This was the best answer Graham could offer:
"Well, I spoke yesterday to [New Orleans]clergy and I asked myself why, and I told them don’t know why. There is no way I can know.So here's the shorthand. Graham doesn't know why it happened. It could have been the Devil, but whomever or whatever it was, God "has allowed it" for reasons that Graham doesn't know (and probably won't know for many years).
... I didn’t mention [the Devil] yesterday, because I don’t think this is the place to talk about Satan and the Devil, because I don’t know. The Devil might have had nothing to do with this; I don’t know. But God has allowed it, and there is a purpose that we won’t know maybe for years to come."
For those who are used to hearing Graham preach and gaining comfort from his remarks, there is not much comfort in these words.
I'll give Graham a little bit of credit for simply saying "I don't know." Those three words are rarely heard among his fellow evangelical preachers who often indulge the temptation to supply their own ideologically-tainted explanations -- example: Falwell's pronouncement that God allowed 9/11 to occur because of "abortionists," gays, the ACLU, etc.
I wish all of the people who spent so much time contemplating the "why" of human tragedies (Katrina, Darfur, the tsunami, etc.) spent just a little more time volunteering or contributing financially to groups that are trying to provide medical care, temporary housing and other basic needs to those who were adversely affected.