What constitutes an act of God? Anything that isn’t caused by a human hand? If so, there’s a fine line between act of God or act of man in a mechanical failure, since the mechanical end, it could be argued was created by a human—or co-created between a human and God. However, whether or not that mechanical piece of equipment continues to work could, I suppose, be either an act of man—or a human failure—or an act of God.
I guess the people at Southwest Airlines have decided to see it as the latter—and conveniently so for their sake and not for the sake of humans—their passengers. Tucson’s most popular airline recently added “mechanical difficulties” to the list of acts of God and other events for which the carrier will not be liable if travel is delayed.
Mechanical difficulties now appears on a list of events, including wars, riots, storms, earthquakes and other acts of God “outside of (Southwest’s) control.” Other airlines are expected to follow suit, since the industry tend to keep a certain standard in its policies. It won’t be long before they all stop taking responsibility for their mechanical failures. They’ll simply blame the fact that their planes don’t work or their mechanical staff is inadequate on God. It’s God’s fault.
Hmmm. There’s something just not right about that, don’t you think? And if this becomes a trend in the airline industry, couldn’t it become a trend everywhere? Couldn’t every industry claim their product suddenly stopped working because of an act of God? Next, the auto industry will say their recalls aren’t something for which they need to feel responsible; it was an act of God, rather than a human error, that the part failed.
Then human’s will follow that example and decide abdicate responsibility as well, claiming God is responsible for any number of mistakes and errors that happen day to day. I can see it already.
It’s so easy for us to blame God for the bad things that happen to us or in the world. And it is true that God’s hand is at plan in the world and in our lives. However, to a large extent we are co-creators with God. Like any mechanical item, we have our own hands in the machine creating the workings. If the machine doesn’t work, we must take responsibility at least to some extent.
Sometimes, however, the machine stops working because of a greater plan. Destiny is at play or there is some reason we don’t understand why that machine must fail on that day at that particular moment. That’s God’s hand.
It’s a fine line between God’s hand and man’s hand. But we can’t stop taking responsibility just so we aren’t liable, like Southwest Airlines. There’s something totally wrong about that. That’s a bad example to set or to follow.