Friday, 15 October 2010

Chilean miners' rescue roundup

Bit late with this one, meant to write about this one yesterday, but I still need to get it off my chest.

The rescue of the trapped miners in Chile was fantastic news. Not only in the fact of their rescue, but also in the strength and solidarity of the miners and their loved ones, and the ingenuity shown by those in charge of the rescue operation. It's a story of human courage and tenacity, and deserves to be celebrated.

However, some people seem to think there were other forces at work. Bel Mooney, in the Daily Mail (for those outside the UK, Middle Britain's hate-organ of choice) writes that 

God and the Devil were in that mine. But it was God - and the human spirit - that triumphed.
Um, sorry? I think it was fairly well documented that there were 33 miners trapped. I think someone would have noticed if two supernatural beings had been hanging around ghoulishly as well. Actually, according to Mooney, someone did.

One of the miners said: ‘I was with God and the Devil. They fought. God won.’ We may feel remote from the simple, deeply held beliefs of that region, but you do not have to believe in God to be moved by such a powerful statement of the universal struggle.
This not only demonstrates the false consciousness of the religious, believing that God and the Devil were actually present down there, but Mooney's patronising ideas about the far-flung corners of the world where civilisation, so she believes has yet to penetrate. She even finds time to have a little chuckle at the natives' mating habits.

How many men, all over the world, will have shared a rueful fellow feeling with those San Jose miners who have been a little  -what shall I say? - careless with their love lives?

Even the most virtuous of husbands might have read of wives and mistresses, ignorant of each other’s existence, turning up at Camp Hope with assorted offspring and thought: ‘Oops, mate, now you’ll be in trouble’. Maybe a little ‘there but for fortune’ there, too!
Hang on - so there were adulterers down there too? What on earth was God thinking, allowing such blatant sinners to survive? Surely this was the ideal opportunity to show the world exactly what happens to those who disobey the Ten Commandments?
And has she stopped to consider why God was present for this accident, rather than the accidents which claim 34 lives a year, on average, in the mines of Chile since the year 2000? Truly, this God is a capricious and vengeful god, picking and choosing those he wishes to save.

Maybe Bel should register her opinion on this site, where you can vote in a poll to determine who really saved the miners, God or man. Guess who my money's on? (Thanks to Pharyngula for the link.)

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