I'm sure most of you have heard about the West Virginia mining tragedy. (It was mistakenly reported that 12 of the 13 trapped miners were alive, when in fact, the opposite was true.)
During the time in which most of the men were believed to be living, the Boston Herald ran a headline which read_ "Miner Miracle! America's Prayers Answered. Greg Saunders rightly takes issue with this:
Now that we know the twelve miners were killed, does this mean America's prayers weren't answered? Just like gambling addicts remember their big wins but not their losses, the fate of the twelve miners has transformed from a faith-inspiring act of God to another horrible tragedy in which it's impolite to mention religion at all. Cute little sayings like "the Lord works in mysterious ways" are cop-outs for the logical conclusions that many of us draw from experiences like this. If something fantastic and improbable can be used as proof that there's a benevolent god, doesn't the reverse point toward the conclusion that a higher power is indifferent at best? If you believe in a god that could have saved these men's lives (which I don't, btw), why didn't he? People are quick to throw around the word "miracle" when something wonderful happens, so what the hell do we call this?