The Religious Right Assigns Blame

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

The Religious Right Assigns Blame

I guess it was just a matter of time before someone would trot out a Falwellian explanation for the death and destruction of Hurricane Katrina. The Religious Right website "Repent America" issued this press release:

Just days before "Southern Decadence", an annual homosexual celebration attracting tens of thousands of people to the French Quarters section of New Orleans, Hurricane Katrina destroys the city.

"Southern Decadence" has a history of filling the French Quarters section of the city with drunken homosexuals engaging in sex acts in the public streets and bars. .... The past three mayors of New Orleans, including Sidney Barthelomew, Marc H. Morial, and C. Ray Nagin, issued official proclamations welcoming visitors to "Southern Decadence".

... Hurricane Katrina has put an end to the annual celebration of sin.

... "Although the loss of lives is deeply saddening, this act of God destroyed a wicked city," stated Repent America director Michael Marcavage.

So there you have it. As with the 9/11 tragedy, an angry God was out to punish gay people.

But before all of you sinful heterosexuals get too smug, you should know that the good, God-fearin' people at "Repent America" also attribute God's Katrina hissy-fit to heterosexual sin. According to the group's press release:
New Orleans was also known for its Mardi Gras parties where thousands of drunken men would revel in the streets to exchange plastic jewelry for drunken women to expose their breasts and to engage in other sex acts.
I too am appalled. Plastic jewelry? How offensive. The release continues:
[Mardi gras] sparked the creation of the "Girls Gone Wild" video series. Furthermore, Louisiana had a total of ten abortion clinics with half of them operating in New Orleans, where countless numbers of children were murdered at the hands of abortionists.

Additionally, New Orleans has always been known as one of the "Murder Capitals of the World" with a rate ten times the national average.
Ironically, the city's high murder rate was cited in this Salon article as a reason why many city residents did not evacuate. According to Laurie Garrett, whom Salon describes as both a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and an expert on epidemiology:
New Orleans has had one of the highest murder rates in the nation for decades and a notoriously corrupt police force. In our experience dealing with catastrophes and epidemics overseas, there is a direct correlation between the historic relationship between government and its people, and the willingness of the populace to believe in and correctly respond to government instructions.
So, if "Renew America" is correct, Katrina was God's way of punishing the wicked people of New Orleans. But did God consider that New Orleans' wicked ways might cause many good people to perish because they did not trust those sinful city officials who instructed them to evacuate?

There I go, asking questions again.

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