God is often given credit for saving, but no blame for the ones who do not survive
By: Waleed Shareef 4/7/2015
According to the CDC, each year globally, 14 million people discover that they have cancer and another 8 million people die from it. And since a Pew Research Center’s forum on Religion and Public Life found in their study of over 230 countries and territories that more than 8 in 10 people in the world are religious, it can be surmised that 80 percent of that 8 million who die, or 6,400,000 people who die from cancer a year are religious. That is quite a number of people who are dying while under the protection of their God. What you could possibly be guaranteed to hear if one of these believers in some of these many Gods worldwide were to be cured by cancer, is an attribution of their healing to the grace of God.
Let’s say for arguments sake however that Ford creates a new car called the Demo and under the care of the Ford engineers, the Demo spontaneously explodes without warning killing 8 million people a year. Would Ford's most devote enthusiasts out of the 6 million people who were in an exploding car that did not kill them say that it was Ford’s superior engineering that saved them? Or, would Ford be roundly criticized for having the power to make a safer product but instead they created a product that failed in keeping their customers safe? It does not take a genius to figure out that if the situation above were true, Ford would not only be lambasted on every TV station in America and the world, but would possibly go out of business. However, although the religious among us would claim that we are under the protection and design of God, millions still die a year from ailments that should not happen to the devote. Furthermore, the religious will praise God for the people who survive their cancer, but not blame God for the ones who die from the same disease.
“God saved me” is an often heard statement after tragedy is nearly diverted, however little mention is made regarding those that died from the same tragedy. Another example is a school shooting. A crazed marauder will kill up to 20 children in an elementary school. Clearly, these are the innocent of the innocent. Following the killing, teachers and devout children who escaped the massacre will exclaim, “God saved me!” What about the children and teachers that did not escape? Did God decide that they were too sinful to survive? Again, using the Ford Demo example, would we praise Ford for the people who survived the explosion, or would we say their survival had little to do with quality engineering since others who had the same statistical chance at survival also died. In other words, their death was luck of the draw and not because of something Ford did right. finally, would we not charge Ford with allowing something to happen that was easily within their power to prevent?
Dr. Kent Brantley told NBC News that God called him to go to Liberia. However, once in Liberia, he contracted Ebola and was taken to Emory University Hospital where he received experimental drugs that helped his recovery. Dr. Brantley stated that God saved him, however would he not have needed saving if when God led him to Liberia, he did not catch the disease to begin with? Also, with the many devout people who die of Ebola, why is his recovery at a world class hospital with experimental drugs attributed to God and not the extraordinary care that he received?
When we say that God saved us, despite those that die daily from the same ailments, violence and general calamity that kills others, do we imply that those that did die were not righteous enough? Also, if we are to give God credit for those who survive, then should God not also get credit for those who parish? Should we also state proudly at a funeral that we “praise god for killing my child and the other 19 children in that school shooting”? Or, is the death or survival of humanity not under the direct guidance of God, but the winds of fate that although less miraculous, is both the simplest and most rational answer?