In attempting to conceive of this literally, I wrote that I could hardly imagine a greater agony, a greater torment for the soul of a husband and father, than to have no earthly agency but perfect awareness while those dearest to me suffer.
Is this what being in heaven is supposed to be like? If not, how do believers conceive of it?
My old correspondent
"A common biblical metaphor for the human life is that of a footrace, one we seek to faithfully run to completion, perhaps before 'such a great cloud of witnesses' who have gone before us.
"If correct, this would indicate that the departed could yet observe our actions, even with a 'rooting interest' in our success. However, our own place in a sports-obsessed culture reminds us that we do not uncritically affirm those we purport to back -- we are as quick to criticize our team's missteps as we are to celebrate their victories. And though we might like to be on the field ourselves, we recognize that a spectator's (or former athlete's) rightful place is observation rather than participation.
"Metaphors take us only so far. We wonder whether
"I still have basic questions about your vision or the common vision of an afterlife: Do the departed simply watch us all day, every day? Is their existence otherwise static? If they rejoice at their survivor's good choices, do they despair or grieve at the bad choices?
"A 1979 Talking Heads song refers to heaven as 'a place where nothing ever happens,' which seems contradictory -- paradise as eternal boredom -- yet logically consistent. The song does add, 'It's hard to imagine that nothing at all could be so exciting, could be this much fun.' And I agree that it is hard to imagine.
"How do you imagine heaven, hour by hour, day by day, year by year, decade by decade and so on? Do the departed interact with one another? What do they talk about?"
O'Neal's reply is online at chicagotribune.com/zorn, where you can follow our discussion as it unfolds.
The practical damage to
So the impact would vary in the unlikely event that this cut survives the budgeting process.
But the political damage to Trump and those who line up behind this proposal will be large and lasting.
The implication by
"Tried to cut
One of the more delightful stories out of
A Democratic bill in the House proposed to translate portions of the state's website into Spanish to accommodate the state's many Spanish speakers. The estimated cost was anywhere between
Wheeler stopped the bill in its tracks Wednesday by pointing out that the Google Translate program can automatically render the entire site into Spanish (or any of 100 other languages) at no charge.
How well does the program work? Well, here's how it translated the first paragraph of this item into Spanish and then back into English:
Not too shabby. Or, in double Google translation, "It's not bad at all."
Ryan throws a G-Rod
For pure demented optimism, it reminded me of then-Gov.
In a squeaker, the Tweet of the Week reader poll was won by @AnniemuMary with: "I have 11 pictures of myself from high school. My daughter has 11 pictures of herself from this morning."
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