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Poor Warren Buffett - Comments (57)

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Author: John Malone
Date: 13th July, 2006 @ 02:27:58 PM

Warren Buffett and I both live in Omaha, Nebraska.

I live in his city, he doesn’t live in mine.

Buffett is said to have more wealth than any single person in the world, except his friend Bill Gates, III.

Except by reputation, I scarcely know Warren Buffett. I’m quite sure he knows me not at all, neither by reputation or recollection.

When I was an editor of the University of Nebraska at Omaha student newspaper in 1972, Buffett’s weekly, the Omaha Sun Newspapers, was our printer. While preparing the campus paper for print, I got to know some of the reporters and the editor-in-chief of the Sun Newspapers.

Some of those reporters: Mick Rood, Lisa Lewis, and Wes Iverson, along with Editor-in-Chief Paul Williams won a Pulitzer Prize for investigative reporting when they popped a story on how Omaha’s Boys Town (“Father Flanagan’s Boys Home”) was sitting on a pile of cash, and raised more money in their Christmas giving campaign than they used in the following year.

On more than one occasion, I was in the Sun offices when Warren Buffett called. Mick Rood would then get on the phone, talking in hushed tones to Buffett, and taking notes. It was common knowledge around that office that there was a big story brewing, and that Buffett was running the story by telephone.

My personal experience with Buffett is obscure at best. In 1973, I played bridge against him at the Omaha Bridge Studio. My bridge partner and I were arrogant young college students, and we occasionally played duplicate bridge.

In that context, I remember the 43-year-old Buffett as an unfriendly guy. The bridge studio annoyed him – I think it was the cigarette smoke, in part – so he opened one of his own. On the other hand, I’m confident that I was annoying enough to bring out the worst in anyone playing at my table.

We spoke briefly on the telephone in 1974. I was a journalist. Buffett was induced and annoyed to return my call about his interest in Newsweek magazine. As I recall, he was then becoming a major shareholder of the Washington Post and Newsweek.

It’s ironic that after all these years, the very thing Buffett sunk his teeth into as a crusader – donations to tax exempt charities – is forming his latest legacy.

Buffett’s latest donation – said to be as much as $37 billion when in fact, the way people like Buffett count money (net present value) it is not more than $16 billion, and more likely $8-12 billion – is an interesting indicator of a man and a mind gone tragically wrong.

Warren Buffett grew up with privilege and exposure I never knew as a child. His father, Howard Homan Buffett, was a four-term congressman from Omaha, and a prominent leader in perhaps the most influential social network in Omaha in his day, the Dundee Presbyterian Church.

His father was “a very faithful Christian” according to one pastor. Howard H. Buffett was famous for his libertarian political views, and his disdain for big government and the “one-world crowd.” He was against the USA having a large standing army (after all, it IS unconstitutional) and said that people like FDR and Truman would have our men in uniform fighting for Arabian oil. He was an insightful guy.

So, it’s a pretty surprising his son Warren – proudly an “agnostic” – makes a statement, in the context of announcing his large donation to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, “There are many ways to heaven, but this is a great one.”

Buffett was making an analogy, and was not speaking about buying into heaven. That’s his claim. He may have rather said, “There are many ways to skin a cat, but this is a great one.” That would have offended the PETA crowd, which, I am guessing, loves Buffett.

Buffett recently said his father was “his hero.” He said he had a great relationship with him, he was “my friend.” He also said his father’s internal drive was fueled “by religion.” I personally do not think Buffett distinguishes “religion” from “faith.” He has obviously either left his Sunday school roots, or he flunked out.

I understand, however, his sentiment toward his father. I loved by dad, and he loved me. And later in his life, when he was 58, I had the privilege of introducing him to Jesus Christ. My father and I will rise together – right along with Howard H. Buffett – at the return of Jesus Christ.

While many modern Presbyterians might not bat an eye at Buffett’s “ways to heaven” statement, nor let it interrupt the cash flow into their 401K’s, it had to send a chill up the spine of the orthodox among the “frozen chosen.”

After all, Jesus Christ said “ I am the way … no one comes to the Father but by Me.” And he said, “ Narrow is the gait, and difficult is the way that leads to life.”

Let’s give the usually artfully sanguine Buffett some grace – something he desperately needs, and about which he knows little – and accept that he was not trying to spin theology. After all, he persistently claims agnosticism, and seems to stick to the true meaning of that term: not an outward seething hostility toward God, but a claim one does not know whether there is God, and neither, therefore, heaven.

To those of us who know the grace of God , and the meritorious work of Jesus Christ in our behalf as a Substitute , Buffett’s agnosticism is a pathetic case. I don’t question that he doesn’t know: I will take him at his word. But why doesn’t he know?

Maybe it’s because most of the believers that come his way are more interested in Warren’s money than his condition, especially now that he’s giving it away in nearly unfathomable (to many) chunks. Maybe it’s because Buffett has become jaded due to his experience with graceless ecclesiasticism and ritualism, and he has therefore ignored the Scriptures entirely.

The Queen of England once said she thanked God often for the “m” in “many” in 1st Corinthian 1:26 . There’s a better hope for poor Warren Buffett than he knows.

So my take on Buffett’s gifting is simple enough. He needs to avoid the 55% death tax that he likes so much: that means give it away. He doesn’t want to manage a foundation: it’s way too much work, neither does he want to scale one up. Gates and he see eye-to-eye on how to save the world: control population, and combat disease. In the process of doing that, discover – tax-free – opportunities world-wide and especially in the medical and biotech sectors.

Oh yeah: live as long as you can! I find it interesting that Buffett’s gifting program terminates exactly when the CSO mortality tables on Buffett do: age 94. Maybe Buffett will live long. Frankly, I wish him well on that score. From what I understand, he’s (rightfully) very concerned – maybe fearful – about dying. That’s prudent, because, in Warren’s case, it is far more certain than taxes.

On the other hand, Warren Buffett doesn’t live in my city.

My city is the same one Abraham looked for 4,000 years ago. It’s enduring. As for me, I’ve already passed through death , so I don’t fear it.

At Gorat’s steakhouse in Omaha – Buffett’s alleged favorite – when I buy an entree, they give me one for my wife free. I like free stuff. Especially the gift of God . Warren Buffett doesn’t even know what that is. No one is giving to him.

Poor, poor Warren Buffett.

Comment by Margaret » 14th March, 2013 @ 11:21:20 AM

It’s funny how you deleted my recent comments because you didn’t like what I had to say. God is LOVE, and therefore you should show love to all of the people on Earth. We are all God’s children. Don’t forget that. Jesus Christ LOVES EVERYBODY. The example that you are setting goes against God’s teachings. You will find out for yourself one day.

Anyways, I’m going to stop wasting my time on this website. Have a good life.

Comment by Jonathon von Tischner » 22nd December, 2013 @ 11:17:43 PM

It’s funny people use suffering against God, when it is a great evidence for His existence, that there is a moral standard and it’s been violated somehow. Then he said you need God to be good, and it disgusts him, when nothing can BE good if He wasn’t real! lol Not to mention the physical evidence of The Resurrection, and that’s it is a historical fact as much as you can know anything ever happened in history. Well God bless you all.

Comment by Melinda W. » 9th February, 2014 @ 12:09:14 PM

Some of the comments are good. But I get tire of the ones about “only God can judge” The Bible disagrees with that. In fact, in red letters Jesus himself said to make right judgments as we were going to judge angels one day.
The only reason we are talking about Warren Buffet is because of the money he has and gives away (or doesn’t)and how he gets it in the first place. Our job is to pray for his lost soul. I’m sure as he gets older, his mortality is a big issue for him. It should have been all along but with a short time left, he’s got to be feeling it. It will be interesting to see how it goes down. The Robin Hood savior complex comes from him being his own god. Personally, I don’t like him stealing my money through insurance and taxes so that he can give it to someone else. I’d rather give my own money to my choice of people in need. But God has his eye on that too and he will work it ultimately for good. But the situation sure does give meaning to the Scripture “what does it profit a man to gain the whole world but lose his own soul?” Doesn’t it make everyone of you Christians all the more thankful that He chose you and that you received him? Is there any Christian willing to trade places with Warren Buffett or Bill Gates?

Comment by Faye Monsta » 30th April, 2014 @ 06:01:14 PM

Mr. Buffet doesn’t believe in Santa either… what an ass{hat}, huh?

Comment by John Malone » 7th May, 2014 @ 03:09:25 PM

Personally, I have not ever heard Mr. Buffet’s views on Santa. But his father conducted a Bible study in his home every week, and it became a well-known study inside Dundee Presbyterian Church, where the gospel of Jesus Christ was preached throughout the life of Mr. Buffet’s parents.

Now, as for you, you will never come face to face with Santa to give an account for these words you have written, denigrating the Lord Jesus Christ by comparing Him to a fiction. May the Lord Jesus surprise you sometime real soon in a way that causes you to reflect on what you have written.

Comment by Frank » 17th July, 2014 @ 07:35:05 AM

Dave , you should be praying for his salvation everyday

Comment by Lolly » 24th January, 2016 @ 07:17:25 PM

Since Warrens parents were Christians, most likely they will be found in Heaven . So the question is , after Warren Buffett’s death , does he want to be re-united with his parents and other Christians in his family .If so, Warren Buffett needs to do a little more study on Jesus Christ, and say a prayer to God if he exists, and Jesus is the way to go, then to somehow teach him that thru whatever means. Some of us think we are so smart that we will talk or convince ourselves right out of being reunited with our loved ones in the after life. That is more important then be the supposedly “wisest” one around. So Warren now take that advice , and go put it to good use. An Agnostic is one who is not sure if God exists or not. At least it is honest. I know God exists cause when I pray he answers my prayers, usually within a minute. Example, Help me find my keys. Example: Donna moved and they will no t tell me where. Help me find where she lives . Found her about 45 minutes later. Parked in front of the house she was living in , to go pass out flyers. WOW ! ( in a town of 5000 people) ( odds probably 5000 to one. Or 1500 to one. Depending how many people to each house.

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