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Act of God kills two and saves two, allegedly

[21 Jan 2013] A helicopter collided with a skyscraper crane in central London last week, killing the pilot and a rush-hour commuter on the ground.

This was the cue for an outpouring of quasi-religious rhubarb from people who think every tragedy or lucky escape is ordained by the Almighty. First there was Richard Moule, one of the crane drivers, who told the press he wasn’t aloft in his machine because he’d overslept that morning: ‘I just woke up late. Call it divine intervention if you like.’

His sister went further, tweeting: ‘Maybe there is a God up there! That was my brother’s crane and he was late for work today.’

The wife of Moule’s fellow crane driver, who was also late for work because he’d overslept (bit of a pattern emerging here), told the Daily Mail: ‘I thank his guardian angel.’

So let’s examine the theology here. There is an omnipotent God, and everybody has a guardian angel with a hotline to the Big Man upstairs. And between them, after a lot of negotiation outside time and space, they decide as follows: two people will be incinerated in a fireball but a pair of crane drivers will get an extra half hour in bed and live to tell the tale.

This drivel is less prevalent on TV and radio but the press still lap it up. And it’s almost literally manna from heaven for the twitterati. Publishing it is not only an insult to any God there might be but also to the people who died, allegedly as a result of orders from on high.

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