This is not my point of view, but that of an educated Theologian. Early this morning eleven people lost their lives in what is being touted as the worst wreck that Kentucky has seen in over two decades. A tractor trailer operated by Hester, Inc., out of Fayette, Alabama, crossed the a median and smashed head-on into a church van belonging to the Marrowbone Christian Brotherhood Church. The van was carrying passengers to a wedding, and in the van were the couple to be married, several children and infants, one of whom was being carried on the lap of an adult. I was traveling on that same stretch of road less than two weeks ago with my family.
The Pastor, Leroy Kaufman, believes that at least one of these people are better off dead. He said that it would “easier” that the couple who was engaged to be married died together, instead of one having to live without the other. His exact words were, “I’m just thankful that not one of them was left behind. It would be so much easier for them this way, both being able to go, be together in heaven,” Really? You are thankful? I sit here at my word processor searching for some witty response to this and all I can conjure up is “WTF?”
Another church member, Kai Steinmann, says that God not only knew that these people were going to die a horrific death which likely resulted in several of them being burned alive after suffering painful injuries, but that he had actually planned it. His exact words were, “We will accept it as the will of God. This isn’t an accident, God knew this from the beginning and that will be one of the beginning things that the community will do, accept it as the will of God.
The will of God? Apparently, God had it in for the family of the couple who was to be married. Not only were their prayers for safe travel completely blown off by God, he allowed their house to burn down just before Christmas last year and allowed another son to die in a snowmobile accident while he was doing mission work in Ukraine. Pastor Kauffman states that out of the two remaining family members who survived the crash, boys aged three and five years, the older one was “fairly intelligent”, being able to grasp that “daddy is in heaven” and that the rest of the church is “experiencing the grace and peace of God.” There absolutely nothing even remotely intelligent in any these statements, and the word “irony” doesn’t even begin to describe any of it. How many times do you need to get your ass kicked before you realize that the person kicking your ass does not have your best interests in mind? If I were the two other children in this family that are “on mission” in Brazil, I’d take cover immediately.
Stories like this are heartbreaking, but not just because of the loss of life, but because they actually believe that in some sick, twisted way their god was looking out for their best interests and that somehow this is a test of their faith, a way to bring them together or some other ridiculous facet of a Munchausen-by-Proxy delusion whereby the death or suffering (or both) of another will bring glory to a god. Just like the death of Cassie Bernall in Columbine. Just like the deaths of all those innocent people on September 11th, 2001. Just like the story of David’s “ten thousand”. Just like the war stories of the murder of hundreds of thousand of people in the bible. Just like the ridiculous myth of the biblical flood that caused the wholesale slaughter of the entire human race, save one family. The ends that religious people are willing to go to justify pain, suffering, death and murder as the will of and to the glory of their god is mind-boggling. I recently had a conversation with a seemingly ordinary and soft-spoken Christian who very matter-of-factly stated to me that he would kill his wife and children if god “told him to”. Jumpin’ Jesus in pink satin pumps! How far does one need to stick their head up their ass before they realize that their system of belief has gotten so sick and twisted that it is nothing more than a psychotic delusion and they are being mentally mind-fucked?
And religious people wonder why I don’t believe in god? They call me the narrow minded and delusional one because I don’t believe that some invisible being from outer-space burped up the universe, created humanity from a handful of dirt and then wills/allows us to endure circumstances so horrifically unimaginable so that his megalomaniac ego is fed? They accuse me of being ignorant because I refuse to “accept on faith” their tenets, dogmas and doctrines that flout logic, defy reason, challenge proven facts, serve to propagate some of the worst human behavior that has ever been recorded and call for the blind acceptance that those who die as believers are better off dead?
The hoops that the religious have to continue to jump through to reconcile real life with their delusion will remain textbook case studies for psychiatric students for generations to come. It is unconscionable that in this day and age people still form their points of view and understanding of the human condition based upon ancient myths that were formulated in the bronze age largely by uneducated shepherds who had absolutely no knowledge of so many of the things we take for granted today. If they want to align themselves with a religion that was invented by people who thought the earth was flat, thunder and lighting were indicators of a really pissed off deity, the stars were hung up like a picture on your living room wall and that human sacrifice was required for “salvation” from an endless punishment that consists of being burned by everlasting, unquenchable fire, then it won’t be too soon before we see the mental illness of religious belief cured, once and for all, for the good of humanity and before the entire human race is wiped out because some fanatic with access to nukes decides that it is “time”.
In the mean time, we will have to deal with people like those in this story who have been convinced that their loving god thinks it’s perfectly fine to take out busload of people just to make a point.