When asked if she thanked the Lord for her family’s safety, the young survivor, while holding her 19 month old happy son, answered Wolf Blitzer’s absurd question with poise and honesty. She practically giggled, “I’m actually an atheist.”
I on the other hand, picture my response to that same question, going very differently.
Wolf: We’re happy you’re here. You guys did a great job. And, I guess, you gotta thank the Lord right? Do you thank the Lord?
Me (seething with sarcasm): Wolf, I do thank the Lord. I mean, look around you; what’s not to thank Him for? We are standing in a pile of unrecognizable rubble that used to be someone’s home or business…it’s actually difficult to tell. Block after block of what used to be houses, are now discolored shadows on the ground where foundations and families used to be. I thank the Lord, and His gentle hand, for using the tornado as a mile-wide drywall tape knife, just scraping up every bit of animate and inanimate matter in its path and swirling it skyward in to oblivion.
Of course I thank the Lord for sending this EF5 monster tornado to our town, so that the lucky ones of us who survived, who did not get hurtled in to nonexistence, or who were not crushed under tons of twisted steel and smashed concrete, can express our gratitude at His divine mercy for saving us. Indeed, I thank the Lord that he saw fit to only cut obscenely short, the lives of a dozen or so school children over at the elementary school, and not the entire school – His mercy is boundless!
So Wolf, let me ask you a question. Do you really expect me to thank the omnipotent being of what I can only assume is your particular religion, for sending this massive, immensely destructive force to our town, just so that those of us who have escaped with our lives and the clothes on our back, can be grateful?
Yes, I’m glad that Wolf Blitzer asked the joyful Rebecca Vitsmun if she thanked the Lord for her safety after the horrifying tornado ripped through Moore, Oklahoma, rather than asking me, because at the end of the day, Rebecca’s gentle and honest answer to the interviewer’s ridiculous question will serve atheism – and ultimately humanism – much better than my fictional tirade.