Wonder of wonders: “miracle” priest wasn’t an angel.

Recently a priest showed up at a car wreck, prayed, and then it was reported that he “vanished”.  It was hailed as a miracle and even reported as a miracle.  In a fit of deep sorrow spurred by the realization that people can be that desperate, I wrote of the “miracle” priest:

There was a priest at an accident.  The priest prayed, as priests are wont to do.  And then the priest left.  Are we really so lacking for a natural explanation to this that we must wonder if the priest was an angel in disguise?  I guess god didn’t think a better miracle would be stopping this car crash or any other car crash, even the ones where lifelong Christians died.  Nope, better to display his cosmic might by having a priest show up and pray.

Like an aging athlete, god just can’t do what he used to do, I guess.  No more rising from the dead, instead you get a priest at one car wreck out of thousands.  Hallelujah!

I wrote it because people don’t vanish.  It was obvious to anybody tethered to reality what happened: there was a wreck (one of many across the country on that day and every other day) and a priest happened to be nearby.  He went to the accident and prayed, because that’s what priests do, and then he got back in his car when the rescue workers showed up and left.  It’s about as mundane and earthly as you can get, but yet FSM-knows how many people were certain he was angel.

Well he’s not.  He’s Rev. Patrick Dowling, a flesh and blood human being who stopped, prayed, then got in his car and drove off – which is exactly what the conclusion should have been at the time.  But no, we have to go on a man hunt to find this guy, this guy who did nothing amazing or out of the ordinary, just to make sure he wasn’t an angel.

Will these countless miracle-hungry people learn their lesson?  Of course not.  Within days this will be forgotten (without so much as a “whoops”) and they’ll be declaring and accepting another miracle and wondering how anybody could question that this one is the genuine article.  And then they’ll act persecuted when we shake our heads at them and declare that religion is a safe haven for silliness, before congregating on Sunday to talk about how atheists are just miserable and jealous of their glorious religion.

Well we’re about as jealous of people who think a priest at one wreck out of several in a day is a miracle as we are of people who think the world is flat.  Like them you are not superior, you are not blessed, you are something to be pitied and you’re just unaware of it.  You’re the reason people like me want to see humanity free of religion.

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About JT Eberhard

When not defending the planet from inevitable apocalypse at the rotting hands of the undead, JT is a writer and public speaker about atheism, gay rights, and more. He spent two and a half years with the Secular Student Alliance as their first high school organizer. During that time he built the SSA’s high school program and oversaw the development of groups nationwide. JT is also the co-founder of the popular Skepticon conference and served as the events lead organizer during its first three years.