22 - September, 2005 - Blame for Hurricane Katrina
An email arrives about hurricane Katrina. The email is from a very experienced pastor and church administrator. In the email, the pastor blames hurricane Katrina on gay people. He states the hurricane prevented a gay culture celebration, Southern Decadence, in New Orleans. By his perverted logic, God wanted to stop a gay celebration, so God sent a storm to destroy the city.
The storm probably stopped more people from going to church on Sunday than it stopped gay people from attending a cultural celebration. Does that mean God is angry with Christians? Not likely!
The hurricane did not hit New Orleans with its full force. The strongest part of the storm did not touch New Orleans. Does that mean God was angry with the towns and cities that do not host gay cultural celebrations? Not likely!
Because the hurricane hit everybody - both the good and the bad, the rich and the poor, the black and the white, the gay and straight - the hurricane shows God was not angry with anybody. The hurricane happened. Like many other things that are tragic, the hurricane just happened. Nobody is to blame for the force of the hurricane.
Most religions view God as being smart, powerful and just. A just God does not kill and destroy people who had nothing to do with sinful behavior, just because He is having a bad hair day or is in a snit. A smart God will make sure only the people who are doing things He does not like are punished. The pastor who sent the email appears to believe God is rather stupid and is not at all just.
Those who try to assign blame are very small people, with an even smaller religion. From their frightened mouths and pens comes hatred. They hate those who are different and want to assign blame to them for the ills of society. Unfortunately, their actions can create a climate where people feel justified in hurting gay people.
Instead of trying to blame people, when nobody is to blame for creating the hurricane, we need to spend our time helping those who have been hurt by the hurricane. Blaming minority groups and making them into scapegoats for the problems of society is not helpful.