Missing school bus found near D.C.
January 24, 2002 7:45 PM   Subscribe

Missing school bus found near D.C. Berks Academy administrator Robert Becker said: "I am totally relieved and thankful to the Lord for protecting these kids." Um, excuse me?
posted by hitsman (33 comments total)
FYI - We started discussing this in the Harry Potter fire police thread earlier. It may very well deserve it's own location.
posted by revbrian at 7:49 PM on January 24, 2002

If I have kids, this is going to be added to the long list of reasons for why I will never let them go to a public school. Ever. (I mean, that is if I can afford it)
posted by insomnyuk at 7:49 PM on January 24, 2002

Yeah, thanks Lord for protecting the kidnapped children. Also, thank you Lord for protecting the 300,000 women who were raped last year, but not murdered.

We know that you, Oh Lord, are only responsible for the good that happens in the world, and all the bad is done by humans or some evil demon that has nothing to do with you. God, I'm so glad you're around.

By the way, does Jesus still love me? Yes, I know.
posted by hitsman at 7:51 PM on January 24, 2002

What exactly did you expect the administrator of a Christian academy to say?
posted by mr_crash_davis at 8:04 PM on January 24, 2002

I just can't believe the driver's name is Otto.
posted by sudama at 8:06 PM on January 24, 2002

Insomnyuk, why would this be a reason not to send your kids to a public school? The kids were students at a private Christian academy.

As for the overblown religious rhetoric - you know, I'm a gay agnostic, but I can completely understand someone in that situation using that kind of wording. Even if he wasn't an administrator at a private Christian school - I know that if someone kidnapped a bunch of kids from the school where I teach, I'd be terrified that they'd been killed. When they were found, my first reaction would have been "Thank God they're all right". Anger at what they had to go through would follow shortly afterward.

It's kind of easy for us, outside the emotion of the occurence, to criticize someone for religious hyperbole. And in some of the other articles the rhetoric is a whole lot stronger and very born-again Christian. But in any case I have a lot of sympathy for any of the adults in that school and what they must have gone through today.
posted by Chanther at 8:09 PM on January 24, 2002

Hmm.. maybe I just won't let my kids leave the house :)
posted by insomnyuk at 8:24 PM on January 24, 2002

what's so wrong w/kidnapping kids to take them to see DC.? sheesh.

sudama: hilarious observation.
posted by suprfli at 8:33 PM on January 24, 2002

Holy crap, I had to go check; his name is Otto!

That is too funny. (sad also, very sad and scary)
posted by hotdoughnutsnow at 8:47 PM on January 24, 2002

Rather than looking at this as religous rhetoric, why not see it as "thanking god" in a genetic sense. Thanks to a higher power for allowing these children to safely exit that school bus.
No need to take it as a religious statement when it would be much more widely accepted as a figure of speech.
posted by Eric Lloyd NYC at 9:02 PM on January 24, 2002

"Um, excuse me?"

Here's an "excuse me" right back at ya, hitsman

If the guy really believes a higher power protected some kids from a man with a gun, why can't he say that? He's expressing relief. It doesn't really matter if you or me believe that one person's god had anything it or not.
posted by Foaf at 9:19 PM on January 24, 2002

hitsman: So, do you participate in Christman sales? After all, Christmas sales only exist b/c of Jesus. After all, we might as thank the Lord for a time of season when we can can all kinds of gifts like no other time of the year. Thank God!
posted by jmd82 at 9:24 PM on January 24, 2002

Foaf: Sure, let the guy express his relief, but his beliefs are not newsworthy any more than mine are. Do we really need to report that someone was thankful the kids were ok? Duh, of course we are relieved! What if we spent less time and news coverage around expressing relief and thanking gods, and more effort toward investigating and preventing the problems?

jmd82: I'm sorry, allow me to thank all the Christians in the world that perpetuate the true meaning of Christmas each and every year... buying stuff and saving money! It's a good thing, because I was afraid we'd never get a sale without them. Maybe if I pray really hard, God will send another messiah in June so we can have more sales!
posted by hitsman at 9:31 PM on January 24, 2002

So, do you participate in Christman sales?

posted by j.edwards at 9:39 PM on January 24, 2002

So, you use Christian-based holidays only when it is to your benefit? I bet if there weren't Christmas sales and Christmas was celebrated as it was meant to be- celebrate the birth of Christ- you'de have a cow if all the same Christmas decorations were around. The only reason non-Christians put up w/ the decorations if b/c the benifit from it, but once the sales stop to, God forbid, it might offend the. Personally, all the commercialism associated with Christmas has really started to annoy me in the past few years, but alas.
posted by jmd82 at 9:56 PM on January 24, 2002

christ wasn't even BORN on christmas fer crying out loud!

stop the insanity!
posted by jcterminal at 10:07 PM on January 24, 2002

but it is the insanity of arguments like these which keep me sane. trying to ruin all my fun!
posted by jmd82 at 11:01 PM on January 24, 2002

So, where exactly was the Lord earlier, say right about the time those kids were being kidnapped by a gun-toting madman?
posted by kindall at 11:32 PM on January 24, 2002

Way to derail the post from it's orginial point, that of the bus driver's name being Otto. If you'd read the article, you'd realize THAT'S the most important part.
posted by Homeskillet Freshy Fresh at 12:21 AM on January 25, 2002

but what was the bus driver's name??
posted by palegirl at 12:47 AM on January 25, 2002

Oh, right, sorry. So, where exactly was the Lord earlier, say right about the time those kids were being kidnapped by a gun-toting madman named Otto?
posted by kindall at 12:57 AM on January 25, 2002

ah....discussing the deep philosophical quandary about the existence of good and evil......

I on the other hand want to know why Otto(the real one) did it...was it the Evil Influence of Modern Media?
posted by bunnyfire at 3:15 AM on January 25, 2002

I would just like to congratulate all the atheists slinging their feces around for keeping this discussion at a high level. hitsman, of course, is being true to his name by trolling for angry responses to his militant atheism, and ought to be treated accordingly.

The nature of God's role in the goodness of individual personal outcomes is, of course, at the very root of the entire history of philosophy both within and without the context of religion, and most recently affected the public discourse with Rabbi Kushner's excellent When Bad Things Happen to Good People {ACLU affiliate link}. Treating this topic with jeers and sneers as some above have done is really contemptible, and suggests a strong lack of sympathy for people who have experienced tragedy.
posted by dhartung at 4:47 AM on January 25, 2002

And, of course for all who want to get their God Gansta Lean On, go here and see people duke it out Old Skool style.

Peace Out.

(Note: I am not claiming a "Double Post"....I simply thought that a lot of the points that have and might be raised here were answered effectively in the above referenced thread.)
posted by Dagobert at 6:13 AM on January 25, 2002

We thank You, oh Kali, for putting hitsman in such a pleasant frame of mind. You go, babe!
posted by jfuller at 6:32 AM on January 25, 2002

where exactly was the Lord earlier

Are you Baptist? They keep asking me if I've found God, too. I don't know where you guys lost him, but that's your lookout, not mine.

Perhaps he was on the bus, teaching the kids songs, and keeping them from playing with the shotgun?
posted by dwivian at 6:37 AM on January 25, 2002

I'd hate to be God's bookie - he always picks the winners.
posted by yesster at 7:12 AM on January 25, 2002

Not wanting to get into the whole God debate I just wanted to note that when I read the "Thankful to the lord for protecting.." my first reaction was to wonder why god let the gun and OTTO on the bus in the first place. And I'm not an anti-religion zealot, just a broken catholic who doesn't "buy it" anymore. :)
posted by fnirt at 8:01 AM on January 25, 2002

Its weird. Being a Catholic, the majority of people who don't "buy it" any more are former Catholics. Not trying to start a trolling debate on WHY (I can guess as much myself), but does anyone else find that true?
posted by jmd82 at 8:33 AM on January 25, 2002

jmd82, I too have noticed what seems to be disproportionate skepticism on the part of 'fallen' Catholics myself. I've always chalked it up to skewed perception on my part (I started Catholic school in 2nd grade though my family wasn't even religious; by 6th grade the nuns would not call on me in religion class or would say "you can put your hand down, Michelle, we know what you think"; presumably it was at some point in between that I decided it was All CrapTM).

Even so, "thank god" and "god bless you" and "i'm praying it doesn't rain tomorrow" remain useful turns of phrase, inoffensive to all but the most confrontational of atheists... I just lowercase in my head, you know.

posted by Sapphireblue at 8:44 AM on January 25, 2002

My break from Catholicism was a 12 year education at the hands of nuns and brothers. I'd been brainwashed into thinking that certain things (most things) were BAD, EVIL, and would send you to HELL (unless you said these words and gave them some cash) -- but later, as I matured and realized that some of those EVIL things were a part of me, that I* was one of the EVIL people, and that the church couldn't accept that. It was then that I understood that a person's race, gender, sexuality, or political beliefs do not instantly make them a bad or good person. That it's our expression of those beliefs, our faith in ourselves, and our relationships with other people that make us Good or Bad people. And after all of that, the church still thinks I'm evil because of who or how or when I want to love. Screw 'em.

And it's odd, but I think of Catholicism as one of the less irrational religions. There are a LOT of far more screwed up religions out there.
posted by fnirt at 8:50 AM on January 25, 2002

Thanx you for your perspectives. Always interested to hear what people think in a non-argumentative context.
posted by jmd82 at 1:04 PM on January 25, 2002

jmd82 - For some context on your question, realize that the largest religious group in America is the Catholic Church, and the second largest is lapsed Catholics.
posted by NortonDC at 11:19 PM on January 27, 2002

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