Tuesday, June 20, 2017

A Twisted Sort of Miracle

'Pilar Molano, a miracle amidst terrorism.' From Semana magazine.
For me, this headline captures what is either infuriatingly close-minded or touchingly naive about religious faith.

Pilar Molano in happier times.
I should be clear that I'm not against faith, which can provide comfort in times of crisis, like this one. And that I'm happy that Pilar Molano survived the bombing at the Andino shopping mall and hope that she recovers completely.

But calling a close call with death like this one a 'miracle' is a bizarre distortion of the world. Explicitly understood, a miracle is a supernatural intervention by a God to aid someone. If I could somehow suddenly jump 100 feet high or write like Shakespeare, then that would be a miracle.

But if God exists and he or she wanted to help Pilar Molano, then the about the worst way to do it would be to make her the victim of a near-fatal terrorist attack and then let her narrowly survive it, albeit with a terribly mutilated leg.

If God really wanted to perform a miracle for Pilar, he or she might have helped Pilar to achieve her life's dream, whatever it may be: playing music professionally, living in Hawaii, or flying an airplane. Or whatever.

But submitting Pilar to a incomprehensible terror attack and letting her barely survive it, seems like a twisted sort of miracle.

As for the bombing itself, authorities appear to still be at a loss as to the culprits. Fingers have pointed at three different groups, however:

The ELN guerrillas, who in February planted a bomb in a sidewalk above Bogotá's bullfighting stadium, killing two police officers and injuring about 20. But the ELN have denied being behind this bombing.

The Úsuga Clan, also known as the Urabeños or Clan del Golfo. The clan is into narcotrafficking, and illegal mining, which it protects with mass murder. But the clan doesn't appear to operate in Bogotá, and random, unclaimed terror attacks don't seem to be its style or in its interests.

The shadowy Movimiento Revolucionario del Pueblo (MRP), a group with links to public university students, which has planted bombs in Bogotá public restrooms and other sites over the last several years. But if the MRP did commit this terror attack, then why doesn't it claim it?

By Mike Ceaser, of Bogotá Bike Tours

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