Tuesday, January 17, 2006

A direct line to God, huh? What's the number?

So apparently the Mayor of New Orleans has a direct line to God. From msnbc.com:

During the speech Monday, Nagin, who is black, said that the hurricanes that hit the nation in quick succession were a sign of God’s anger toward the United States and toward black communities, too, for their violence and infighting. He also said, “It’s time for us to rebuild New Orleans — the one that should be a chocolate New Orleans.” “This city will be a majority African American city,” he said Monday. “It’s the way God wants it to be. You can’t have New Orleans no other way. It wouldn’t be New Orleans.”

On Tuesday, Nagin said his comments about God were inappropriate and stemmed from a private conversation he had with a minister earlier. “I need to be more sensitive and more aware of what I’m saying,” he said.

The mayor said his speech was really meant to convey that blacks were a vital part of New Orleans’ history and culture and should be encouraged to return. “I want everyone to be welcome in New Orleans — black, white, Asian, everybody,” he said.

....The mayor’s speech also attacked America’s efforts in Iraq. “Surely [God] doesn’t approve of us being in Iraq under false pretenses. But surely he is upset at black America also. We’re not taking care of ourselves.”

well, this is almost too much for one piece of commentary. Let's start with the obvious--can you imagine what would happen to a GOP or Right wing politician if he'd said something like, "God means New Orleans to be a milky New Orleans?" (or some other white food?) There'd be calls for resignation and defamation. He'd never be good for anything ever again in elected office. Pat Robertson said something equally as crazy last week and the media was all over it. I had to dig for this story on MSNBC after hearing about it on the morning news.

First of all, I don't believe that God punishes people like that. What did Abraham say to God, "There are 10 righteous people" in the city, and God saved the city for the sake of those 10 righteous ones. I'm pretty sure there were good people in New Orleans. Not that I'm completely ruling out the idea, God being God, but I don't think so. And if I though so, I certainly wouldn't go around boasting like a peacock that I knew that this is what God wanted. Hello?

And the war? Well, let's see. God told quite a few of his prophets to go to war in the O.T., and the Church has Just War theory. Whoever got the idea that Jesus was a pacifist obviously has never read the book of Matthew or looked at Christian history. Christians are not passive; we are not meant to be passive. We are meant to fight for the rights of ourselves and others and to defend the defenseless from tyranny. And that's what's happening in Iraq, just like it happened in Afghanistan. That's what happened in WWI and WWII. Try to be as cynical as you want, but war isn't just politicans talking. To meet Just War requirements, it must have a higher purpose.

As for that direct line to God, one New Orleans resident said it best on GMA: "If Nagin has a direct line to God, why didn't he use it during the evacuation?" Good point. As my pastor says when someone's cell phone rings in Mass, "That better be God calling." Turns out He calls Mayor Nagin on a regular basis!


rover said...

I have to admit that I've had some conversations with people about whether or not God initiated the hurricanes. Nagin should have asked himself why God would destroy a primarily black city if he were angry at white people. Wouldn't Seattle have been a better choide?

rover said...

"Choice" I mean.