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Sunday, August 13, 2006

Pharyngula: Is Incompetence an Act of God?

Category: Stupidity

An Alabama church collapses on a Thursday night; fortunately no one was hurt. As we've come to expect, a god gets credit, never mind that maybe a truly beneficent god would have prevented the collapse in the first place.

"Thank God nobody was hurt," Pastor Jeff Carroll said.
"He chose to let it come down on a Thursday evening when nobody was

This story has an additional twist, though. Why did the church collapse?

The congregation and volunteers designed and built the
new church apparently without filing plans or gaining approval from
local or state entities. Carroll, himself a homebuilder, said he was
not aware of any requirements and remains unconvinced a government body
should have a say in how a church is built. "If the state and the
church are separate, I don't understand why they think they've got
jurisdiction," he said.

It seems to me that houses built on faith lack any substantial means
of support, as this little story illustrates. I'm a little bit
sympathetic with Pastor Carroll's position, though: let's remove
churches from all secular oversight and impose no demands or
restrictions on their construction, except that in the spirit of fair
warning we should require large signs be posted all around them,
announcing the hazard but reassuring congregants that god himself is
holding the building up. That'll drive everyone with a lick of sense
away from them, and those consenting adults (we'll have a new reason to
forbid the attendance of children!) who believe in ghosts propping up
the bricks…well, they'll be removed from the population one way
or another.

I wonder if any insurance companies in Alabama have been alerted to the construction standards of Jeff Carroll homes?

Posted by PZ Myers


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