hand of …

Well, it was just a matter of time till someone was quoted on this:

“If you ever need proof of the hand of God, just look where that bus is. Two seconds later, there’s a massive fire right where the cab of that truck is, and those kids would have been killed in a fire. Two seconds earlier, and it’s in the river.”

– Minneapolis Deputy Police Chief Rob Allen, standing on a hill by the flattened I-35W bridge, showing First Lady Laura Bush how a school bus packed with 50 campers returning from a day at a water park came to symbolize an incredibly low casualty count.

“Unbelievable,” Mrs. Bush said.

(from the Chicago Tribune story)

Well, quite Mrs. Bush – for once I agree with you. An unbelievable comment indeed.

Yes, it was a very low casualty count in the bridge collapse (partly because only one lane was open in each direction) and yes, it seems a miracle that the school bus was not lost in a fire or in the river – almost incredible.

But, no matter where you stand on the existence of God, or what God does (interventionist God or not) surely saying that the fact that some people were saved while others were not proves the existence of God seems firstly dubious proof (because you can’t actually prove that God saved the bus unless someone actually documented in some way that it really, truly was God doing it) and secondly offensive to the people who were lost: why would God have chosen that the school bus should be saved, but the young Somali woman and her two-year-old should not, or the father of the young baby should not? By the way, the driver of the truck who was in the cab which had a massive fire was killed too.

Perhaps the police chief meant it as a figure of speech, but I don’t think that’s any excuse. This, basically, is the old argument: 300 people were killed in an air crash, but one child survived, therefore God exists.

One Response to “hand of …”

  1. Dad says:

    I totally agree with your analysis. It is like the “act of God” expression relating to natural disasters, especially when used to exonerate any possible human non-intervention which might have prevented such incidents from occuring or reducing their effects.

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