The Iraqi branch of al-Qaida apparently issued a statement Sunday in which it declared that God had answered "the prayers of oppressed" by unleashing Hurricane Katrina on the United States. We heard TV pundits complain that the statement was an attempt to score political points from tragedy. Fair enough, but when will they say the same about the religious right -- or at least start to demand that the more moderate voices on the right repudiate the rantings of their fringe?
As we noted last week, the anti-abortion group Columbia Christians for Life claimed that Katrina is God's punishment for America's tolerance of abortion rights. The proof? The group says a satellite image of Katrina as the hurricane struck land in Louisiana looks just like the ultrasound image of a 6-week-old fetus.
The group is out with a new message now, and it's claiming victory. New Orleans had five operating abortion clinics before Katrina, the group says. Now it has none. "As sad as it is to see the heart-aching loss of life and the suffering of people in New Orleans, " the Columbia Christians say in their latest e-mail message, "we can only give praise to God for sparing the lives of the innocent unborn who have been murdered by the tens of thousands in New Orleans and the rest of the state of Louisiana, year-after-year-after-year, despite prophetic warnings from men of God."
The group continues: "God is not mocked. We reap what we sow ... The city of New Orleans has sown innocent bloodshed and violence in the womb for years and years and has now reaped bloodshed and violence on her streets. May the people in the city of New Orleans be broken by God's Holy Law, receive, by God's grace, his gift of faith ... and receive his great salvation through Christ alone, repenting of their sins, and receiving Jesus Christ (Yahshua Messiah) as their Lord and Savior. Hallelu-Yah ! Then, may New Orleans be delivered from her many sins!"