Thank God for Ebola!

The current outbreak of ebola has been in the news for awhile now, and for good reason: it’s already killed more than 1,200 people in Western Africa, and it infected a few Americans, too, which of course is about the point when Americans started giving a shit. Two missionaries were flown back to the US for treatment, and both are doing well now. One of them, Dr Kent Brantly, specifically thanked God for saving his life. He did acknowledge that God used the handy tools of an emergency trans-Atlantic flight, an experimental drug and one of the world’s best healthcare teams, but it was God, nonetheless, spurred on by prayers.

In related news, authorities discovered that the source of the ebola outbreak was a traditional healer who claimed to be able to magically heal ebola, attracting patients from far and wide. Eventually she caught the disease and died. Mourners at her funeral then picked up the disease and carried it back to their homes, where it continued to spread.

So there we have it: Brantly’s Christian god clearly outpaces the spiritual beliefs of that healer, provided she wasn’t also Christian.

If so, then I guess it just means that God loves Brantly more than it loved her and those 1200 other people.

Or you could look at it like this: the people who traveled to the tiny village of Sokoma, Sierra Leone, had an unsubstantiated belief in the supernatural.

Brantly had an unsubstantiated belief in the supernatural, plus an airplane specially outfitted with medical supplies, an experimental drug, and one of the finest healthcare teams in the world.

If I remember my 1st year of algebra, I think we can subtract two things that are the same and see what we’re left with.

As Dr. Brantly thanked God for saving his specific life, riot police in Liberia were using barb wire to trap 50,000 people into the West Point slum in the hopes that those who have the disease would die horribly and take all their poor neighbors with them.

Thank god.

Rebecca Watson

Rebecca is a writer, speaker, YouTube personality, and unrepentant science nerd. In addition to founding and continuing to run Skepchick, she hosts Quiz-o-Tron, a monthly science-themed quiz show and podcast that pits comedians against nerds. There is an asteroid named in her honor. Twitter @rebeccawatson Mastodon Instagram @actuallyrebeccawatson TikTok @actuallyrebeccawatson YouTube @rebeccawatson BlueSky

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  1. Way to brighten everyone’s day Rebecca. The Ebola virus outbreak has got to be one of the saddest stories of the past week.

  2. Every time something bad happens, there is always this chorus of Christians saying, “It’s HIS plan, and it’s beyond our comprehension to know why!” So, God’s plan is to kill people, especially babies and young children, with a horrible disease? Why would you worship such a horrible planner?

  3. “and it infected a few Americans, too, which of course is about the point when Americans started giving a shit. ”
    …except for a small bunch who have probably already weaponised the virus.

  4. I see it all of the time working with cancer patients. If someone dies because of the disease it was because it was “their time”, but if someone ends treatment and is in remission then praise God for his grace to give them strength to get through it.

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