Jesus Shines Beam of Light on Miracle Dog

Here’s a story that is nothing short of a miracle.

I know this because the story teaser appears today on the front page of, and the article, not marked as a blog or commentary, even uses the phrase “nothing short of a miracle” to describe the rescue of the title-referenced dog.

Not Photoshopped: Beam of Light Shines on Fallen Soldier’s Miracle Dog

Argh. I agonize over stories of soldiers in Iraq and their families. Mainly because I think Iraq was a disaster for the U.S. for soooo many reasons, economic and moral and political and corporate war profiteering reasons, for instance, and I especially hate the fact that more than 4,400 of America’s boys and girls — not to mention deliberately uncounted numbers of civilian non-combatants in Iraq itself — have died as a result. The symbolic finding of Bush and Blair to be war criminals is more than justified, in my opinion.

But … anytime you write about those fallen-soldier stories in detail, you have to take into account that the people in them are real, and they really are dealing, as best they can, with the death of a loved one. You want to be careful, for the sake of those hurting family members, in how you react to the core events of the story.

However! When it comes to reporting those stories, and the reporter steps way over the line and deliberately muddies the news with bombastic, preachy Christian metaphors, the reporting itself is definitely fair game.

The mythology projected at us in this story is that God took time out from his busy schedule of ruling the universe in order to … well, listen:

Sometimes when Rhonda hugged Hero she would softly pet her face and coo, “Justin, are you in there?”  It was Rhonda’s gentle way of remembering their son and his last living connection to Hero. At one point, Hero wandered off and took a stroll in the backyard. All of a sudden, the clouds broke and a light began to solidify in a beam directly down on Hero — a kind of vertical halo.

Talk about reaching. ABC’s Kimberly Launier might as well be going door to door handing out religious pamphlets.

As this dramatic ray of light was shining on Hero she turned to look at me, and it was all I could do to hold the camera steady and not drop it in astonishment. It was an unforgettable moment, and made me wonder if in fact Justin was in there. Then the light vanished.

There’s also this bigger picture surrounding the story — that it is aimed at more than the grieving family. It seeks to persuade the larger audience to buy into some sort of faux-Christian mythology, that a young man killed in military action might “return” and somehow inhabit the body of a female dog, and that a mystical superbeing might shine light on the dog while a photographer was present in order to give evidence of that fact.

And that part … well, I have my reservations. As a writer of fiction, I might justify it. As a writer of NEWS, I never could.

  • Jeff Thompson

    ….and then we all got a pony.

  • robin andrea

    A beautiful ray of sunlight just beamed down like that on our compost pile. Wow, now I wonder whose disembodied soul is in there? The poor zucchini that grew too big, I suspect. I love the worship of coincidence.

  • Dave D

    Finally! The blessed white dog appears to herald a thousand years of peace and bacon strips.

  • Yellow Thursday

    What is this, an argument from incomplete cloud cover? Argument from lens flares?

  • Bill

    To me the message from Justin to his mother is that he is above, shining down, as from heaven. You can faintly see his image above the dog.

    • Yellow Thursday

      Really? Where? All I see are some streams of light and lens flares. And is this something that Rhonda has been quoted as saying, or are you adding your own interpretation to the story?

    • docslacker

      To me, it’s a message from the sun god, Apollo, telling saying he’s annoyed that no one is praying at his Oracle.

  • WMDKitty

    Proof that Ceiling Cat does not discriminate…?

  • Emory K.

    That beam is converging towards a point just a few meters or tens of meters above the dog.

    Mightly low cloud cover that day.

  • had3

    Hmmm, I could put his soul into his resurrected body, or a dog…. I’ll go with the dog – wtf? What kinda deity is that lazy?

    • WMDKitty

      Same one who thought it would be “fun” to take a cat and disguise it as a human.

  • davidct

    And the camera just happened to be ready for the shot. To believe that this was somehow a supernatural event supported by the media is discouraging.

  • Pat

    Killed your son and sent you a dog? Clearly the work of Mohammed.

  • hauntfox

    I got a few shots of Stone Henge a few years back with this same light effect… I wonder which one of the heathen gods was smiling down on me??

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