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Conflict in the scene does not occur solely between Christian mercy and Jewish hardheartedness, as has often been argued.
In John's narrative, however, it is not the leaders' rejection of the incontestable evidence of Jesus' giving sight to the man born blind (something never heard of "since the world began" [9:32]) that confirms their hardheartedness and prejudice; rather, it is the raising of Lazarus from the dead after four days (11:39), and the notion that "if we let him go on thus, everyone will believe in him" (11:48).
How could God allow the negligence, racism, indifference or hardheartedness that long gnawed at the social fabric of New Orleans--or the blindness or incompetence of officials who should have understood the brewing human storm, as well the meteorological one?
Receiving gallons of ice cream given by well-wishing sympathizers hoping to make up for the school board's hardheartedness, this small boy is now told that even though it's against the rules to be an ``abuser'' he can become as famous and controversial as Mike Tyson.
Hence, by degrees it has come to pass that working men have been surrendered, isolated and helpless, to the hardheartedness of employers and the greed of unchecked competition.
For years, I coasted, sometimes smug, sometimes wary, remorseful, vaguely uneasy, I still didn't have the right words to express, even to myself, patterns of diffidence or hardheartedness that showed up--not in isolated bad acts, but in attitudes of indifference, scorn or disregard that sometimes took me years to acknowledge.
In the same paper were stories from all over the world about goodness and violence, pity and hardheartedness, forgiveness and hatred, smart moves and sheer stupidity.
Ellen never succumbed to the almost hypnotic savagery, though her many siblings were sacrificed to the brutality in varying ways -- jail, hardheartedness, even death.