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David Emery

Hurricane Katrina: God's Punishment for a 'Wicked' City?

By August 31, 2005

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A reader writes:  "Is it true that Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans on a day that was to observe 'Southern Decadence Day' with 100,000 homosexuals gathering to commit unspeakable acts in public?"

In a word, no. Despite the fact that some fundamentalist Christians appear eager to characterize the disaster as "God's judgment" on the "wicked" city of New Orleans, and despite their attempt to link its timing to a gay celebration held there annually, the claims are patently absurd:

  • The hurricane struck on Monday, August 29. This year's Southern Decadence, sometimes called the "Gay Mardi Gras," was scheduled to open today, Wednesday the 31st, and continue through Sunday. The storm obviously did not strike on "the day" of the celebration. Many, perhaps most, of the revelers had not even arrived yet.
  • Southern Decadence is a 35-year-old tradition in New Orleans. Why did God choose to wait till 2005 to "punish" the city for it?
  • Why is the French Quarter, the district where the event (now canceled) was to be held, one of the least devastated parts of the city so far?
  • If this tragedy occurred because God is angry at New Orleans, what was the point of the awful devastation and loss of life wrought in Mississippi and Alabama?

Lastly, if I may vent a bit, I find it shameful, given the massive destruction, loss of innocent life, and ongoing hardships suffered by the hundreds of thousands of victims of Hurricane Katrina, that any self-appointed spokesperson for God would have the nerve to suggest that these people in any sense deserved their fate. Natural disasters happen all the time, and Katrina was certainly not the first hurricane to strike the southern United States this season. By what logic, and by what right, does any human being arbitrarily declare that this natural disaster was a punishment meted out upon sinners by God?  Discuss.

Poll: Do you think Hurricane Katrina could be God's way of punishing New Orleans for sin?  1) Yes  2) No  3) Not sure

More About:
Gays Blamed for Hurricane Katrina - Coverage by Gay Life Guide Ramon Johnson
Hurricane Katrina Stirs Up Controversy - Response from Christianity Guide Mary Fairchild

Comments

May 8, 2007 at 11:07 am
(1) Scott Sparks says:

Katrina was not God’s punishment for sin. The Bible says the whole earth trevails for the coming of the Lord. The earth is trevailing. And, as sin increases in areas, it opens the door to destruction as nature revolts. There are laws at work. The asian Tsunami was not God’s punishment for sin. The wickedness and perversion in the area (child trafficking and child prostition, among other things)became so rampant that nature revolts.

August 30, 2008 at 6:10 pm
(2) Blue Crystal says:

Well, if you read the poll numbers for this story a 93% (111782) people believe that Katrina would be God’s punishment upon New Orleans. If that many people believe it, and we influence events around us, then enough people believing it and influencing the whether does not require an outside act of God to cause it. Maybe we are doing it to ourselves to learn something. 1) That what we think and believe matters 2) That behavior that is seen as decadant by the majority can be risky and 3) It’s not very smart to build up alot of infrastructure along any ocean shoreline.

September 10, 2008 at 5:37 pm
(3) Name says:

Katrina could not have hit New Orleans as punishment for their sin because Katrina DID NOT hit New Orleans. They were on the weak side of the storm. MS/LA stateline is where Katrina hit…and destroyed total cities in MS. In Pascagoula, homes had water on the second floors. But, okay, because of all the coverage, MS got the assistance they would not have gotten had the levees not failed.

January 18, 2010 at 9:48 am
(4) Billy-Bob says:

The obvious lesson from Katrina is that God hates jazz music. If more people in New Orleans listened to country and western, they would not have endured the trouble they have.

January 21, 2010 at 10:49 am
(5) Enis Cletus says:

I hear ya Billy Bob, God hates samba music too which is why Haiti got a wupping. If y’all want a savin then listen to country & western music.

February 22, 2010 at 9:20 pm
(6) Ashluv23 says:

I beleive that new orleans received hurricane katrina for its sin towards GOD like with the egyptians and etc…. But any who i beleive they were punished and wouldt of happend if theyd repented&ask for forgiveness

April 16, 2011 at 2:46 pm
(7) Paul says:

Dear Lord, save us from your followers. Now storms are raging through the bible belt. How do we explain this one?

August 27, 2012 at 12:21 pm
(8) Jim says:

What a “coincidence” that Isaac is followng the same path as Katrina did on the same date, Perhaps the Decadence festival will get cancelled again. One can only hope.

September 9, 2012 at 4:20 am
(9) aj says:

no one even put the scrpt in so people could read it for them self! it in leviticous 18;25-27 and it like they said GOD PUT IN MOTION ALL HIS LAWS AND NATURE VOMITING OUT WICKED PEOPLE IS ONE OF THE LAWS TO KEEP THE WORLD IN CHECK EVEN IF WE FAIL TO DO IT OUR SELF.PRAISE GOD GOD DOES NOT DO ALL THIS KILLING PEOPLE VIOLATE HIS LAWS AND GET THIER OWN SELF KILLED BY LIVING WICKED LIVES AND YOU KNOW THE SADEST PART OF IT ALL IS THE CHRISTIAN AND ALL THE INNOCENCE PEOPLE GET CAUGHT UP AND KILLED WITH THE WICKED THAT IS THE SADDEST PART OF IT ALL THAT THE WICKED CAUSE THE MESS AND DESTRUCTION AND THE DEATH BUT NO ONE BLAMES THEM AND MAKES THEM STOP THERE PERVERTION ! BUT OF CORSE THEY DONT BELIEVE NATURE IS LIKE THAT!

February 4, 2013 at 9:52 pm
(10) Jason says:

And you think that the wicked didn’t make excuses for why the world was destroyed by water and Sodom and Gomorhoa by fire and brimstone? Thw wicked will never admit to anything or any judgement from God. They don’t acknowledge him in their lives nor will they acknowledge him in his judgement on pertual accepted sin. People laughed at Noah, laughed at Lot. They will laugh when the same happens on a mass scale until the day of judgment comes when there will be wailing and gnashing of teeth

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