January 5, 2018

Christian Extremists Exploit Tragedies for Personal Gain

Titanic launched at Belfast

I was relieved to learn that I did not know anybody who was killed or injured in the train derailment that happened last month near Tacoma, WA. Having lived in the area for several years, it occurs to me that it would not have been much of a stretch to learn that someone I knew was hurt in this tragic incident. I drove that stretch of I-5 more times than I can count, and I know several people who are still live in the area. Some have been inconvenienced by it, but that's about it.

Christian extremist, ex-con, and insufficiently discredited televangelist Jim Bakker is apparently convinced that the train derailment was a warning from some sort of god. I'm guessing it might be one of the gods in which he personally believes and in which he would like you to believe.
“What do you think that train going off the tracks in Washington state was?” he asked, rhetorically. “What is the spiritual side? Why is it right now, at this time of the year?”
He went on to compare the derailment to the sinking of the Titanic and to proclaim that it too was a warning from some god.

Even though I've come to expect it, crap like this really pisses me off. I realize that these Christian extremists are used to spouting idiocy, but I wish they'd stop and think about the fact that every one of these tragedies affects real people. People die, and their families are left behind to mourn them. People are injured and have to go through extensive rehabilitation and guilt. These things shouldn't be exploited to earn magic Jesus points, manipulate weak-minded followers, or in Bakker's case to sell buckets of slop.

At this point, some of you are probably thinking something along the lines of, "Yeah, but everybody exploits tragedies in one way or another." You're probably right. While relatively few do so quite as shamelessly as Bakker and his Christian extremist brethren, it has become common practice for many people to use tragedies as an opportunity to push their preferred socio-political agenda. This bothers me too, but I have far less of a problem with those attempting to offer reality-based solutions to real-world problems than those who are merely peddling ineffective superstition.