Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Look Out, Suburbs

The sentiment seems to be everywhere these days -- even coming from the most unlikely of sources. Ridiculous fringe groups who claim to be Christians are suggesting that Hurricane Katrina is an act of judgment from God -- judgment on sexual deviancy or gambling or something equally unsavory. Islamic fundamentalists believe this is Allah's vengeance on the Great Satan that is American decadence. European liberals are saying this is somehow the result of global warming or a way of demonstrating God's disapproval of America's foreign policy.

It's hard not to wonder about this. New Orleans is certainly known more for its vice than for its virtue. Political corruption is a way of life. Poverty and lack of education are certainly evils in our society that few seem overly concerned to eradicate.

And yet....

In the midst of all this I find myself wondering if we really want to start playing this game.

We should exercise caution as we sit comfortably in our easy chairs in our air-conditioned, suburban castles. If God is ready to start handing out punishments, he might start with the obvious places: New Orleans, Las Vegas, Hollywood.

But how long until he really gets rolling and tears through the suburbs with a holy fire unlike any other? How long until he decides to take on the real evils: pride, arrogance, complacency, apathy? If this is judgment, maybe he's just getting warmed up. Maybe this is just a preview of what is to come.

Personally, I do not believe that's what is going on. But if you're going to start with the blaming and the passing of judgment, you better be consistent. And you better look out, suburbs!