|No, it's not real, it's a photoshopped hoax after the Indonesia tsunami of 2004|
I want to tread lightly here, because I'm not in the business of attacking anyone's religious beliefs. But I do want to provide some perspective to counter the kinds of headlines I've been seeing in the aftermath of an excellent piece in the New Yorker (please click here to read it; it's worth your time) concerning the potential for a large earthquake in the Pacific Northwest, one which will cause catastrophic damage to the infrastructure of the region and possibly kill 16,000 or 17,000 people.
I get a bit tired of the predictable hype that follows such viral stories. The idea that the Pacific Northwest will "be destroyed" by the earthquake feeds into the fears of people who have been reading too many headlines like this one:
"Jesus’s Prophecy Of Massive Earthquakes Is Now Confirmed As Fox News Reports Of A Mega-Quake To Soon Destroy U.S. Pacific Northwest Triggering Christ’s Soon Coming"It's a real headline from the internet, but you'll have to Google it. I don't want to provide them with any more publicity than they've already gotten with their irresponsible hyperbole (and just how did FOX news end up in that title?).
|The Great Wave at Kanagawa (from a Series of Thirty–Six Views of Mount Fuji), Edo period (1615–1868), ca. 1831–33 Katsushika Hokusai (Japanese, 1760–1849).|
|USGS Simulation of tsunami pattern from 1700 Cascadia earthquake|
The question I have for the hucksters and frauds on the internet and elsewhere: what gives you the right to decide that a particular earthquake is somehow a harbinger of the religious end of the world? People throughout history have found it far too convenient to blame natural disasters on the perceived moral failings of those who were most affected. It's not an old tribal thing either. Pat Robertson tried to blame the Haiti quake on the Haitians themselves. It's truly disgusting.
Just because bad things happen to human beings doesn't mean they are being punished by a capricious god. Earthquakes, tornadoes, hurricanes, tsunamis and other disasters are part of living on the Earth, and they happen to the good, the bad, and the ugly alike.