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Tuscaloosa

In Uncategorized on October 2, 2005 at 6:16 pm

Tuscaloosa: “Alabama legislator: Katrina was God’s wrath on sinful coast

I attributed comments to an alabama legislature, here are the comments.

The Associated Press

September 28. 2005 2:56PM

Alabama legislator: Katrina was God’s wrath on sinful coast

The Associated Press

September 28. 2005 2:56PM

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A state senator in Alabama says Hurricane Katrina was God’s punishment on a sinful part of America.

State Sen. Hank Erwin, R-Montevallo, wrote in a weekly column for news outlets: “New Orleans and the Mississippi Gulf Coast have always been known for gambling, sin and wickedness. It is the kind of behavior that ultimately brings the judgment of God.”

Erwin, a former conservative talk-radio host and now a media consultant, wrote the column after a tour of hurricane-wrecked Gulfport and Biloxi, Miss., and Bayou La Batre on the Alabama coast.

“Warnings year after year by godly evangelists and preachers went unheeded. So why were we surprised when finally the hand of judgment fell?” Erwin wrote. “Sadly, innocents suffered along with the guilty. Sin always brings suffering to good people as well as the bad.”

The New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary was flooded by Katrina. Erwin said the Baptists knew they had put themselves on the front lines ministering in a sinful place that could be targeted.

He said he didn’t think the hard-hit residents of the low-income lower 9th Ward in New Orleans were singled out for especially harsh punishment but were merely in the way, as were the shrimpers in Bayou La Batre.

William Willimon, bishop of the North Alabama Conference of the United Methodist Church, said Erwin is “sure no theologian.”

“I’m certainly against gambling and its hold on state government in Mississippi, but I expect there is as much sin, of possibly a different order, in Montevallo as on the Gulf Coast. If God punished all of us for our sin, who could stand?” Willimon said.

The bishop said 300 United Methodist clergy from Alabama will be on the Gulf Coast next week to help hurricane victims.

“That seems to me a much more appropriate Christian response than that of the senator,” he said.

A member of Shades Mountain Independent Church, Erwin said, “As harsh as it may sound, those hurricanes do say that God is real, and we have to realize sin has consequences.”

Erwin isn’t alone with that view.

In Birmingham, Samford University professor of divinity Fisher Humphreys said Christians do believe God cares about sin. As to God’s control of events, different believers answer the question differently, Humphreys said.

It is obvious that as terrible as the storm was good has flowed from it, Humphreys said.

“Look at the outpouring of compassion,” he said.

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