What has made this event unique is the prevalence of cameras and videos in Japan. We've been inundated with images that have made us all eyewitnesses. They are astonishing beyond belief.
Ten's of thousands of people are dead or missing.
Countries from around the world have offered aid. Some offers have been accepted, while others are on standby, ready to move should they be asked.
Meanwhile, around the world, people are offering their thoughts and prayers - as well as making donations and finding other ways they can help.
Yet no tragedy seems to go to waste without someone trying to use it to spout their own agenda or spread their own hate.
The first I saw was on someone's facebook status. This was a "gamer friend" - someone I know only as a "neighbour" in a game I play. The first was a status update that started off sending sympathies to Japan, then quickly devolved to a rant about how they were the richest country in the world and would be able to rebuild in months, because they'd taken so many US jobs. I challenged her on her claims, but she never responded. Instead, I saw a new update. Here, it started as a warning against scams claiming to raise donations for Japan - followed up by another rant on how no one should be sending donations, because they were so rich from all the jobs stolen from the US.
She is no longer on my friends list.
Then you had the people trying to tie the earthquake to climate change. No surprise there. After Katrina, Indonesia and Haiti, they're no strangers to dancing on the bodies of the dead to push their AGW crusades.
Next on the list were the anti-nuclear crowd. They, of course, are expecting the worst - are almost eager for it, for all their claims to the contrary - and don't believe any of the official reports. Of course, those reports are changing so fast, there's no way to know anything right now. We shall see how that evolved. I find it quite disturbing, however, that they are so quick to ignore the thousands of dead while fretting over the nuclear plants and preaching their anti-nuclear message. Some, if you can believe it, are even planning to stockpile iodine. Which would make more sense if they were actually in any danger, but we're talking people who live in central North America.
Just now, however, was the worst of the worst.
A certain group of people I know have started sharing a YouTube video. I'm not going to link to this pathetic piece of garbage here, and hopefully enough complaints will have been made against it to have it removed completely.
The video is of a young woman who's going on about how "God is so good" for answering prayers. The prayer in question was to "open atheists eyes." The prayer was answered, according to her, through the earthquake in Japan.
Now, within the first minute of this video, it was obvious to me that this was a troll. For someone who claimed to be a Christian, she didn't talk or act like one. I've encountered a few whacked out extreme Christians in my time, and they don't act or talk like her, either. A quick search revealed that this person is a member of a satirical, spoof "Christian" forum, where she's known to post under another alias as well.
For a troll, this one is particularly dedicated. There's a year's worth of videos on her YouTube channel. All stupid and obnoxious. She was obviously an anti-Christian playing herself as a Christian extremist. It didn't help that she did things like call Lent, lentil.
This particular video, however, was disgusting beyond belief. If she had been a real Christian spouting this, it would be disgusting beyond belief. What makes it worse is that we've got an anti-Christian troll using the horror and tragedy of Japan to troll against Christians by posing as one and spewing her garbage.
It only took a few minutes of searching to find out her double identity, and that she was a fake. The people sharing her video (and giving her channel hits in the process) fell for it. They're the usual bunch of anti-Christians, and they shared it with comments such as this.
PLEASE GOD, Save us from the Christian Right!!!
I don't recall this woman's political views being mentioned, but then I didn't waste time watching the whole thing. This crowd always assume Christian = political right, and it's a common phrase.
This is why I hate organized religions.
Because apparently, this video is what they think organized religion is like. Nothing like painting millions of people worldwide with the same brush!
This will make your hair stand on end. To quote my source for this: "... and people are afraid of Muslims?"
Okay, aside from the hyperbole in the first sentence, the second one is just plain ignorance. People are afraid of Muslims because they see all those videos and read news about radical Muslims teaching their kids that Jews are dogs and pigs that need to be wiped off the face of the earth, and that the greatest thing they can do is blow themselves up while killing as many infidels as possible, or go around shooting US soldiers after watching a fake video supposedly showing atrocities by US soldiers but were actually taken from a movie, or murder families in their sleep. People can't tell one type of Muslim from another. It's not like the extremists walk around with signs taped to their foreheads reading "I am a radical Muslim!" Comparing this woman's ignorant blathering doesn't exactly fall into the same category.
Here's the thing. Of the many thousands of Christians around the world posting, sharing and otherwise articulating their caring for the victims of Japan's triple tragedy, sending their heartfelt prayers and organizing ways to send help, this group of Christophobes (and it's a very specific group only) is busily sharing this disgusting video, giving the troll who made it more traffic on her YouTube channel in the process, and using it to spew their own anti-Christian bigotry.
I wonder how many of them bothered to go to the YouTube page and flag the video as offensive? Somehow, I don't think a single one did - just as not a single one bothered to do a simple google search to find out if this sicko was for real, or the troll that she turned out to be.
Which, as far as I'm concerned, makes them every bit as disgusting as the troll who made the video.
update: Well, that was fast! The woman who made the video I've been talking about has admitted her videos were all fake, and her YouTube account is now closed.
Let's see how many of the people who shared this will apologize for spreading their hate.