Alabama residents are relieved the hostage situation involving a five-year-old named Ethan is finally over. However, the man (Jimmy Lee Dykes) responsible for the event as well as the death of heroic bus driver Charles Poland is dead. WTVY News Dothan has been covering the event and specific details are linked below:
I am prompted to speak about this due to an influx of some rather cold comments I have been reading on my Facebook news-feed.
Of course, everyone commenting is pleased that little Ethan was rescued relatively unharmed from the unhinged man started this chain of events. Some more perceptive individuals thank the authorities responsible for the resolution of this event and their deft handling of such a delicate situation.
However, many people disregard this feat of human heroics and attribute this instead to “God’s will,” claiming that prayers were heard and then subsequently answered. These claims are callous and insensitive in my opinion, for the reason that it gives a nod towards predestination and implies that God is responsible not just for the safety of the child, but the deaths of the bus driver Charles Poland and Jimmy Lee Dykes as well.
The logic of this thinking is beyond my understanding, for it would also imply that God selectively listens to and answers prayers. What of the prayers of the Newtown residents in the face of the recent school shooting massacre, or the nearly countless atrocities committed worldwide since? Most of us are familiar with the “free will” argument by now touted by the faithful–the claim that evil is a result of human free will bestowed upon us by a creator. Unfortunately this rationale is conveniently discarded whenever convenient.
I respect anyone’s religious beliefs. That being said, I respect common sense even more. This leads me to my next point.