Vile But Inevitable I Guess

Rev. Bill Shanks, pastor of New Covenant Fellowship of New Orleans, also sees God’s mercy in the aftermath of Katrina — but in a different way. Shanks says the hurricane has wiped out much of the rampant sin common to the city.

The pastor explains that for years he has warned people that unless Christians in New Orleans took a strong stand against such things as local abortion clinics, the yearly Mardi Gras celebrations, and the annual event known as “Southern Decadence” — an annual six-day “gay pride” event scheduled to be hosted by the city this week — God’s judgment would be felt.

“New Orleans now is abortion free. New Orleans now is Mardi Gras free. New Orleans now is free of Southern Decadence and the sodomites, the witchcraft workers, false religion — it’s free of all of those things now,” Shanks says. “God simply, I believe, in His mercy purged all of that stuff out of there — and now we’re going to start over again.”


My impression from googling around is that this Shanks character is a bit of a junior Fred Phelps… He’s been predicting exactly this for a while:

Bill Shanks, pastor of the New Covenant Fellowship in Kenner, said the legalization and sanctioning of same-sex marriages could lead to a present-day Sodom and Gomorrah, cities whose destruction was described in the Bible as punishment for the people’s sinfulness, according to the pastor. “One Category 5 hurricane coming up the river will take care of all sodomite marriages,” Shanks said. “I believe this will open the floodgate for God to bring judgment on our land.”

Of course, Shanks was predicting the hurricane if Louisiana failed to pass a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage. The amendment passed by a wide margin, but I guess in Shanks’s eyes that was insufficient to placate the Almighty…

Phelps himself, the very pope of hate himself, has a page titled “Thank God for Katrina.” I can’t even bring myself to link to it.

(more of the same here)

I Should Play For Them

Many of the injured, the elderly and the critically ill, and those suffering from dehydration, have been taken across a walkway to an adjoining sports center, the New Orleans Arena.

One man was lying part way on a cot, his legs flopped off the side, a forgotten blood-pressure monitor still attached to his right arm. Some had wrapped plastic bags on their feet to escape the urine and wastewater seeping from piles of trash. Others, fearing the onset of disease, had surgical masks over their mouths. An alarm had been going off for more than 24 hours, and no one knew how to turn it off.

Suddenly, incongruously, the first notes of Bach’s Sonata No. 1 in G Minor, the Adagio, pierced the desperation.

Samuel Thompson, 34, is trying to make it as a professional violinist. He had grabbed his instrument — made in 1996 by a Boston woman — as he fled the youth hostel Sunday where he had been staying in New Orleans for the past two months.

“It’s the most important thing I own,” he said.

He had guarded it carefully and hadn’t taken it out until yesterday afternoon, when he was able to move from the Superdome into the New Orleans Arena, far safer accommodations. He rested the black case on a table next to a man with no legs in a wheelchair and a pile of trash and boxes, and gingerly popped open the two locks. He lifted the violin out of the red velvet encasement and held it to his neck.

Thompson closed his eyes and leaned into each stretch of the bow as he played mournfully. A woman eating crackers and sitting where a vendor typically sells pizza watched him intently. A National Guard soldier applauded quietly when the song ended, and Thompson nodded his head and began another piece, the Andante from Bach’s Sonata in A Minor.

Like most in the shelter, Thompson’s family in Charleston, S.C., has no idea where he is and whether he is alive. Thompson figures he is safe for now and will get in touch when he can. Meanwhile, he will play, and, once in a while, someone at the sports complex will manage a smile.

“These people have nothing,” he said. “I have a violin. And I should play for them. They should have something.”

Seattle Times, via Reddit.

Onion: Google Plans to Destroy All Information It Can’t Index

Google’s robot army is rumored to include some 4 million cybernetic search-and-destroy units, each capable of capturing and scanning up to 100 humans per day. Said co-founder Sergey Brin: “The scanning will be relatively painless. Hey, it’s Google. It’ll be fun to be scanned by a Googlebot. But in the event people resist, the robots are programmed to liquify the brain.”

The Onion