IMMEDIATE 1.00 PM Tuesday 13th September 2005
It was Sunday 4th September 2005. The dead were still floating in the streets as a rescue operation was evacuating thousands from the flood-ravaged city. Meanwhile, just a week after Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans, a couple of dozen homosexuals tottered up Bourbon Street in the French Quarter, the only district of New Orleans still above the water level, under a rainbow banner and a sign asking 'Life goes on?'
Without the intervention of Katrina, the weekend would have seen the summit, or nadir, of the annual 'Southern Decadence', a six-day festival of fetishism, sadism, promiscuity, indecency, obscenity and all the other tawdry aspects of homosexual life, which was down to run from Wednesday through to Monday. Even a French Quarter tourism site described it as "sort of like a gayer version of Mardi Gras" (held in February) which is "most famous (or infamous) for the displays of naked flesh which characterize the event," with "public displays of sexuality . . . pretty much everywhere you look." Two days after the Hurricane struck, and one day before the celebration of decadence was due to begin, the levee broke and the Big Easy was flooded, with massive loss of life.
GAYS PARTY AMID THE DEAD
The devastation and suffering wreaked on thousands by Hurricane Katrina was not going to stop New Orleans' homosexuals partying. "It's New Orleans, man. We're going to celebrate," Matt Menold, a 23-year musician wearing a sombrero and a guitar slung on his back, told the Associated Press. An employee of Johnny White's Sports Bar said: "The French Quarter came out virtually unscathed. We're high and dry." An account of the small parade on the homosexual news-site 365gay.com noted:
"It was a scene like something from a Fellini movie. Amid the death, the destruction, and suffering in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina a small parade behind a tattered rainbow flag made its way up Bourbon Street on Sunday. The marchers said they were celebrating Southern Decadence. The group - about two dozen people - all said they lived in the largely gay French Quarter. Defiant, they said they were not about to flee the community despite orders from the city to do so. One marcher carried a sign proclaiming, 'Life Goes On?'" It was carpenter John Lambert who carried the sign, dressed as one of the 'Village People', a band with a big homosexual fan-base for their recordings 'YMCA' and 'In the Navy'. "Hey, we've got to keep our morale up too," said Jill Sandars, aka 'Jelly Sandwich'.
"The shocking callousness of New Orleans' gay activists towards the severe suffering of its fellow citizens cannot be adequately articulated in a news report," says James Hartline, a former homosexual, who describes the "Southern Decadence" festival as being "replete with tens of thousands of men and women engaged in public nudity, prostitution, illegal drug use and destructive public S & M sex."
"The idea that human beings are continuing to party while hundreds of thousands of fellow citizens are starving, dying and suffering from a multitude of sicknesses brings into focus the real lack of judgment that these constant advocates of special gay rights demonstrate in a time of crisis." According to Agape Press, Hartline himself has AIDS and is now warning homosexuals about the consequences of their lifestyle. He was described as a 'spoilsport' on a homosexual website.
SOUTHERN DECADENCE IN EXILE
Nearby, in the town of Lafayette, La, a "Southern Decadence in Exile" event went ahead with around a hundred participants on Wednesday 7th September, featuring transvestites and "Floatin' Floozies," according to the event's website. There are in fact two competing 'official' Southern Decadence websites, .net and .com, with the latter connected to AmbushOnline, a website which markets the 'GLBT side of New Orleans,' promotes the annual Mardi Gras in February and aims for the dubious honour of putting New Orleans in the 'Top Ten Gay Destinations Travel List.'
Another event which has left New Orleans is the 'National GLBT Business Convention' which will move to the Wyndham Anatole in Dallas, Texas over 21st October to 1st November.
New Orleans will need homosexual tourists when the city is reconstructed, says Brian Sands, who has lived in the French Quarter for 17 years. Sands evacuated the night before Katrina hit, but said: "From what I've heard the French Quarter didn't flood any worse that what we get during a heavy rainstorm," adding, "I want to wait for things to settle down before I go back." When he finally returns, he hopes more homosexuals will join him: "When New Orleans is up and running again, we desperately need you to come back," he said. "We need you to bring the city back to life."
Life was on the mind of Repent America's Michael Marcavage as well. "Louisiana had a total of ten abortion clinics with half of them operating in New Orleans," he said. "Additionally, New Orleans has always been known as one of the murder capitals of the world, with a rate ten times the national average." Marcavage claims that the three past mayors of New Orleans have all welcomed Mardi Gras, Southern Decadence and 'Girls Gone Wild' in which drunken women expose their breasts in exchange for plastic jewellery. Last year, he says, a local pastor sent video footage of sex acts being performed at Southern Decadence in full view of local policemen to the police, the city council and the media. The council ignored the evidence and continued to welcome the "exciting event."
There will be more than a few who will have said in the past "If God does not deal with New Orleans, He will have to apologise to Sodom and Gomorrah." The theme of judgment on New Orleans and warning to the USA has not been exclusive to Christians. Some newspapers suggested that Katrina was the punishment the US received for failing to sign the Kyoto accord, Islamic militants rejoiced that "private" Katrina joined in jihad against the U.S. for - among other things - the Iraq war, and some suggested that the hurricane was God's punishment on the U.S. for cooperating in the removal of Jews from the Gaza strip. Beyond these speculations is a more general acknowledgement that New Orleans, the epicentre of the disaster, was a "sin city" whose dedication to violence, drink, sex, drugs and even voodoo harboured few rivals. In a rare piece of good news, it seems the message may even be getting through to the city council:
The day after the levee broke, the day when Southern Decadence was due to start, Louisiana Governor Kathleen Blanco called for a state-wide day of prayer. "As we face the devastation wrought by Katrina, as we search for those in need, as we comfort those in pain and as we begin the long task of rebuilding, we turn to God for strength, hope and comfort," she said. Meanwhile, New Orleans City Council President Oliver Thomas, after witnessing the horrors first hand and hearing talk of Sodom and Gomorrah, commented, "Maybe God's going to cleanse us."
The theme of cleansing or purification has become a frequently discussed topic as the tragedy in the affected states unfolds. Most would say a hurricane is an 'Act of God'. Hurricanes are named by a system of rotating boy/girl/boy/girl names after the letters of the alphabet. By one of those co-incidences which only Almighty God can manufacture, the name 'Katrina' means 'purity'. A version of the name 'Catherine', it comes from the same root as a 'cathartic' or 'purifying' experience. Purity blew into New Orleans and purity broke the levees and flooded the city. When a hurricane has been particularly devastating, the name is retired. There will never be another 'Katrina' and that may mean that New Orleans may only have this single opportunity to respond to the awesome purity of God. God often gives only one warning.
DEFIANCE VS REPENTANCE
New Orleans sowed the wind possibly to a greater degree than any other city in the world. It reaped the whirlwind. (Hos 8:7) "Behold, a whirlwind of the Lord is gone forth in fury, even a grievous whirlwind; it shall fall grievously upon the head of the wicked." (Jer 23:19) Could the experience of Elijah be prophetic to the United States as a whole? After the wind was an earthquake, and after the earthquake a fire. God showed His power without speaking in three terrifying natural disasters before the cowering Elijah finally heard a still small voice. (1Kgs 19:11-12)
How wonderful it would be if the city of New Orleans does not just clean up the filth from the flood but the sludge of the sin which has for too long disfigured the so-called 'Big Easy.' The USA is explicitly a nation under God, which trusts in God and asks God to 'bless America'. What an expression of trust in God and holy fear of God it would be if the people of New Orleans told the abortionists, the criminals, the pimps and whores, the drug pushers, the voodoo priests and the homosexual tourists, "Your presence has cursed us. We don't want you back; we don't want your money." And what blessing it would bring on the whole United States if the whole of that land followed such an example.
"For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord." (Romans 6:23) A city is not a candidate for eternal life, but if it turns against God, it can start a whole lot of people on the fast-track to hell. As American founding father George Mason famously said: "As nations (read states and cities as well) cannot be judged or punished in the next life, so they must be in this." That was true of Sodom, it was true of the seven nations of Canaan and it has been true of every following civilisation. The Washington Blade, a homosexual newspaper, headlined its story about the homosexual response to Katrina: "New Orleans defiant in face of disaster." Being defiant will not help in the face of the purity of God; the only viable attitude is to be repentant. May New Orleans repent; may the USA repent; and may the United Kingdom repent, lest we all perish. (Luke 13:5)