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Showing posts with label Miracles. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Miracles. Show all posts

21 January 2011

A Miraculous Shooting?

By Ari

We can indeed be thankful that Gabrielle Giffords survived the attempt to take her life. It was a horrifying event, a slaughter of innocents, and an assault on our Republic. No doubt Giffords faces a tough recovery.

But was her survival a miracle, as I have heard numerous people claim? Today The Christian Post reported, "About 77 percent of American voters said they believed that prayer literally helped Arizona Rep. Gabrielle Giffords survive the Tucson shooting, according to a Fox News poll released Thursday."

Was it miraculous that the murderer killed six and wounded fourteen more?

If God were interested in miraculous intervention (and if he existed), why would he wait until after the bullets struck their victims to take action? Following are some examples of what might have been truly useful and impressive miracles. God could have placed the murderer in a force field to prevent him from shooting people. God could have called down from the heavens, "Be warned! Take cover! A mass murderer is approaching your location!" God could have given all the victims temporary superpowers, such that the bullets bounced off of them (like Superman). Or, God could simply have totally healed Giffords on the spot.

If miraculous intervention kept Giffords alive, why didn't God step in to save the six people slaughtered? Did God not care about them? Were they not worthy of miraculous intervention? Were the prayers of their loved ones not honored by God?

True, people shot in the head often die, so, given the fact that Giffords was shot, she was relatively lucky to survive and start down the path to recovery. But she was immensely unlucky to be shot in the first place, so to call her subsequent survival a "miracle" is to abuse the language. One might as well claim it was a "miracle" that she was shot and six others died.

We take some comfort in the fact that Giffords survived the shooting, and we hope for her recovery. But, in recognition of the immense trauma she in fact suffered, and out of respect for those who died, let's not chalk up the events of that day to miracles and prayer.

This post originally was published on Ari Armstrong's blog.


30 January 2009

Credit Pilot, Not God

By Diana Hsieh

The Rocky Mountain News published a good letter on the "Miracle on the Hudson" on January 28th:

Credit pilot, not God

Concerning US Airways Flight 1549, we are all elated that there were no deaths. However, several television stations reporting on the incident must have mentioned God more than 40 times as the reason everyone aboard survived.

Why don't we give credit to the real hero, the pilot? His quick thinking and calmness under duress saved many lives.

If there was a God involved, why would he have the plane crash to begin with?

We know that almost all air crashes involve most, if not all, passengers being killed. Do we ever invoke God when people are killed? A quick-thinking pilot and some luck saved all the lives on this particular flight.

Marc Tanenbaum, Longmont
For a more detailed analysis along similar lines, see Greg Perkins' post on NoodleFood.

A legal system -- particularly criminal or tort law -- cannot stand if God were seriously taken to the author of such events: everything would happen as a matter of God's perfect will, and so no person could regard himself as wronged by another. Unless, of course, God wanted you to right the wrong that he permitted to happen -- and then the law becomes an arbitrary game of guessing God's will.

The lesson? Capitalism cannot be grounded in religious faith.


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