When a natural disaster strikes, the American Taliban swings into action. Before the hungry are fed, before the homeless are housed, before the sick are made well, chubby little fingers must be pointed. Disasters of biblical proportions don't just happen—from Noah's Flood to the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah to Hurricane Katrina, natural disasters are God's way of expressing his displeasure with his wayward creation.
But who, exactly, is God displeased with now? Who is to blame for Katrina? This is a survey of likely suspects.
The first bodies hadn't even bobbed to the surface before a conservative Christian organization, Repent America, pointed a finger at gays and lesbians. While the states that took the direct hit from Katrina—Alabama and Mississippi—aren't exactly known as gay meccas, the city of New Orleans does have a large gay community. Even worse, the city was about to play host to "Southern Decadence," the gay answer to a decidedly decadent heterosexual shindig called "Mardi Gras."
Southern Decadence "has a history of filling the French Quarters section of the city with drunken homosexuals engaging in sex acts in the public streets and bars," the group stated in a press release. "The citizens of New Orleans tolerated and welcomed the wickedness in their city for so long. May this act of God cause us all to think about what we tolerate in our city limits, and bring us trembling before the throne of Almighty God."
Columbia Christians for Life (CCFL) blamed abortion. Satellite photos taken of Hurricane Katrina just as it struck the Gulf Coast provided the proof: "The image of the hurricane," the CCFL wrote in an e-mail, "with its eye already ashore at 12:32 p.m. Monday, August 29, looks like a fetus... Louisiana has 10 child-murder-by-abortion centers; five are in New Orleans." Other states may have more abortion clinics, but God is a notoriously bad shot. When the December 26 tsunami killed hundreds of thousands of Buddhists and Muslims in Thailand and Indonesia, conservative Christians claimed God was upset with... Massachusetts for legalizing gay marriage.
Muhammad Yousef Al-Mlaifi, director of the Kuwaiti Ministry of Endowment's research center, blamed Allah. In an article entitled "The Terrorist Katrina Is One of the Soldiers of Allah," Yousef Al-Mlaifi first thanks America for making Iraq "the most tranquil and secure country in the world." He then writes, "How sad I am for America. Here it is, poor thing, trying with all its might to lower oil prices [and then comes] this storm, the fruit of Allah's planning, so that a barrel of oil will increase further still." The Kuwaiti closes with a quote from the Koran: "The disaster will keep striking the unbelievers for what they have done."
Muhammad Yousef Al-Mlaifi would be moldering in a mass grave with the rest of Kuwaiti's government officials if the U.S. hadn't driven Saddam Hussein's armies out of Kuwait in the first Gulf War in 1991. Just sayin'.
One can only celebrate, and profit from, the "dark arts" for so long before one brings God's wrath down upon one's head. Anne Rice, who hasn't written a single decent book during her interminably long career, may have brought Katrina's epic destruction to the city she has celebrated in her novels about vampires, witches, mummies, and more vampires. Paganism, homosexuality, the "goth" look—these dissolute lifestyles have been promoted and glamorized in Rice's fiction, inspiring scores of dweebish teens to turn away from more wholesome pursuits and wardrobes. Frankly, we're surprised God didn't level the city after Violin was published.
THE NEW ORLEANS SAINTS
The thought of a professional sports franchise being the cause of a horrendous natural disaster sounds far-fetched, but consider these unholy facts: The New Orleans Saints have won just ONE playoff game in their 39 years of existence. That's a lot of failure for any team—especially one named after God's elect servants. And surely we can detect the unseen hand of the divine in the destruction of the Saints' home, the Superdome, which turned into a domed cesspool of urine, feces, and rotting corpses—this after having already been rendered unusable for the coming NFL season by the hurricane itself.
How did New Orleans, a den of sin and vice for 300 long years, manage to escape God's wrath for so long? It's possible that God, with so much responsibility already, was unaware of Mardi Gras, Southern Decadence, Girls Gone Wild, and foot-long margaritas until relatively recently. What brought New Orleans's sinful status to the attention of our vengeful God ? Could it have been an episode of the long-running animated hit The Simpsons?
In the episode "A Streetcar Named Marge," the citizens of Springfield perform a musical version of Tennessee Williams's A Streetcar Named Desire. The show opens with the cast performing in front of the Superdome, singing the opening number, "New Orleans!" The lyrics are eerily prophetic:
Long before the Superdome,
Where the Saints of football play,
Lived a city that the damned called home,
Hear their hellish roundelay...
Home of pirates, drunks, and whores!
Tacky, overpriced, souvenir stores!
If you want to go to Hell, you should make that trip
To the Sodom and Gomorrah on the Mississipp'!
Stinking, rotten, vomiting, vile!
Putrid, brackish, maggoty, foul!
Crummy, lousy, rancid, and rank!
Perhaps broadcast television signals, which travel through space at the speed of light, eventually reached the far corners of the universe, coming to the attention of our Creator. Only then did He begin to investigate New Orleans. He watched several Girls Gone Wild DVDs and Googled "Southern Decadence." And, verily, He discovered it to be Hellish. Behold! The city was home to pirates, drunks, and whores! And He was displeased, and He sent the hurricane to obliterate New Orleans and, er, dozens of small towns up and down the Gulf Coast that never did anyone any harm. Thanks to our loving Father, New Orleans is now as putrid, brackish, maggoty, and foul a place as any on earth.
Or maybe, just maybe, Katrina's overwhelming destruction can be blamed on a tropical disturbance—in the form of low atmospheric pressure resting over the tropical areas of the Atlantic Ocean—finding fuel in the warmth of late-summer months, leading to thunderstorms that, when infused with winds of up to 40 miles per hour, turned the relatively minor disturbance into a tropical storm, which in turn grew in intensity as it pulled warm and humid air from the lower atmosphere, thereby creating, for all intents and purposes, a self-sufficient engine that could emit as much energy, on average, as the U.S. can produce in an entire year, and which could develop, as pressure dropped within the storm's core, winds up to 74 miles an hour, at which point the relatively minor tropical disturbance became a hurricane, a godforsaken storm capable of winds over 100 miles an hour, and something easily identified and tracked days before it arrives onshore, yet still capable of leveling an entire city caught unprepared thanks to the bungled efforts of both local and federal governments, the latter of which is being led by a barely functioning retard whose incompetence and corruption—from unforgivable tax cuts to thoroughly bungled wars to diverting much-needed funds away from levee maintenance to lying about America's preparations and readiness to handle large-scale calamities—has led to a complete failure of national preparedness, a failure only exacerbated by America's rarely talked about class system, as well as the painful heartlessness of the country's leaders, who squandered much time posing in photo ops playing guitars and eating cake, as well as attending Broadway musicals and shopping for $1,000 shoes, to offer any real support, guidance, leadership, and even sorrow for the fact that one of the country's most unique cities has now been completely wiped off the map.
Maybe that was it.