"Although the loss of lives is deeply saddening, this act of God destroyed a wicked city," said Repent America director Michael Marcavage.
He and other god-botherers have converged on New Orleans
“Ever since it became clear how much damage Hurricane Katrina had caused, there has been no shortage of people pronouncing authoritatively on talk radio across the United States and in blogs on exactly whom and what God was punishing,” reports The Guardian.
Why is it that with all our scientific knowledge of how Earth’s weather works, so much so that storms can be predicted – not by diviners and soothsayers, but by scientists and meteorologists – there are still sections of our society that insist it is all punishment by an angry god for one or more transgressions and grievances?
It happened with the recent tsunami, and as sure as thunder follows lightning, it’s happening in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.
Despite Repent America stating that some god was angry because "New Orleans City Council made other proclamations recognising the annual homosexual celebration." Is seems that this god spared the French Quarter – which is where most of the gay areas are. It might be a vengeful god, but he clearly has a well-developed sense of irony.
What scares me more than some imagined wrath of god, is that in a poll conducted by the Urban Legend website – after a story explaining why the divine vengeance theory was patently absurd – over a third of over 8000 respondents still answered “yes” to the question:
“Do you think Hurricane Katrina could be God's way of punishing New Orleans for sin?”
Of course, while more rational people are pondering what can be done to combat dangerous climate change, the god-botherers who aren’t blaming gays and other “sinners” will be trading their “compassion” for converts.
It’s actually quite nauseating. It’s even worse to think how many lives might have been saved if there had been a lot less faith and a little more rational action before, during and after the hurricane.
Salon Magazine has a good article on the stupidity of the faithful – it’s worth a read – it’s a response to claims that satellite pictures of Katrina look like an unborn baby foetus! See: Is Katrina God's punishment for abortion?
Back from loopy fundy-Christian land, what can reasonable people do to help? A reader has recommended a secular humanist charity collecting for the victims of Hurricane Katrina. Donations can be made through the Center for Inquiry appeal.
NOTE TO OUR AMERICAN READERS
The San Francisco LGBT Community Centre says:
As you know, many our community will have extra hurdles to clear. All three of the affected states do not recognize domestic partnerships, and people who have lost a partner may not be eligible for survivor benefits and other aid. Many of the relief agencies also do not take into account someone's sexual orientation.
There will be a fundraiser at El Rio, 3158 Mission Street on Friday night starting at 9 PM. Funds will be raised for Second Harvest Food Banks through the Rainbow Fund, so the money will be tagged as LGBT donations. Cindy Emch's open mic night at the 3 Dollar Bill Cafe will also benefit relief efforts.