Ask an Atheist with Sam Mulvey

Japanese Materialism May Have Caused Earthquake – Korean Mega Church Pastor

Irony: a mega church pastor making judgments about the sin of materialism

Will religious leaders ever learn?

Senior pastor Cho Yong-gi of Yoido Full Gospel Church, the largest Christian church in the world, has faced vicious public condemnation as he called the catastrophic Japanese quakes and tsunamis “God’s warnings.”

I fear that this disaster may be warnings from God against the Japanese people’s atheism and materialism,” an online Christian press quoted the elderly religious leader as saying Saturday.

I hope that these series of events will drive the Japanese to turn their eyes towards God.”

I try to keep these posts safe for work, so I’ll react to this in text the way I did in front of my kid – WHAT A HUGE JERKWAD OF JERKNESS WHO IS A JERK!  So no, I guess no matter how many times some religious ass speaks up about their god’s will and why thousands of people had to die (and how they might have saved themselves from death had they just been better [insert religion here] and hadn’t [insert behavior here]) other religious asses simply fail to understand how that might be an insensitive and offensive thing to say.  However, here we see a new trend with how to deal with the comment once its been said and reacted to:

The interview triggered public rage, though the controversial comments were soon removed from the article.

Netizens rushed to accuse the pastor of being blindly self-righteous and lacking the basic charitable virtues required of a religious leader.

Jin Joong-gwon, a leading social critic widely known for his pointed remarks, lashed back at Cho via his Twitter, calling the pastor a “lunatic.”

“While pastors speak nonsense, true Christian virtues are taking place outside of the church,” Jin said, referring to the relief aid dispatched to Japan from all over the world.

The church, however, issued an official statement claiming that Cho’s words and intentions were distorted and exaggerated by the media

I suppose it’s far easier to redact comments and then insist that what you said was “distorted” than actually addressing the comments that were made.

Though now that I think about it…a religious leader lying, avoiding reality or trying to change it after the fact, and denial regardless of evidence – why am I even surprised?

Also, if you want to help the people of Japan, here is a link to the Red Cross.

Notify of

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Correction, the leader of the largest Christian Church in the world is the Pope. Even atheists know that! Paul Cho is the “pastor” of the Assemblies of God, which claims to be the largest Protestant church on the planet. He’s also a well known banana cake. It’s easy to take potshots at him. How about some shots at Fifty Cent’s stupid tweets after the tragedies in Japan?

Manolo Matos

This will be one of our nominees on our next podcast ( for Moron of the Week. Thank you!


Ugh… I have some choice words to say too, but really I just want to facepalm and leave it at that.

A horrible disaster happened, millions of people are hurting/dead and you say it’s god’s way of warning you? yeah that totally makes me want to become religious..some god that will kill you for thinking for yourself and buying some stuff. Does he honestly think that christians didn’t die in the earthquake/tsunami? what about them? what an idiot.


Claiming gods’ prejudices AFTER the fact of a natural disaster are primitive and reflect the prejudices of the speaker, but I think they don’t go far enough: -for being self-serving, why couldn’t a religious leader claim that a second disaster will occur unless huge sums of money are issued to him (or her)? – or, why is the reason for punishment always something un-obscure? Generally a traditional value of the leader’s is being challenged. It would be more believable if the claim was of more non-cultural topics, more speaking to the temperment of a jealous, bloodthirsty, capricious god– something tribal,… Read more »


ok you know what this disater effected the whole world it wasnt a “god warning” it was the fact that ppl in this world should wake up and treat our world with respect rather then destory it cause the more stuff we destory it with the more chance are that our earth is going to react like this.have some dam respect and stop blaming god it aint his fault we destory our world no wonder the world is going to come to an end its the way of the world rulers fault so are you gonna blame god on your… Read more »


Candy, you are only slightly less crazy than Pastor Cho.


Bizarro World.


interesting…so Candy believes the earth was reacting to our destruction of it by causing an earthquake/tsunami combo? I never knew that putting phosphates in our groundwater and burning hydrocarbons affected plate tectonics…but hey, I learn something new every day!

[…] obvious, even to me, that the tsunami was sent by God, Noah’s ark style. Copyright 2007 Critical Creig var _gaq = _gaq || []; […]

Would love your thoughts, please comment.x