Hurricane Hagee backtracks on Katrina

John Hagee, the evangelist, John McCain ally and weather analyst issued a statement today saying he does not “know the mind of God concerning Hurricane Katrina.”

Here’s what Hagee said:

“As a believing Christian, I see the hand of God in everything that happens here on earth, both the blessings and the curses. But ultimately neither I nor any other person can know the mind of God concerning Hurricane Katrina. I should not have suggested otherwise. No matter what the cause of the storm, my heart goes out to all who suffered in this terrible tragedy. There but for the grace of God go any one of us.”

Some prominent preachers have suggested the storm, which destroyed nursing homes but spared the French Quarter, was a sign of God’s wrath.

Updated: April 25, 2008 — 4:19 pm

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  1. For those who are curious about what Hagee originally said on the subject, here is an excerpt from his interview with Terry Gross, host of the radio show “Fresh Air”, from the September 18, 2006 broadcast:

    GROSS: I just want to ask you one question based on one of your sermons that — and this isn’t about Israel. You said after Hurricane Katrina that it was an act of God, and you said “when you violate God’s will long enough, the judgment of God comes to you. Katrina is an act of God for a society that is becoming Sodom and Gomorrah reborn.” Do you still think that Katrina is punishment from God for a society that’s becoming like Sodom and Gomorrah?

    HAGEE: All hurricanes are acts of God, because God controls the heavens. I believe that New Orleans had a level of sin that was offensive to God, and they are — were recipients of the judgment of God for that. The newspaper carried the story in our local area that was not carried nationally that there was to be a homosexual parade there on the Monday that the Katrina came. And the promise of that parade was that it was going to reach a level of sexuality never demonstrated before in any of the other Gay Pride parades. So I believe that the judgment of God is a very real thing. I know that there are people who demur from that, but I believe that the Bible teaches that when you violate the law of God, that God brings punishment sometimes before the day of judgment. And I believe that the Hurricane Katrina was, in fact, the judgment of God against the city of New Orleans.

    GROSS: So I know you’re very opposed to homosexuality, but you think that the whole city was punished because of things like the forthcoming Gay Pride parade.

    HAGEE: This is true. All of the city was punished because of the sin that happened there in that city.

  2. It was a sensible thing for him to say; he didn’t deny that the hurricane could have been God’s judgment, he just said he didn’t get a memo on it. And, just so we know what we’re talking about, we need to remember that the real tragedy of New Orleans is that the reason that nursing homes were destroyed while many poor areas, including nursing homes, were destroyed while the French Quarter was spared is because the powers that be didn’t build proper storm defenses such as levees and drainage systems to protect the poor areas. Katrina destroyed New Orleans not with wind but with water. The city was inundated by floods because of the heavy rainfall. There may well have been a sin involved in New Orleans’ tragedy, but I don’t think it was homosexuality, I think it was the discrimination shown by its politicians.

  3. The one enables the other, perplexed. Had New Orleans been prepared, there would have been far less damage, whatever the origin, natural or divine, of the hurricane. New Orleans is in a hurricane path. We all know that. They should have done better, and there were things they could have done.

  4. New Orleans as a city, was an accident waiting to happen. You take a town below sea level, put it between a gulf and one of the biggest rivers of the world, with an area known for hurricanes, it wasn’t exactly a shock, anymore when you hear of blizzards in Minnesota, or tornadoes in Oklahoma. My wife is from north Florida, her family stay alert, they keep provisions in case they get hit, I could be wrong, but I didn’t notice that from New Orleans, in fact, they knew days ahead of time, they were going to get hit, I’m an older man, and even if I didn’t have money or a ride, I can walk 40 mile a day, why didn’t some take off toward Baton Rouge? I know I would have.

  5. And besides all this, there’s Jesus’s words in Luke 13:1-5. Doesn’t sound like the Lord had much use for those who tried to attribute blame for the occurrence of disasters.

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