Monday, September 05, 2005

Katrina: A Spiritual Experience

Thankfully not all of the news coming out of New Orleans is hopeless and negative.

Reuters reports: . . .

In the last week, Joseph Brant lost his apartment, walked by scores of dead in the streets, traversed pools of toxic water and endured an arduous journey to escape the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in his hometown New Orleans.

On Sunday, he was praising the Lord, saying the ordeal was a test that ended up dispelling his lifelong distrust of white people and setting his life on a new course. He said he hitched a ride on Friday in a van driven by a group of white folks.

"Before this whole thing I had a complex about white people; this thing changed me forever," said Brant, 36, a truck driver who, like many of the refugees receiving public assistance in Houston, Texas, is black.

"It was a spiritual experience for me, man," he said of the aftermath of a catastrophe al Qaeda-linked Web sites called evidence of the "wrath of God" striking an arrogant America.

Brant was one of many refugees across Texas, Louisiana and Mississippi who gave thought to religion on Sunday, almost a week after the floods changed their lives, perhaps forever.

But then again, the article goes on to report:

Churches in many states have taken in evacuees and organized aid for people who in many cases had lost everything. But at least some bristled at the role of religion in helping the afflicted.

"We're getting reports of how some religion-based 'aid' groups are trying to fly evangelists into the stricken areas and how U.S. Army chaplains are carrying bibles -- not food or water -- to 'comfort' people," Ellen Johnson, president of American Atheist, said in a statement.

"People need material aid, medical care and economic support -- not prayers and preaching."

Hat tip to Matt Drudge at Drudge Report


At Monday, September 05, 2005 10:47:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I beg to differ with Ellen - Many people want and need spiritual encouragement as well.

"God is our refuge and strength,
an ever-present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear,
though the earth give way
and the mountains fall into the
heart of the sea,
though its waters roar and foam
and the mountains quake with
their surging (Psalm 46:1-3)."

At Monday, September 05, 2005 10:04:00 PM, Blogger LloydChristmas69 said...

I beg to agree with Ellen. A starving and thirsty person cannot eat or drink a Bible.

Can you? If so, I bet that makes for a great party trick.

At Monday, September 05, 2005 11:22:00 PM, Blogger Mickey McLean said...

You're right, Lloyd; no one can literally eat or drink a book. Well, I guess you could if you really wanted to - at least it would be high in fiber. (But judging from your blog, you probably ought to stay away from fiber-rich foods!)

However, when it comes to the Word of God, it offers sustenance like no other: "Then Jesus declared, 'I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never go hungry, and he who believes in me will never be thirsty'" (John 6:35).

At Tuesday, September 06, 2005 10:53:00 AM, Blogger LloydChristmas69 said...

That Guy must have been one heck of a cook.

Thank you for the dietary advice. I will be sure to bring this up with my therapist the next time we meet.

Feel free to join my fan club!

-- Lloyd

At Wednesday, September 07, 2005 4:52:00 PM, Blogger Tim said...

One brings food, one water, one spiritual comfort. The spirit is as necessary to survival as food and water. Without hope we give up and die. Is Ellen Johnson doing anything to help? So far I have only seen useless commentary from their group. If you listen to the American Atheists the message you get is "You might as well die. There's nothing after this life." There's encouragement to survive. "Live or die. There's no point either way." Those who discount the work of the chaplains and the churches are discounting those who have done the lion's share of the relief work so far.


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