BvP’s relatives are safe and sound. The Biloxi-based group (whom I’ve never met) are scattered, but alive. I’m quite relieved and pleased.
But Katrina has planted a lot of questions inside my brain. Questions such as:
1) Would there be more help down there now if most of or military personnel weren’t in Iraq and Afghanistan?
2) Why was is so much hipper to donate to the tsunami victims than to the victims down South? (I know the tsunami was of a larger scale. But is there a ‘they should have evacuated … they deserve what they get’ mentality at play? And I’m pissy it took Amazon so long to put a freaking button on their site. )
and most disturbingly…
3) Where is your Messiah now, Flanders?
Background: I was baptized and raised Catholic. I received my sacraments and was married in the Catholic Church. But in the last few years, I started to fall away. When the brouhaha about supporters of pro-choice and pro-euthanasia candidates not being allowed to take Communion hit, I decided to part ways with the Catholic Church for good. Plus, I wasn’t all that enthralled with the new Pope. I’d have preferred a Pope from a non-European country instead. With my current beliefs, I’d be lying every time I said I was Catholic.
In the meantime, I forged my own personal relationship with God, to used the too-tired cliche. I have my beliefs (big on the “Love one another as I have loved you” part) and I follow them as best I can. I just try my best to be a good person. I took the tiny seed of faith that remained once I mentally ‘left’ the church and cultivated it into a decent sapling.
Now all I can ask is, “Why?” The super-conservative (what y’all call Fundies) believe that God wanted to teach us all a lesson by wiping out the decadently sinful boob-flashing Big Easy. (No mention of why God also took out huge swaths of the two poorest but most God-fearing states in the country, Mississippi and Alabama.) The not-so-fundies think that God didn’t specifically create Katrina to kill thousands…nature just took it’s course. Nuh-uh. If God’s brilliant enough to create trivial details on the human body like, say, earlobes (See: Intelligent Design) he’s surely responsible for something as massive and awe-ful as a category 5 hurricane.
I feel like my little sapling of faith has been cut down to the root ball. It’s not gone…just damaged. How can I put my faith in a Higher Power that would allow so many to be drowned, and even more to be walking around, hungry and thirsty, in knee-deep sewage, gator, and corpse-infested waters for days? Did He want to teach us a lesson? If so…a half-hour of TV time and/or a burning bush would be a much more welcome way to tell us what we’re doing wrong.
Now, kids, if you choose to comment…be nice. Realize that not all people of faith are mindless idiots without free will. Realize that I’m not dissing the Catholic Church at all…I just realized that I shouldn’t be a part of a club where I don’t agree with/adhere to the rules. I’m just in sticky faith-spot right now and needed to vent about it somewhere.