Obviously, a god had nothing to do with this recession. But if you wanted to point a finger at someone, a god seems like an easy target. Maybe a god caused the recession… or a god wanted you to lose your job… or a god is preventing you from getting any new job interviews.
But you won’t see any of that in this article by Niraj Warikoo and Christina Hall in the Detroit Free Press.
The people quoted in this story only think that the recession has brought them closer to their God.
I’m used to seeing a person or two thanking a god when things look bleak, but this many!?
Look at the number of quotations in this story that go without any rebuttal — Not a single statement about how correlation does not necessarily imply causation. Not a single person saying he’s just hit a rough patch that was outside his control. Not a single rationalist in the bunch.
- “The less you have, and the less secure that you are … the more that you have to draw upon faith,” Gendron said after church last Sunday.
- Gendron: “What do you trust? Do you trust your finances, or do you trust God?”
- “When the tension comes and the pressure comes, I just ask God for relief,” he explained after services at Connection Church in Canton last Sunday. “He’s in charge, even when things are bad.”
- “People who have a steady diet of prayer have an even-keel type of feeling that things will work out,” Alawan said. “It’s just a matter of time.”
- “It’s good to know there is an all-powerful presence overlooking everything in the world,” said Malladi, who attends the Bharatiya Temple, a Hindu center in Troy. “Religion gives answers to the questions we face in our lives.”
- “[Prayer] has stabilized me and my family during these trying times,” Lodge said. “Faith in Christ will bring you through all trials and tribulations.”
- “I definitely think there’s a plan at work,” he said. “I don’t think you can explain it any other way. God provides — we truly believe that. I believe that God provides, no matter what the situation is. No matter how bleak things look.”
- “I haven’t prayed in a long time. I’m not a churchgoing person,” Mott said. “But it was nice to talk to God and have Him watch over us.”
- “We learned that God is our source,” said Beth Henninger, 58, of Taylor, with her husband, Steve, 58, outside Connection. “His mother always used to say, ‘What this country needs is a good depression.’ While there are a lot of negative things about it, I really think that it is drawing us closer to God.”
- “We always thought this was going to go on forever,” he said. “Now, it looks like it may not. … It makes me realize I can’t count on Ford Motor Co. or the United States government. I have to count on God to get me through.”
- “I have faith that the Lord will lead me in the right direction.”
Even more inexcusable is the headline: “Faith sustains us in difficult times.”
No it doesn’t.
Faith may sustain these people — and even then, only in their minds — but it’s certainly not a blanket statement.
It’s supposed to be a feel-good story; instead, it has the opposite effect. You just feel sorry for these people who have not only lost their jobs but also the ability to reasonably think through the causes.
(Thanks to Daniel for the link!)