Friday, April 22, 2005

An Affront to God

Have you heard about these idiots setting up a shrine at a Chicago underpass? Apparently, a stain on the wall sort of kind of looks like the Virgin Mary holding a rosary, if you look at it through a digital camera and if you're deluded with religious fervor. Of course, if you have a brain, it's just salt residue left over from the winter snowfall.

I'm agnostic, but let's assume for the moment that God does, in fact, exist. Then calling an obscure mark on a viaduct a miracle should just be mortally insulting to Him. Here's the deal with God, you morons: God is mind-blowingly awesomely phenomenally powerful. In fact, He's so great that even that description is lacking. Words fail to describe how amazing God is; in Hebrew, it's sacrilege to even muster a mortal pronunciation of God's name. God could, just as a trivial example, make the word peace spontaneously appear in gold glitter on Dick Cheney's office desk. He could put an immediate end to the civil war in Zaire. Calling a salt stain on a wall a miracle is like... remember that Best Buy commercial where the middle-aged white collar guy imagines himself in Rocky III knocking out Mr. T in the ring? It's like that, only a put-down a trillion times worse.

Imagine what a better place the world would be if people diverted all the time and energy and money they put into the pope's funeral and the Terri Schiavo case and now the Virgin Mary wall stain towards helping other people. I think Jesus would like that. Just a hunch.

Now, you might argue that it really isn't hurting anybody to come pray by the image of the Virgin Mary. You might say that it reinforces people's faith and gives them hope. You'd be wrong. You'd make a pretty rational argument, but you'd still be wrong.

There was, for instance, a woman interviewed on CNN who stopped by to pray at the makeshift shrine before having a biopsy for a lump in her breast. The odds of it being cancer were "only" twenty percent. Good for her. But the odds would have been the same Virgin Mary or not.

What should give her hope is the promise of a cure for cancer thanks to stem cell research, which I would be surprised if she finds abhorrent. Or how about a national health insurance plan, so people can be treated without having to declare bankrupcy... which by the way you can no longer do, since those hypocrites in Congress who are quick to drop Jesus' name when they're rallying their fundamentalist base just sided with the usury lobby passing a bill to indenture folks who've fallen on hard times to the credit card industry. I'm sure Satan would be proud, Mr. DeLay.