December 11, 2013

About God’s mysterious way(s)…


THE OFTEN MISQUOTED ORIGIN:

“God moves in a mysterious way
His wonders to perform;
He plants his footsteps in the sea,
And rides upon the storm.”

      
William Cowper (1731-1800)
       British poet and hymn writer
       From his Hymn No. 35,
“Light Shining Out of Darkness” 
       These are the opening lyrics of the hymn, which was first published in Olney Hymns (1779). The first two lines are usually misquoted as “God moves in mysterious ways his wonders to perform” and often
wrongly assumed to be a Bible quote.


BLINDINGLY OBVIOUS COUNTERQUOTE:

“God does not work in mysterious ways — it’s blindingly obvious when he’s dropping you a big hint.”
       A comment I read in 2010 on a now-vanished blog
 
       At the time, it stuck me as something that could be applied to the Gulf Oil Spill, which had recently occurred (and which still may be doing mysterious things to the ecosystem of the Gulf of Mexico).


COLBERT’S VERSION: 

“God works in mysterious ways. But at least he works. He’s never on welfare in mysterious ways.”

      
Stephen Colbert
       One of his straight-faced faux Conservative quips on the June 23, 2010 episode of
The Colbert Report


ATHEIST VARIATION #1:

“There are no atheists in a foxhole, and there are, apparently, no atheists in the Ku Klux Klan. God sometimes moves in mysterious ways, His lip service to exact.”  
       Attributed to
Mignon McLaughlin (1913-1983)
       American author and journalist


ATHEIST VARIATION #2:

“I have yet to see a good answer for why God is all-powerful and all-knowing and all-good – or even anything close to all-powerful and all-knowing and all-good – and still isn’t perceived by everybody. Does anybody have one? (And if you say ‘Mysterious ways,’ I’m going to scream.)”  
      
Greta Christina 
       Atheist blogger and author
       In a
post she wrote for AlterNet

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