An airplane crashed yesterday. The pilot, crew and passengers all did the right thing and managed to survive. Yet CNN chose this quote as the title of the article: “God was certainly looking out for all of us.”
I’m so happy that everyone lived, but this quote smacked me in the face and reminded me of how our fuzzy thinking gives credit to the wrong things, prevents us from learning lessons, and hinders society as a whole.
First, if God was looking out for them, the plane might not have failed at all. So an all-powerful God can reach down his hand and cushion the landing of a plane, but he can’t keep the plane from crashing to begin with? Did God allow the crash on purpose so that he could strut his stuff and show us how good and kind he is? This kind of thinking trains people to ascribe a mystical motivation to every outcome. It’s superstition and spookery.
Second, if God is to be credited, why isn’t God blamed every time a plane does a nose dive into the ground and kills everyone? God is selectively chosen as the reason for good luck or good performance. Even athletes thank God when they win, but they never blame God when they lose. If someone is “blamed” it is often Satan. They see his face in the clouds of 911. This is more spookery, and effectively removes the causality from the universe and removes our accountability for the outcome of our actions.