Physics is a Cross to Bear

November 11, 2012

Via the Huffington Post, in Albany, New York:

David Jimenez was so elated over his wife’s recovery from cancer that he offered to clean the large crucifix outside the Hudson Valley church where he spent many hours praying for her to beat the disease. On Memorial Day 2010, he was scrubbing grime off the cross when the 600-pound marble statuary toppled over, crushing his right leg.

The then-43-year-old immigrant from Mexico was flown to Westchester Medical Center, where doctors had to amputate his injured leg. He’s suing the Roman Catholic church where he was hurt, and early next year his $3 million lawsuit is scheduled to go to trial.

“He attributed her recovery to his devotion to the cross and Christ hearing his prayers,” Jimenez’s lawyer, Kevin Kitson of White Plains, told The Associated Press.

So, let’s see, the Christ whom Jimenez credits for his wife’s remission…is going to be pleased with his lawsuit?  Wouldn’t you think devoutly Catholic Jimenez might be a little fearful that the same Jesus would change his mind after being subpoenaed to testify?

Any newspaper or news broadcast refutes the belief that the Supreme Being is a cosmic genie turning our infinite wishes into His commands, or that He rewards the pious for their faith with His favor.  Torture and murder, disease and disaster, afflict both the devout and the immoral every day.  It has always been so.

And yet people like David Jimenez believe they’ve been the beneficiary of a miracle when the unexpected happens—then blame physics for their carelessness.

Ten years ago, M. Night Shyamalan wrote and directed Signs, a huge international hit that starred Mel Gibson as a minister who’d lost his faith after his wife was killed by a car.

The car hadn’t careened out of control and jumped the sidewalk where she was delivering Meals-on-Wheels. No, what happened was that she decided to walk at night along a pitch-black country road wearing dark clothing.

To say that she was foolish, arrogant, and careless doesn’t mean that she got what was coming to her.  But neither was her fate comparable to the death of a blameless child from leukemia.

So why did Gibson’s minister take it that way?  After all, with his large flock in this pleasant town, many of his duties presumably included counseling the bereaved who’d lost loved ones to fates far more painful and cruel than his wife’s. Ah, but now that his own beloved had been taken from him, the universe had suddenly become unjust.

What a narcissistic pussy.

But that backstory is only a prelude to the movie’s real narcissism.  Its action centers on an invasion of earth by murderous creatures.  Tens of thousands, if not millions, of people are savaged.  Yet it’s only when a seemingly coincidental series of events leads to Gibson’s son being saved from an alien that Gibson rediscovers divine goodness and his own faith.

As for all those other poor souls who’d met hideous ends? Irrelevant.

On May 30, 2010, Jimenez was standing on the crucifix’s base, using rags and soapy water to clean Christ’s face. While holding onto the cross beam for balance, the whole crucifix snapped off at its base, sending Jimenez crashing to the ground, Kitson said. Pieces of the crucifix broke off, but the bulk of it landed on Jimenez’s right leg, crushing it.

Kitson said only a single screw was holding the heavy crucifix to its base.

It’s a miracle the cross stayed in place for so many years. And now David Jimenez has brought it down.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Chuck Currie November 11, 2012 at 1:15 pm

Real life is a bitch.

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