Glenn Beck vs. JapanPosted on by Jeremy Clymer (jclymer)
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Right-wing hatemongers have a long history of blaming the victims of horrible tragedies. Pat Robertson has proven himself to be a leader in the field of rubbing salt in people's wounds by attributing the recent devastating earthquake in Haiti to their supposed pact with the Devil and declaring that Hurricane Katrina was "God's wrath." He also voiced his agreement with his fellow bloated gasbag Jerry Falwell when Falwell blamed 9/11 on "the pagans, and the abortionists, and the feminists, and the gays and lesbians... the ACLU, People for the American Way - all of them who have tried to secularize America." Never one to be out-crazied, Beck has launched the latest salvo against decency and compassion, declaring that the 9.0 earthquake in Japan and resulting tsunami was "a message from God."
Beck was not alone in making insensitive comments about the tragedy in Japan, having been joined by such other luminaries as Gilbert Gottfried, 50 Cent, and Rush Limbaugh. However, he has been the only notable public figure to pull the "God's wrath" rabbit out of the magic hat of douchebaggery. This has led to some speculation that perhaps this will be the final nail in his coffin over at Fox News, but personally I won't hold my breath that they will can him for that comment after he has said so many other horrendous things on both TV and radio in the past. The more awful he is, the more attention he gets. As the old adage goes, "There's no such thing as bad publicity."
Glenn Beck misunderstands the term "fault lines."
So why do these guys keep doing this? Why blame the victim? Perhaps it's just too difficult for them to believe that bad things happen to good people. Perhaps their own faith is so shaky that they don't want to have to confront the possibility that their God sometimes does awful things for no good reason, or that maybe there really is no God micromanaging everything that happens in the world. In the end, one could argue that it's all just a form of denial for some very insecure, very sad men. If tragedies only strikes godless heathens, then they're in the clear because they're on the side of all that is good and righteous. The alternative is that bad things can happen to even them, and that would prompt some real soul-searching.
Here is the truth, though, no matter what your religious beliefs: bad things happen. Tragedies strike. As long as humanity inhabits the Earth, there will be hurricanes and earthquakes and tornadoes and other natural disasters. As long as people like Glenn Beck continue to see themselves as the heroes and the rest of the world as the villains, there will be war and injustice. The answer to these problems is not to bury our heads in the sand and think it can't happen to us. The solution is not to point our fingers at the unfortunate and downtrodden and tell them, "This is your fault." What we need to do to get through these times is to show some compassion, to treat others like we would want them to treat us. Do what you can to help, whether it's donating to a worthwhile charity, giving blood, or even praying if that's your thing. Then maybe if one day you find yourself in a terrible situation like the one going on in Japan right now, someone else will help you instead of making mean-spirited, petty comments like Glenn Beck's.