I have a relative who sends me religious crap. I think it’s now being sent just to wind me up. Recently this delightful Power Point presentation landed in my inbox. MIRACLE_IN_EGYPT
A short time ago I would have written this off as a parody invented by a non-religious person to see if they could suck in some believers and go viral. I’ve changed my mind about this after reading on Greta Christina’s blog about an orthodox Jew who can’t tuck in his seven year old daughter’s blanket without performing a purification ceremony, and refuses to touch a woman or spar with one even though he’s a martial arts instructor, for fear of getting woman cooties. So if people can let that kind of bullshit run their lives, they will believe anything. Maybe this really did come from believers, and not scoffers trying to suck them in. Of course SOMEBODY had to make this up. We know that much. And the story as invented says a lot about the limits of Christian imagination, or the imaginations of those who would promote Christianity, or some nameless hoax writer. The whole Jesus story is hardly bullet proof plot structuring, what with the death that isn’t really a death and the sacrifice of God’s son that isn’t really a sacrifice, but it’s super real and powerful compared to this.
This is what the hoax slayer site (http://www.hoax-slayer.com/egypt-murder-miracle.shtml) says about about “Miracle in Egypt”:
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“This widely circulated email relates the story of two little Egyptian girls who survived 15 days buried alive due to the intervention of a supernatural saviour with white clothes and bleeding hands who is later identified by rescuers as none other than Jesus Himself. ©iStockphoto.com/Joshua Blake
There is no credible evidence whatsoever to support an email story claiming that two young girls survived for fifteen days buried alive because Jesus visited them in the grave every day and fed them. (No evidence? Well, no shit, Sherlock. – DH) As well as circulating via email, the piece has also been posted to innumerable religious forums and blogs where it has generated substantial and often heated debate.
According to the story, a Muslim man in Egypt murdered his wife and then buried her along with his still living daughters, one 8 years old, the other still an infant. However, Jesus came to the children every day, feeding the eight year old and “waking” the dead mother so that she could nurse the baby. It was not until the children were discovered alive and rescued from their premature grave 15 days after being buried that the miraculous experience came to be told. Or so this wildly fanciful tale would have us believe.
Not surprisingly, there is not a single shred of evidence to support the story. I could find no credible news reports about such a miraculous rescue, nor any information about an Egyptian man who murdered his wife and buried his children alive. Naturally, if true, such an amazing event would have certainly garnered a great deal of media attention, not only in Egypt, but around the world. And a miracle like the one described would also have been thoroughly investigated by both Muslim and Christian organizations. The total absence of any credible confirmation of the story along with the absurdity of the claims mean that the story is surely a work of pure fiction.
Even if entirely fictional, religious parables have their place and can serve to strengthen the faith of believers and effectively illustrate a particular worldview. However, rather than being a parable designed to reinforce a Christian ideal, this particular piece of nonsense seems more intent on denigrating and undermining the Muslim faith. In a world troubled by faith-based violence and misunderstanding, false stories such as this can only add to existing divisions and circulating them will serve no good purpose.”
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You’ll notice that Hoax Slayer seems sympathetic to religious myth making in general, as if inventing nonsense stories that “serve to strengthen the faith of believers” is a good thing, and doesn’t address the central absurdity of this story. While believers have no limits on their imagination when it comes to making up stupid stories, with racist, divisive overtones and not so subtle threats – He who denies me before men, I will also deny him before my Father in heaven? – they have a severe limitation on their imaginations when it comes to creating credible superhero actions. I mean, what would Superman have done? Or Batman? Or even the very human Green Hornet? Here we have an all powerful deity who visits these poor children, trapped underground in a grave, so he can feed the older child and bring their mother back from the dead to nurse the baby. What? He brought her back to life? How many times? To feed her baby? That is just creepy. But he doesn’t do anything to get them out of the hole!!!??? He doesn’t tell anybody about them!!!??? For an all powerful superhero who “is still controlling and turning the world”, he’s pathetic. If he were real and a human, he’d be charged with something. I don’t know. Contributing to the abuse of minors? Accessory after the fact? Lawyers could nail him with something, surely. Jesus the doofus.
And the believers think spreading this poisonous nonsense will help their cause? No, it has to be a parody. Even believers can’t be that stupid. But… okay, there’s evidence that they can be that stupid. Solid evidence.