Pharyngula

We’ve all heard about the Chilean miners trapped in a cave-in, who have been sustained for over two months by supplies delivered through a narrow tunnel drilled down to them. Their rescue is imminent, with an escape tunnel being drilled and almost at their position — they should be out this week. Personally, I credit technology with saving them, but…three religious groups are squabbling over which version of god deserves thanks.

The three Christian denominations have each claimed credit for what they say is divine intervention in the survival – and expected imminent rescue – of the 33 men who have spent 67 days beneath the earth.

“God has spoken to me clearly and guided my hand each step of the rescue,” said Carlos Parra Diaz, a Seventh-day Adventist pastor at the San Jose mine. “He wanted the miners to be rescued and I am His instrument.”

Yards from where he spoke Caspar Quintana, the Catholic bishop of Copiapo, prepared an altar to celebrate an outdoor mass for a small congregation of miners’ relatives and phalanx of TV cameras. “God has heard our prayers,” said the bishop. “I have received comments of encouragement from all over the world. Let us give thanks.”

A litte bit further up the hill of Camp Hope, the improvised settlement of miners’ families, rescuers, government officials and media, an evangelical preacher, Javier Soto , wandered from family to family with a guitar and songs of praise. “He listens to the music,” said the pastor, gesturing to the azure sky.

You know, the drill hasn’t quite reached the miners. Maybe we should just shut down the machinery, withdraw all the tools and the laborers, and have Mr Diaz, Mr Quintana, and Mr Soto stand above the men and use their magic to complete the rescue. That would be impressive.

I’d also like to see the three frauds step forward and take the blame for all mining deaths, as well.