Last night my wife and I couldn't believe what we heard while watching the evening news. "It's a miracle," several people said, referring to the Navy jet that crashed into Virginia Beach apartment buildings without killing anybody.
A U.S. Navy admiral said Saturday that the fiery crash of a fighter jet into apartment buildings in the military community of Virginia Beach matches his definition of a miracle.
No one was killed and everyone was accounted for one day after the accident.
"I don't speak for anybody's religious beliefs, but the mayor and I both agreed that if you want to define a miracle, what happened here yesterday meets that definition for me," Adm. John Harvey, the four-star head of the U.S. Fleet Forces Command, told reporters.
Give me a break.
Laurel and I both had the same reaction to the 11 pm news. A real miracle would be if God stopped the jet from crashing. Of course, there's no way anybody could know if this happened, because nobody knows anything about God except for what is imagined.
As it was, seven people were injured. Some apartment owners lost everything. A hugely expensive plane was lost. And this is supposed to be a miracle? A disaster not being as disastrous as it might have been.
Religious true believers play this absurd game often. Ninety-nine out of one hundred people are killed when a boat sinks. A child is found alive, floating in a life preserver. "It's a miracle!"
No, it's a disaster. Horrible things happened. If God stood by and let 99 people die so one could survive, God is a giant asshole. Likewise, if God stood by and let the jet crash into the apartment buildings.
Gosh, there wasn't a 9.0 earthquake here in Oregon today. It's a miracle! Life could have been worse, but it wasn't. Praise God! Get real. In the case of the jet crash, there were good reasons why nobody died.
Investigators, witnesses and experts said multiple factors were at play:
— Most of the F/A-18D jet's fuel was dumped before the crash, causing less of an explosion.
— The Navy credited neighbors and citizens with pulling pilots away from the flames after they safely ejected.
— The plane crashed into the apartment complex's empty courtyard, and two days before Easter in the middle of the day, most residents weren't home.
There are reasons for what happens. God and miracles aren't part of them.