Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Miraculously made ill? An atheist who believes in miracles?

For overseas readers: we are having a bit of a contretemps in our main opposition party, whereby one MP (Chris Carter) has told the world (well, us in Kiwiland) that the leader of his party (Phil Goff) is not up to the task of leading his party to victory in the next election. Carter has been expelled from the parliamentary caucus and is under threat of expulsion from membership of the party. In the last day or so he has declared himself to be 'unwell.' Now our Prime Minister - like his Ozzie counterpart, an atheist - has made a few comments, including the pronouncement of a miracle:

"Key said the bid for sick leave was "a bit remarkable".

"Here's Chris Carter, he's told the truth about his leader and now he's in the sick bin for two months," Key said.

"He didn't look very sick to me last week. He looked fairly exercised about the fact that he didn't think Phil Goff could win an election, but he didn't look terribly sick."

Key joked that Carter should have to provide a doctor's certificate - something proposed legislation would require of ordinary Kiwi workers who take three days of sick leave.
"He's going to have to tell the New Zealand public that he genuinely believes that he is sick," Key said.

"He was asked that question last week, and he said no. He said he was concerned about the Labour Party and he was concerned about his leader. Miraculously, that's changed."
Key said he understood Labour was having great difficulty trying to expel Carter from the party and putting him on sick leave was "a way through that". " (From Stuff).

Whether Carter is sick or not I leave to the High Priests and Shamans of our Political Life to diagnose. What I do know is that it is a bit odd that so much attention is being paid to his view that Phil Goff cannot lead Labour to victory in the next election. Every sane, intelligent voter knows that already. They also know that (1) it has nothing to do with who is leading the Labour Party, (2) there is no wonderful/amazing/ prodigious successor to Goff in the Labour Party, (3) it is not helped by twerpish behaviour by certain Labour MPs :)


Howard Pilgrim said...

Peter, do you really have be taught the basics?
1. Those who use miraculous means to make others ill are practitioners of The Dark Arts.
2. Such practitioners do not necessarily believe in the existence if God. In fact, their effectiveness would generally be hindered by such a belief.
3. Does our PM's remarkable ability to recognize the nature of such miraculous activity in this case indicate that he is himself such a practitioner, despite his sunny demeanour? You might well think so, but I could not possibly comment.

Peter Carrell said...

No, Howard, Key is not the practitioner, but a man of unexpected spiritual discernment. Whether it was Goff, Mallard, or, pulling the strings from New York, Clark who made Carter unwell or "unwell", I, a man of no discernment, cannot tell ...

Howard Pilgrim said...

No discernment, Peter? You are clearly no Muggle ... Goff, Mallard, Clark, or a dark conventicle of all three: the plot thickens when I consider these participants. Still, I would not discount the influence of their atheistic opponent, as the key player.

Andrew Reid said...

Another interesting phenomenon is the number of miraculous illnesses that occur when someone is about to be brought to trial! The ones that spring to mind include:
- Pinochet, excused from trial in UK on health grounds, then lived happily for a few years(?) in Chile before his death.
- Joh Bjelke-Petersen, former Premier of Queensland, who used Alzheimer's as a defense during corruption charges.
- Suharto in Indonesia, escaped trial on poor health grounds.
- Christopher Skase, Australian business tycoon who escaped to Majorca, Spain while wanted for fraud charges, and resisted extradition on health grounds. Did actually die of his illness, eventually.
In the New Testament, the only examples of miraculous death or illness I can think of are Ananias and Sapphira in Acts 5, and Herod in Acts 12. Plenty more in the OT of course.