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See also the article “God, judgment, hurricanes, disasters, catastrophic events” written after the advent of Hurricane Rita, which addresses the question “Has God killed people for sin by natural disasters sent on earth as judgments to kill them?”

Hurricane Katrina Catastrophe—Judgment Of God Or Disaster Of Man?


        Various reasons for Hurricane Katrina, and the destruction the storm brought have been widely publicized.
        Among the reasons are:
        (1) It’s God’s judgment on the Gulf coast because of:
             (a) Rampant homosexuality in New Orleans.
             (b) Gambling casinos in Mississippi.
        (2) It’s God’s judgment on America because:
             (a) The United States has “allowed” the Gaza withdrawal where people lost their homes, therefore God has judged America by destroying homes in the Gulf coast states.
             (b) America has allowed legal abortion, which has resulted in millions of unborn babies being slaughtered.
        (3) God is showing America that global warming is real and we are responsible for it.
        (4) The hurricanes were “prophesied” in advance, therefore the natural disaster and subsequent catastrophes are judgment from God.
        (5) These natural disasters are messages from the earth, letting humanity know of the earth’s pain.
        (6) Variations of themes on the above and/or mix and match philosophies.
        (7) Add your favorite theory here if you can’t find it above.

        Anybody read the papers or watch the news on TV?
        If you have, then you will have found out that the touted homosexual festival, which has been held annually for over 30 years was scheduled to start on August 31st (a Wednesday) and run through to September 4th (a Sunday).
        Question: Why did God wait for over 30 years to unleash His judgment on the homosexuals? Also, why did He have Hurricane Katrina hit the city on August 29, two days before the event, when many, if not all, of the homosexual celebrants had not yet arrived in the city? And when those who had arrived early easily evacuated the city before Hurricane Katrina hit?
        Question: Doesn’t God know that much of the French Quarter, the location of the scheduled homosexual event, sits a few feet above sea level, and would remain dry and survive Hurricane Katrina and the floodwaters without the devastating damage of the rest of the Gulf coast? And that two of the main liquor bars would be back in business on Monday, August 29, with little apparent damage despite a lack of electricity and running water?
        Question: Why did the poor, mostly black citizens, those on welfare, the frail elderly, those with walkers and wheelchairs and small children suffer the brunt of the human suffering from Hurricane Katrina?
        Question: Did God not foresee those who would become the real victims of Hurricane Katrina? Didn’t God know that those you want to be punished by God have the necessary money to get themselves out of harms way?
        Question: What about the previous hurricanes of this year, much less the many hurricanes and horrible devastation and destruction from hurricanes of years gone by? Where is your rationale for “God’s judgment” in those instances? Particularly in view of who the real victims were?
        Question: What about all the many earthquakes, floods and forest fires from years past? Where is the rationale of Godly judgment for all of these many natural disasters?
        Question: What about the seven million people who die annually from heart disease, and the three million people who die annually from AIDS, and the one million people who die annually from traffic accidents? Where is your rationale for “God’s judgment” in those instances?
        Question: How about the last time something bad happened to you or your family? Or me or my family? How do you rationalize “Godly judgment” in those incidents?
        Global warming? Is it really real? This is such a controversial can of worms that only the terminally desperate blame God (or President Bush) for it, as many have already done.
        Prophesying a hurricane in the southeastern U.S. during hurricane season is like prophesying an earthquake in California, which has hundreds of them every day. Is that God, or the Hurricane Center’s seasonal forecast? Or the daily report on California’s earthquakes?
        This is really only the tip of the iceberg in the prophetic insanity going on today. Please stop this foolish stuff, folks, we don’t need any more “after the fact prophets.”

        Maybe, just maybe, natural disasters really have no moral significance. And maybe, just maybe, we need to take a broader overview and get ourselves out of the Old Testament, and orientate ourselves to the New Testament ... the New Testament teachings of Jesus Christ. If we did we would discover that is exactly what Jesus Christ told us to do. Try it ... just read through the New Testament lettering in red ink, i.e., the spoken words of Jesus Christ. And those words before and after those sections which explain under what circumstances He said them.

        If we would concentrate on what Jesus taught us to teach we would solve 99 per cent of our theological stupidity problems. Selah ...

        Luke 13:1-5:
        1 There were present at that season some that told him of the Galilaeans, whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices.
        2 And Jesus answering said unto them, Suppose ye that these Galilaeans were sinners above all the Galilaeans, because they suffered such things?
        3 I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.
        4 Or those eighteen, upon whom the tower in Siloam fell, and slew them, think ye that they were sinners above all men that dwelt in Jerusalem?
        5 I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.

        Matthew 5:43-48:
        43 Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy.
        44 But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;
        45 That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.
        46 For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same?
        47 And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so?
        48 Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.

        John 9:1-7:
        1 And as Jesus passed by, he saw a man which was blind from his birth.
        2 And his disciples asked him, saying, Master, who did sin, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind?
        3 Jesus answered, Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents: but that the works of God should be made manifest in him.
        4 I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work.
        5 As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.
        6 When he had thus spoken, he spat on the ground, and made clay of the spittle, and he anointed the eyes of the blind man with the clay,
        7 And said unto him, Go, wash in the pool of Siloam, (which is by interpretation, Sent.) He went his way therefore, and washed, and came seeing.

        I wrote in the article “Homosexual community, gay marriage, sexual and family values:”

Our Duty As Americans In Our Western Civilization

        There are many groups of people on this planet that continue to attempt to foster negative social values—values that are a threat to the family and all that it stands for.
        However, if we withdraw from these individuals who are in those groups then they will continue to pollute the traditional family values that we cherish.
        True salt and light is a 24 hour a day, seven day a week lifestyle that others will see as we continue to interact with them. Bunching together as a clique and excluding those with whom we disagree will not affect their lifestyles, instead it will affect the quality of our lifestyles both directly and immediately and in the long-term.
        We must never, ever forget Paul the apostle’s admonition in his letter to the Corinthians. Note particularly verse 11, in Paul's letter to them, chapter 6:

        1 Corinthians 6:9-11 (NIV):
        9 Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders
        10 nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.
        11 And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.

        Paul says “And that is what some of you were.”
        Isn’t it time for us to quit our hidden agenda and our ugly self-deceiving “let’s pretend” “fantasy” with a much-needed whitewash flush?
        And do what’s necessary to also get those in today’s contemporary society who fit Paul’s description in verses 9 and 10 from “are” to “were?”

        In taking a broad overview of what’s happening in the world today, the description in Matthew 24:4-8 (see also Mark 13:5-8; Luke 21:8-11) by Jesus closely parallels the first four seals of Revelation 6:1-8. Jesus describes this time in Matthew 24:8 as “the beginning of sorrows,” more literally “birth pains.”
        Isn’t this really what we’ve been historically seeing? Do the math ...
        Question: What are you storing up for yourself with your human judgment of eternal matters?

        Romans 2:1-5 (NIV):
        1 You, therefore, have no excuse, you who pass judgment on someone else, for at whatever point you judge the other, you are condemning yourself, because you who pass judgment do the same things.
        2 Now we know that God’s judgment against those who do such things is based on truth.
        3 So when you, a mere man, pass judgment on them and yet do the same things, do you think you will escape God’s judgment?
        4 Or do you show contempt for the riches of his kindness, tolerance and patience, not realizing that God’s kindness leads you toward repentance?
        5 But because of your stubbornness and your unrepentant heart, you are storing up wrath against yourself for the day of God’s wrath, when his righteous judgment will be revealed.

        We had much the same judgmental finger pointing spiritual circus climate when the World Trade Center was attacked and destroyed by terrorists. The cry went out that this was “God’s judgment of the American church” or similar. However, the WTC hosted thousands of people from 80 different countries. People who were obviously of different nationalities, cultures and religions. Which would include those who name the name of Christ.

        Question: How did God “punish” the “American church” by the horrible and tragic deaths of this diversity of people at the WTC?
        It’s readily apparent that many people from all walks of life can easily see that the cause of needless pain, suffering and deprivation of the basic necessities of life is a lack of human planning in areas of their responsibility in responding to natural catastrophe emergencies.
        But the biblically ignorant continue to unjustly attribute that humanly caused human misery to the God of the Bible. With no understanding of God’s love, grace, mercy, wisdom, judgment and justice, they blindly shake their judgmental fingers at other sinful humans, forgetting that their other three fingers are pointed back at themselves in the same judgment with which they attempt to unjustly judge others.
        Let’s take an analytical look at the circumstances surrounding the Hurricane Katrina tragedy:

Responsibility

        We, who weren’t there in person, have seen it on TV: the failure of the United States government to exercise its responsibility towards its citizens.
        The failed levees causing the flooding of New Orleans are owned and maintained by the Army Corps of Engineers. The U.S. government has failed for years to heed the publicly recorded warnings of the city of New Orlean’s vulnerability.
        President Bush (and before him, President Clinton) cut spending for the Army Corp of Engineers, money allocated to reinforcing the levees and fixing the pumps. Instead the government cut spending on needed improvements to pay for untold millions in “pork” and the wars on terror and in Iraq, and sluggishly responded to the needs of its citizens in the worst national, natural catastrophe ever to hit this country.
        (Need I also mention NASA expenditures and its dismal failures, most prominent of which is its defective space shuttles? The billions of dollars spent for “protection” money within the United States itself and also paid to foreign countries? “Protection” money that is obviously wasted when only a small handful of terrorists determine to wreak havoc with your peace and safety, and mine? Even more enraging is the money poured down the rat hole of the public school system which can’t even graduate literate persons, much less qualified engineers to replenish the country’s stock. Instead we have to go to India or Japan or Germany to “outsource” our need for qualified engineers.)

        The New York Times has said: “It was not the water from the sky but the water that broke through the city’s protective barriers that had changed everything for the worse . When the levees gave way in some critical spots, streets that were essentially dry in the hours immediately after the hurricane passed were several feet deep in water on Tuesday morning.”

        There was felt relief when the rain lessened and the effects of Katrina were perceived as not as bad as anticipated. In fact, twelve hours passed from when the hurricane went through and when the water came rushing into the city.
        However, humans totally failed when it came to the man-made disasters which quickly followed. Including the lack of appropriate response of the people who suffered through the man-made disaster. Instead of rising to the occasion which demanded heroic rescues, spur of the moment decisions in organizing various groups to help solve the many chaotic problems the majority of poor, black, welfare recipients, frail elderly, the infirm, those with walkers and wheelchairs, babies and small children were subdued by the stronger and criminally minded among them. Why? Because the majority of the poor, downtrodden and those suffering injustices have been relegated to a powerless position by history, politics, society, culture and economics and were easy prey to the predators among them. Don’t those who are supposed to be leaders know what they created when they herded all these people into a small place?
        When I consider the amount of TV coverage for Princess Diana’s death, the 911 horror and the death of President Reagan against the amount of time spent in TV coverage of the horror and tragedy of Hurricane Katrina’s devastation of New Orleans, I am appalled. It looks like when celebrities and Caucasians die, TV coverage is extensive and commercials aren’t shown. But when the poor, black, welfare recipients, frail elderly, the infirm, those with walkers and wheelchairs, babies and small children suffer the worst national and natural disaster in history, TV coverage ends so that the income-producing commercials can be quickly aired. I think that effectively addresses the question of racial bias, which will be eventually, if not sooner, be duly noted.
        The President himself delayed changing his schedule for 48 hours. Vice-President Dick Cheney remained on holiday in Wyoming. All of that time, United States citizens were in chaos, wallowing in sewage, dying of dehydration, starvation and lack of medicine, without shelter from the harsh weather, without sanitation facilities, and then dying and rotting in the streets.

        “The first few days were a natural disaster. The last four days were a man-made disaster,” said Phillip Holt, 51, who was rescued from his home.

        “If the government asks people to evacuate, the government has some responsibility to provide an option for those people who can’t evacuate and are at the whim of Mother Nature,” said Joe Cook of the New Orleans ACLU.

        So where did the real destructive force come from? Simply put, it came from the lack of responsibility of the U.S. government to timely respond to the worst natural catastrophe ever to occur in the history of the United States.

        There was ample time and money (spent elsewhere by politicians) to have maintained the levees over the years to meet the power of hurricanes. There were ample warnings of the approach of Hurricane Katrina. Ample time to provide transportation to those unable to leave because of lack of cash, cars or gasoline—or any other reason. Ample time to drop water, ice, food and medical supplies to those in the designated shelter areas by helicopter after the hurricane passed.
        It should also be noted that those attempting to enter the Superdome had to stand for as long as four hours outside so they could be searched “for firearms and alcohol.”
        But ... they can let thousands of screaming fans with costly tickets inside the same Superdome in a few minutes. The majority of poor, black, welfare recipients, frail elderly, the infirm, those with walkers and wheelchairs, babies and small children, all needing shade from the hot sun, water and rest rooms, had to stand for as long as four hours in the hot, humid weather
        Under the test of responding to a known and visible and powerful coming catastrophe, the Bush administration’s competency is rapidly descending off a measurable scale as history reveals a shocking record of unrelieved human suffering.

Results Of The Lack Of Governmental Responsibility:

        Dehydration, hunger, lack of sanitation, rape, murder and beatings in two New Orleans centers that were set up as shelters, the dead found in attics, floating in the toxic waters, on the sides of roadways and highways, standing water throughout New Orleans which could provide a breeding ground for mosquitoes carrying West Nile virus, raw sewage seeping through the city posing the threat of cholera, lack of medical care to potential outbreaks of infectious diseases, millions left homeless, dysentery, staph infections among people who had cuts on their arms and legs while wading through filthy water, health care threats along the swamped Gulf Coast, tens of thousands of people left without food, water, medicines or the rule of law for five days.
        Rupert Cornwell, Independent News & Media (UK) Ltd., in Washington has written:
        “Mr. Bush is blamed for downgrading the Federal Emergency Management Agency, for neglecting years of warnings about a potential hurricane calamity in New Orleans, and of failing to understand the magnitude of the crisis. The mantra of this president as he defends the “war on terror” is that the priority of his job is to keep the country safe. Yet the anarchy and violence in New Orleans show he is failing in that task.”

Reality

        Under the Bush administration last year the Army Corps of Engineers sought $105 million for hurricane and flood programs in New Orleans, while the White House slashed the request to about $40 million. Congress finally approved $42.2 million, less than half of the agency’s request.
        However, the Clinton administration also repeatedly cut congressional allocations for the projects and the recommendations on spending by the Army Corps of Engineers.

        A year ago, New Orleans reviewed its hurricane disaster plans after Hurricane Ivan gave the city a major scare forcing the evacuation of nearly 1 million people from the area. What happened last September bears striking similarities to the problems encountered before Hurricane Katrina struck. The only difference was Ivan missed the city.

        There were hours-long traffic jams. Those who had money fled, while the poor stayed. The warnings were the same: Forecasters predicted that a direct hit on the city would send torrents of water over the city’s levees, creating a 20-foot-deep cesspool of human and industrial waste.
        Even the problems that occurred at the Superdome this week had a precedent — during a threat by Hurricane Georges in 1998. An estimated 14,000 poured into the stadium, but theft and vandalism were rampant.

A Lame And Unacceptable Governmental Excuse

        WASHINGTON (CNN) — Defending the U.S. government’s response to Hurricane Katrina, Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff argued Saturday that government planners did not predict such a disaster ever could occur.
        Question? What planet did you just come in from, dude?

Readiness And Rescue

        An article in the Chicago Sun-Times by Stephanie Zimmermann and Scott Fornek, Staff Reporters quoted U.S. Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) as saying that “he would call for congressional hearings into the federal government’s preparations and response.”
        “The response was achingly slow, and that, I think, is a view shared by Democrats, Republicans, wealthy and poor, black and white,” the freshman senator said. “I have not met anybody who has watched this crisis evolve over the last several days who is not just furious at how poorly prepared we appeared to be.”
        The South Side Democrat called FEMA’s slow response “baffling.”

        “I don’t understand how you could have a situation where you’ve got several days’ notice of an enormous hurricane building in the Gulf Coast, you know that New Orleans is 6 feet below sea level. ... The notion that you don’t have good plans in place just does not make sense,” Obama said.

        Obama said he expects his counterparts in Louisiana, Mississippi or Alabama will call for congressional hearings, but he is ready if they do not. “It’s heartbreaking and infuriating and, I think, is embarrassing to the American people.”
        In the same Chicago Sun-Times article:
        A visibly angry Mayor Daley (of Chicago) said the city had offered emergency, medical and technical help to the federal government as early as Sunday to assist people in the areas stricken by Hurricane Katrina, but as of Friday, the only things the feds said they wanted was a single tank truck.
        That truck, which the Federal Emergency Management Agency requested to support an Illinois-based medical team, was en route Friday.
        “We are ready to provide more help than they have requested. We are just waiting for their call,” said Daley, adding that he was “shocked” that no one seemed to want the help.

Rights And Racism

        From Fox news:
        “I do think the nation would be responding differently if they were white elderly and white babies actually dying on the street and being covered with newspapers and shrouds and being left there,” said David Billings of The People’s Institute, a 25-year-old New Orleans-based organization focused on ending racism.
—————
Two Americas: Sink or Swim
by Laura Flanders
Closing thoughts from today’s Your Call on KALW-FM, 91.7 in San Francisco:

        Hurricane Katrina is probably the worst disaster to hit our country in over a century. Its waters have covered streets and sidewalks and schools and homes and stores. Perhaps five million people are homeless, without access to healthcare, clean food and water, relief. Katrina’s covered not just one city — New Orleans — but several, and it’s taken no doubt thousands of lives.
        As much as the storm waters have covered, they have uncovered something too. The reality that there are two Americas, or at least two: those who can escape disaster and those who can’t. The people left behind in Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana, those stranded on their roofs, the waters have been rising around those of us who are poor, and weak, disproportionately black and treated as dispensable — the waters have been rising around those of us for a while.
        While those who could, long ago left for higher ground, the levees around the rest of us have been sinking in plain sight for years. Access to healthcare, housing, relief, clean air and water, Katrina’s made what we have made — a sink or swim society — very literal, very clear.
        The Census Bureau’s statistics tell it for the umpteenth time. For the fifth straight year, only the top 5 percent of Americans have been thriving; incomes and resources for the other 95 percent have been flat or on the decline. There are shameless looters in New Orleans but the most shameless are the ones with the most power. The policy makers who have looted our treasury to help a few at the expense of the rest, and the polluters who are willing to loot mother nature to make a buck. Local National Guard are serving in a President’s war of choice. People in trouble need them here.
        What’s next. Not a return to normal. I hope. We need better. The promise of equal protection demands not just shipped in relief, but a shift in priorities — and that will take all the Americas to work as one.
        Published on Friday, September 2, 2005 by CommonDreams.org
Website for this article is at: http://www.commondreams.org/views05/0902-30.htm
Laura Flanders is the host of “The Laura Flanders Show” heard weekends, 7-10 pm on the new Air America Radio network. Weekdays, you can hear her on “Your Call” on public radio, KALW, 91.7 FM in San Francisco and on the internet.
—————
        Additional reading on the subject:
Click here to read “Paper: Fire every FEMA official! New Orleans Times-Picayune prints letter to Bush, cites ‘bald-faced’ lies”
Click here to read “Hurricane Katrina: A Sign of the Last Days?” by Greg Laurie
Click here to read “Don’t Give Your Hurricane Donations to the American Red Cross ” “Establishment charities have criminal history of stealing disaster funds ” By Paul Joseph Watson & Alex Jones | Updated September 3 2005



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