Tuesday, September 13, 2011


I've never liked miracles; they seem to violate the natural order of things. But sometimes, an account of a miracle does more than that; it makes me mad.
For instance, there's a miracle recorded in the Bible. Seems Jesus and some of the Apostles are walking past a man who was born blind. One Apostle asks, "Who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?" The answer was that no one had sinned. The man was born blind so that he might help demonstrate the power of God. Wherewith, the blind man was healed, and could see again.
This miracle is often quoted to prove a theological point: a person can sin before he or she is born -- ergo, they lived before this life. Because I focused on this point, I for years overlooked what is now to me the salient point of the story. It's this: A man was forced to live for about 30 years in darkness, unable to run or play as a kid, unable to learn or ply a trade, unable to see the sunrise or the sunset, to read, to recognize the faces of his family -- all this so that someone could pull a stunt and impress the rubes.
This strikes me a both callous and a bit of an overkill. I mean, couldn't he simply be born with a wart on his face, a not unattractive wart, that could be removed miraculously? I can see the scene now: "Who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born with a not entirely unattractive wart?" The answer, "No one. He was born with a wart so that the power of God could be manifest in a non-cancer-causing operation."
Same result -- the rubes are impressed, the guy gets better looking, and all is much more humane.

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