Tuesday, 15 March 2011

Hating the haters

One very minor thing to come from the tragedy that's continuing to develop in Japan has been a youtube video.

In this video, a girl, purporting to be a Christian, explained that having prayed for God to show Himself, the earthquake and Tsunami were Him answering her prayers, and that this "proof" made all the suffering worthwhile.

It seemed plausible enough. Certainly no less odious than the likes of Fred Phelps, for example. My thought was that she was probably mentally ill in some way.

When I started watching, the video had about 80,000 views, and a couple of thousand, overwhelmingly condemnatory comments. By the time the video had ended, two minutes later, youtube informed me that another 2,000 comments had been recieved, and would I kike to read them? And this kept happening. thousands and thousands of people watched this girl, and wanted to tell her what they thought of her.

It turned out to be a hoax of sorts. She'd posted it really just for the reaction, although I doubt if she expected it to go viral in quite the way it did. Some short while after posting her vid, she'd had her address and phone number published online, recieved death threats, and her doorbell was being rung every few minutes by pizza deliverers.

Got to say, on one level posting this inflammatory message was a pretty juvenile thing to do, but as a troll, it worked, Thousands of people had their chains yanked hard enough to send them into a rage. And some of them were enraged enough to threaten to kill her. And it worked because she appeared to fit people's prejudices of what a fundamentalist Christian is and does and thinks.

But what if it hadn't been a hoax? What if this girl was genuinely expressing her beliefs? Would she deserve what she got if she was what she appeared to be - a deluded, obsessed, religious freak with a warped sense of proportion?

I know what I think.

I'm reminded too of the woman who put a cat in a wheelie bin last year. If someone had suggested the punishment for minor acts of animal cruelty should be the death penalty, I'd think they were reactionary idiots. Yet this woman, after acting on an inexplicable whim, also faced death threats. Also had her personal details published online. By people who I'm sure would claim were motivated by concern for a cat.

Actually they're motivated by anger and hatred.

See also the paediatrician who had a mob howling at her door following the Sun's decision to incite and fan that anger and hatred by publishing the details of suspected paedophiles.

Mind you, if a piano were to accidentally fall from the top of a tall building and by a quirk of fate, Glenn Beck were to be walking directly underneath, I'd have to say "God surely works in mysterious ways".

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