All I can say is, thank God for this lady. Oh wait, woops! I mean, just thank this lady for being honest about the good fortune of her decision, but with tolerance and a sense of humor for those who want to chalk it up to an invisible, all-powerful ghost. If only religious folks would show the same tolerance when faced with those who don't share their "wrong" beliefs!
I'll say it again, I can't stand people saying, "Thank God," or "Thank the Lord" when they've survived some tragedy while many others died. That makes no fucking sense. Do they think God wanted them to live and everybody else to die, or what? What makes them so fucking special, do you think? Or is it all just part of God's mysterious plan that they got lucky? [Spiritual shrug of the shoulders].
Same deal with those killed in a tragedy. Believers say, "It was God's will," or "It was their time to go," or "They're in a better place now." Oh really? Are you sure? Has anybody ever managed to interview the dead people flattened by debris in tornadoes, drowned by floods, swept away by tsunamis, or swallowed by earthquakes, where they're actually at (besides a grave) and if indeed it's better than where we're at, alive? The dead tell no tales, they say. That's OK, we tell spiritual fairy tales for them.
Well, I'm glad more & more folks are realizing how self-serving and presumptuous our rationalizing really is.
UPDATE: A friend of mine replied:
You are irritated at religious people who are intolerant, yet you go off in your blog about hating it when people thank God for not being killed when some kind of natural disaster happens. Practice what you preach a little.
Besides, what people mean when they use phrases like "thank God", or "due to the grace of God", what they doing is acknowledging that it could have just as easily been them that were killed. If they had the attitude you want to believe they did about being "special", they wouldn't be thankful for anything.
Stop being so intolerant and judgmental. You like this lady because she is a brave atheist. Great, be happy for her. To use it as an opportunity to kind of give a middle finger to those people who lost their homes, but survived and who happen to believe in God, is pretty low class. Coexist.To which I replied:
Wolf Blitzer, who is allegedly part of the liberal media axis, pushed this woman whom he didn't know to thank the Lord she was alive. That has been considered a normal, even appropriate reaction to tragic events. However she didn't cooperate. On live TV. That was historic.
Imagine if the Blitzer had said, "It wasn't God or fate that saved you, but your own quick thinking! Right? Right??" You and all the conservatives would be up in arms about the lib'rul media and the degradation and godlessness of modern culture.
Just have a bit of honesty and admit that your side dominates the conversation, and it's a rare person who has the courage to stand up to people like you, for fear of offending your precious half-thought-out beliefs and being ostracized.
I am precisely criticizing the thoughtlessness in the phrase "thank God!" It means something! It applies not only to the person saying it, if you follow it to its logical conclusion. But no, you choose to leave it at that. It's brainless. I can and do coexist with thoughtless people, I have no choice, but I'm not going to ignore their flawed thinking. If they -- you -- can't take my pointing out the crazy logic in their beliefs, it's not my problem, it's a problem with their logic. Don't blame the messenger.