What if a leading religious figure said Katrina was “the wrath of God” because of the “wickedness of the people of America” and that New Orleans was “the first of the cities going to tumble down… unless America changes its course?”
What if during his hour long speech to a Christian church he said, “The justice of God is coming home now?”
That would be front page news across the nation, with pundits lining up to take shots at the crazy religious nut who would dare say something like that.
There would be no outrage spared from the liberals in media and politics. Congressional hearings might even be scheduled to investigate the sanity of an individual that would make such a claim.
Funny thing is that it did happen and it was lumped in with three or four other Katrina news briefs, one of which was about another religious leader making similar claims. One of the two religious leaders did get national media attention and rebuke for their statement, one did not.
I’m sure everyone heard about Michael Marcavage and Repent America blaming the hurricane on the sins of New Orleans, but the statements I quoted were from a speech given by Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan.
Here is what Farrakhan said:
Speaking to a large crowd in South Philadelphia last night, Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan suggested that the devastation caused by Hurricane Katrina was divine punishment for the violence America had inflicted on Iraq.
“New Orleans is the first of the cities going to tumble down… unless America changes its course,” Farrakhan said.
“It is the wickedness of the people of America and the government of America that is bringing the wrath of God down,” he told several hundred people at Tinsley Temple United Methodist Church.
His remarks were enthusiastically received.
“The justice of God is coming home now,” he said in an hour-long speech. Among those attending were City Councilwoman Jannie Blackwell, Mayor Street’s son Sharif Street, and Imam Shamsud-din Ali, the Muslim cleric convicted in the City Hall corruption probe.
Now, Google “Louis Farrakhan” in the news and you find a mixture of articles about other things, occasionaly a piece will pop up mentioning his comments but even in those the article’s focus is on something else and the comments are mentioning in passing or Farrakhan’s comments are grouped with many different comments including ones from Marcavage.
I’m sure some may argue that because Farrakhan is a national figure that the media has much more to talk about concerning him than someone like Marcavage, who only makes the news when he says something controversial. That may be true, but if someone like Billy Graham had said that, it would dominate the coverage of him for several weeks following his statement.
Why does this statement by the Islamic leader not garner a mention by the New York Times in their piece on crazy theories about Katrina? The NYT writer spends a large portion of the article focusing on religious people making claims about the hurricane. But it seems Farrakhan doesn’t quite meet the profile the New York Times and the rest of the media wants to portray.