Sharpening our wits on the grindstone of Life: Katrina, Katrina, why hast thou forsaken me? .comment-link {margin-left:.6em;}

Sharpening our wits on the grindstone of Life

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Katrina, Katrina, why hast thou forsaken me?

Our prayers go out to those in New Orleans, Biloxi, Pascagoula, Gulfport and all parts thereabouts.

Having lived through floods I can relate to the life changes they produce, although I cannot begin to express my sorrow at the loss of life that's occurred in the past few days.

As for the uncertainty of those who don't know the whereabouts of their loved ones, that I can relate to also, as I have loved ones of my own in the region whose whereabouts are unknown.

Some have called this "our own tsunami". With respect to those killed in this disaster and those uncertain about their kin, I think this is arrogant self-rightousness. We lost a hundred lives, mostly those who couldn't leave, but the tsunami took hundreds of thousands of lives. We lost a small fraction of what was lost in Southeast Asia, but it was close to home, which makes it more personal.

Every one of those lives was special, in the U.S. and elsewhere. Likewise every life lost in Iraq, whether it belonged to our troops or to the Iraqi citizenship. Every life is sacred, and whether it was taken by Iraqi insurgents, friendly fire, or the forces of nature, it should be celebrated. I offer a memorial to them all. Please pray to your Deity of Choice for the peace of their souls, whether it be to God, Allah, Yahweh, or Whomever.

But what I want to know is, where are the fundamentalists claiming that this is the wrath of God, as they did after the tsunami? After all, an "act of God" causing devastation that "purges the ungodly" surely would apply here. Oops, I forgot, this is the Bible Belt. Surely God wouldn't inflict this damage on his faithful, would he?

It's all so confusing. God's beloved people have now been exposed to this kind of catastrophe. What could it mean? This time it's surely not about sinful lifestyles and beliefs, right?

His Mysterious Way must now be explained by His spiritual leaders why such God-fearing people had to die. I wish them success.

Kudos and blessings upon the emergency medical crews, rescue personnel, and utility restoration crews that are working on the problem. They have gathered from all over the country, as is their wont, to help restore life in the blighted areas to its normal modus operendi.

But can New Orleans ever get back to normal life? With the denial of global warming a major factor in their city planning, can they expect to be a player in the global economy much longer? A city below sea level when the sea level is rising cannot be a major player for long.

Again, global warming brings itself more and more to the forefront. There but for the Grace of God (and wind currents) go I. If it weren't for a high pressure front at the right time, keeping the storm heading west, it would have hit the Florida panhandle. If that high pressure front hadn't moved southeast, the storm could have hit Galveston and Houston, causing me the same problems it caused New Orleans.

But I don't want to think about that.

In our global warming discussions, we've already predicted New Orleans' demise. Let's not risk other coastal cities in our arrogance.

In short, God Bless the rescue workers, emergency medical personnel, and those working to restore basic services such as electricity, water and communications.

But God, please help us realize that we need to change our attitude on how we utilize the resources we have. If we continue on our current path, weather will get more catastrophic, and someday, after we've used up all of our resources, we'll have nothing to restore after catastrophes of this nature.

Amen.

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