One of my favorite parts of the recent Reason Rally was the performance of Tim Minchin. Other than his cynical comment about the reason for the Rally, “It’s amazing really, that 300 years after the Enlightenment, we have to have a rally for the fucking obvious”, perhaps my favorite part of Mr. Minchin’s performance was his piece “Thank you god (for fixing the cataracts of Sam’s mum)”. Following are some of the lyrics:
“Thank you, Sam, for showing how my point of view has been so flawed.
I assumed there was no God at all but now I see that’s cynical.
It’s simply that his interests aren’t particularly broad.
He’s largely undiverted by the starving masses,
or the inequality between the various classes.
He gives out strictly limited passes,
redeemable for surgery or two-for-one glasses.
I feel so shocking for historically mocking.
Your interests are clearly confined to the ocular.
I bet given the chance, you’d eschew the divine
and start a little business selling contacts online.
Fuck me Sam, what are the odds that of history’s endless parade of gods
that the God you just happened to be taught to believe in
is the actual one and he digs on healing,
but not the AIDS-ridden African nations,
the victims of the plague or the flood-addled Asians,
but healthy, privately-insured Australians
with common and curable corneal degeneration?
This story of Sam’s has but a single explanation:
a surgical God who digs on magic operations.
It couldn’t be mistaken attribution of causation,
born of a coincidental temporal correlation,
exacerbated by a general lack of education
vis-a-vis physics in Sam’s parish congregation.
And it couldn’t be that all these pious people are liars.
It couldn’t be an artifact of confirmation bias,
a product of groupthink, a mass delusion,
an Emperor’s New Clothes-style fear of exclusion.
No, it’s more likely to be an all-powerful magician
than the misdiagnosis of the initial condition,
or one of many cases of spontaneous remission,
or a record-keeping glitch by the local physician.
No, the only explanation for Sam’s mum’s seeing:
they prayed to an all-knowing superbeing,
to the omnipresent master of the universe,
and he liked the sound of their muttered verse.
So for a bit of a change from his usual stunt
of being a sexist, racist, murderous cunt,
he popped down to Dandenong and just like that,
used his powers to heal the cataracts
of Sam’s mum – of Sam’s mum!”