Walking on Water for Me, But Not for Thee

Tonight there is sad news in Denver: the body of a 2-year old child swept away in a flash flood has been found downstream in the South Platte River.

I can’t possibly imagine the pain that would be caused by such a loss. The idea of losing my wee Fiona or my boy Ewan – and how it would feel – is simply beyond my comprehension. Sure, I can wrap my mind around the physical facts of it all, but the emotions…I don’t even like to think about it.

Reading the details the other evening of how, when the rescuers reached the mother and told her that they had not found her son, she let go of her hold on a concrete barrier and surrendered herself to the current, it tore at my heart.

My condolences to the family on the loss of their son, their grandson. It’s a horrible tragedy.

That said, if there’s ever been an example of how religion can make some people say stupid things, I think this is it:

Denver Fire Chief Larry Trujillo confirms that it is the body of Jose and says it is a blessing that the body was found.

“I think we’re blessed we found this child in this amount of time. As far as we knew it’s been in our prayers for everybody, this child could’ve ended up all the way in Weld County,” said Trujillo.

And we know what they do to the bodies of children in Weld County, don’t we?

Uh, WTF?

I’d like to think the prayers, futile as talking to the sky actually is, were more that the boy would be found alive, against the odds.

“The other day the aunt asked me, ‘Promise me you’ll find him.’ I said, ‘I don’t make promises like that, I promise we’ll keep trying,'” said Trujillo. “The odds of this I would definitely say are more than one in a million of being able to find this child. I think it’s the prayers that brought him back.”

Except, well, they didn’t bring him back, did they?

I’m pleased (which seems an odd choice of words, but I’ve got nothing better) for the family that they have some closure and can begin the process of grieving with a sad certainty of knowledge, but if the best a Christian can hope from prayer is that the body floats, well… so much for mustard seeds and moving mountains, let alone saving innocent children.

Rest in peace, Jose. Your life was far, far too short.

One Response to “Walking on Water for Me, But Not for Thee”

  1. Rick USChatter Says:

    Funny part is that even as a non-theist I speak like this all the time. I mean when I say prayers it means something more akin to “hope” or “in my thoughts”. I’ll say something like we’ll be praying for you when I mean, we will “think good thoughts”. This does two things, it gives you something to say that will be taken as a comfort and it makes people think that you support their delusions about god.

    So you might ask why do I participate in the delusion? Well because speaking as if there were a god, or a force you can call on is comforting even if you know intellectually it’s a crock of shit. It is a verbal short hand about how you feel, about your hope that everything will be all right, and about extending a small degree of comfort to someone else.

    Also I think that times of tragedy is not the best time to have a theological debate when your positions is that everything you believe abour spirituality is wrong and the fate of your loved one is in the hands of random chance not an all powerful sky daddy.

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