INEVITABLY, in the wake of tragedies such as the Colorado movie theatre massacre of 12 people, and the horrific attack on the Sikh temple on Sunday which left six dead, idiots pop up all over the place to make stupid claims about survivors living to tell to tell the tale because of “God’s intervention”.
Well, one woman who survived the Colorado attack and had the courage later to say that her survival, and that of her boyfriend Chris, had bugger all to do with divine intervention is now facing the full wrath of the God Squad.
After the shooting, Carli Richards, 22, wrote on her blog:
I was saved by natural selection, and tear gas. That’s right – tear gas …
A tear gas canister, thrown by the lone attacker James Eagan Holmes, landed at the feet of Carli and her boyfriend. They responded by both running for their lives. She said:
I dropped my purse on the way out with all of my cards – insurance, ID, bank card – as well as my cell phone and car keys in it. But the instinct to keep running overpowered any other thought in my mind. ‘Fight or flight’ is an extremely basic human survival instinct to me, but apparently it wasn’t to some of the others.
Carli, who suffered 20 gunshot wounds and was one of the 70 people injured, added:
I hope to not offend anybody by saying this, but I wasn’t touched by an angel, I wasn’t ‘blessed’ – I had a good head on my shoulders and I used it. It actually worries and saddens me that most people do not possess such basic animalistic survival instincts, that so many of them curled up on the floor and kissed their own butts goodbye.
People can believe in whatever they want to, and perhaps the universe or a higher power or something else said ‘hey, it’s not her time’ but I’d like to give credit where credit is most certainly due, and thank the ones who need to be thanked the most because I don’t think they get enough credit sometimes.
If the medical personnel had not been absolutely amazing, I would not be in the shape I am now.
She clearly made the point that:
I am not trying to talk down to anyone who thanks their higher power for this miracle (and I will agree that that’s a very appropriate word for this) at all, so please do not take it as such because that’s not what this is about.
Despite that, Carli has become the object of a hate campaign. This morning I received a press release from the newly-formed Secular Woman, saying that Carli Richards, in her first interview with a secular organisation:
Offered encouragement to other atheist women: ‘Be proud of who you are. Self respect is something that has been a very important part of my own personal growth and development, as well as overcoming many big obstacles … Stand your ground, be assertive, treat others as you would want to be treated, and be gracious.
Secular Woman’s press release added:
Caring, competent doctors, nurses, and emergency medical staff made prayer unnecessary, but blogging after the incident that no higher power had saved her, she received a backlash of vitriol from readers offended by her non-religious interpretation of events.
Said Secular Woman Vice President of Operations Mary Ellen Sikes:
Carli’s courage and goodwill shine through whether she is reflecting on a terrifying experience, crediting humans over gods, or dealing with hate mail. We couldn’t be more delighted or honored to welcome Carli into the Secular Woman community.
Freethought Blogs has a perfect contrast to Carlie Richards. This guy said God saved him because he was praying.
The Secular Woman interview is under embargo until tomorrow, so you will not be able to immediately access it.