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Why did the hurricane Katrina happen?

Part 3: Still more reasons
given by religious conservatives

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This topic is continued from the previous essay.

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hurricane damage Reasons given for the 2005 tragedy by religious conservatives (Cont'd):

bullet

Bridgett Magee, a resident of Louisiana, told the Jerusalem Newswire that she saw hurricane Katrina:

"...as a direct 'coming back on us' [for] what we did to Israel: a home for a home."

Newswire explains that:

"Magee sees the coming catastrophe as something the God of Israel will allow in judgment upon the United States for its central role in the expulsion of 10,000 Jews from their homes in the Gaza Strip and northern Samaria [a.k.a. West Bank]."

She trusted that God will keep her safe; she believed that Katrina would not kill her.  She said:

"I have asked God to pitch His tent of protection over my home. I believe there are still things I need to do for Him with my life." 7

bullet Chuck Baldwin is a conservative Christian commentator whose op-ed pieces appear on Covenant News. On SEP-02, his report implied that God did not intentionally steer Katrina to Louisiana and Mississippi. Rather, God is "removing his hand of protection" from the U.S. That is, God is simply allowing storms to wander blindly where natural forces direct them; he is no longer directing them away from populated areas. 8 Baldwin cites a number of reasons for God's displeasure:

bullet The American people and their government have continued their "sinful ways" even after the 9-11 "wake up call."

bullet The federal government is "intoxicated with power."

bullet The American people are "intoxicated with pleasure."

bullet The churches and their pastors are "intoxicated with prosperity."

bullet "...no one is calling America to repentance."

He writes:

"As a result, America has sown to the wind and is now beginning to reap the whirlwind! Look no further than New Orleans and the Mississippi Gulf Coast to see an example of what a whirlwind can do. I, too, tremble for my country!"

The latter reference relates to a famous statement by Thomas Jefferson.

bullet

Walter Russell is another conservative Protestant commentator whose writings also appear on Covenant News. 9 He notes that "Katrina" means "blessed, pure, holy." He suggests that Katrina can be a pure and holy blessing to followers of Jesus if they:

"...repent and turn to God and shepherd our nation back to God. And, by the way, if you do not think that the God of creation brings judgment upon the nations and chastisement to His people, then you have not read His Word and do not know Him."

Russell cites a number of reasons why God steered Katrina in order to devastate Louisiana and Mississippi. He writes:

"Is it really a coincidence that a city known for depravity was condemned (literally) by God? That the casinos of another city were moved by the force of a storm surge?"

He suggests that political leaders:

"...not invite Southern Decadence, the biggest gay event in the South, which was to happen in New Orleans on Labor Day weekend (but God obviously shut it down), to come back to New Orleans (if there is a New Orleans to come back to). Do not rebuild the casinos in Gulfport. Let us all turn our hearts toward God. What else needs to happen to our nation before we will listen?"

bullet David Alan Black interprets the events in Louisiana and Mississippi primarily as a sign of the approaching end of the world. He wrote:

"Jesus said, 'When you see these things begin to come to pass, then look up, for your redemption is drawing near' (Luke 21:28). 'These things' does not refer to a great spiritual revival upon earth. Rather, '…signs in the sun and in the moon and in the stars, and upon earth distress among nations with perplexity, the sea and the waves roaring, men’s hearts failing them for fear…' (Luke 21:25-26). The New Testament has a lot to say about the future, and it nowhere indicates a glorious finish to this age. Rather, false doctrine and abating love, earthly disasters and perilous times await us." 10

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bullet

Steve Lefemine of Columbia Christians for Life in Columbia, SC was startled when he viewed a satellite picture of hurricane Katrina. He saw an image of an 8-week old fetus imbedded in the weather pattern. He said: "In my belief, God judged New Orleans for the sin of shedding innocent blood through abortion." He put a message on his telephone answering machine:

"Providence punishes national sins by national calamities. Greater divine judgment is coming upon America unless we repent of the national sin of abortion." 1

bullet

Muhammad Yousef Mlaifi, an official of the Kuwaiti government, wrote an article in the Arabic daily newspaper Al-Siyassa with the headline: "The Terrorist Katrina is One of the Soldiers of Allah." He wrote:

"It is almost certain that this is a wind of torment and evil that Allah has sent to this American empire." 1

bullet

Stan Goodenough, a Christian journalist In Israel, noted the connection between Jewish settlers being forcibly removed from their homes in the Gaza Strip and Americans being forced out of their homes in Louisiana and Mississippi. He wrote in a column for the Web site Jerusalem Newswire:

"Is this some sort of bizarre coincidence? Not for those who believe in the God of the Bible....What America is about to experience is the lifting of God's hand of protection; the implementation of His judgment on the nation most responsible for endangering the land and people of Israel." 1

bullet Chuck Kelley is president of the New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, and is one of the hundreds of thousands of people that Katrina made homeless. He suggests that God exhibited mercy on the residents of the city by precisely steering the hurricane to reduce the number of deaths. When interviewed by Baptist Press, he said:

"Imagine what would have happened if [New Orleans] had taken a direct hit. The levee did not break until after the storm was clear and the winds had died down and the rescue workers were able to get out. If the levee had given way during the hurricane] untold thousands of people" [would have died]...It's a terrible tragedy and we still don't know the scope of it -- but the evidences of God's mercy are there. We rejoice in the fact that He has got the whole world in His hands, including the city of New Orleans and [the seminary]....When we get to the end of this story the last paragraph is going to be a testimony to the greatness and glory of our God, who is able to do all things well, and able to provide every need." 2

bullet Michael Marcavage ia director of Repent America, a Fundamentalist Christian para-church organization which opposes gay rights and abortion access. He wrote:

"Although the loss of lives is deeply saddening, this act of God destroyed a wicked city....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...We must help and pray for those ravaged by this disaster, but let us not forget that the citizens of New Orleans tolerated and welcomed the wickedness in their city for so long. May this act of God cause us all to think about what we tolerate in our city limits, and bring us trembling before the throne of Almighty God." 3

Repent America issued a news release on hurricane Katrina which attributed God's anger to:

bullet The annual "Southern Decadence" gay celebration.
bullet The drunkenness by men and semi-nudity of women at the annual Mardi Gras celebration.
bullet Louisiana's ten abortion clinics, "...with half of them operating in New Orleans, where countless numbers of children were murdered at the hands of abortionists." 3

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This topic continues on the next and final essay

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References used:

The following information sources were used to prepare and update the above essay. The hyperlinks are not necessarily still active today.

  1. Alan Cooperman, "Where most see a weather system, some see divine retribution," Washington Post, 2005-SEP-04, at: http://www.washingtonpost.com/
  2. Jody Brown and Allie Martin, "New Orleans Residents: God's Mercy Evident in Katrina's Wake" Agape Press, 2005-SEP-02, at: http://headlines.agapepress.org/
  3. "Hurricane Katrina destroys New Orleans days before 'Southern Decadence'," Repent America, 2005-AUG-31, at: http://www.repentamerica.com/
  4. "Pat Robertson's statement regarding terrorist attack," Christian Broadcasting Network, 2001-SEP-14, at: http://www.cbn.com/
  5. Manuel Roig-Franzia and Spencer Hsu, "White House shifts blame for Katrina response. Administration, embattled FEMA chief point to state, local officials," The Washington Post, 2005-SEP-04, at: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/
  6. Deborah Caldwell, "Did God Send the Hurricane? This natural disaster is bringing together a perfect storm of environmentalist and religious doomsday sayers," Beliefnet, circa 2005-SEP-03, at: http://www.beliefnet.com/
  7. "Katrina," Hungry Heart Ministries, at: http://www.hungryheartsministries.com/
  8. http://www.hungryheartsministries.com/id160.html
  9. "Qeren," the royalist movement of Israel, has its home page at: http://www.qeren.net/
  10. "Bishop Spong Q&A on Pat Robertson," Weekly newsletter for 2005-NOV-16. Signup at: http://secure.agoramedia.com/ We have edited his answer in order to prune it below the 500 word limit which is allowed under copyright law.

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Copyright © 2005 to 2014 by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance
Originally posted: 2005-SEP-04
Latest update: 2014-MAR-14
Author: B.A. Robinson

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