Guest Author - Jason P. Ruel
Katrina. Most of the world knows her name now. A name that will be forever etched into the American History as a storm that killed the masses, crippled a section of the country, and caused havoc to a nation. There are many reasons as to why things happened the way they did with Katrina. We were slow to respond so more people died. People did not or were not able to heed the warnings to evacuate, and thus were trapped, and some died. The levee system was in need of repairs and thus under the strain of such a large storm, broke and flooded one of the countries most known cities trapping thousands and killing hundreds if not thousands.
But if you are like some of the people who have been emailing me this past week after I put out a call to help the victims of Katrina, you are laying blame elsewhere. IF you are like some of the people who have emailed me, mainly evangelical Christians as they are labeling themselves, and others not labeling themselves as anything more than Christian, you are blaming the gays and their sinful lifestyle. Well, people, let me tell you this. We, the GLBTQI of America, are not to blame for an act of nature. I have received many emails about this and I thought I would paraphrase some of them and explain my opinions on the fact.
in light of the deepened and dark tragedy in New Orleans
Do you think the Gay Community at Large would take a serious look at what has happened to New Orleans and maybe ask the question... Is this stuff really right or is it wrong?
From a biblical perspective, what of the stand on the Homosexual communities (cities the bible says) of Sodom and Gomorrah?
Do you think the gay community should seriously turn from this type of behavior and search for the living God that destroyed these cities?
Should not Americans everywhere turn back to the God that protects this country
.It seems strange that this city was deluged just hours before the grand parties would take place.
What do you think?
And here is how I would respond to these individuals:
I and many other queer folk are believers in G-d. We worship Him like any other person. I personally do not think that Katrina was the wrath of G-d striking out his hand at those annoying homosexuals as many evangelicals are spewing forth. If it were the case, then why did so many perish in other places that were not New Orleans? Why did G-d strike down upon those in Mississippi and Alabama if his wrath was directed towards New Orleans. I lead a very faithful life. I worship, I pray, I attempt in all my fallible human wisdom to turn from those things that would lead me down the wrong path and out of G-d's favor. Why can't Katrina be what she was, a monumental natural disaster that devastated most of our Southern seaboard?
And many scholars (both biblical and secular) would argue against the interpretation of S&G. Many have concluded that the sins listed against S&G was the unforgivable sin of not extended hospitality towards men. Not respecting other men. What about Lot? Why was not he admonished by G-d for offering up his daughter to the men of the city? What about the other acts of the bible where G-d says don't eat pork, shellfish, don't lie with a woman who is on her menstrual, don't be seen with a woman who is menstruating, don't have sexual relations until marriage for sex is for procreation. What about all those? Shouldn't we be concerned about these as well for they were offenses punishable by stoning and other forms of torture and death?
So when you write things like you did, please do not use a small portion of the bible to justify the unjustifiable. Katrina was a natural disaster on monumental scale because of the area in which it came ashore.
And don't get me started on the whole Southern Decadence thing. What about Mardi Gras? Why not blame heterosexuals who flash their breasts or penis for some beads? Why are they any less at fault then the gays? And why not the poor people who choose to live in a city that is 80% under sea level? And better yet, why not the black people who are the poorest of the poor? Or maybe even the unwed mothers, and possibly even the welfare dependants? Let me stop now before I start to make any sense.
May Ha-shem bless you and yours as you continue your journey called life.
So my question to you is this, my dear readers. What would you have said? How do you feel since we seem to be in the crosshairs of blame?
Write me, or post it in the forums. I would love to hear (and I do mean it) your thoughts, and not only the positive ones.
For Further reading on the subject:
Jason P. Ruel
Editor, Gay Lesbian News @ BellaOnline.com