Thursday, November 19, 2009

The Path of Uzzah

Here's a guy who understands the simple message of Uzzah the Oxdriver. [I Chronicles 13, 9-10]

John Gebhart.

Googlebombing for a cause: 


phaedrus said...

Re: Chronicles 13, 9-10:

Man, the more I find out about the sky god worshiped by Abraham and his descendants, the more of a prick he seems to be.

Re: John Gebhart:

I'm not quite following how this relates to Uzzah the oxdriver. If I'm reading the biblical passage right, Uzzah tried to do a decent reasonable thing and his god killed him for it.

It looks like John also did a very decent and humane thing, but I didn't see anything at that link that implied that he's being unjustly punished for it. Am I missing something?

Lord Carnifex said...

No, you've got the basics.

The Old Testament doesn't say much about Uzzah, but it's not hard to picure the character. I tend to think of him as a working-class bloke. He's got some oxen and a cart, and that's his business. Gods, prophets and kings are above his head; he doesn't meddle in their affairs. Uzzah's probably illiterate: academic arguments on ethics would probably just confuse him.

One day, he's asked to do a job, and he does it. He's not thinking about how to get into Heaven, or avoid Hell. He's not thinking about being rewarded by God or King for following the law and being a virtuous person. He's not seeking a reputation as a saint from his peers, nor for an extended return in pleasure or delayed good. He's not seeking to improve his karmic balance nor secure a higher place in his next reincarnation.

His ox stumbles. He tries to steady it. He does the right thing because it's the right thing to do. No reward, no praise, no holy benefit.
I feel it's the same with John Gebhart. It's not his job to deal with patients. If the article is to be believed, he didn't receive any earthly reward for it. From his statements, it doesn't sound like he was seeking praise, or reputation, or a path to Heaven.

There was simply a good thing to be done, and he was present and able to do it. Doing the right thing because it was the right thing to do. There needs to be more of this in the world.

phaedrus said...

Ahh, gotchya!

Well, it's good for John Gebhart, the little girl, and the rest of us that Abraham's god wasn't paying attention.

Of course, one would like to think that if he were paying attention, he wouldn't have let her family get slaughtered and her get shot in the first place. I guess he's not really that kind of god though.

Anonymous said...

I am quite proud of your Cashman ethical streak.

Anonymous said...

Just looked at the story. Goes to show how important physical contact is for everyone. I think Gebhart got as much out of it as the baby did. What a dire circumstance.