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Friday, August 03, 2007
Jim Brenneman
From cartoonist Jim Brenneman
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It's amazing how many people survived the tragedy in Minneapolis and even if you don't believe in a higher power you have to admit that some unknown force played a big part.
You have to admit that some unknown force played a big part.

Chance? Luck?

I do not subscribe to the God-as-Batman belief. He doesn't sit around waiting for bridges to fall before bolting to the Godmobile. If God played a role in saving lives, then he assuredly played a role in the bridge falling.
Why did there have to be some "Force" that played a part?
It's wonderful that there are stories of survival and narrow escape. However, it appears that many are still unaccounted for and the death toll is likely to be higher than 4 or 5.

Under no circumstance does any of this make me feel there's some higher power or "unknown force" at work here. A bridge was deficient. Push came to shove and it eventually fell down. People were injured and killed. It's likely one of many bridges in the U.S. in the same state, which leads me to believe it could easily happen again. Much of our public infrastructure is crumbling.

Unknown forces? I don't think so. Luck of the draw in terms of who lives and who dies? More likely. There were no miracles here. The miracle would be if this doesn't happen again. We should mourn the dead, the living should thank their lucky stars, and we should start asking some very hard questions about the state our aging public infrastructure before this tragedy is multiplied many-fold.
As much as I would like to believe in miracles happening to those lucky enough to survive what happened here, I can't help but wonder what "miraculous" force made it happen in the first place. As Minneapolis resident, I feel angry that it even happened at all and why nothing was done to prevent it.
No higher power cased the I-35W bridge to crumble just poor maintence. The force that caused this tragedy is not unkown it's called Gravity.
One cannot admit that which one does not know. There is no proof, no evidence that a "higher Power" was involved in the coincidences of that bridge failure. The facts are merely that politics in America has once again let things fall apart while the ideologues were bickering overtrumped up moral "issues." To equate the lack of more deaths in this case with a higher power is to accept that on 9-11, a higher power stood idly by and let 2,000+ people die. Please quit confusing faith with fact.
Ever stop to think that that higher power or unknown force you speak of could have saved a lot of time by preventing the tragedy in Minneapolis from ever occurring?

Chance is a better explanation than some "higher or unknown force" if you take that question into consideration.
I think your unknown force is a strong survival instinct. People want to live and even the laziest will burn all their available calories to that end.

BTW, love the "God as Batman" image. Well said.
What we choose to designate as a miracle just shows our own biases and what we want to believe. The quick jump to conclusions here is yet more evidence for this. Unlikely events do not get an equal chance of being called a miracle. There are plenty of tragedies where many people die unexpectedly, or tragedies where it is amazing that so many people did NOT survive. These events are rarely, if ever, thought of as miracles. The events that get called miracles are the ones that fit our preconceived notions.

It can be comforting to believe that there is something there to save us from our own responsibilities, but that type of thinking just distracts us from what we need to do to identify problems in the world, and to fix them.
Why didn't a higher power intervene in pompei, or the world trade center. Why is it that when very few people are hurt or killed it is assumed that a "higher power" somehow lessened the impact of the event and saved people; but, when a huge tragedy occurs where nobody lives we don't blame this same "higher power"?
It is unfortunate that all too often, it takes nothing short of a tragedy for God to get people's attention. People can choose to straighten up and listen, or they can harden their hearts in anger towards God, I would suggest the former.
Jim Brenneman
A former Marine and current cartoonist who penned this, this, this and this

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