:: Tuesday, January 17, 2006 ::
Pat Robertson, meet Ray Nagin
I have no idea whether heaven is segregated, but I do hope God has a special section up there for the folks who keep blaming Him for every tragedy that befalls humanity. Pat Robertson should have a special room in that mansion, and now perhaps New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin can join him.

During ceremonies commemorating Martin Luther King Jr. Day yesterday, Nagin said hurricanes Katrina and Rita were signs that "God is mad at America" -- and in particular, God is mad at black communities within America.

"Surely God is mad at America. He sent us hurricane after hurricane after hurricane, and it's destroyed and put stress on this country," Nagin said.

Nagin didn't rule out the possibility that the hurricanes were God's way of getting back at us for invading Iraq -- but that might be just one contributing factor to the wrath. "Surely he doesn't approve of us being in Iraq under false pretenses," Nagin said. "But surely he is upset at black America also. We're not taking care of ourselves."

Nagin then went on to call for rebuilding a "chocolate" New Orleans, claiming that God wouldn't want it any other way.

"It's time for us to come together. It's time for us to rebuild New Orleans -- the one that should be a chocolate New Orleans," the mayor said. "This city will be a majority-African American city. It's the way God wants it to be. You can't have New Orleans no other way. It wouldn't be New Orleans."

Now, on all of this "acts of nature = wrath of God" talk, I can only turn toward the words of Jesus:
"You have heard that it was said, 'Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.' But I tell you: Love your enemies[b] and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous (Matthew 5:43-45, bold italics mine).
What's that you say, Jesus? Good and bad weather happens to both the good and the evil?

Then there's this passage:
Now there were some present at that time who told Jesus about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mixed with their sacrifices. Jesus answered, "Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans because they suffered this way? I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish. Or those eighteen who died when the tower in Siloam fell on them -- do you think they were more guilty than all the others living in Jerusalem? I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish." (Luke 13:1-5, bold italics mine)
Again, the point seems to be this: Stuff happens to humans. It's inevitable. But the main thing to keep in mind is not the hardships and sufferings and times of joy and elation that come in this life, but your relationship with your maker.

Oh, and that word repent? It carries a lot of religious baggage. It's from the Greek term metanoia, which loosely translated means, "change the way you think," or "change what you think upon." So, unless we change the way we think (about life, about God, about ourselves -- and the implication is that a change in action will follow), we're all doomed" (that's the AC paraphrase).

, , , ,

:: Andrew 06:35 + ::

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