“I Could Feel His Hand On My Shoulder…” and All That

By | May 18, 2022

I had a thought this morning:

Let’s say that I happened to wind up in an active shooter/hostage situation of some kind and somehow managed to tackle and disarm the gunman. Unfortunately, in this hypothetical scenario, I do get shot multiple times and wind up clinging to life in the ICU.

I am a white male who attends church on a more-or-less weekly basis. It goes without saying that the conservative/Christian radical right would try to co-opt me as a sign that God is watching His children and keeping them safe and so on — never mind all the times that gunmen killed dozens of people, many of whom also attended church regularly.

If I were prepared to be an absolute cad (and assuming I did survive my wounds), I could probably make a lot of money on the inspirational-speaker circuit, to say nothing of getting invited to be on all the conservative/radical right talk shows and so on. All I’d have to do is say “Jesus saved me, I could feel Jesus by my side while I was tackling that naughty shooter”. Instant $$$.

I grant you that this whole scenario is unlikely to take place, but this morning, I figured out what I should do in the event that it does. The moment I first have a microphone of some kind thrust in my direction — as I leave the hospital, or as I give a press conference from my hospital room, or, you know, whatever — and someone asks me what I credit my heroic measures and my survival to, I’m going to blink, try to look surprised that they even have to ask that question, and then I’m going to say:

“I prayed to Elvis. Elvis saved me.”