The devastating 8.9 earthquake that hit Japan is an opportunity to see catastrophe theology in action. Rather than wait for Pat Robertson-style pronouncements that the earthquake is about evil, homosexuality, or Buddha, I went to Twitter and the internet to see what people are saying about God and the earthquake. The bulk of the tweets are about God helping the Japanese, and prayer for the Japanese, but a number of the tweets are weighing in about God either being involved (see also here, and here) or meting out punishment (or refuting this response). Some tweets have also incorporated the Mayan calendar and the purported 2012 “end of the world” to explain the seismic activity. I’ve collected a sample of these below for you to see through Google’s real-time twitter feed.
From the small sample, it’s safe to say there is a “fatalistic” understanding that natural disasters are about sin or God’s wrath. Even insurance companies think so, placing the phrase “Acts of God” as a catchall for everything unexplainable and destructive. Disasters seem to bring out some primal emotion or fear about “God” executing wrath upon people or the earth for perceived societal ills. Yet social media has made those pronouncements much more immediate. Rather than wait for a religious leader to make the pronouncement, now everyone can carry a virtual sandwich board, crying out that “the end is near.” Twitter then, is the virtual 140-character pulpit, and its pronouncements can make it around the world a lot faster then the static televangelist bully pulpit.
- PoetSam17 Man has never been good at reading signs, Just ignoring them. Earthquake in Japan, let’s acknowledge God’s signs. Turn to HIM and pray.
- Tinasongbird73 Prayers up 4 the people in japan who’ve experience great loss & heartache frm the earthquakes & Tsunami. God is trying 2tell us something!
- smitefulsinner RT @rachydivanerd: Re: Japan: the 1st person to say that the earthquake’s an act of ‘god‘ to punish will be bludgeoned with a book on plate tectonics. … – More »
Please be praying for all those invovled in the earthquake and tsunami in Japan and all over the world. The Bible says that these times will come and have to come but lets remember the people who are/will be effected!
- DOC914 Japan gave us pokemon, God gave them an earthquake/tsunami one-two … you do the math.
- Evd23rocker Why this earthquake happened in Japan? I don’t think God did it I believe Satan did it.
- Ninja_Beanz Dont ask God for help Japan, ask him to please stop killing ur people. He CREATED the earthquake and the tsunami
- Traceybickle The earth needs the mercy of God. Cry out all who will and He will relent. #Japan‘s #earthquake
- Catcasco All I’m going to say is this: if God gave one tiny dog’s scrotum about Japan he wouldn’t have hit them with the earthquake/tsunami combo.