Monday, September 12, 2005

The Spiritual Blame Game

The Fundagelical Right is already hard at work identifying the spiritual causes of Hurricane Katrina's destruction of New Orleans. I am conducting a faith-based scientific poll (whatever I happen to come across) and over the next few weeks will be providing a running total of the most likely suspects.

Here's the first installment:

On TBN's "Praise the Lord" Friday night, a panel discussion conducted by Pastor Richard Hogue of City Church, Oklahoma City, which included Tommy Tenney of GodChasers and "prophet" Kim Clement, blamed gays, witches and an unspecified division within the church. Clement claims to have prophesied New Orleans' fate several weeks ago.

Rick Scarborough of Vision America identified gay marriage, Israel's withdrawal from Gaza settlements, and the inability of the state of Washington to prosecute under current statutes people who have sex with horses.

With Texas Governor Rick Perry in attendance, The Reverend Dwight McKissic of Conrnerstone Baptist Church in Arlinglton told a Texas Restoration Project gathering that homosexuality (especially the annual New Orleans six-day "Southern Decadence" gay pride festival) and devil worship were to blame. He also noted that "girls go wild in New Oreans."

The Reverend Bill Shanks of New Covenant Fellowship of New Orleans identified abortion clinics (also fingered by Columbia, S.C. Christians for Life), Mardi Gras, the "Southern Decadence" gay pride parade and witches.

In the Los Angeles Times, Dennis Pager cited the New Orleans murder rate and political corruption.

Last week Pat Robertson said that, as the Senate Judiciary Committee begins its hearings, John Roberts "can maybe, you know, be thankful that a tragedy has brought him some good," because "the focus of America's going to be on these victims." Robertson didn't exactly say that God sent Katrina for that reason, but it's close enough and I'm including it anyway. Also, in fairness, Prager said that it would be "constructive" if the people of New Oreans interpreted the hurricane as punishment for murder and political corruption. But again, close enough. (I realize that Prager is Jewish, but I classify him as a fundagelical because he actually seems to think that he'd survive if these guys took over.)

To summarize,

Spiritual Blame Game Score as of 9/12/05
gays----4 (no surprise here)
abortion clinics----2
Mardi Gras----1
corruption (read Democrats)----1
unspecified division within the church----1
Senate Judiciary Committee (again, Democrats)----1
girls gone wild----1
man on horse sex----1

Two items of interest regarding the Texas Restoration Project event.
1. Some secular humanists have suggested that the TRP, which wants to register 300,000 new fundagelical voters in Texas, is a tool of Governor Perry's re-election campaign. I'm sure that's not the case.
2. Rev. Laurence White of Houston's Our Savior Lutheran Church (LCMS), TRP chairman, told reporters that Rev. McKissic's remarks did not reflect the TRP position. Those remarks probably do, however, reflect Pastor White's position. He is National Co-Chariman, along with Rick Scarborough, of Vision America. Either that or White and Scarborough need to get on the same page (other than Vision America's webpage).


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