My friend appropriately entitled this find “The Lord works in mysterious ways”. So mysterious that he can cease the lives of those about to be “saved”. To think that H2O, combined with important sounding phrases, marks an entry into the arms of god, one must be very “swept up” in the moment in deed.
So swept up that the you drown – quite literally.
Here in South Africa:
Four people drowned on Sunday morning during two separate church baptism ceremonies in Eldorado Park in Johannesburg and Bloemfontein in the Free State … The first two people were swept away at 06:00 on Sunday while trying to baptise a woman at a stream flowing into the Klipriver.
Captain Lindiwe Mbatha said: “The pastor and preacher from the Church of Christ … entered the [stream] and called one lady in to be baptised. While baptising her, the river swept [the two of them] away while the woman remained floating in the water.” The irony can not be lost on us, as we witness that the woman yet to be saved is the one still alive; the two, who were themselves already baptised, were the ones swept up in the holy wrath of a nonexistent deity.
It gets worse.
Two other people from the Dothan Apostolic church, also in the Free State, were “swept away”. Their bodies have still not been recovered.
What this indicates to me is the uncaring, undesigned, unmitigated chaos that is part and parcel of a natural world, devoid of supernatural origins and interventions. Forget “The Problem of Evil” and theodicy, and instead focus on these two stories which are demonstrable, absolutely demonstrable, of, at the least an uncaring person in the sky – or, at most, no god.
Here are a group of devout worshippers. They absolutely believe in their dogma – so much so that they are willing to dunk heads in water and chant and other perfunctory performances. Their ebullience was triplicated amongst the amount of minds, willing to accept this celestial imprint via wet hair and clothes. They believe – quite seriously – that god will and does love them. Especially, if you get your clothes wet.
Then, the river or stream in which you are performing this hydrokinesthesis, rises up and engulfs you, sweeps you within its watery grip to clog up your lungs and chest. Suddenly. Out of the blue or brownish-blue, or whatever colour the water was to you. Dead, bloated and your god is disproved. Is there really anything worse?
Yes. There is. The fact that these people will probably continue their ecstasy of unreason, splashing up the river of bad ideas in their rickety boat called religion. It is the ultimate dismissal of self-explanation: This god either has a sick sense of humour, is evil – both of which are human psychological traits imposed on a larger, imaginary being – or, most likely, does not exist. Of course, the meandering of theological mumbo-jumbo would hasten to press this into anything as simplistic as: “OK, look, there is no god.” Think of the jobs that would be lost, the incomes and the tax-exemptions!
So, yes, these churches have a hanging crucified body inside and a few bloated ones outside. Surrounded as they are by counterarguments like these, the religious minds will push on. More people will suffer, mentally by attempting these gymnastics to cater for a loving god and mindless death from a natural event, and bodily by preventing sexual freedom, no blood transfusions (if you are a Jehovah’s Witness), and just plain annihilation. Say what you want about this event, but we can think of hundreds more examples where natural events simply point to a universe and planet without design, forethought and a loving god underpinning its existence.