Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Act of Godless

I've been out of the loop for the past few days because I've been spending some much-needed time with my daughter. With that in mind, I really do hate for my first mention of the devastating Oklahoma tornado to be something as seemingly petty as the response of a woman who doesn't believe in God to Wolf Blitzer's idiotic assumption that she does, but those are the breaks, I guess.

I think the reason I'm posting this and not feeling too bad about it is that this morning I listened to NPR do an interview with Republican Rep. Tom Cole -- who's from the town of Moore, Oklahoma, which was almost completely flattened by this F5 tornado -- and when asked what Americans can do to help, Cole answered, "Well, first and foremost, pray for us." Now don't get me wrong: Tom Cole sounds like a really decent guy and I have no doubt he had the best of intentions with his comment, but, really? First and foremost? That's what Americans should be doing to help people who've just had their lives utterly destroyed by what's occasionally known, ironically, as an act of God: Pray?

Maybe that's why I find the reaction of the woman in this interview so refreshing: because it proves that sometimes there actually are atheists in foxholes -- and there are almost always idiots behind cable news microphones.

Adding: This thing of beauty...


JohnF said...

I have to assume most of these poor Oklahomans were already reasonable devout people before the twister hit. Didn't do them much good. Jesus is a fucking asshole.

Drew said...

I'd like to add this thing of beauty:


The Phoenix New Times reports that Mendez, who is an atheist, changed the course of the event held prior to the House of Representatives' afternoon session. He asked lawmakers to refrain from bowing their heads and instead to view their surroundings.

"Most prayers in this room begin with a request to bow your heads," Mendez said, according to the Phoenix New Times. "I would like to ask that you not bow your heads. I would like to ask that you take a moment to look around the room at all of the men and women here, in this moment, sharing together this extraordinary experience of being alive and of dedicating ourselves to working toward improving the lives of the people in our state."

Claude Weaver said...

@JohnF: Jesus would probably be there digging people out of the wreckage with his bare hands. His Republican-backed mutated clone, which I dub Jeebus, would probably fit better.

Look, I get it. Religion isn't popular in these parts. And Blitzer is an idiot in a lot of ways, but I don't get the snark here. He is in the Bible belt, and probably heard a lot of people saying similar things. So he managed to stumble upon an atheist. Okay, and? Was he supposed to know that before she said anything? Was she supposed to have a big cross with a "NO" symbol on it?

He seemed to be understanding and didn't press the issue any further, and certainly let her have her say. So what exactly did he do wrong here? Made an assumption that plenty of people have made?

Captain Assclown said...

Wow, what an awkward and inappropriate thing to essentially DEMAND that she "thank the Lord" for surviving...

I'd assume Wolf (and many, many others) actually means "thank the lord" (small "L", as in synonym for "thank your lucky stars"), but even IF that were the case, it shows how knee-jerk it is to make religious references in a time of tragedy just because it's expected.

Most people in her situation *including me* would, at the most, have re-phrased his statement to, "...I certainly count myself lucky" and agreed to that re-stated statement without actually trotting out the atheist card. Well done.

Dan McMillan said...

I heard the same interview and thought pretty much the same thing Chez. My second thought was "that praying sure did a lot of good to prevent the tornado in the first place."