Andrew Needum

'God put people on that plane for a reason,' Flight 1380 hero says -- but why does he believe that?

'God put people on that plane for a reason,' Flight 1380 hero says -- but why does he believe that?

How many times could God be mentioned in a news conference without reporters asking a single follow-up question about, you know, faith?

I lost count of how many times hero firefighter Andrew Needum -- who rushed into action after an engine exploded aboard Southwest Flight 1380 last week -- and his family referenced God in the YouTube video embedded with this post.

I'll give a rough estimate of 20 or 30 mentions of God.

But questions from reporters about Needum's faith? I didn't hear a single one.

Instead, the media focused on details of the flight itself (understandably, to some extent) and the closeness of the family and, well, just about anything except for religion. Which is frustrating to anyone -- I'll raise my hand -- genuinely curious about the faith angle.

Interestingly, the quotes about God figured prominently in much of the news coverage I read — just without any context.

For instance, give credit to the Dallas Morning News for highlighting -- not ignoring -- Needum's "God talk."

The Dallas newspaper -- more so than other major news organizations, such as CNN and USA Today -- emphasized his faith emphasis in its headline and up high in its story.

The headline:

Celina firefighter who rushed to help woman on Southwest flight says God put him there for a reason

Here's the opening of the story: 

On Tuesday morning, Celina firefighter Andrew Needum hurried to New York's LaGuardia Airport with his parents, wife and two young children to catch a flight back home. He said he did not yet know that God had placed him on Southwest Airlines Flight 1380 for a reason.

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