Trusting god almost leads to disaster

Trusting in god is almost always a sure recipe for disaster. Faith healing and snake handling are two examples where people decide that prayer and faith will cause their god to overturn the laws of nature and of course they don’t and people die needlessly.

We now have another case of near tragedy. A San Diego couple and their two children (one 3 years and the other 8 months) decided that the US was too sinful for their tastes, especially when it came to homosexuality and abortion and “the state-controlled church” (???) and they decided to take a “leap of faith” and set sail in a small boat for the tiny island of Kiribati in the Pacific Ocean.

But just weeks into their journey, the Gastonguays hit a series of storms that damaged their small boat, leaving them adrift for weeks, unable to make progress. They were eventually picked up by a Venezuelan fishing vessel, transferred to a Japanese cargo ship and taken to Chile where they are resting in a hotel in the port city of San Antonio.

Now you and I and other sane people will say that this shows that trusting in god to take care of you despite your foolish decisions is insane and that this family was saved from a watery death by sheer luck.

But you can bet that this is not how they and other religious people will see this. To them, they will ignore the fact that repeated major storms wrecked their plans to get to Kiribati and say that the rescue is evidence that god does take care of them.

What really angers me is that these people put the lives of their children at risk. If adults want to risk their own lives and go off on some damn fool trip across a wide ocean without adequate preparation, they are welcome to do so. But leave children out of it.


  1. Rob Grigjanis says

    Well, I can’t argue with their judgment that the US is sinful, but our criteria may differ. Church*-controlled state, more like.

    *Church of Mammon, that is.

  2. raven says

    From the news reports, these people just didn’t seem very bright.

    Among other things, they could just leave the USA any time they want for any where they want. It’s a free country. They could have taken public transportation to Kiribati. Those islands are isolated, but they aren’t that isolated.

  3. raven says

    Kiribati isn’t that great a place to live.

    My friend once spent some time there as part of an economic development program.

    Average lifespan is 61, low even for the third world. They are poor. Life is hard.

    The island he was on was small, overcrowded, and the highest point was 15 feet above sea level. There was no doctor. The men go out in small boats to catch fish. Sometimes they don’t come back. They use steel hooks when they can get them. When they can’t, which happens, they make them out of shell.

    With rising sea levels, they whole island is at risk of becoming uninhabitable.

  4. Lassi Hippeläinen says

    Arizonians at sea, what could possibly go wrong?

    The article didn’t provide dates, but it sounds like they set sail under the storm season of the South Seas, which happens as predictably as the hurricane season in the Caribbean.

    And the “tiny island of Kiribati” is a set of island groups that covers almost as much ocean as the continental US covers land. The islands are small and low atolls. There’s a good chance to sail through it without seeing land.

  5. says

    God kept the two airports on the island of 100,000 (no lines here) a secret because, well, God.

    In their defense, being placed into a boat unprepared, uneducated, and unguided and told to sail for a promised land that is subject to abject poverty and doomed to imminent ecological collapse only to be thwarted by an “act of God” and subjected to tortuous despair even greater than what their “success” would have offered is exactly what their God would do to them. They really ought to have read the book instead of watching Charlton Heston movies.

  6. elpayaso says

    hah. just wait til someone smarter than them helps ghost write the book for em and they get rich selling it to the credulous……regrettably, they may get the last laugh

  7. sailor1031 says

    doG knows that Kiribati will all be under water by 2100 (the government has negotiated an agreement with Oz and NZ to accept the people of Kiribati as permanent refugees because of this) so she overruled their destination plans and sent them to Chile instead. But were they grateful to doG? They were not. They were rebellious and thinking they knew better than doG they came back to the USA. For this act of defiance their children will have to live in Arizona……..the only thing missing from the story this time was the talking snake, who seldom leaves Washington DC anymore.

    Truly doG works in mysterious ways

  8. Nick Gotts says

    If adults want to risk their own lives and go off on some damn fool trip across a wide ocean without adequate preparation, they are welcome to do so.

    I disagree: this can put rescuers (and the international “marine community” has a proud tradition that they go to the aid of any boat in distress) to inconvenience, pecuniary loss, and danger.

    Some important facts about Kiribati have already been provided, so here’s a trivial one: the name is not the one given to the islands by their original inhabitants. As wikipedia has it:

    The main island chain was named the Gilbert Islands in 1820 by a Russian admiral, Adam von Krusenstern, and French captain Louis Duperrey, after a British captain named Thomas Gilbert, who crossed the archipelago in 1788 when sailing from Australia to China…. Although the indigenous Gilbertese language name for the Gilbert Islands proper is “Tungaru”, the new state chose the name “Kiribati”, the Gilbertese rendition of “Gilberts”, as an equivalent of the former colony to acknowledge the inclusion of Banaba, the Line Islands, and the Phoenix Islands, which were never considered part of the Gilberts chain.

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