Faith sent Dr Kent Brantly to fight Ebola – and it gave him the strength to accept God's will
Apparently, it was God's will to put him through hell by contracting Ebola, but then God had preordained that Brantly be a white American -- lucky him! So he was whisked away back in a state of the art jet to the most technologically advanced nation (so they say) to be treated with a new experimental serum. Thank God!
Listen, I'm happy he's alive, don't get me wrong.
However, I cannot help but wonder what the other hundreds of suffering patients back in Liberia could learn from this. Maybe they had even more strength to accept God's will. That's right, perhaps God's just testing them.
Brantly thanked God for his recovery. I know, I know, what would I expect from a Christian missionary? Still, I am allowed to cringe. Here's what Hemant Mehta had to say about it.
Some will say it’s impolite to bring any of this up, but giving a shout-out to God after surviving a tragedy may be the most natural, yet repugnant, thing to do. It wasn’t the grace of God that saved you. It was trained professionals, scientific breakthroughs, or just plain luck. There’s where the credit should go. There’s where all the credit should go. It’s just crazy that the things that actually saved Brantly’s life are treated as afterthoughts.Perhaps God didn't hear all the prayers of the hundreds who died in Africa? Either they and their families were not praying hard enough or else we have a pretty ghastly and morbid experiment here with very clear results indeed. Either God is a monster, was out fishing or simply doesn't exist at all. I'll pick non-existence because I would rather not even entertain the existence of a being who behaves like this and this is completely justified with the utter lack of evidence for his existence. Thank goodness for that!
Anyway, back to Christina Odone's article.
But Dr Brantly's heartfelt gratitude has struck some commentators as inappropriate – even cruel. They argue that Uncle Sam, not God, saved the young Oregon physician. He was, one commentator sneered, “whizzed home” by the American authorities, to a hospital in Atlanta, where Zmapp, an antibody serum, was administered. Thousands of Africans were not so lucky; they were not evacuated, or given the newest medical treatment available. They died.
It was modern science that saved Brantly and this is where his gratitude should rightly go. This seems to be what Odone doesn't see.
Now Dr Brantly speaks of his gratitude to the same God that has overseen the Ebola outbreak.
Precisely. What's the deal with this God who apparently gives all the black and brown people horrendous diseases knowing full well they're going to suffer horrendous deaths? Especially since Liberia is 85.5% Christian and 12.2% Muslim. Must be all the indigenous and others, right?
The secularist finds this baffling and downright nasty: how can Brantly thank God for saving him, while knowing that men, women and children back in Liberia are dying all around him of the same virus? Surely only a Wasp’s arrogance explains Brantly’s reaction. He thinks he is one of the chosen few who deserves God’s help – in the form of an expensive drug – and damn the rest.
I think she means atheist here, not secularist.
Anyway, I don't think it necessarily has to do with Brantly being a white anglo-saxon Protestant. It seems to be a problem pretty common among all theists out there. I'm still waiting for an adequate solution to this problem of suffering as well. It's also so interesting that God apparently favours the highly atheistic and secular countries to the north while apparently utterly despises the highly religious ones in Africa.
Odone calls this sneering, but I call it a legitimate question. How could anyone seriously thank a God that not only saves a few -- for seemingly random or geographical reasons -- after He either created or stood by watching the disaster in the first place?
Well, Ms. Odone, please enlighten me!
Dr Brantly has faith. And he would answer that it does not help understand God’s ways, but accept them. Faith means total surrender to the divine will. The young missionary is giving thanks to God, because he believes He has saved his life; but he would have just as readily died with a “praise be to God” on his lips.
Oh come on! You realize that if these were the actions of anyone but God everyone would be calling to have them thrown to into the depths of Hades. With the God glasses, the almighty murderer can do no wrong whatsoever.
The rest of the article does nothing whatsoever to answer the problem brought up at the start. How does it make any sense at all to thank a being who allowed thousands to become sick from a virus he apparently created, then allow them to suffer horribly and die all the while holding the cure in his hand.