half a miracle on the hudson?

By now most everyone must know about US Airways Flight 1549 being struck by a flock of geese, losing both its engines, the pilot ably landing the craft in the Hudson River, bringing the passengers to safety with no loss of life. By now most everyone has heard (or said) it was a miracle.

I suppose it’s understandable that the events of Thursday, 1/14/09, would be considered by people of a religious mind as a miracle. Not possessing a religious mind myself, I would say, at best, it’s half a miracle.

I don’t mean people should give the divine hand half the credit with the rest going to the pilot, flight crew, ferry boat captains, rescue squads and the passengers themselves. You know, the pilot who managed to control the plane after striking the geese and water land it in one piece, the flight crew who managed to get everyone off the plane and onto the wings to await rescue, the ferry boat captains and rescue crews who managed to get there within minutes and get those people to safety, and the passengers who managed to stay calm and help each other.

I mean half a miracle because people with a religious mind tend to award miracle status at the back end of such an event. They think that God (or Whatever) intervened and saved those people. He made sure that the right pilot, crew and rescuers were in place. He also made sure the river was clear of ice and traffic. BUT! Somehow He forgot to keep the geese from flying into the plane’s path, creating the accident!

I always marvel at people’s ability to credit God (or Whatever) for saving them from a dire situation, while never wondering why God (or Whatever) allowed them to get into the dire situation in the first place. Was He distracted? I thought God (or Whatever) was omnipotent and all knowing.

Bill O’Reilly of Fox News said that he was “just happy somebody up there is looking out for those folks.” Well, apparently “somebody” was only looking out for those folks after the accident occurred.

Maybe “somebody” was too busy figuring out how the Arizona Cardinals could beat the Philadelphia Eagles the following Sunday.

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