I just heard--under duress--a song on the radio, "Jesus Take the Wheel," a ham-fisted country Wal-Mart anthem about a woman with a little baby whose car skids on the ice. As she sees "both their lives flash before her eyes" (which is itself an oddity, since she's only lived one of their lives) she TAKES HER HANDS OFF THE WHEEL and asks... "Jesus, take the wheel". After they survive the event she thus finds herself obligated to just keep her hands off the wheel of life forever. It seems in that instant it came to her, in what strikes me as a way-fucked-up grasp of cause and effect, that how she'd been livin' was somehow at the root of her god's motivation in threatening the life of her (perhaps very evil, admittedly) little toddler. Or perhaps driving in inclement weather is now a sin and this is how we find out.
Why she did not blame the Jesus figure for making her a shitty driver is a question left unexplored.
Personally, I'm much more ready to believe that letting go of the wheel in a critical automotive situation is a bad idea, that if she wants not to live wrong she might start by learning how to be proactive in her driving. But hey, it's not my song.
I'm always amazed that (presumably) otherwise intelligent people are willing to line up--publicly!--behind this lopsided shell game wherein a god figure is thanked for every positive event but is never blamed for people's misfortune or held otherwise accountable for the world's intense misery, let alone that these same people make sappy songs about the shell game and hordes of other people nod their heads sympathetically in the glow of the righteous pap. Quite apart from what we ought to think about the whole modus operandi of a deity who sends cryptic messages by threatening innocent children rather than, say, a personal visit, how can the god figure be thanked for one's dinner and not held responsible for people elsewhere not having enough to eat? How can we thank the god for steering the tornado clear of our house and not blame him for letting it destroy the neighbor's place? It would seem that The Lord works in ways so mysterious as to be perfectly useless as an explanatory device.
Maybe it just takes a certain kind of mind. I read a while back that substantially larger percentages of Americans believe in a "heaven" than believe in a "hell," as though the concepts were somehow separate. Perhaps this is the kind of mind. Maybe when I grasp the one, the other will make more sense to me.
Anyhow, as I listened to the song I was reminded about a plane crash a few years back where the cockpit voice recorder revealed that the plane was deliberately crashed by a Muslim pilot who was attempting to hasten his journey to Shangri-La-La Land by testing his faith with a convenient planeload of irredeemable sinners in tow. He basically put the airplane in a steep nose-down attitude and then let go, saying over and over again in a frantic voice "I put my faith in Allah" (or some such psalmic hooey) while--big surprise--the airplane crashed in a big fucking fireball, killing everyone, including our boy in his dogma bubble.
I guess Bubble Boy knowingly killed a big bunch of people, so that's one big difference between him and our Wal-Mama of Song. But it's the same delusion, and it's not a huge stretch for me to imagine that woman (whose new tactic for livin' right we are supposed to celebrate) as a pilot in the cockpit responding to an in-flight emergency in the same fashion. Indeed, as we've contemplated before (courtesy of Sam Harris), if we are unable to consider Ms. Wal-Mama as having a kind of mental illness, then we are left with the conclusion that she is a better religious person than we are and... we ought to emulate her. If her religion is right, then she is right and we ought to follow her lead.
OK, it's a work of fiction. A really, really, reallyreallyreally stupid one. But I don't get why the writer & performing artist are not hounded out of town for wanton harmful stupidity.