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Rita, Katrina: Religious Fringe Sees Apocalypse Now

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WASHINGTON, D.C.—Religious groups have pitched into help out with relief efforts after Hurricane Katrina and are now preparing for Hurricane Rita, a Category 5 storm on course to barrel into Texas this weekend.

So where some point to global warming as a root cause of this double-whammy of calamity, others see a divine plan at work. They believe the hurricanes are God’s punishment for various sins.

Katrina struck a few days before the annual gay “Southern Decadence” celebration in New Orleans—
festivities that Repent America, a Philadelphia
religious group, says fill “the French Quarters
section of the city with drunken homosexuals engaging
in sex acts in the public streets and bars.”

Mardi Gras, with
women exposing their breasts in exchange for trinkets,
and the presence of abortion clinics had made New Orleans one of the “Murder Capitals of the World,” a pit of sin, stated Repend America director Michael Marcavage. “Although the loss of lives is deeply saddening, this act of God destroyed a wicked city,” Marcavage said. “From ‘Girls Gone
Wild’ to ‘Southern Decadence,’ New Orleans was a city
that had its doors wide open to the public celebration
of sin. He added, “From the devastation may
a city full of righteousness emerge.”

Worldnetdaily.com, the conservative web site, reports from Jerusalem, “While most religious authorities seem to agree one cannot discern the intentions of God, there has been talk in some circles here and on the Internet that the storm that turned parts of the Gulf Coast into a disaster zone, prompting hundreds of thousands to
evacuate their homes and possibly causing upwards of
10,000 deaths, was thrust upon the U.S. for its
support of the Gaza evacuation. ‘’

“Katrina is a consequence of the destruction of
[Gaza’s] Gush Katif [slate of Jewish communities] with
America’s urging and encouragement,” Rabbi Avraham
Shmuel Lewin, executive director of the Rabbinic
Congress for Peace, told WND. “The U.S. should have
discouraged Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon from
implementing the Gaza evacuation rather than pushing
for it and pressuring Israel into concessions.”

WND also talked to Rabbi Joseph Garlitzky, head of
the international Chabad Lubavitch movement’s Tel Aviv
synagogue. He told of a speech he had made from the pulpit
recently: “We don’t have prophets who can tell us
exactly what are God’s ways, but when we see something
so enormous as Katrina, I would say [President] Bush
and [Secretary of State Condoleezza] Rice need to make
an accounting of their actions, because something was
done wrong by America in a big way. And here there are
many obvious connections between the storm and the
Gaza evacuation, which came right on top of each
other. No one has permission to take away one inch of
the land of Israel from the Jewish people.”

Beliefnet.com, a website that tracks religious
news ran a poll
asking,”Does God have a role in natural disasters like
hurricanes?” Six percent answered, “Yes God is
punishing us,” and another 12 percent checked “Yes,God is
testing us.” Twenty-nine percent agreed that “disasters
are sent by God,but we don’t know what the purpose
was.” Only 8 percent said God doesn’t exist “and disasters like this are just forces of nature.”


Additional reporting: Isabel Huacuga

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