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Belief Beat


Chilean Miners Saved — and ‘Saved?’

posted by Nicole Neroulias

The 33 Chilean miners have been miraculously rescued from their two month underground ordeal, answering the world’s prayers. As an update to my post yesterday on this topic, check out GetReligion’s latest roundup of the faith-related coverage.

Now that everyone is safe and sound, assuming that Stephen Prothero is right and God Is Not One, who should claim credit? As David Gibson asks in his latest Politics Daily column, “Whose God Rescued the Chilean Miners?” Chile is predominantly Catholic, but as David Gibson’s Politics Daily column points out, Pentecostals, Baptists, Seventh-day Adventists and others have also jockeyed for position.

Either way, it’s a safe bet that any Christian God would frown upon the mistress-wife confusion that greeted several of these men as they surfaced. (Yikes. Makes you wonder how that will get handled in the inevitable movie adaptation… seems more appropriate for a telenovela!)

Incidentally, can we breathe a sigh of relief that the Westboro Baptist Church doesn’t operate internationally (yet)? Imagine if Phelps and his clan, or a copycat group, had showed up at the rescue scene with their hateful signs… Thank God, indeed.

Share your thoughts in the Comments section below.

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MH

posted October 14, 2010 at 9:18 am


I think the humans who found their location underground, dug the rescue tunnel, and operated the phoenix were the ones who saved them. No deities need to take credit for their efforts.



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Alicia

posted October 14, 2010 at 10:21 am


You don’t have to believe in God to see the rescue of 33 men trapped 2000 feet under solid rock for 70 days as miraculous. It is a miracle of human ingenuity and solidarity, and if there is a deity, He/She/Whatever certainly did their part. It is a thrilling day.



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ds0490

posted October 14, 2010 at 12:15 pm


Let’s see…if we are going to quibble about whose God saved them, let’s first settle another question.
Whose God allowed them to be trapped in the first place?



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carley

posted October 14, 2010 at 12:45 pm


god gives us trials and tribulations, from our sins and turning away from what hes given us (grace, pureness,life) we deserve these trials and tribulations that he gives to us, (a chance to come and turn to him in need) which is what these miners did and god prevailed. we should be praising and blessing one another not cursing and banishing one another. god does these things to get us closer to him. in this case he won!



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Henrietta22

posted October 14, 2010 at 1:58 pm


Nobody’s God trapped them deep in the earth. The company didn’t follow through with something they should have corrected in a timely way and didn’t. According to the stories told here and there in the news the men who have always been guided by their beliefs in God continued on in this same frame of mind and it served them well. IMO God starts us all out equally and it is up to all to use our faculties to grow through our lives learning, helping, and being helped. If we find God on that journey, our faith and our beliefs will help our souls to grow faster. I only heard of one man who had a wife and mistress greeting him at the same time. Not too surprising, one out of 33 men. Maybe sitting in a hole a half a mile down for 69 days has shown him an answer to his life, maybe.
The President of Chile should be given applause for asking the world to help get his countrymen out of the collapse of the mine. He did the right thing fast.



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Your Name

posted October 14, 2010 at 2:06 pm


the devil is responsible for what is going wrong in the world besides those of us that reject JESUS.



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Your Name

posted October 14, 2010 at 2:08 pm


The devil kills steals and destroys. and God came to give us Life everlasting.



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pagansister

posted October 14, 2010 at 8:27 pm


YN:
The devil is responsible for what is going on in the world? Right, and the moon is really green cheese! There is no such “being” as the devil. It is the creation of some religions to give those religious institutions a control mechanism over the faithful. Those faithful with brains, know better. Man kills and steals and destroys, and also could actually save him/herself if they tried. However, humans have been fighting with each other since they came out of the slime and left the trees,so it seems that that “divine” entity they created hasn’t done much to help that situation. As to the miners and their entrapment, Henrietta, explained it well. Their fantastic rescue? The power of what humans can do when they put their heads together and a lot of luck. Am happy all are out safe, and for they most parts, sound.



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Carol Green

posted October 15, 2010 at 10:20 am


Check out newly released book, Spiritual Transformation in America. It deals with the major shifts that are taking place in religious and spiritual observance, affiliation and practices in the United States. Go to author’s website, http://www.carolbgreen.com. It also gives insight into how many Americans react to this kind of crisis.



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margie dixon

posted October 15, 2010 at 5:57 pm


Well,pagansister,satan has you right where he wants you. You’re being played like a fiddle. I predict that you’ll be calling Jesus’ name in the 11th hour and death is taking you away. No matter how paganish you aspire to be, there are many Christians that love you and are praying for you. And in your head satan is saying, “if God loves everyone why did He let this or that happen” or he’ll say (and this is one of his favorite sayings) “Christians are so hypocritical……” See there he goes again, playing you!



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nnmns

posted October 15, 2010 at 8:59 pm


Ok, whose god did not rescue the three thousand or so who died when those towers fell on 9/11? The world was watching and surely a lot of believers were praying they’d be saved (what kind of believer could watch and not pray for that) so that puts the number of prayers in the billions, from pretty much every kind of believer.
The answer of course is, tragically, no one’s god saved those people. Despite all those prayers. But a lot of people were saved by heroic firemen, some of whom died in the effort.
And those miners were saved by, among other things, a dedicated and skilled effort by the rescuers; in other words by people, caring people. That’s what we all have to hope for, that there will be skilled and caring people with the resources they need, when we need them. That’s not vapor, that’s real.



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Cynthia Zirkwitz

posted October 16, 2010 at 10:39 am


The skilled and caring people with the resources needed to help the miners were lifted by the prayers of thousands, perhaps millions, around the world. Of course, now the standard line is “the rescue was not a miracle” and that will be difficult for those without Christian belief to see around. What we see as “saved” in human terms is minute in terms of what “saved” means in an eternal context. Keep watching.



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pagansister

posted October 16, 2010 at 11:11 am


margie dixon:
Satan or the devil, or any other name some want to call a make believe being has no control of me (or anyone else, but it makes a good excuse for some to commit crimes etc…..The devil made me do it excuse). I’m sure it makes you feel good to say that, and pray for me. No problem. As I explained above, I don’t believe in that creation. If there was/is a god, then that creation should have been getting into the act a long time ago. Some humans have been killing in the name of some god for a centuries. How is it that that creation puts up with that horrible nonsense? Oh, Satan causes that?? NO. People kill. Check out the OT. 10 commandments….the “thou shall not kill one. The miners were saved—luck and great human engineering. Is all good.
Most of my family (excluding husband and children) are devout Christians, and that is totally fine. My first 17 years were too—until I realized it was, to me, nonsense. Over 60 now, I’m not planning to change my mind. Haven’t figured out why some Christians think that at the time of death, non-believers will all of a sudden want a god. I do agree with your statement,however, some Christians ARE very hypocritical.



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nnmns

posted October 16, 2010 at 2:00 pm


“Satan” is a convenient invention, sort of like Kryptonite in the Superman universe.
How do you keep finding interesting stories about a guy who can’t be harmed? Invent a way to harm him.
How do you square an “all powerful, all knowing, loving God” with the evil in the world? Invent a super-villian to put evil in the world. Of course there’s an obvious fallacy with the Satan thing – “God” is supposed to have created the whole shebang, including Satan, knowing all along how things would turn out (“all-knowing”, remember?) so whatever Satan does is, in the God universe, on God’s hands.
I don’t think that hole in the plot is mentioned in many Christian churches.



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Eva Stavrinides

posted October 19, 2010 at 8:36 am


In my own naive thoughts I am pretty sure it was God who saved the miners.



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Grumpy Old Person

posted October 25, 2010 at 2:13 pm


I agree – that is pretty naive.
If you’re going to credit God with saving the miners, you have to blame the same God for allowing it to happen in the first place.
Such pick-and-choose “Christians”.



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miss

posted November 4, 2010 at 8:44 pm


It was pure joy for sure to see their rescue! A couple interesting things I’d like to mention is that one Jesus was in the earth in the depths from on high for 33 years. 33 miners in the very depths of the earth. His message is prophesied in the word to go to all the ends of the earth. Chile just happens to be the furthest end of the earth. 6 days shall you labor. There were 6 rescue men.
On another note, while they were being lifted up and the very perfection of deliverance of them displayed through great engineers blessed of God of course, in Columbia there were two miners in a coal mine who did not get rescued. To my utter frustration the media globally refused to reveal that story. I contacted news stations and media sources around the world. They refused to cover the story. Not until it was announced that the search was suspended on day 4 was it announced and very briefly so the world knew nothing of those two miners. The fact is coal plants and coal being used as energy is on the poo list with many elite. Second, there is sad laws governing mining that varies in countries. Miners should never go down into mines in an area where if there is an accident there is no back up plan possible to retrieve them. This is where human life is disregarded as valuable for safety vs materials. It is not bad enough that little kids are forced to work in mines and unsafe conditions and all for the gain of world trade and other countries benefits but they have no back up plan or funds rescue staff on hand to help in time of accident. THIS SHOULD CHANGE. The fact the story was hid of the two miners in Columbia should speak volumes to the world! Please see the video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5eRODJ2QD6o



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NorsKenR

posted November 6, 2010 at 7:21 pm


I haven’t read Prothero and must “opt out” of any assumption that “God Is Not One.” It is not at all strange that different Christian denominations, factions and movements view God differently. Within the same family when a parent dies, different views of, and feelings towards, that parent among the children may emerge, yet having certain common elements.
The preservation of the miners long enough to be found in their sanctuary was providential, but not necessarily miraculous. Likewise the successful coordination of efforts and many other aspects of the rescue operation. (A good rule of thumb is that a miracle involves suspension or supersedance of some natural law; providence does not.) Psalm 107 gives multiple examples of providential deliverance of people in harrowing circumstances, each followed by, “Oh, that men would give thanks to the Lord for His goodness, and for His wonderful works to the children of men!” Just because God doesn’t upend natural law with a miracle doesn’t mean His hand is not at work. He created natural law, He upholds it, and He respects it and works within it whenever possible.



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