Seems God isn’t too happy with Pat Robertson’s habit of delivering God’s message and then turning around and apologizing for it the minute one of his business deals is threatened because of it so God has decided to start talking to the politicians instead. In this case he’s chatting up New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin about why he (God) sent all those hurricanes:
Mayor Ray Nagin suggested Monday that Hurricanes Katrina and Rita and other storms were a sign that “God is mad at America” and at black communities, too, for tearing themselves apart with violence and political infighting.
“Surely God is mad at America. He sent us hurricane after hurricane after hurricane, and it’s destroyed and put stress on this country,” Nagin, who is black, said as he and other city leaders marked Martin Luther King Day.
“Surely he 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.”
Nagin also promised that New Orleans will be a “chocolate” city again. Many of the city’s black neighborhoods were heavily damaged by Katrina.
“It’s time for us to come together. It’s time for us to rebuild New Orleans—the one that should be a chocolate New Orleans,” the mayor said. “This city will be a majority African American city. It’s the way God wants it to be. You can’t have New Orleans no other way. It wouldn’t be New Orleans.”
It’s bad enough to have the Fundies proclaiming they know for certain what God wants, we don’t really need any politicians getting in on the act. The claim is ridiculous on so many levels, not the least of which being that I don’t believe God exists to be pissed off at anyone in the first place, that it’s hard to decide where to start with it. Let’s start with the idea that God would make use of such a crude method to display his displeasure.
Mayor Nagin seems to be saying that God wiped out a good portion of the coastline down there because he’s upset with one minority group in America. Granted he did also say that our being in Iraq had something to do with it as well, but the impression I got is that he thinks that’s less of an issue than the fact that the black community isn’t taking care of itself. If that’s true then why punish everyone with something like a hurricane rather than, say, causing major sinkholes to open under all of the homes and businesses owned by African Americans in the area while leaving all the other homes and buildings untouched? Now THAT would be a message hard to deny as being directly from God. Though what the message actually meant would still be up for grabs. Perhaps some 40 foot high flaming letters spelling out a short essay about what he’s pissed about would help in that regard.
The other thought to occurred to me: Isn’t Mayor Nagin opening up African Americans to some silly criticism by making such a claim? Idiotic as it is I wouldn’t be a bit surprised to hear someone claim that blacks are a menace because they bring on God’s wrath. Quick, kick ‘em out before the locusts are let loose!
The whole New Orleans is a “chocolate” city by God’s design comment is so stupid that I can’t even manage to come up with a quip about it that’s snarky enough to do it justice.
Not that I don’t agree with the sentiment that there’s plenty of rebuilding to be done and that the whole community needs to come together to accomplish it or that the African American community has some serious internal problems it needs to deal with—and not just in New Orleans—but you don’t need a God to tell you those things. You just need a functioning brain and a little observational skill.
Link found via The Moderate Voice.
As an interesting aside, apparent Conservative blogger and Pat Robertson fan La Shawn Barber put up a challenge to all the bloggers who jump all over Pat Robertson every time he makes an ass out of himself to jump all over Nagin for making similar comments. This entry isn’t a response to that challenge as I wrote it prior to even seeing it, but Barber is welcome to consider it a response if he wants. Stupid is stupid regardless of whether it’s Robertson saying it or Mayor Nagin, it just seems that Robertson is trying to break into the Guinness Book of World Records with a lifetime achievement for idiotic statements. Nagin is still pretty small time in comparison, but given enough time and encouragement I’m sure he could make a career out of it.