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These fundie Christian Web sites have all the answers regarding the devastation of New Orleans

Blame it on homosexuals. No, blame it on Vladimir Putin. Oops, blame it on Osama bin Laden.

While the mainstream media struggle to explain the story surrounding Hurricane Katrina, the truth behind New Orleans' devastation can be found in biblical passages. Plenty of Internet sites unravel the meaning of Katrina in the larger scheme of things, or what a segment of the so-called Christian population calls the End of Days.

For those of us who haven't been paying attention, or have been remiss in declaring Jesus our personal savior, Googling "Hurricane Katrina biblical prophecy" results in a tsunami of revelations explaining why we are right smack in the midst of mounting cataclysms and what they portend.

There's a good reason for New Orleans flooding, and it has nothing to do with inadequate levees or the policies of an administration that cut proposed funding earmarked for a refurbished flood-control system. God decided to punish the Big Easy for its heathen ways.

Just days before Southern Decadence, described on one Web site as "an annual homosexual celebration attracting tens of thousands of people to the French Quarter," God intervened through Hurricane Katrina and "put an end to the annual celebration of sin." The site goes on to quote Michael Marcavage, named as director of Repent America, "Although the loss of lives is deeply saddening, this act of God destroyed a wicked city."

Southern Decadence doesn't entirely explain the New Orleans disaster. Our flirting with Satan has resulted in "a curse against America for cursing or mistreating Israel by forcing the 'parting of her land,'" according to the same site. This "curse against America" theme echoes Pat Robertson, who, after Sept. 11, blamed the United States' fall from grace for the terrorist act.

It's no coincidence, sayeth the sites, that Hurricane Katrina struck just after Israel pulled out of Gaza and just before those nasty gays were to descend on Sin City. By sanctioning Israel's withdrawal, the United States placed itself squarely in Satan's corner. "God allows events like Katrina to happen to remind us of our fallen state," claims another Web site.

Pastor Harry's blog offers further illumination by pointing out the hurricane was, "a judgment against the sins of New Orleans with its Corruption, Open Prostitution, The Hypocrisy of Mardi Gras and its ... Apostate Churches (Catholic or Protestant) that allow a person to sin their brains out in the drunken, breast flashing streets of New Orleans, then believe a Priest can wash away their sins with the wave of his hand or a Baptist Preacher can assure them they are 'Once Saved, Always Saved... .'" The good pastor goes on to remind us, "Katrina serves as A Warning to America and its Denominational Churches that GOD DOES NOT ANSWER YOUR PRAYERS!"

Not content to rely on scripture-inspired doomsday warnings, some sites take the next step: biblical code. One code breaker claims, "The fact that terrible disasters such as the Indonesia tidal wave and this hurricane have occurred in the last year, can be related to the two evil Satanic ones who are now in power on earth, and that is why disastrous events are occurring all over earth: the Satanic ones are President Putin of Russia who is the Antichrist, and Osama bin Laden who is the Demon of the Bottomless Pit, called 'The Destroyer' in Revelation 9:11, who is an unclean spirit who has escaped from Hell." And all this time I mistakenly thought he was just a disaffected Saudi.

All this mayhem is merely a taste of things to come. One Tim McHyde tells us, "Katrina is not an isolated event. There will be more wake up calls coming more frequently to prepare the righteous remnant for a global catastrophe prophesied in the Bible that will make every place on earth look like New Orleans--and that's no exaggeration."

After perusing Web sites of this ilk for the greater part of a day, I had my own revelation: Though the media sought some rational, or at least political, explanation for our feckless president seeking photo ops in California while New Orleans flooded, the endless stream of Web sites like the ones quoted above provide the answer.

When the great city of New Orleans is inundated partly as a result of your administration's failure, why provide immediate disaster relief if you are George W. Bush, and you believe the calamity is part of God's plan? Why authorize federal funds increasing the likelihood the city could survive a major hurricane when slashing those monetary requests allows the prophecies to unfold in their own course? Given Bush's reference to "God's purpose" in a recent speech designating a National Day of Prayer, why hasn't some national press corps reporter asked, "Mr. President, do you believe the devastation in New Orleans was biblically foretold?"

Unfortunately for the self-proclaimed righteous, the French Quarter escaped the flooding. And before too long, if we're lucky, we'll hear those heavenly words, "Laissez les Bon Temps Roulez!"

Let the Good Times Roll!

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