Stories like this stink of trouble.
A self-confessed atheist has become a believer after mocking God by sarcastically praying for his mother to win the lottery. However, his joke prayer was amazingly answered as the next day his mother won $1 million on the New York Lottery Sweet Million game.
Sal Bentivegna, 28, who did not previously believe in God, had sarcastically asked his mother to “ask your God for a million dollars”.
However, his mother Gloria Bentivegna, follows the Catholic faith, and staying true to her belief refused to ask God for such a thing.
Taking his joke further, Sal then prayed out aloud saying, “God, I don’t know if you’re real or not, but if you are there, please let my mother win a million dollars.”
He added, “If Jesus wants me to believe in him, that’s what he’ll do”.
The following day his mother bought a “Lotto Tree” of unscratched instant win tickets from her Church’s charity auction. Sal was then left absolutely stunned when he found out his mother had won a million.
First, there is the whole context of this ‘miracle’. God would not support gambling habits. He certainly wouldn’t answer a prayer asking him for, of all things, money (since, you know, that whole ‘give up all you own and follow me‘ mentality he has). Second: Why would God grant this prayer (mock prayer) over the potentially millions of daily prayers to him for the same thing, often by people in much more dire straits?
This is a brand of dilettantism that stretches back. People need to learn the difference between a coincidence (she had the winning lottery ticket whether he prayed or not) and a miracle (something that defies all natural explanations). People win the lottery, it happens all the time (though, usually, not to you). But the odds are not all that insurmountable! If they were, people wouldn’t ever win and nobody would play (well, some people might–because they enjoy giving someone their hard earned money for no reason whatsoever). I think people purposefully blind themselves from this fact when they are fabricating this world where God intervenes like this. How odd that people actually believe that God will expend energy to boost capitalism and support someone’s addicting (re: self-destructive) habits but won’t lift a finger to alleviate the AIDS crisis in Africa.