At least 26 people have died in a coach crash near the south-eastern city of Grenoble in the French Alps. The coach, carrying mostly elderly Roman Catholic pilgrims from Poland, fell into a ravine while descending a steep incline between Grenoble and Gap. It broke through the safety barrier, fell some 15m (50ft) onto the banks of a stream, and burst into flames. About 20 passengers were also injured. "When the bus was burning, there were injured people inside," local resident Philippe Baret was quoted as saying by the Associated Press news agency. "I saw at least six of them who were stuck inside the bus and burned to death before my very eyes," he said.
Oopsie! The best bit though was last night I was flipping through the French news channels on the satellite (did I mention I speak French?) and they had some priest on who was frantically trying to explain to a very cynical reporter why God would allow such a nasty death to befall what, after all, were pretty serious members of his terrestrial fan club. Predictably he fell back on that weapon of last resort in the theists armoury, namely the logical fallacy that is the argument from special pleading, which in this case went more or less along the lines of "Of course you are not a Christian so you could not possibly understand this but God obviously has a higher purpose that we are not yet aware of but God's will will become clear in time."
Yeah, and 26 Polish grannies trapped in a wrecked coach and burning to death is just collateral damage is it?
Look guys, if this beardy guy in the sky was as good and loving as you claim then shit like this, and presumably the 414 people who died during one month last year, really would not happen. Maybe, just maybe, if you could sit down and really think hard about stuff like this, that mediaeval brainwashing you have called "faith" might clear itself up. Please do try, I know most of you are actually pretty decent people and you can think, you just need to be a bit more critical in your thinking.
Here's something to start working with: These people died because they were in a vehicle with faulty brakes which was on a road deemed too dangerous for that vehicle to be on. They died because of human stupidity, mechanical failure and the practical application of Newton's laws of motion. They were doomed the moment that bus turned down that road and nothing saved them because nothing was there to do so.
Meanwhile for my atheist chums, I found this on some whiny god-botherer blog which I think will give you a giggle:
Pope John Paul II wrote about La Salette on 6th May 1996:
"At La Salette, Mary clearly spoke of the constancy of her prayer for the world: she will never abandon the people created in the image and likeness of God, those to whom it has been given to become children of God."
Shame she didn't have more to say on the subject of motor vehicle maintenance.