Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Another post in which I ramble about "miracles" and their meaning

During lunch today I did one of my favorite things: ran on the treadmill while watching the 4 TVs in my employer's gym while NOT wearing headphones so I could laugh at the close captioning. One of the TVs was showing the press conference of legendary Redskins coach Joe Gibbs announcing his resignation/retirement. Now, I like Joe Gibbs, and think he's a very decent guy, and respect his reasons (actual family reasons, not the fake family reasons that some politician who's just been caught in bed with a hooker comes up with) for retirement. However, one of the things that annoyed me was his discussion of how religion factored into his decision. Because the volume was not on and because I was running at the time, I wasn't able to transcribe his statements, but he said something along the lines of how he has to give thanks to God for looking down and allowing someone like him (a guy who took dance in college, for crying out loud!...wait, I did that too....) to become a coach, and how this means we have a benevolent creator or some such.

But wait. The Redskins suffered the tragedy of losing their best player this year when Sean Taylor was murdered in his house. This gets back to my frustration about how people call it a "miracle" when a plane crashes and 218 people die and they pull one guy alive out of the rubble, or when a building collapses and 98 people die but a four month old baby survives. In order to say that the survival of one is an act of God, don't you kind of have to accept that the deaths were an act of God, or that God was, like, too busy to pay attention? Can people really imagine a God who will look down and help one person, but not bother helping others? Is it really savvy for Gibbs to say that God played an active role in his success at the same time that one of his players was flat out murdered? Was God busy that day?

I'm not saying I don't understand what he's trying to say, but this is one of those moments when people tend to nod their head politely when someone thanks God for their success, rather than wondering about the logical implications of that statement.