Nightline also featured J. Nelson Brown, the pastor of the Greater Saint Mary Missionary Baptist Church. Unlike Michael Brown, Reverend Brown took immediate concrete steps to help those stranded by the hurricane — his church provided cold water, hot meals, and ice to the people left in a poor, predominantly African American neighborhood of New Orleans, beginning the day after the hurricane hit.
The reporter, Jake Tapper, said, "It is worth noting that Brown believes God sent Katrina to the Delta."
There are some people that are saying, Why Katrina came to New Orleans. The wickedness of New Orleans. Just last week, Labor Day weekend, the "decadence fest" [Pridefest, the annual Lesbian/Gay Pride celebration] would have been held in New Orleans. But when God say, Enough, you've gone far enough, you've overstepped your bounds, then God steps in. — the so-called "Reverend" J. Nelson Brown of New OrleansBack in the studio, Terry Moran, filling in for Ted Koppel in the anchor chair, closes off the segment saying, "one man of God, making a difference."
Just for starters, it is deeply offensive for a "man of God" to preach that God has sent Hurricane Katrina down to kill hundreds (possibly thousands) of people as punishment for the sin of allowing homosexuals to march in the streets. It is no less offensive than if the KKK were to declare that Katrina was God's punishment for mixed-race marriages. Nightline should be ashamed for failing to call out the bigotry more sharply: "it is worth noting" is hardly the condemnation such a statement demands.
[Mea culpa indeed. "Pridefest" (the gay pride parade) took place this year in New Orleans in mid-June. However, "Southern Decadence," a much more sexually oriented gay event, was scheduled for Wednesday, August 31 through Monday, September 5, corresponding quite closely to the time that Hurricane Corinna, um, I mean, Katrina struck the Big Easy and breached the levees. I maintain, all the same, that my analogy to the KKK holds, as most definitely does the paragraph below. As for accountability, I was wrong in "correcting" the chronology, and doubly wrong to claim it as a news "scoop," and I admit it freely.]
Make no mistake: I applaud J. Nelson Brown's efforts to feed the hungry, give water to the thirsty, and give blessed ice to the overheated, most especially because the government (state and local, as well as federal) has been AWOL in providing relief, particularly in the Algiers neighborhood. However, I call upon all good Americans and all good Christians to condemn his attribution of this disaster to God's wrath upon homosexuals, just as we must all condemn Pat Robertson's call to assassinate the President of Venezuela, and just as all good Muslims must join with people of good will all over the world in condemning Osama bin Laden's twisted, hateful version of Islam.
[Incidentally, contrary to previous postings, in this blog entry,