Sunday, July 14, 2013

Praise The Lord/Lords, Whichever One/Ones...

The miraculous recovery of an unharmed woman amidst the rubble and bodies of over 900 people in Bangladesh, predictably, sparked god-huzzahs. In this case, though, it's the other guy:

The religious aspects of the rescue -- in a Muslim prayer room, on Islam's day of prayer -- was not lost on the ecstatic crowd. Hundreds of people who had been engaged in the grim job of removing decomposing bodies from the site raised their hands together in prayer for her survival.
"Allah, you are the greatest, you can do anything. Please allow us all to rescue the survivor just found," said a man on a loudspeaker leading the supplicants. "We seek apology for our sins. Please pardon us, pardon the person found alive."

Yeah. Well, goes to show you, doesn't it? No matter which or whose god it is, he/she/it/they get/gets a pass for the most atrocious behavior imaginable. Bump off 900 innocents, mothers, daughters, not god's or gods' will. Save one? Show a little mercy amidst the unmitigated mayhem? A damn miracle. I'll never understand; and I don't think it's because I'm not religious. They don't understand, either. The other day a JW rang the doorbell. Instead of gently excusing her as I usually do, I engaged her in some conversation. Do you believe in miracles, I asked. Prayer? Of course she did.

How do you reconcile them with the idea that god has a plan for us all, knows us before we're born, is all powerful, I asked. Can prayer change his mind? If so, how can he be perfect? Does a miracle apply to a situation when he seems, against type, to have had a little mercy? Is it only those sorts of interventions that are miracles? What about the action that crashed that plane, collapsed that building? Not his will, but the saving of one victim is? I don't get it, I told her. Turns out, she didn't either. Well, she offered, he's stopped being involved since Adam and Eve rejected him. Okay, fair enough. Explains the mayhem, but not the attempts to get his attention.

(I wrote this a while back. Applies to the crash at SFO, too. Or any damned instance of god/gods acting like he/she/they/it suddenly gives a darn. That's the miracle, evidently. Not killing a couple of people when he/she/it/they had a clear shot, and had already snuffed dozens, or hundreds.

It's gotta be nice to be able to reconcile what we see of the world with completely inconsistent belief, to be able to hold onto certainty that it all makes sense, that there's a reward at the end of the tunnel. How much easier it must be than dealing with reality. There are times when I wish I could, too. But not enough to loosen my grip on reality, just to feel good.)

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