The other night, the Rev. James Dobson's ministry asked all believers to
pray for a storm on Thursday night so that the Obama acceptance speech
outdoors in Denver would have to be cancelled.
I see that You have answered Rev. Dobson's prayers -- except the storm You
have sent to earth is not over Denver, but on its way to New Orleans! In
fact, You have scheduled it to hit Louisiana at exactly the moment that
George W. Bush is to deliver his speech at the Republican National
Now, heavenly Father, we all know You have a great sense of humor and
impeccable timing. To send a hurricane on the third anniversary of the
Katrina disaster AND right at the beginning of the Republican Convention
was, at first blush, a stroke of divine irony. I don't blame You, I know
You're angry that the Republicans tried to blame YOU for Katrina by calling
it an "Act of God" -- when the truth was that the hurricane itself caused
few casualties in New Orleans. Over a thousand people died because of the
mistakes and neglect caused by humans, not You.
Some of us tried to help after Katrina hit, while Bush ate cake with McCain and twiddled his thumbs. I closed my office in New York and sent my entire staff down to New Orleans to help. I asked people on my website to contribute to the relief effort I organized -- and I ended up sending over
two million dollars in donations, food, water, and supplies (collected from
thousands of fans) to New Orleans while Bush's FEMA ice trucks were still driving around Maine three weeks later.
But this past Thursday night, the Washington Post reported that the
Republicans had begun making plans to possibly postpone the convention. The
AP had reported that there were no shelters set up in New Orleans for this
storm, and that the levee repairs have not been adequate. In other words, as
the great Ronald Reagan would say, "There you go again!"
So the last thing John McCain and the Republicans needed was to have a
split-screen on TVs across America: one side with Bush and McCain partying
in St. Paul, and on the other side of the screen, live footage of their
Republican administration screwing up once again while New Orleans drowns.
So, yes, You have scared the Jesus, Mary and Joseph out of them, and more
than a few million of your followers tip their hats to You.
But now it appears that You haven't been having just a little fun with Bush
& Co. It appears that Hurricane Gustav is truly heading to New Orleans and
the Gulf coast. We hear You, O Lord, loud and clear, just as we did when
Rev. Falwell said You made 9/11 happen because of all those gays and
abortions. We beseech You, O Merciful One, not to punish us again as Pat
Robertson said You did by giving us Katrina because of America's "wholesale
slaughter of unborn children." His sentiments were echoed by other
Republicans in 2005.
So this is my plea to you: Don't do this to Louisiana again. The Republicans
got your message. They are scrambling and doing the best they can to get
planes, trains and buses to New Orleans so that everyone can get out. They
haven't sent the entire Louisiana National Guard to Iraq this time -- they
are already patrolling the city streets. And, in a nod to I don't know what,
Bush's head of FEMA has named a man to help manage the federal government's
response. His name is W. Michael Moore. I kid you not, heavenly Father. They
have sent a
both my name AND W's to help save the Gulf Coast.
So please God, let the storm die out at sea. It's done enough damage
already. If you do this one favor for me, I promise not to invoke your name
again. I'll leave that to the followers of Rev. Dobson and to those
gathering this week in St. Paul.
Your faithful servant and former seminarian,
P.S. To all of God's fellow children who are reading this, the city New
Orleans has not yet recovered from Katrina. Please click
for a list of things you can do to help our brothers and sisters on the Gulf
Coast. And, if you do live along the Gulf Coast, please take all necessary
safety precautions immediately.