Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Miracles, Elves, and Dragons

The story out of West Virginia, where all but one of the miners were found dead after initial reports were that twelve had survived, is certainly tragic.

But one thing that really strikes me is how quickly God is bandied about.

When news first came that 12 had survived, WV's governor announced that "Miracles happen in West Virginia."

Right. They happen in WV, but nowhere else. Or they happen in some places, but not in others. God's up there, dispensing some sort of capricious executive clemency (Dubya would love it), showering favour upon some and smiting others.

The vexing thing is that when something "miraculous" happens, people sing their hosannas and announce that, yea, the Lord shone his face down upon us and delivered us, but when there is no miracle, God's hand is mysteriously absent. The 12 miners being saved was a clear sign of God's mercy - shouldn't, by that logic, the fact that only one survived be a sign of executive disfavour?

Of course, the same people who will happy announce that landslides in California or terrorists in New York are punishment for blue-state godless heathenly ways seem to always ignore any sort of divine punishment when a hurricane or two smites Texas (Dubya) or Florida (Jeb), or any of the other bible-thumping red states on the Gulf Coast (I note, parenthetically, that the French Quarter of New Orleans was largely spared).

It seems outright hypocrisy to announce that every time something good is proof of god, but then ignore the bad. Really, God isn't a micromanager and it's sheer egotism to believe he's personally paying attention to you and everything good in your life is thanks to him.

Of course, these are the same people who will happily announce their belief in miracles and angels but will look at me funny when I say I believe in Elves and Dragons.

And leprechauns. I love me those leprechauns.

1 comment:

KathleenM said...

Right on. All the religiously induced hysteria and mass effects of "miracle-ism" are what led to the tragic bungling of the story in the first place.

Those churchgoers were so programmed for "miracles" that their critical faculties and common sense deserted them just when they needed them the most. They took an ambiguously-worded message and turned it into some sort of Praise-the-Lawd revival circus.

If they had been members of the reality-based community, they wouldn't have been so eager to swallow claims of divine intervention. Remember, the false "12-Alive" rumor started right in the Sago Baptist church (along with the bizarre announcement that the miners were going to be transported directly from the mine -- not to a hospital -- but to the Baptist church). That none of these fundamentalists stopped to ask for verification or wonder why the hell disaster survivors would be taken to a freakin' church instead of a medical facility -- that's a symptom of their delusion. And then the very same people who had created and spread a false story had the gall to accuse the governor and mining execs of "lying" to them.