Rev. Bill Shanks, pastor of New Covenant Fellowship of New Orleans, also sees God's mercy in the aftermath of Katrina -- but in a different way. Shanks says the hurricane has wiped out much of the rampant sin common to the city.(from this article in the Agape Press)Of course, Rev. Shanks, New Orleans is free of just about everything - including almost all of the Christians, who seemed to get washed away just as often as the sinners in this supposedly-holy deluge.
The pastor explains that for years he has warned people that unless Christians in New Orleans took a strong stand against such things as local abortion clinics, the yearly Mardi Gras celebrations, and the annual event known as "Southern Decadence" -- an annual six-day "gay pride" event scheduled to be hosted by the city this week -- God's judgment would be felt.
“New Orleans now is abortion free. New Orleans now is Mardi Gras free. New Orleans now is free of Southern Decadence and the sodomites, the witchcraft workers, false religion -- it's free of all of those things now," Shanks says. "God simply, I believe, in His mercy purged all of that stuff out of there -- and now we're going to start over again."
My favorite response to this particular proclamation was over the weekend, from the folks on Chicago Public Radio's Wait, Wait - Don't Tell Me!, the NPR weekly news-quiz program. They noted that while Rev. Shanks is proclaiming that Katrina is God's vengeance for all the sinfulness of New Orleans, that somehow God's devastating blow somehow didn't hit the French Quarter as bad as some of the rest of the city, because the FQ sits on slightly higher ground than the rest of New Orleans.
So the suggestion was that if God was really behind all this, He needed to tighten up the sights on His targeting computer - because the most sinful areas were the ones that got hit the least. (Or at least throw in an earthquake to level it all before flooding it...)
If my choice is to be with the "sinners and sodomites" or Rev. Shanks and his brand of godless, loveless Christianity, I'll take the S&S crowd.
On a related issue, check out Rick Luoni's post about Led Zepplin, Jesus and Love. Once again, Rick's reading my mail in a big, big way.