The always-provocative William Saletin captures the ages-old debate over divine intervention in the lives of men, in this case the Columbia disaster. How can we simulataneously give credit to a supernatural being for such things as the good fortune to have food on our plates and trust that it will watch over us, and yet not blame it for sitting idly by while tragedy strikes? Saletin comes down on the side of Deism: “The outcome of war is never certain. In the skies over Baghdad, as in the skies over Texas, God’s non-neutrality is a guide, not a promise. If Iraq insists on building weapons of mass destruction, we must fight not because God will protect us, but because He won’t.” This conclusion strikes me as correct as far as it goes but begs the question: Why bother worshipping such a god?

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.