I enjoy watching or reading a believer when they “get it” about religion and its place in society. They understand the importance of reason and logic in explaining our world. It doesn’t force them to change their religious beliefs but helps to balance that belief with the real world.
Case in point was one of the topics mentioned on the TV news satire “The Daily Show with John Stewart”.
On Thursday August 4th, Stewart commented on one of the biggest stories of the week – the crash of Air France Flight 358 in Toronto (that’s in Canada in case you didn’t know). Here is my attempt at a transcript. If want to see the video you can go the show’s website. The clip is called “It’s a Miracle”.
JOHN STEWART – Air France 358 tried to land in Toronto during a terrible thunder storm, apparently struck by lightening, skidded off the runway, crashed into a ravine, burst into flames, and in TWO MINUTES all 309 passengers and crew got out alive. A remarkable testament to the training of the crew and the emergency response personnel competence.
[Video of Paula Zahn on CNN]
ZAHN – Tonight, the Miracle of Flight 358….
[Video of other news readers saying the passengers escaping was a miracle]
STEWART – That’s bulls**t! [audience howls with laughter] A miracle defined in my dictionary is a marvelous event manifests in a supernatural act of God. Dude, the only miracle was the lightening that hit the plane. That was an act of God. [audience applauds] If anything God was trying to kill those people. [audience laughs] His plan was foiled by the crew’s Satanic competence…. [Stewart then shouts] Can’t someone take some human credit for a job well done?….. [audience cheers]
[Video with voice over from Chief of Toronto’s EMS service talking about the process of responding to the accident and then finishes…]
CHIEF – … and as you have said today, it was a miracle….
STEWART – NOOOOOOOOO! This is NOT a miracle. If the passengers had died then 3 days later came back to life, THAT would be a miracle. Or from my people if the flames from the wreckage lasted for 8 days… well maybe not a miracle but a least you could use it to start a new holiday….
[then a bit later…]
STEWART – At least with all this talk of miracles, it didn’t drown out the other big news of the day…..
[Video of Ann Curry of the Today Show]
CURRY – ….Thank you Kevin. [pauses as she turns to camera] Is there a baby boom for Pandas in this country……
[Audience howls in laughter as Stewart sits there with a deadpan expression]
STEWART – I don’t know. But if there is a baby boom for Pandas I guess it is a miracle. Or perhaps…..
[sound of thunder. Stewart looks up and shouts]
STEWART– [voice echoing] Seasonal Breeding Patterns!!!!