First things first. Click the link below to donate to the relief efforts for victims of Hurricane Katrina:
Don't worry, the blog WON'T be turning into wall-to-wall examples of this sort of thing, but I came upon this today and it fit too nicely with the previous post for me to ignore. (Tip of the hat to Andrew Sullivan, where I first found the link.)
I was wondering how long it would take for one of the Evangelical "Christian" groups that had made such sport in the past of attacking New Orleans for the "sinful" nature of the famous party destination to start declaring that the horrible devastation of Hurricane Katrina was a manifestation of God's wrath. Today, I got my answer:
"Repent America" is a highly visible Evangelical Christian organization that primarily dedicates itself to filing legal actions designed to hurt civil rights for gays and abortion freedoms. The title of the above press release, issued 8/31/05, is: "Act of God Destroys New Orleans Days Before 'Southern Decadence.'" ("Southern Decadence" being an annual gay-themed celebration in the city that had been scheduled for today.)
To put all my cards on the table as to exactly how much this infuriates me, let me state for the record that I have at least one family member among those who had to be evacuated from the New Orleans area, and multiple friends and aquaintances who live in the effected surrounding areas. They are all alive and safe, thankfully.
But many, many more are not safe. People have died, lives have been destroyed, an entire city and a good deal of it's state have been all but wiped off the map. People have lost their homes, their businesses, their livelihoods, their mothers, their fathers, sons, daughters, friends, loved ones... GONE. This is senseless, horrible, unpreventable tragedy... the very kind of thing that humanity has cultivated it's collection of religions and philosophies in order to psychologically and spiritually endure. But amid all the suffering, this "Christian" organization can only think to heap more suffering onto those who have lost:
"Although the loss of lives is deeply saddening, this act of God destroyed a wicked city," stated Repent America director Michael Marcavage. "From 'Girls Gone Wild' to 'Southern Decadence,' New Orleans was a city that had its doors wide open to the public celebration of sin. From the devastation may a city full of righteousness emerge,"
Coincidentally, "Repent America" isn't even Biblically correct in this outrage. Apparently, while I'm sure they can name the "anti-gay" passages of the Good Book in their sleep, they've apparently overlooked the coda to the tale of Noah and the Flood:
11 "I establish my covenant with you: Never again will all life be cut off by the waters of a flood; never again will there be a flood to destroy the earth." -- Genesis 9:11
At the conclusion of the Flood recounting, God's pact with Noah and his descendants (i.e. us) includes a bold vow by the Big Man himself to never again rain such havoc on mankind. But hey, easy mistake to make, right? I mean, it's unreasonable to ask that a religious organization be intimately familiar with The Bible, right?
But that's just what I think. My gut tells me a lot of you are thinking some things about "Repent America" right now. Am I right? Well, how about you let them know:
And here's the Red Cross link again: