Sunday, October 31, 2010

“God Himself Couldn’t Sink This Ship”

According to legend when the Titanic was launched a White Star Line employee claimed, "God Himself couldn’t sink this ship!". Of course, the Titanic famously did sink. On April 15, 1912 during her first trans-Atlantic trip she hit an iceberg and went down in the North Atlantic. Over 1500 people drowned or froze to death before the nearest ships could reach them.

I remember hearing the story of the Titanic in school. The part about the claim that God couldn’t sink it was always told with grim self-satisfaction. The message was clear: don’t challenge God, or He’ll show you who’s boss. We the believers were a superior group, and the people who had flippantly challenged God with an unsinkable ship had gotten what was coming to them.

The story itself is probably apocryphal, and to be fair, I don’t think that any of my teachers and rabbeim really thought that the Titanic sank just because of what one person said. They probably never really thought about it at all; it was just a cute story to illustrate a point and make us all feel righteous about our belief in God.

The implications of the story, however, are not flattering to God. God apparently gets upset when a mere human challenges His power. Upset enough to kill 1500 people in a fit of rage. This is comparable to a father who gets upset when his three-year-old proudly claims that, “Not even Daddy could break my fort!” and in a fit of rage smashes the cardboard fort and seriously hurts the children playing inside.

Why is it that so many people don’t realize that stories like this one portray God as a petty, vindictive megalomaniac?

I suppose I should just be happy that at least in the Titanic story, God is acknowledged as the Cause of the iceberg. Usually the disaster is attributed to bad luck while those who managed to survive praise God for the miracle of their rescue.

7 comments:

  1. Why is it that so many people don’t realize that stories like this one portray God as a petty, vindictive megalomaniac?

    As opposed to how YHWH is portrayed in the Pentateuch?

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  2. As opposed to the idealized idea of God as an omnipotent omni-benevolent Father and King.

    You’re right, of course. God in tanach is a petty vindictive megalomaniac. But there at least there are millennia of commentary that explain why what God did was really good.

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  3. Plane goes down, crashes. Everybody dies except a little girl. Was the little girl being saved due to God? Ok, how about the rest the flipping plane?

    I forgot where I heard that line of questioning -- think it was either Hitchens or Dawkins debating Mcgrath -- but I find that it really brings people to consider that they're being inconsistent.

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  4. Yeah, the Argument from Incomplete Devestation.

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  5. You're assuming again, brudda. The Trinity didn't say to build a HUGE ship; the Big Tit was built outta greed and vanity, nothin else. That's what you must remember. God bless you with discernment --- Nevertheless, if you think of it in this perspective, you’ll swiftly come to the conclusion we all have a short time to live: ALL of U.S. will croak at some point in our lifelong demise, thus, our indelible spirit rises-up to meet our Maker - absolutely nuthin we can do bout that: our soul wants to be loved, nourished, enveloped, return-to-her-maker-thing. Jesus doesn't have a sign outside of Heaven saying, 'Those who don't believe? C’est la guerre. C'mon in. Guess I wasn’t as forthright as Marvel Comix'. Be on the pro-LIFE-eration side, don't be on the side which'll swiftly LET/LEAD you down. I’m a small 'peAce-de-resistance' of a Larger Picture: give your soul that final chance. Repent and believe. God bless you with discernment.

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  6. God could not sink the ship, but an iceberg could.

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    Replies
    1. ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE FOR GOD ! YOU DONT WANT TO CHALLENGE HIM BECAUSE YOU WILL REGRET IT ! IF THE TITANIC SANK ITS BECAUSE GOD WANTED IT TO BE THIS WAY ! GOD KNOWS WHAT HE DOES AND HOW HE DOSENT ! AND TO MAKE IT CLEAR ALL I WANT TO SAY IS TO NOT CHALLENGE GOD WITH HIS POWERS AND HIS GLORY ! HE IS STRONGER THAN YOU SO DONT CHALLENGE HIM1!

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