I tripped and fell, and the boat took me away
This photo is from Indianapolis, Indiana, from in front of the Art Museum a few years ago. A sculpture by DK Rubins. I think he called it "Stumbling Man." It may well characterize the fate of the local football club the Colts this season, but something more surprising has come out in the news today, from Italy.
The report I read first came from the New York Times. Gaia Pianigiani reported from Giglio, Italy, and Alan Cowell from London. David Jolly contributed reporting from Paris and Rick Gladstone from New York. "The news [is] that the captain claimed he had slipped on deck and tumbled overboard to wind up in a life boat during the panicky passenger escape — and had not abandoned ship like a coward as accused."
"Captain Schettino was quoted by the La Repubblica newspaper as telling investigators that he had not planned to leave the ship as it tilted toward the water.
“The passengers were pouring onto the decks, taking the lifeboats by assault,” he said, according to the newspaper. “I didn’t even have a life jacket because I had given it to one of the passengers. I was trying to get people to get into the boats in an orderly fashion. Suddenly, since the ship was at a 60 to 70 degree angle, I tripped and I ended up in one of the boats. That’s how I found myself there.”
The new explanation by the captain, Francesco Schettino, for why he vacated the vessel after he smashed into the rocks last Friday night, came as the Italian press has pilloried him as a negligent coward."
The ship, Costa Concordia, remains overturned and in all likelihood will finish deep at the bottom of the sea near the Tuscany coast.
Photo taken by Gregorio Borgia/Associated Press
This all sounds so biblical.
Not a shipwreck, although that certainly happened in the Bible.
Not a story of football teams failing.
No, it's a story of Aaron, the brother of Moses, and a Golden Calf.
"What?" you say. There's been no mention of a cow in the whole article so far. No, you are right, but consider this story from the Book.
In Exodus chapter 32, we read of Moses being up on Mount Sinai. He has spent about 6 weeks up there and is supposed to return with what we later know as The Ten Commandments. During his time away, Aaron is responsible to keep the crowds in control. The people are impatient, and begin a revolution. They demand Aaron give them a new deity. And he comes up with a plan to calm them by giving them what they want, an idol to construct and to worship. When Moses returns and sees the golden calf they had made, he is really upset.
Beginning in verse 21, we read, "Moses said to Aaron, “What did this people do to you, that you have brought such great sin upon them?” Aaron said, “Do not let the anger of my lord burn; you know the people yourself, that they are prone to evil. For they said to me, ‘Make a god for us who will go before us; for this Moses, the man who brought us up from the land of Egypt, we do not know what has become of him.’ I said to them, ‘Whoever has any gold, let them tear it off.’ So they gave it to me, and I threw it into the fire, and out came this calf.”
What! Out came this calf? Come on Aaron, work harder on an excuse than that. But doesn’t this sound like the captain of the Italian ship? Perhaps the stumbling really happened. Perhaps he really did just land in the lifeboat and was carried away. I don’t know at all. Time and others will tell.
But the biblical account is clear.
Don’t invent a lie and expect us to believe it.