On an"Over the Top" Satire
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Last week, there was a great deal of criticism over a young woman's videos on YouTube. She had posted a video claiming to have prayed to God to send a sign to atheists so as to open their eyes to his existence, and the Japanese earthquake and tsunami were God's answer to those prayers.
Initially, she was criticized as an ignorant Christian, but once it was realized that she was an atheist, she was criticized for insensitively using the tragedy. There was a mindless mass Internet reaction against this young woman, a thorough piling on, and she ended up pulling all her videos from YouTube. At least one irresponsible sanctimonious jerk posted her personal address and and phone number, exposing her to an enormous amount of harassment and direct threats upon her life.
And why? What did she do wrong?
She exposed exactly how some religious people act. Not just Christians. In fact the Governor of Tokyo, Shintaro Ishihara claimed that this particular tsunami was divine punishment and was needed to wipe out Japanese egoism. But the Christians are right in there along with the shinto Governor of Tokyo. You can be sure the Fred Phelps family are positively creaming their pants over this and blaming the earthquake, the tsunami and nuclear reactor problems entirely as a message from God to the the gays. Those predicting "End Times," whatever the date, have built the Japanese earthquake into their doomsday scenarios. And while he somehow managed to button his lip on this one, we all know that Christian blabbermouth Pat Robertson has credited previous disasters to his God. But Robertson's son, Gordon, showed that the fruit does not fall far from the tree by announcing on-air that the disaster pointed to the coming End Times.
Mormon Glenn Beck suggested the Japanese earthquake was a message from God; Rush Limbaugh, another Christian loudmouth criticized Gaia by somehow leaping to a link between the earthquake to Japanese environmentalism.
Several years ago, I mentioned a Letter to the Editor in which the writer had suggested that a 78 year-old man's "current suffering could be considered his opportunity to repent and believe." The examples above show the same moral callousness and the same belief in a malignant deity as the writer of the letter, but on a far larger scale.
Obviously most Christians don't speak this way, and many of them are highly offended by those who do credit God for every event which brings mass casualties. But, the fact is religious fools - and they are fools - do make a point of tying natural disasters to their religious beliefs at every possible opportunity. And they seem to do it publicly without stirring up the total crapstorm that enveloped poor Pamela for pointing it out only too well.
Yes, Pamela went over the top - to the degree that in accordance with Poe's Law, her satiric rant was almost indistinguishable from the real thing. But what she had to say was entirely legitimate. She was calling the morally repugnant amongst the believers to account. She should be commended for it.
She did not deserve the punishment the Internet community dealt out to her. She didn't deserve the criticism levelled at her by believers, and she certainly did not deserve the abuse levelled at he by fellow non-believers. I, for one, would hope she returns to YouTube with all her videos, and tones things down not one iota.