September 30, 2008

How Miracles Work

Miracle logoReligious believers sometimes struggle to explain exactly how miracles work. This is understandable. Explaining something that doesn't exist can be tough. Fortunately, I found two Christians who were at least willing to try amidst a sad story from Florida. Maybe we can learn something about miracles together.

The driver of a tractor-trailer, talking on his cell phone while driving like virtually every bad driver I see on the road these days (can you tell this is a pet peeve?), collided with a school bus. One child died, but passers-by were able to rescue others before they burned to death. I'm sure you can see where this is going.

According to Jim Yancey, Marion County Superintendent of Schools, this incident was both a tragedy and a miracle. Evidently, this is how miracles work. An innocent child dies and others survive, and that's a miracle. Really? What do you think the parents of the dead 13-year-old girl thought when they read your quote in the local paper, Superintendent? Do you suppose they would agree with you that this was a miracle, or might they have a different perspective?

But Yancey was not to be alone in his superstitions. One of the rescuers, James Horton, a father himself, had this to say:
The Lord put us all there for that reason — to save those children.
As The Stubborn Curmudgeon pointed out (update: link no longer active),
But not to save the sweet, innocent, 13-year-old little girl who died. God must have put her near the flames for a reason just like he made the truck driver use his cell phone at the perfect moment.
I cannot help wondering if this father of three believes that his god deliberately killed this innocent child for some mysterious reason. If so, would this make a psychopath or just another misguided Christian?

Believers seem oblivious to how this sort of thought process leads to victim blaming and massive guilt for the family of the deceased. Every time I read about something like this in the news, my heart goes out to the family of the deceased. I wish they did not have to endure hearing about the "miracle" of other children surviving.
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