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Happiness & "Blessings" :
It came to me originally in a chain email with no attribution and no copyright info.
I have since traced this romantic tableau to
As beautiful as this tableau may seem, however,
Are Riches and Material Prosperity "blessings" from God ?
It may sound like paying God a compliment to thank him for material prosperity. But there are some serious theological issues with the view that prosperity, good fortune of any kind, and even good health, are "blessings" from God.
Is it God who has "blessed America"
with its riches and dominance of the world ?
Christian Conservatives have a love/hate relationship with America. On the one hand, when talking amongst themselves, they despise America for its secular Constitution and "separation of Church and State". See a whole web page we devote to this matter at
On the other hand, when America is compared to other nations, these same Conservatives suddenly imagine that God has so blessed America, that it must be "the apple of his eye." They think of it as the best country in the world, the one blessed with the most God-given natural wealth and prosperity.
From the beginning, white Europeans have treated "the New World" as a gift from God.
They thanked God for enabling them to "discover" the "new world"! White European churches sent "missionaries" to "convert" the peaceful inhabitants of this "new world" – which was hardly new to the people who had been living here for hundreds, if not thousands of years –. Before Columbus, the representative of "Christianity" began the killing of thousands upon thousands of the "infidels" who supposedly needed to "find Christ", this is the way he described them:
"[T]hey are so free with all they possess, that no one would believe it without having seen it. Of anything they have, if you ask them for it they never say no; rather they invite the person to share it, and show as much love as if they were giving their hearts; and whether the thing be of value or of small price, at once they are content with whatever little thing of whatever kind may be given to them."
If God "blessed" America with the scourge of white European Christians who conquered, enslaved, converted and/or killed millions of the former Americans, by virtue of their superior ships, canons and guns, then what kind of God is this?
This brings up a related issue.
According to a 2006 Pew Research Center study, the more Conservative, the more pious and the more Republican you are, the happier :
"Some 45% of all Republicans report being very happy, compared with just 30% of Democrats and 29% of independents. This finding has also been around a long time; Republicans have been happier than Democrats every year since the General Social Survey began taking its measurements in 1972." (and this holds true for all income levels:) "If one controls for household income, Republicans still hold a significant edge: that is, poor Republicans are happier than poor Democrats; middle-income Republicans are happier than middle-income Democrats, and rich Republicans are happier than rich Democrats."
As a very pious Christian clergyman and a very Liberal Democrat, I don't envy Conservatives and/or Republicans their happiness, because I doubt that this "happiness" is even compatible with "the Good News" that Jesus was all about.
It has been reported that conservative Republican "Christians" say they are happy more than liberal Democrats do. Might the reason be that they are better than liberals are at severing their connection to their brothers and sisters in this world, i.e. all the children who are suffering from hunger and malnutrition, or lack of education or health insurance, and the like? Approximately 24,000 people die each day from hunger or hunger-related causes. That translates into one person dying every 3.6 seconds – 74% of whom are children. ( from www.thehungersite.com).
Jesus spelled out exactly
While "Christian Conservatives" espouse the idea that riches are "blessings" from God,
"When Jesus saw the crowds, he went up the mountain;
and his disciples came to him. Then he began to speak,
and he taught them, saying:
Does God issue to clergy or others a "franchise" of sorts
As a Christian clergyman myself, it makes me uncomfortable to see clergy or others act as though they have been issued a divine franchise to distribute God's blessings or to "pray for" others. I don't have any more right to issue God's "blessings" to anybody than Catholic clergy have a right to issue divine "indulgences" to sinners (that's "get out of afterlife punishment early" cards for those of you who aren't familiar with the Roman Catholic Church game).
There is much more where this came from at
See why you may already be one of us !