TAG | Divine Retribution
Via FailedMessiah.com (for some background on that site, here’s a New York Times piece from last year), here’s another tale of someone else who sees the tragedy in Japan as an example of divine retribution. On this occasion it’s a Hasidic rabbi who sees Japan’s detention of some students accused of drug smuggling as the cause of God’s wrath. Here’s what is described as a loose translation:
God is landing blow after blow on the Japanese. But they’re like Egypt and Pharaoh. Japan does not understand that it is holding the detainees [Satmar yeshiva students arrested for drug smuggling] for no reason. They think the yeshiva students know what this drug is, but from where would Hasidic yeshiva students know what this is? Only goyyim [non-Jews] know what drugs are. Rather than [Japan] admitting its mistake, it continues to hold them, and for that [Japan] is punished.
The tragedy in Japan has produced a grimly familiar response.
Here’s Tokyo governor Shintaro Ishihara:
The identity of the Japanese people is greed. This tsunami represents a good opportunity to cleanse this greed, and one we must avail ourselves of. Indeed, I think this is divine punishment.
And here’s Glenn Beck:
I’m not saying God is, you know, causing earthquakes, I’m not not saying that either.
What God does is God’s business. But I’ll tell you this, whether you call it Gaia or whether you call it Jesus, there’s a message being sent; ‘Hey, you know that stuff we’re doing. It’s not really working out. Maybe we should stop doing some of it.’ I’m just saying.
I’m at a loss to know what leads people to say this sort of stuff. Maybe they believe it, maybe it’s simple opportunism or maybe it’s an attempt to find some sort of meaning out of a hideous, random event.
It’s certainly very sad.