Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Katrina – Nothing "Pure" About Her

part two Katrina - The Question Is - Why?

...This article series is inspired by the expository teachings of the books of Habakkuk and Zephaniah, by Dr J Vernon McGee...

Luke 21:25-26
And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring; Men's hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken.

The Death of an American City

As the world watched the historical city of New Orleans come to ruin, many people are asking obvious and important questions. From the government's response, to the will of God, the speculation is only bound by our wisdom, knowledge and desire for the truth. This article series will attempt to answer the most vital spiritual question of; why - why did this happen. The politics of the aftermath of Katrina will be debated by political pundits for a long, long, time to come.

Nearly ten days after hurricane Katrina destroyed 90,000 sq miles of the Gulf Coast, the blame game began to take place among the politicians, aired out in the 24/7 news programs. Many have stated (myself included) that which seems obvious – we cannot depend on our government to help us in the time of imminent disaster.

It now does appear as a fact that government, from the bottom up, was inept and ill-prepared and that a total and complete breakdown in the chain of government collapsed, resulting in the unnecessary suffering and death of untold thousands.

The question from politicians and theologians alike is quite simple: who is to blame? We can be sure that the politics will be debated till kingdom come, even though changes have now been made and that the government finally responded. Even more importantly, an entire nation from all walks of life and beliefs responded with compassion and the sincere desire to help. There is no doubt that compassion and generosity is alive within the human spirit. The world has been moved by this catastrophe. The obvious is true; humanity has been moved with compassion and that many, at least for the moment, have become their brothers keeper.

It is also evident that humanity turned violent, destructive and down right wicked. I pose a simple question – is anyone really surprised? Is anyone surprised that humanity could descend into such an animal, even lower than an animal in such short time? Can anyone name any animal, besides man, that would treat his own in such a way? Perplexing is it not?

Let's take a quick look at the various points of view.

The Political

I will not spend much time on this part because we can watch the politics unfold on our television screens non-stop. The politics of Katrina will forever change the way in which America, as a Federal Union, will respond to natural or man-made disasters in the future. It is apparent to me, at least, that what we are actually watching unfold is the federalization of all components necessary to respond - all responses in the future will come from the military. Personally, I find this to be nothing more than the intentioned militarization of the federal government, as verified by the secretary of Homeland Security; "we have to have seamless interaction with military forces as we move forward with our critical work". I believe there is more here than meets the eye, and that our government does not really have our best interest in mind. I will leave those opinions to your own subsequent interests though, as this article is not intended to concentrate on this particular subject.

The Theological

The obvious question has been asked and is now an ongoing debate; Did God judge the city of New Orleans? The simple answer is; we do not know, nor can we know. The reason this is true is because we have no prophets of God to declare to us the most basic answer of all; why - why did this happen? I can promise one thing though, there will be no authoritative answer that will be given, because there are no prophets to answer the question. So then, how can we know what the answers are, or better yet, can we even understand what are the right questions to consider and what should be the biblical response? I believe we can answer these questions. In this series, I will also examine some of the statements made by various Christian leaders as to what they are claiming and examine if they are right. So far, from what I have seen, some are and some are not.

As of the publishing of this article, most all authorities agree that a three fold catastrophe struck New Orleans: 1) Nature 2) Flooding - man made failure because the levees collapsed 3) Inability from government - all failed to respond quickly, which is their duty as paid civil servants.

To gain a biblical perspective, it is necessary then to concentrate on the most obvious - the natural event. The other two positions, for the most part, reside within the political, although not exclusively. The Bible has much to say about, why and how, government should operate in the affairs of men.

The Mythical - What's In a Name?

To grasp an understanding, biblically, of Katrina, I feel it is important to at least start by taking a look at the name given to this hurricane:

Katrina (German) is a form of Katherine or Catherine and means; pure. There are several different forms of this name, so for those who are interested, I encourage you to do the research.

Source: Behind The Name The etymology and history of first names
Katherine: From the Greek name Αικατερινη (Aikaterine). The etymology is debated: it could derive from the earlier Greek name ‘Εκατερινη (Hekaterine), which came from ‘εκατερος (hekateros) "each of the two"; it could derive from the name of the goddess HECATE; it could be related to Greek αικια (aikia) "torture"; or it could be from a Coptic name meaning "my consecration of your name". The Romans associated it with Greek καθαρος (katharos) "pure" and changed their spelling from Katerina to Katharina to reflect this. The name belonged to a 4th-century saint and martyr from Alexandria who was tortured on the famous Catherine wheel. Another saint by this name was Catherine of Siena, a 14th-century mystic. This name was also borne by two empresses of Russia, including Catherine the Great, and by three of Henry VIII's wives.
Source: Hecate, Goddess of Witchcraft
In Greek mythology Hecate was a goddess associated with witchcraft, tombs, demons and the underworld. Hekate is a complex Goddess. She is Crone but also Maiden. She brings abundance as well as storms and She has a key role in birth as well as death.

"O well done! I commend your pains; And every one shall share i' the gains; And now about the cauldron sing, Live elves and fairies in a ring, Enchanting all that you put in."
Hecate in Macbeth

Hekate is traditionally worshipped on the eve of the New Moon or the 30th of the month, when 'Hekate's Suppers' would be prepared. The Greeks originally reckoned time by lunar months, so this day originally fell on the 30th. Later, when Greece adopted a reformed calendar which no longer took account of the lunar cycle, the 30th remained sacred to Hekate. The 30th of the month was also sacred to the dead. This was the time to purify the house and to take offerings to Hekate.
It is interesting to note that hurricane Katrina struck New Orleans on the morning of August 29th, and it is of no small coincidence that as of the 30th, the levees in New Orleans began to collapse, bringing forward the second and most destructive part of this hurricane - the flooding. It is no coincidence that this occurred on the eve of the 30th and before the New Moon. In fact, the moon phase at the time of Katrina was a crescent moon. Mythology makes this claim about the goddess Hekate; she is said to appear when the ebony moon shines. How ironic is that?

An overview of the City of New Orleans (prior to Katrina)

Source: Reference.com
  • New Orleans is well known for its Creole culture and the persistence of Voodoo
  • The City has the nicknames, the Crescent City, the Big Easy, the Paris of America, and the City that Care Forgot. The city's unofficial (but commonly touted) motto is "Laissez les bons temps rouler", translated to: "Let the good times roll."
  • It is an industrial and distribution center, and a major U.S. seaport. New Orleans is one of the busiest seaports in the United States and as well in the world
  • The Port of New Orleans handles about 145 million short tons (132 million metric tons) of cargo a year and is the largest faction of the Port of South Louisiana, the latter being the largest and busiest shipping port in the western hemisphere and the 4th busiest in the world.
  • Chief exports are grain and other foods from the Midwestern United States and petroleum products. The leading imports include chemicals, cocoa beans, coffee, and petroleum.
  • The port handles more trade with Latin America than does any other U.S. gateway, including Miami.
  • There are a substantial number of oil companies that have their regional headquarters within New Orleans' corporate limits, such as: BP,Chevron, ConocoPhillips, Royal Dutch/Shell
  • The federal government and military, especially the Navy and NASA, has a significant presence in the area with a NASA facility, Michoud Assembly Facility
  • Lockheed-Martin also has a large manufacturing facility located in the Greater New Orleans area that produces external fuel tanks for space shuttles.
  • New Orleans is one of the most visited cities in the United States, thus tourism is a major staple in the area's economy. The city's colorful celebrations include, Mardi Gras, The Sugar Bowl college football bowl game, New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival and Southern Decadence, one of the largest annual Gay/Lesbian celebrations in the nation and world, hundreds of thousands of participants descend upon the city during the Labor Day weekend, when the festival is traditionally held.
That Was Then

Obviously today, most of the city of New Orleans lay in ruins, as the world and our nation has witnessed the destruction of an American city. Was this because of nature, or was it man-made? We will examine those questions in the following article, but one thing is sure - death has come to New Orleans. In the mythological desciption of Katrina, the goddess Hecate, we can be sure of one certainty; out of the witches brew of the toxic waters, a new city will arise.
"The good news is - and it's hard for some to see it now - that out of this chaos is going to come a fantastic Gulf Coast, like it was before.

"It - for those who have not - trying to conceive what we're talking about, it's as if the entire Gulf Coast were obliterated by a -- the worst kind of weapon you can imagine"

~President Bush

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Anonymous Jess said...

had to bookmarked your article,
but to leave you, i invite you to visit our church site:
similarly, the 9/11 tragedy spells the same thought...


Amidst much sorrow, anger, and fear, the tragic event that hit america raises many questions that demand answers: "where was god when it happened?", "why did he not do anything to stop it?", "did god allow it to happen in order to humble american pride and arrogance?" Read More

6:17 PM  
Blogger Wendell said...

Thanks for posting a message... and leaving a link for your article... I will give it some time to read and in fact, have partially read it already but will spend more time giving it my full attention. More than likely, I will post a referring link in my "Links" page. Once I do, I will let you folks know.....

I did visit your website and looks like you have lots of good things to review. Thanks so much for leaving your link...

Kind Regards,

6:02 PM  

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