The Washington Times - August 22, 2008, 02:38PM

     Three months ago on May 21, Christian singer Steven Curtis Chapman and his family had the worst of tragedies: Their 17-year-old son, Will, accidentally ran over their youngest child, Maria Sue, 5, in the family driveway. From what I can discern, the child basically ran into the path of the car. Tons of sympathy was poured out toward this Nashville-based family and hundreds attended the little girl’s funeral.

     Then inexplicably, the family began appearing on TV this month to talk about their grief. There was the Aug. 5 appearance on ABC’s “Good Morning America” with Steven and his tearful wife, Mary Beth who looked too overwhelmed to speak. That was followed an appearance on Larry King Live. An exclusive interview has just come out in People magazine.


     “We’re a family with a lot of questions,” Steven said on the ABC program. This has made them question their faith, they said, but they are still hanging on to God.

     Is there anyone else besides me who finds this kind of strange? These interviews are unbearable to watch. What is the lesson we are supposed to draw from this: That God allows evil and we are left to pick up the pieces? Why would a family, not even three months after the event, spill their guts on the nation’s biggest TV programs? What made them decide to do this? Is this supposed to help people have more faith?

    “I had a very ignorant anger toward God” right after the accident, said Caleb Chapman, one of the first family members at the scene of the accident. “I screamed ‘Why?’ three times.” But even that, he added, proved “how real God is.”

     Really? Not to this observer. What is there about our culture that moves people to so publicly unveil their agony and at the same time talk about how good God is? The Chapmans have reacted far better than I would have under similar circumstances. I just don’t get the media appearances. Is this an attempt to glorify the Almighty? If so, it didn’t work, at least not with this viewer.

— Julia Duin, assistant national editor/religion, The Washington Times