Sunday, March 13, 2011

Looting in Japan

It’s been three days since the catastrophe in Japan, and now it’s time to look at the incidence of looting and violence there. We all know the familiar pattern. After a devastating calamity— whether in the United Sates (Hurricane Katrina), or Haiti (the 2010 earthquake), or South America (the mudslides in Brazil)— the widespread looting begins even before the first bodies have been recovered. It’s probably just a coincidence, but the U.S., Haiti, and Brazil would all say that their primary religion is Christianity. So how much looting has taken place in Japan? Zero. Zilch. Notta. In three days there hasn’t been a single reported incidence of looting. Not one. And it’s a sure bet that, if it takes a decade to recover from the destruction there, the looting incidence will still be zero ten years from now. Japan is a Buddhist society.

Buddhists don’t believe they will have everlasting life because they’ve been “born again” (whatever the hell that means). Buddhists don’t believe they’ve been “saved” because they’re washed in the blood of the Son of God (I don’t get the meaning of that, either). And Buddhists don’t believe there has been “atonement” for their sins and the sins of all mankind because some self-righteous, self-proclaimed messiah got the cookies pounded out of him by a middle-level Roman bureaucrat two thousand years ago. So what DO Buddhists believe? They believe that it’s wrong to go into somebody else’s home or place of business and take stuff that doesn’t belong to them. Furthermore, they believe that if something is wrong, then you just don’t do it. Period. In their belief system, there’s no divine forgiveness or atonement or any of that crap.

I suppose it was to be expected, but already a few Evangelicals are saying that Japan’s troubles are God’s retribution for their failure to accept the Savior. If you can buy into the Jesus thing, you can convince yourself of anything.

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