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Saturday, February 18, 2006

If I'm wrong, it WILL happen to Donny Osmond 

Where: My brain
When: Now

In Christopher Nance's recent lawsuit, he alleges that KNBC discriminated against him because of his Christian beliefs. Several years before his termination, Ron Fineman talked about Nance and God in a different light:


While doing the weather last week, KNBC's Christopher Nance pointed out the good weather he was predicting for a day when Ana Garcia's mother would be visiting. Now why viewers should care when Ana's mother visits, I have no idea. I sure hope Nance lets us know when she leaves, and whether she had a nice visit. But in addition to that less than news worthy info, after giving his prediction, Nance said to Garcia "Who's taking care of you?" So rather than predicting the weather, Nance was suggesting that he was causing it. I know, I've bitched about this many times before. But at least let me suggest that anchors or weather people who imply that weather forecasters cause the weather aren't cute and they aren't clever....

But there's another view of God and weather. Note that the writer refers to Job:

The God of the Bible claims He controls the weather. He challenges us to believe Him! He says He causes the sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. He sends the snow and ice as well as drought and heat. He bathes the Earth with gentle rain to show His loving concern, yet also sends flood and mildew to punish (Matt. 5:45; Job 37; Deut. 28:22).

The Bible also reveals that God has set spiritual and physical laws in motion, and that He is presently allowing humans to develop their own ways of living—contrary to His laws—and to reap the natural consequences that result from those ways, including weather upsets.

Further, God, in His great purpose, also allows Satan—the god of this world (ii Cor. 4:4)—to have a role in producing catastrophic weather, for man’s ultimate learning (see Job 1).

That’s right! Whereas humankind, in explaining weather, looks to material causes exclusively—physical phenomena measurable by scientific instruments—the Bible shows that there is a spiritual dimension to this question!

Most people today consider themselves too sophisticated to believe such a thing.

God tells us that the real cause of our upset weather conditions involves sin—which is the transgression of His law (i John 3:4). God uses weather to correct and discipline His creation—to help us realize the error in our lifestyle. In the June 1995 issue of this magazine, our editor in chief wrote, “Why all these disasters? They are a warning from God to repent! The disasters will keep coming until we repent. That is our only hope.”

However, the assumption that sin is the only cause of bad weather is false. Look at Job 1:

Job 1:9-12, 16, 18-19 (New International Version)
New International Version (NIV)
Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society

9 "Does Job fear God for nothing?" Satan replied. 10 "Have you not put a hedge around him and his household and everything he has? You have blessed the work of his hands, so that his flocks and herds are spread throughout the land. 11 But stretch out your hand and strike everything he has, and he will surely curse you to your face."

12 The LORD said to Satan, "Very well, then, everything he has is in your hands, but on the man himself do not lay a finger."
Then Satan went out from the presence of the LORD....

16 While he [the first messenger] was still speaking, another messenger came and said, "The fire of God fell from the sky and burned up the sheep and the servants, and I am the only one who has escaped to tell you!"...

18 While he [the third messenger] was still speaking, yet another messenger came and said, "Your sons and daughters were feasting and drinking wine at the oldest brother's house, 19 when suddenly a mighty wind swept in from the desert and struck the four corners of the house. It collapsed on them and they are dead, and I am the only one who has escaped to tell you!"

In other words, disasters happen even to the sinless. Personally, I don't buy the view that God was punishing New Orleans because of Mardi Gras, or that God was punishing the Philippines because - well, why was God punishing the Philippines? Or the tsunami victims? Or the Holocaust victims? (Yes, Iran, there was a Holocaust.)

Incidentally, some comments on Nance and Christopher Nance can be found here:

I'm way too late to read the article, I suppose. I did hear that Bill Handel of KFI has comments on it in his archive files but it's windows media and I don't have that, so I can't even listen to it. My big problem is that I listen to a "Christian" radio station every once in a while and just happened to catch it on Tuesday night, and guess who the guest was? Christopher Nance! He was talking about how he was fired because he was reading the bible in his office during his breaks and the top execs at NBC told him that wasn't "politically correct" - he refused to quit reading the bible and so was fired. I was feeling so terrible for him, then a girl at my work told me about THIS article? He was so VERY SINCERE on that Christian radio station --I was just heartbroken to think it was all a lie. I don't know whether to believe what he said, face-to-face to a very Christian man on the radio, or to believe an article that was written by interviews from former co-workers. It would make sense that NBC would make this up about him if they did, in fact, fire him because of his bible reading, as that wouldn't look too good for them, but then, if it's NOT true, why didn't he sue them for libel? I guess you just can't be too sure of anything ? Posted by: Terry on June 5, 2003 11:25 PM

And Nobel Peace Prize nominee Bill Handel gets into the story:

Articles are scarce but the KFI/Bill Handel audio snippet still exists: http://www.kfi640.com/media/fired.wma I miss his flamboyant on camera style... but his off camera antics (both professional and personal) were controvesial and abrasive. "Sometimes what you see is not what you get" Posted by: rainman on June 13, 2003 08:05 AM

In brief, Nance was a standup comedian who was encouraged to do news and weather in various cities in California. Apparently he started writing the childrens' books after a nearly-fatal hospital episode with sickle cell anemia. (Handel's comments on Nance's children's books were uttered years before the Oba Saint Stanley Tookie Williams episode.) Handel then gets into some of the items that came out after Nance's firing, including the word that rhymes with "punt" and the "shoe polish" quote and the "pedophiles" on-air quote.

Switching to non-weatherman Donny Osmond, here's what he says about Mormon beliefs, and specifically regarding the question of whether men can become gods:

There is an interesting scripture that you should consider. It is found in Matthew chapter 5 verse 48 and it says, "Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect."

That’s an interesting directive and perspective when you think about it. We are commanded to be like Him. But, we ask ourselves the question, is that possible? I don’t know. It all depends on the individual, but I know that we are commanded to be that way and for most of us it will take a lifetime to overcome the weaknesses and problems that we all are subjected to. I have learned that in order to strive to keep that commandment we must take upon ourselves the name of Christ. By doing that we will take upon ourselves the burdens of others that they might be lighter. We will be sustaining and comforting of those in need and we will stand at witnesses of God at all times and in all places that we may be in. We will never forget our prayers and we will become serious students of the scriptures so that we might learn more and more about His word and His ways and be more enlightened and guided by His spirit. By so doing, over the length of our lives, it is my feeling that we can overcome all things.

He has promised us throughout the scriptures that if we will do all of these things, there are great blessings in store for us after we leave this life and live in His presence. Isn’t it logical to think that if His never ending teaching of us continues on and on, we will gain more and more knowledge, we will gain more and more Christ-like attributes, we will gain ability and power? Is it not conceivable that over an unknown period of time, we might actually get to the place where we come to know all that He knows? If He is our teacher, and we believe that He is and will continue to be, wouldn’t we gain His abilities? It’s an interesting thing to ponder isn’t it?


Donny Osmond

The LDS Church itself says the same thing in fewer words (emphasis mine):

You have infinite potential

As a child of God, you have the divine potential to learn and grow and become like Him.

Just as you may have inherited characteristics from your earthly parents, such as your mother’s sense of humor or your father’s love of music, you have inherited qualities from your Heavenly Father.

He is a God of love, goodness, mercy, charity, truth, power, knowledge, justice, and wisdom. You can nurture these divine attributes. Within you are the seeds of divinity and the power, through Christ, to grow and progress for eternity.

Here's a related entry. Again, emphasis mine:

Watch a video

Where do we go after we die?

Death is not the end. Death is really a beginning—another step forward in Heavenly Father’s plan for His children.

Someday, like everyone else, your life on Earth will end and your physical body will die. But your spirit will not die. At the time of physical death, your spirit will go to the spirit world, where you will continue to learn and progress.

Death is a necessary step in your progression, just as your birth was. Sometime after your death, your spirit and your body will be reunited—never to be separated again. This is called resurrection, and it was made possible by the death and Resurrection of Jesus Christ.

But it may (or may not) be a little unclear what Gordon Hinckley believes, according to a transcript from TIME Magazine:

Q: Just another related question that comes up is the statements in the King Follet discourse by the Prophet.

A: Yeah

Q: ... about that, God the Father was once a man as we were. This is something that Christian writers are always addressing. Is this the teaching of the church today, that God the Father was once a man like we are?

A: I don’t know that we teach it. I don’t know that we emphasize it. I haven’t heard it discussed for a long time in public discourse. I don’t know. I don’t know all the circumstances under which that statement was made. I understand the philosophical background behind it. But I don’t know a lot about it and I don’t know that others know a lot about it.

FairLDS.org (advertised as "defending Mormonism") had a lot to say about that:

Professional anti-Mormon Luke P. Wilson wrote to the Church and asked if President Hinckley was accurately quoted....

Of course Time stands by its story. Even though there are other errors regarding the Church in the article, I am sure Time would stand by its story. Have you ever heard of a news organization not standing by its story?...

Notice that the conversation was not about Heavenly Father's past, but specifically about our potential to become like Him. President Hinckley clearly confirmed the second half of President Snow's couplet in the interview. Time agrees....

The real problem our critics have is not that President Hinckley sounded uncertain, but that they disagree with the LDS understanding of the nature of God. The real question should be, is President Snow's couplet an accurate reflection of LDS doctrine?...

[N]otice that the emphasis, even by President Snow, is on our future, that man may become "as God now is." President Hinckley was correct, we do not emphasize Heavenly Father's past. He did not deny it. He was not "confused" about the doctrine. He was not dodging the question. Time misconstrued his comments to mean otherwise, thus Time did, in fact, take President Hinckley's comments out of context. As a result of that, so have the anti-Mormons, like Luke P. Wilson, who have jumped on the bandwagon.

The individuals from Time who were involved with the published article are not members of the LDS Church, nor do they understand LDS doctrine. The same is true of Mr. Wilson. Those who do not attend Sunday School, Sacrament meeting, priesthood meeting, Relief Society, Ward Conference, Stake Conference, General Conference, or read the Ensign, scriptures, nor study LDS manuals, have no right to define for those that do, just what the beliefs of the members of the Church are. Perhaps those that criticize President Hinckley for what they think he understands about the nature of God should spend their time trying to understand the incomprehensible God they claim to believe in. After all, it is important for our eternal salvation to know God.

Well, it may appear to non-discerning minds that I'm wandering from topic to topic with no apparent purpose, but there is an intelligent design (heh) in this narrative. If (as Ron Fineman claims) Nance plays god with the weather, and if Mormons believe that men will become gods...is Christopher Nance a Mormon?

Well, let's see if Nance defines his Christianity by faith, or by works:

Do you feel invaded by Shock TV and Shock Radio. Are you fearful of sitting down with your family to watch television, with concern that your children will be bombarded with partial nudity and foul language? You do have rights that will give you power. You can put the networks on notice that you are fed up with their loose morals and shameless behavior. They need you more than you need them.

However, this isn't necessarily a Mormon work:

KNBC [is] being sued by Christopher Nance—who was fired after his relationship got too personal with an intern.

I don't think Nance ever claimed that this was a Brigham Young-sanctioned marriage.

From the Ontario Empoblog (Latest OVVA news here)

I quote myself! This post was cited in a July 2006 rant on the Judeo-Christian tradition.
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