So is there a God looking after us or not? That's one of those subjects that always acts as a red button to those on either side of the argument and i was readying myself to test my recently discovered tolerance of religion, but it never came.
What i thought would be the ignition was the case of Fabrice Muamba, the 23 year old Bolton footballer who collapsed with a heart attack during last weeks game. It is reported that he wasn't breathing for 60 minutes and doctors had to shocked his heart fifteen times before it started beating on its own again.
Thankfully, although still in intensive care, he is now conscious and talking again but while his life was in the balance, we were being urged to pray for the footballer. His family were in the media urging the country to pray for him, as was his teammates, several wearing 'Pray 4 Muamba' t-shirts.
Now i agree it is a nice sentiment but phrases like 'It is all in God's hands' and 'God will decide' as i have heard from those of a religious standpoint during those first days do not sit very easily with me.
It is a terrible thing that has happened to the young player and i wish Muamba a full and speedy recovery but if he fully recovers, thinking that it was the 'power of prayer' is a massive insult to the dedicated surgeons and nurses that fought so hard to save him and will be the only people who saved the poor man's life.
It drives me to distraction when people credit God instead of modern medicine in these cases and leads to the unanswerable question of why, if God is willing and able to save the poor victim, did he do his damnedest to kill him with a massive heart attack in the first place and would have succeeded if it hadn't been for the quick actions of the medical team?
Have faith if you want, praying for victims can do no harm, but let's not get carried away with who is responsible for keeping him alive because Muamba is still with us because he was taken to a highly trained medical team at a hospital, not a Bible clutching priest at a Church.