Earlier this year, 33 miners, trapped for several months deep in the mines of Chile, came forth from their rocky tomb as the whole world watched and cheered. God was given accolades for this miracle. I personally heard people from Catholicism, Jehovah's Wittnesses and Seventh-day Adventism expressing pride that their churches has been instrumental in lifting the faith of these men and their families and praying for their safety. God's grace seemed boundless as even a man who was cheating on his wife with other women was saved.
Now, in New Zealand, the tragic loss of 29 miners raises the same hopes and questions. Why did God not see fit to save any of these miners? If God evaluates each person individually, why did all 33 Chilean miners survive and all 29 New Zealand miners die? Did God in his miraculous all-knowing way arrange these men into separate groups, one filled with men he was willing to save, and the other with men whom he was not? I find this idea completely NOT REASONBLE amd RIDICULOUS.
I agree with Albert Einstein when he was speaking to Guy H. Raner, Jr, Sept. 28, 1949, and was quoted by Michael R. Gilmore in Skeptic Magazine, Vol. 5, No. 2.: "I have repeatedly said that in my opinion the idea of a personal God is a childlike one. You may call me an agnostic, but I do not share the crusading spirit of the professional atheist whose fervor is mostly due to a painful act of liberation from the fetters of religious indoctrination received in youth. I prefer an attitude of humility corresponding to the weakness of our intellectual understanding of nature and of our own being."
I don't believe God saved the 33 miners in Chile, and I don't believe God had anything to do with the deaths of 29 miners in New Zealand. I do believe that the hope of answered prayer is a cruel hoax that Christianity and other religions have foisted upon their wishful followers. It really bothers me to see families in a situation like this, who, when their prayers go unaswered, are left to sort out why. Was it their lack of faith? Was it something they did? Was it something they didn't do? I do not perceive that God, if he, she or it exists, works in this human, cruel and selfish way. I think the idea of a personal god is the concoction of wishful minds, and one that, in tragedy, can devastate a man, woman or family to their core. I believe the 33 miniers in Chile lucked out and the efforts of many people and organizations made the rescue happen. I do not deny that their faith in a personal God gave them confort and hope, unfounded though I believe it to be.. But I do not believe that God delivered them. I believe the miners in New Zealand had bad luck in this case, and poisenous gas claimed their lives on this particular day in a most dangerous profession.
|Eight of the Unlucky New Zealanders|
This is precisely where I see Christianity as a harmful thing. I know religion has its good points and good days, but the idea that God knows all of our thoughts, hears all of our prayers and answers some and doesn't answer some seems to me an idea so ridiculous and illogical that one can only believe it under the canopy of blind faith.