pm

    *shrugs*

    Everybody wants to continue doing their do, reaping their benefits, but are stalling when it comes to biting the required bullets.

    Nobody wants to plant the corn…
    Everybody wants to raid the barn…

    Thanks for the comment!

  3. July 9, 2008 at 5:18 pm

    I’d like to hear more about why the G8 diners brought this Biblical fable to mind. It’s this sort of nonsensical “bible story” that people read and then do nothing because “it is written” that if you suffer today, you will be comforted after you die. Who cares what happens when you die? What about this life? When are we gonna put away the stories and get our piece of the pie right here and now?

  4. 4 anonyjw
    July 9, 2008 at 7:58 pm

    You make interesting points!

    The Bible story came to mind because I’d just finished reading that very same ‘nonsensical’ story in my ‘nonsensical’ Bible just before I came across that article online. 😀

    If I used an ancient African proverb or perhaps a Caribbean Anansi story instead… would that be kosher? 😕

    What about if I’d used Aesop’s story of the “Mouse and the Lion” instead… would that be ‘cool’? 😕

    What about if I’d said “Be careful of the foot you step on today because it may be connected to the ass you have to lick tomorrow” instead… would that be OK? 😕

    Regardless of whether you believe in an afterlife, heaven/hell, religion, yadda yadda yadda… history alone should remind you that one day you could be on top of the world 😎 , and in a heartbeat, you could be begging for scraps. 😳

    I’m not Christianity’s poster child and I’m not making myself out to be. I was born a Christian, and I will most probably die a Christian. As someone fortunate enough to live in a country that celebrates racial and religious diversity, I’ve been able to study and learn from other faiths and walks of life.

    I’m not going to disrespect anyone’s personal choice to belong to an organised religion. I certainly am not going to malign someone who doesn’t believe as I do, or practise what I practise.

    I don’t do it in real life, and I’m not going to do it on my blog.

    And besides which, I really think you missed the point… 😥

    The point of the story wasn’t to console the ‘Have-Nots’ that one day they will have in abundance and need to do nothing to improve their lot…

    The point was that the ‘Haves’ should practise basic human charity while they can, as they can do much to alleviate the suffering of those who can’t help themselves for whatever reason. 😥

    So while the G8 leaders met and came up with several stalemates, stalled talks and negotiations, millions went hungry. And they feast. 😦

    While they are unable to find the cause and blame the developing world and BRIC for the global inflation in the price of essential food items, many have died. And they feast. 😦

    Thanks for commenting and sharing…

  5. July 10, 2008 at 1:36 pm

    Yes – to the three questions above. I can’t imagine the great African storyteller Aesop telling anyone to condone the reality of their oppression in exchange for an imaginary afterlife.

    It is true that there is no guaranteed permanence for fortunes – small or large. But what happens after one looses or gains a fortune/economic prosperity is not evidenced in the afterlife – it is evidenced only in this conscious, current REALITY. Likewise, the suffering the poor face in this lifetime can only be ameliorated in THIS LIFETIME and by conscious efforts (not excluding prayer).

    Thank you for sharing why you used that particular bible story. I still think the story is nonsensical because it advocates passivity among the oppressed and has been effective at keeping enslaved people “waiting fi dead”.

    I don’t agree that the strong point of the story is for the rich to do what they can for those suffering and not being able to help themselves. The story said that the rich will find torment in the afterlife and the poor will find comfort – meaning, reward and justice should be reserved for the afterlife. Furthermore, when the rich man asked Father Abraham to send a warning to the living rich so that they may change their ways to avoid torment in the afterlife, Father Abraham refused to grant this wish which would also be helpful to the living poor – the message from this story is once again for the listener to resist the urge to challenge the greedy or to effect change/seek justice in this lifetime and to leave all matters of justice to the afterlife.

    No, I am not a Christian and I am not religious so I am not obligated to having a high regard for the bible or any other religious text. To me they are all just stories which should be approached critically – especially since they have been used to justify so much oppression and the continuation of the same. My questions were not to offend you per se, but for me to understand why you made the reference that you did and to ask that you consider that your readers might see things differently.

  6. 6 anonyjw
    July 10, 2008 at 10:57 pm

    Let me say this first: I have no intention of changing my writing style or believing and practising my Christian faith, if that is an issue.

    And I have no intention of apologising for either.

    While I have exposure and access to several religious texts, the Bible is the one with which I’m most familiar. I refer to all manner of media/literature/imagery to make points in all my posts, and I will continue to do so, despite of what your preferences as an individual reader may be.

    If my use of Biblical text strikes you as being nonsensical, stupid or downright offensive, you’re fully entitled to continue to hold that view. While I don’t hold your views of it being “nonsensical” personally, there are some of my other readers who undoubtedly do, have, and will.

    This is one of the problems in the world today. There seems to be little tolerance for opposing views.

    For example, I’m not a Mormon. From what I’ve heard of the Book of Mormon (which I haven’t read btw), I’d consider some of the tenets they hold dear to be pretty far-out. Despite that, I would never look a Mormon in the face (or to his blog) and tell him that I thought that his beliefs were nonsensical, and that the stories in his book were nonsense. To me that’s totally disrespectful, and not in my make up. Its apparently part of yours, it seems.

    Maybe its all that “Do unto others as you will have them do unto you” tripe I remember reading about in my nonsensical little Bible book the other day…

    Moving on to your direct response now… where in this parable do you see active enforcement of passivity? I’ve read and understood your points and further clarifications, but its simply not there.

    Secondly, the poor man didn’t get to heaven because he was poor. He got there because he was righteous while on earth. The rich man didn’t go to hell because he was rich. He got there because he was greedy with his wealth and lacked compassion for the poor right outside his door. The dogs licking the poor man’s sores showed more compassion than the rich man did! The rich man was so selfish, he didn’t even give Lazarus the food that fell to the floor of his great, expansive house.

    This parable is an excerpt. If in the unlikely event you manage to get your hands on a Bible 🙂 , take a look at the entire chapter 16 of Luke’s book. In that chapter, Jesus had been teaching about materialism and money – the unjust steward, serving Mammon, and stewardship. He’s talking to his disciples (16:1) as well as “the Pharisees who loved money” and sneered at his opinions on money (16:14).

    The intent of the parable was to ultimately condemn the Pharisees for their love of money and neglect of showing compassion for the poor.

    And THAT is why I decided to use this passage to highlight that article. Having wealth without active mercy, charity and compassion for the poor is a great wickedness… a sin, even!

    There’s nothing wrong with being rich. But to be obscenely rich and yet do little or nothing to really and actively help the fellow man right outside your door is a great travesty in the eyes of God. Being rich, while ignoring to even give the pittance and left overs from your abundant supply and surplus to those in need is a grievous crime.

    If that’s nonsense in your eyes, then I really don’t want to know what you think is sensible.

    Like I said before in my previous comment, my intent is not to shove Christianity down anyone’s throat. I was fully aware of what I was doing, and have no regrets for choosing that passage out of the several others that I could have used instead, Aesop et al notwithstanding. It seemed fitting and I made my choice.

    However, I will not refrain from using Bible passages or text from any religious book just because someone out there could think that its nonsensical and silly. I’m quite prepared to let my ‘readership’ fall to zero in defence of that ideal and standard.

    The Internet is a really big place. You could’ve read anything, anywhere else… yet you took the time and energy to leave a little bit of yourself and your thoughts on my digital space. Thanks for taking the time to do that.

    Take care, and all the best.

  7. July 11, 2008 at 7:42 am

    No, no, no. I am obviously not one of those “Political Correct” junkies. I mean, here I am calling a story in the bible nonsensical – on someone’s blog that I know is a Christian. That said, I was am NOT asking you to change your writing style or your faith. All I am saying is that you are going to have readers who think that some of the stories in your holy text are nonsensical. If I didn’t enjoy them I wouldn’t read your blog. End of story.

    You raise an important subject – tolerance. In the U.S. where I currently live, this virtue is in hot and open pursuit and I’d like to think, highly valued. It’s great! That’s the reason I live here. But tolerance does not mean silence in the face of things that are illogical or hypocritical and especially harmful. I guess the challenge is, how can we express tolerance and opposition at the same time? I have an idea (shocker hehehe). In this instance (i.e. difference in faith/spirituality), we can discuss our difference in opinion, interpretation and share our experience. After all, tolerance is genuine when there is understanding and valuing of the other person’s experience and thought process. In fact, it is only at this juncture that there is also influence and exchange of ideas (meaning, the odd chance that you could convert me to being a Christian). Tolerance is NOT punishing or oppressing the other person for their beliefs or difference BECAUSE you have come to value that person as you value yourself. Without a process to get us to that sense of value for the other, tolerance is bogus. Sometimes “Person A” have a hard time being open to valuing “Person B” because the process of valuing the other person’s experience and being is one that could dismantle what “Person A” regarded as a sound and valuable culture. That void is too frightening for many of us so instead we continue to hold on to hate and sabotage (in extreme instances) or isolation and silence (in most instances) and call that tolerance. So anonyjw, I am going to try to do a better job at showing you that I value your experience and come up with other words to describe bible stories I find nonsensical. Oh, and I am glad you are not a Mormon because nonsensical is too light a word for a faith that regards black people being limited to the second tier of the creator’s embrace.

  8. July 11, 2008 at 8:15 am

    Thanks for your comments and your understanding. No one is perfect, so I’m not going to pelt any stones at you for being politically incorrect!

    For a second, I thought I’d lost you there. Too bad there’s no emoticon for “Whew!”… if there were, I’d litter this comment post with it!

    Ah… Virtues!

    Influence of Ideas! Good stuff…

    Coverting you to Christianity? Bringing Princess Leia over to the “Dark Side”???
    I think I’d need more than a blog for that, wouldn’t you agree? LOL!

    I just try to put myself in the other person’s shoes, as best as my limited life experience can allow. That usually helps, at least for me. But nothing is impossible and if we can come to a truce of sorts in digital land, there’s hope for humanity yet!

    Take care…

  9. 9 Keetlestomb
    October 11, 2008 at 12:16 am

    Hello.
    🙂

    Martha Louise, who is the only daughter of King Harald and Queen Sonja, gave up the title of ‘royal highness’ upon her 2002 marriage to writer Ari, and has a reputation for not standing on ceremony.
    Bye.


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