The rescue of the trapped miners in Chile is a truly wonderful story. The careful plan put together by international teams seems to be working smoothly in bringing the stoic miners back to the surface and
21 of the 33 all have been rescued so far, after spending over two months trapped half-a-mile below the surface. See here for how the rescue was carried out. It is a triumph of perseverance, endurance, cooperation, patience, technology, and science.
But apparently three different Christian denominations are claiming it was their prayers that resulted in god intervening that resulted in the successful rescue and are vying to claim credit for the successful rescue. They did not explain why if god wanted the miners rescued he didn’t simply lift them out of the mine himself or why their gods were silent when the 29 miners died in the West Virginia in April. It is pathetic to see people so desperate for a sign from god that they clutch at these straws.
In another footnote to this story, NPR depended upon an al-Jazeera reporter to get an on-the-spot report from the mine site earlier this week. NPR frequently uses reporters from other news services like the BBC but al-Jazeera is used only for stories in which either al-Jazeera itself is the story or because there are some situations (like the Gaza aid flotilla) where only they venture to send in reporters. This was the first time I had heard NPR using them for a ‘neutral’ story. It signals the long-overdue recognition that al-Jazeera, which provides excellent news coverage, is being seen by US news outlets as a legitimate source.