Certain right-wing online Christians are currently not doing what they can to help the people of Turkey and Syria as they attempt to recover from a devastating 7.8-magnitude earthquake that hit highly populated areas on Monday as death tolls top 7,000.
Instead, they are spreading the idea that God made the earthquake happen, as well as other recent disasters, in response to Sam Smith and Kim Petras performing their song “Unholy” at the Grammys Sunday night.
Rather than spreading awareness, donating, or doing anything at all useful like Jesus would want them to, these Christians are unironically declaring that Smith and Petras are to blame for this horrific devastation because the show used some vaguely “Satanic” imagery. Multiple popular right-wing figures, including Senator Ted Cruz, panned the performance as “evil” and evidence of “spiritual war” because it involved fire, red lighting, and what look to be some Dollar Store-quality sexy devil costumes.
Twitter users identifying themselves as conservative and sometimes having things like “Ultra MAGA” in their names are making a direct link between this relatively tame awards show performance and these disasters. In addition to the earthquake, some have referenced the severe train derailment disaster in Ohio that resulted in the release of hazardous materials and forced evacuations of local residents as crews conducted controlled burns of these toxic chemicals.
The derailment, however, happened on Friday — two days before the Grammys. But maybe God saw it coming and punished residents of East Palestine, Ohio, retroactively, for the actions of Smith and Petras.
“Satan got his worship last night at the Grammys,” wrote musician and self-described “Christ follower” Tyson James. “Now with that covenant he made to keep the elite rich and famous he requires blood. Just so happens thousands died today from an earthquake.”
“Today is wild. Train derailment, toxic smoke, earthquakes,” said a man named Adam who has #LetsGoBrandon in his Twitter bio. “I’m sure that satanic s–t at the Grammys has nothing to do with anything. Pissing God off Isn’t a good idea.”
This kind of sentiment has been surprisingly popular, with a long list of other Twitter users speculating that the Grammys performance drew God’s wrath, along with smatterings of relatedly bizarre theories about things like the “Schumann Resonance.” These are not God’s most normal people.
This will be lost on the kinds of folks who post theories like this, but natural and human-made disasters occur pretty much every day in this big world of ours, so there will always be something bad you can link to any high-profile performance some Christians deem “Satanic.” And those accusations happen quite a lot, because that kind of imagery is quite popular with artists, and right-wing Christians will freak out about nearly anything that even slightly smacks of Satan.
Donations to help the earthquake victims can be sent to the Syrian American Medical Society or the Turkish Red Crescent, as well as international aid organizations such as UNICEF and the International Rescue Committee.