Being one of many folks who have offered housing to evacuees from Hurricane Katrina, I found myself reading the postings of other folks whom had done likewise. As I perused the "comments" section on each posting, I found that a lot of them had certain parameters (never mind those who want payment for their "charity") that made me raise an eyebrow as to why we're doing this at all. "Women only," "Single parents with children," "prefer Christians," "Democrats only," "like to sew"... these are only a sampling of what I read.
Now, truth be told, I have set a few parameters as well, but these are based on what I can physically offer and on a person's safety and well being, not on what kind of person they are. I think it's lovely that so many folks have opened up their homes during this period of crisis, which we can't even begin to fathom for ourselves. I am, however, astounded at how conditional our love (and our willingness to even assist) our fellow (hu)man is.
(#544 at katrinahousing.org)
Wake Up, Get Real
I am furious with the tragically misplaced priorities and criminal negligence of this government. The Katrina tragedy in the U.S. shows that the emperor has no clothes! Bush and his team partied and delayed while millions of people were displaced, hundreds of thousands were abandoned to a living hell. Thousands more died of drowning, dehydration, hunger and exposure; most bodies remain unburied and rotting in attics and floodwater. Is this America the beautiful?
The risk of hurricane disaster was clearly predicted, yet funds for repair work for the Gulf States barrier islands and levee system were unconscionably diverted to the Iraq War. Money and manpower and ethics have been diverted to fight a war based on absolute lies!
As a VA nurse working with returning OIF vets, I know the public has no sense of the additional devastating human and financial costs of post-traumatic stress disorder; now we will have hundreds of thousands of our civilian citizens with PTSD as well as far too many young soldiers, maimed physically or psychologically—or both—spreading their pain, anger and isolation through family and communities for generations. And most of this natural disaster and war tragedy has been preventable ... how very, very sad!
In the meantime, our war-fueled federal deficit mushrooms—and whither this debt now, as we care for the displaced and destroyed?
Bush, Cheney, Chertoff, Brown and Rice should be tried for criminal negligence. This country needs to get out of Iraq now and return to our original vision and priorities of caring for land and people and resources rather than killing for oil.
Katrina itself was the size of New Mexico. Denials of global warming are ludicrous and patently irrational at this point. We can anticipate more wild, destructive weather to occur as a response stress of the planet. We need to wake up and get real here, and act forcefully to remove a government administration playing games of smoke and mirrors and vicious deceit. Otherwise, many more of us will be facing living hell in these times.
Moment of Truth
OK, moment of truth time. If Evangelicals continue to support Bush after Hurricane Katrina, then the world will know them for who they truly are. We've been putting up with their self-righteous moralizing for a long time now, so let's see if they choose President Smirk over the anguish and heartbreak in New Orleans.
It's put up or shut up time—no spinning, no compromise and no denial. The facts are plain to see. President Smirk destroyed the protective wetlands, he stopped the life-and-death funding for the levees, and he couldn't be bothered by the horror that followed the hurricane. Clearly, Southerners, Louisiana children and disadvantaged African-Americans mean little or nothing to him. He's too busy raping Mother Nature and sucking up to greedy vampire Saudi princes and Texas energy companies.
But, "Mr. President," what about all those corpses floating in New Orleans? Some of them are children, you know. How about no longer desecrating the name of compassionate Jesus with your heartless lies? How about that? And oh yes, please, please spare us any more talk about your "heavenly father." Could you do that, please? Some of us have a good thing going with religion and spirituality and your hate-mongering politicizing of religion is something straight from hell. So could you stop it, please? Just be yourself. Your costume is made out of cellophane anyway.
Jesus warned us about people like you. He said, "Ye shall judge them by their fruits." Well, Mr. President, your fruit is as rotten as Snow White's apple. Worms everywhere. And lies. Lies to the skies. And so much avoidable tragedy!
And why did you wait day after day after day while innocent and terrified people were dying? Drowning can't be fun, George. You could have saved literally thousands of people if ... but that's not the point, is it? You really didn't care. Hey, they weren't old money, good ol' boy, white Protestant males, were they? Probably not one of them was a pseudo-Texan with a Daddy Degree from Yale like you. So, no big deal.
So Evangelicals, how about it? Still think this guy is great? Better think about it. The world is watching. You can't have it both ways. You can't expect the world to think you take compassion and loving Jesus seriously at the same time you support this fatuous, conscienceless man. You can't have it both ways.
W. Christopher Epler
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