Roughly Four Out of Ten Americans Believe Disasters Like Japanese Earthquake Directed By God

Roughly four out of ten Americans still like that old testament version of God — full of wrath and fury. A poll by Public Religion Research Institute and Religion News Surveshows that forty percent of our citizens still believe that God directs such disasters like the Japanese earthquake for a purpose. It is not clear what God had against the Japanese, but these citizens believe it was for a divine purpose. They are not alone Tokyo Gov. Shintaro Ishihara called the earthquake and tsunami in Japan tembatsu — or “divine judgment”

When Tokyo Gov. Shintaro Ishihara called the massive earthquake and tsunami in Japan tembatsu — or “divine judgment” — he expressed a kind of theological cause and effect shared by nearly 40 percent of Americans.

While 51 percent did not believe natural disasters are a sign from God, 56 percent believe God is in control of everything that happens in the world. My only weakness in faith is, if that is true, how do you explain that Steven Seagal still gets work? I can accept the occasional divine tsunami but Under Siege II? If that does not shake one’s faith in the Almighty, I do not know what would.

Not surprisingly, the rates were higher for evangelicals. “Nearly 6 in 10 (59%) of white Evangelicals said they believed natural disasters are a sign from God.”

Source: CNN

35 thoughts on “Roughly Four Out of Ten Americans Believe Disasters Like Japanese Earthquake Directed By God”

  1. The human animal demands explanations and answers, and the easier, the better. This explains why churches that truck in absolute truth are thriving, while the Episcopal Church, for one, is not doing as well. And it’s not just gay ordinations that have sent some over the edge with this denomination. Rather, many Episcopalians would never claim to have half the answers of some other denominations. Many of us who grew up in Fundamentalist households us are quite at peace with mysteries, an idea which drives Fundamentalists crazy — a short trip, no doubt.

    It is one thing to take the Bible seriously and another to take it literally. Religion’s role as the “opiate of the masses” goes into overdrive in bad times — as Barack Obama correctly pointed out in his campaign. The hell he caught for saying this does not negate the basic truth: Scared and desperate people will believe anything, no matter how far-fetched or specious it may be.

  2. Begging the question: If, as many believe, a supreme being is the creator and in control, the randomness of quantum physics would be part of that design.

  3. Diogenes,

    “There is a reason to everything!”

    According to most accepted interpretations of quantum mechanics, subatomic phenomena are objectively random. In other words, in a controlled experiment where all causally relevant parameters are accounted for, there will still be some aspects of the outcome which vary randomly. See Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle. This is why quantum equations are arrays of probability and not a sum certain. Randomness is built in to the most fundamental building blocks of the universe.

    You are mistaking a religious belief in determinism for being a fact when it demonstrably isn’t as a matter of physics.

    A belief is not the same thing as objective proof.

    So the “dumbness” displayed is entirely yours.

  4. It seems that the responders here treat this non-news as Force Majeure.

    There is a reason to everything!

    What is the reason to this dumbness?!!

  5. This is a shocking stat and makes me wonder how Americans became so superstitious. There is something missing in American life if they need to believe that there is a big guy in the sky that can dole out punishments whenever he is PO. I also think that everyone of these people must vote in every election.

  6. If were going to go with fictional causes of the horrible disaster that has befallen my beloved Japan, might I suggest the following:

    “Ph’nglui mglw’nafh Cthulhu R’lyeh wgah’nagl fhtagn.” If you cannot read this, don’t worry, it’s an alien language which translates as “In his house at R’lyeh, dead Cthulhu waits dreaming.”

    Because the Fundies believe Jesus is going to return as a lion. And just like Jesus, Cthulhu promises to return as well. But as the Lion of God taking the chosen few with their secret decoder rings on up to Hebben’ and all that?

    Cthulhu says that’s child’s play. But with a lot more vowels. He’s good that way.

    But when Cthulhu returns, there will be only one pertinent question and it will apply to Christians and non-Christians alike and to citizens of each and every country:

    Who will get eaten first?

    In all seriousness, I have studied Japan my entire life, visited there, have friends there, will return again some day and have a deep abiding fondness for the land and her people. No matter what caused this natural disaster, I urge you to please help if you can. This is the contact information for UNICEF’s aid effort.


    Text: Text JAPAN to 864233 to donate $10*

    Toll free: 1-800-FOR-KIDS (1-800-367-5437)

    Mail: 125 Maiden Lane, New York, NY 10038

    If you believe in Christ’s edict to show compassion to your fellow man or simply that helping your fellow man is just the right thing to do . . . give up a couple of latte’s so they can get some clean water and uncontaminated food and iodine treatments and shelter. Give more if you can. Time are tough, but they could be worse. Help those who I know would help us if the shoe was on the other foot.

    Don’t be a heartless goober like Gilbert Gottfried.

    Or as annoying while you’re at it.

  7. So is He mad that the Japanese were not kissing His ass enough, stroking his ego? Or is it that they were not setting fire to dead animals for His enjoyment as demanded by the OT? Not requiring men to wed and procreate with their deceased brothers wives? Eating animals with cloven hoofs? Planting two different crops in the same field or wearing cloths of two different fibers?

    If the asshole wants to randomly kill people because some of them are not doing what He wants the very least He could do is be specific as to what He wants to avert the senseless slaughter.

  8. To be honest, I believe that even though geophysical theory and facts (on the ground) wrote the script, that God himself was the auteur, and the earthquake largely a product of His creative vision. And so we can ask, what did the author mean, based on the author’s personality or life experiences that resulted in the earthquake, tsunami, volcano, and nuclear meltdown without a re-appearance of Gojira?

    Personally, I liked his earlier, funnier works.

  9. If an all-powerful God wanted to do in people, why not just have them drop dead? Fiddling with plate tectonics or conjuring up floods seems like doing it the hard way.

  10. “We are the pinnacle of God’s plans afterall.”

    I tend to think he peaked with the frogs and toads.

  11. By reasoning such as this, no doubt many Evangelicals believe that God created the Shoah, to give Israel life, so that Armageddon can
    grow closer. strange and mysterious are the ways of the Lord.

  12. All that tells me is that 40% percent didn’t pay attention in elementary school science class.

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