31 July, 2008

There's a Problem With God's Sequencing Here

We're all used to very religious people latching on to a coincidence and claiming the hand of God (or other deity of choice). But this is the clearest example of muddled thinking I've come across in a very long time.

Let's set the scene first:

INDIANAPOLIS - An Indianapolis woman believes a higher power helped her and her two young great-granddaughters survive a shooting this week.

Before stray bullets from a gun battle ripped through her car, Charlotte Thompson didn’t even know what gunfire sounded like.

Common enough situation, o' course: innocent people caught in the crossfire survive and thank God for it. We'll skip ahead a bit here to see why Charlotte Thompson thinks she has better evidence than most for that divine intervention: we discover that the bullet hit a Bible, minced a Sunday school book, and ended up lodging in a watermelon:

“Right in the watermelon. Didn’t come out of the watermelon,” Thompson said. “The word of God and the Lord’s power saved. He sent the bullet into the watermelon.”

All righty, then. Now, let's backtrack a bit, follow the path of the bullet, and discover why Dana choked on her drink:

Her 10-year-old great granddaughter was sitting in the back seat, shot in the stomach. “We heard this pow, pow, pow, pow, pow, pow,” Thompson said. "Then Shyann said, ‘Oh! I’m shot!’”

“I turned around and looked and she raised up her shirt and I could see the bullet,” Thompson said. "I could see where it went in and where it went out."


Police later showed Thompson the path the bullet took through her car. She now believes that path was guided by God.

“Came through the door, hit her, then it went to the Bible,” she said. The Bible was sitting on the seat between the two girls. “It went in here and come out here and it shredded my Sunday School book. The Word of God slowed the bullet so that it didn’t kill anybody."

Did anyone else spot the problem with the sequence? The word of bloody God didn't stop the bullet until after the child got shot in the stomach.

If this is the best God can do with stopping bullets, I think I'm better off an atheist, thanks so much. I'll just line my car with hardcover copies of The Lord of the Rings. That's actually thicker than most Bibles: I doubt I'll even need a supplementary Silmarillion or The Hobbit for added protection. Even then, I won't be claiming the power of Tolkien influenced a screaming chunk of high-velocity lead.

Why is it that belief in gods leads to such horrifically muddled thinking? I mean, do you really have such a tremendous urge to glorify God that it allows you to ignore the fact a ten-year old got shot in the stomach? Is it really okay that your God's this inept?

At least with the laws of physics, you're not left wondering what the kid might have done to piss them off.

1 comment:

Nicole said...

As a Christian, stories like this frustrate me.

I believe in God. I do. But I think things like this are, well, ridiculous. Yes, maybe the Lord protected the people in that car and kept anyone from dying, but a much more remarkable story (but perhaps equally as ridiculous) would've been if the bullet had (FIRST OF ALL) missed the child and had gone into the Bible and (secondly) stopped on a particular verse like about the Bible being powerful, or the Lord protecting believers or something like that.

It reminds me of the people who believe the psychic's one tidbit of possibly true information after ignoring all the countless untruths.

If a watermelon stops a bullet much easier than the Bible (even after passing through that poor child's stomach and a book in a leather case), I'll still believe in God and still read the Bible, but I'm putting watermelons in my car, thanks.

And I don't think God is angered by that, either.