(Knowing this is going to get me into a world of trouble, I'm going to write it anyway.)
So it turns out that those 12 miners who "miraculously" survived the mine explosion in Buckhannon, West Virginia didn't really survive after all. It was all a "miscommunication." And after all the kneeling and praying to God:
Family members streamed from the church where they had kept vigil, shouting "Praise the Lord!" ...
A few minutes after word came, the throng, several hundred strong, broke into a chorus of the hymn How Great Thou Art, in a chilly, night air.
“Miracles happen in West Virginia and today we got one,” said Charlotte Weaver, wife of Jack Weaver, one of the men who had been trapped in the mine.
And from the comments section of that article as well:
Sam C from Airdrie, Canada writes:
"THANK YOU GOD!!!"
Are the first words out of my mouth when I read this article.
The Power of Prayer is a wonderful thing!
And now that all that miraculous goodness has turned to dust in people's mouths, who's in the bullseye? Why, apparently, the mine's CEO who relayed the initial good news, but waited three hours to correct himself. There's talk of massive lawsuits based on "emotional distress" and so on.
I have a suggestion: if those grieving relatives want to put the blame squarely where it belongs, then let them sue the Church. Let them sue God.
After all, if those miners had been rescued, you know as well as I do that there would have been no end of praising His infinite power and infinite compassion. "God answered our prayers," they would have said. "Praise the Lord," they would have said.
Naturally, there would have been a few compliments tossed in the direction of the rescue workers who risked their lives during the rescue attempt, but let's not get too cranked up over them -- they would have just been God's implements, or some such thing. No, this would have been entirely God's compassion and benevolence generously bestowed upon the devout.
And now? Well, I'm betting God has slunk quietly out a side door while the wrath of the family members is being turned on the mine owners and operators. Funny how that works, isn't it? Perhaps God wasn't listening to those prayers after all. Perhaps he was, like many of us, making himself comfortable, getting ready to watch Texas-USC in the Rose Bowl or something.
Whatever it is, you just know that all that praise that was lavished in His direction isn't suddenly going to turn to anger. No, God is always worthy of praise, but don't you even fucking think of blaming Him for anything. Do you think that even one right-wing pundit, who would have babbled on ceaselessly about divine intervention, will now go on the air and castigate the Supreme Being for his inattention or cruelty? Fat chance.
If those families want someone to blame, let them blame a God who apparently didn't give a shit about their now-dead family members. Let them sue the Church.
AFTERSNARK: If you use the examples of Hurricane Katrina and the Indonesian tsunami as a basis, then it's obvious that the town of Buckhannon was being punshed by God for being wicked and sinful, right?
I wonder which obnoxious, bloviating fundamentalist TV windbag is going to try that line?