First of all I have to make it perfectly clear that the people living in New York through and after the aftermath, have the prayers of any sane and decent person, I cannot begin to imagine what it must be like to live through a storm like that – if you read the rest of this blog then please remember that.
I am concerned as I sit safely in the United Kingdom over what Sandy is showing us about ourselves, we sit in front of the TV watching the scenes of devastation, my Radio tells me of stories of the people in New York who are clearing up after the ravages of natures, we consume the pictures as we did the Tsunami in Japan, we watch the spectacle of disaster of a World City. I feel that New York is a special city, it occupies not a space of a financial centre, an iconic status and the tragedy of the 9/11 attacks – a moment w will always remember where we were – but something larger than it is. It is a City that has songs written about it, stories told about, and pivotal role in American. I look at the flooding and feel like a mighty warrior has been wounded, not by man, but by nature. An onslaught has been resisted, but with a cost of lives. One of the mightiest cities has been challenged and has survived.
Each morning a new aspect of aftermath is chronicled. I do not hear what happened to Street Homeless in New York, I do not hear what happened to those without a voice, too poor to matter.
No mention, apart from the initial report, is made about Haiti.
A country recovering from another a storm a few years ago, has now been ravaged again, by the same Hurricane, with an equal loss of life, yet it is not mentioned. Compared to New York Haiti has no resources to call upon, many of its people living as near as the bread line as you can live, Typhoid is a real danger amongst the other diseases associated with lack of sanitation and disaster, yet it seems the media values the plight of Haiti less than it does New York – a time we need to contrast and compare, why should that be, and what is the media telling by not reporting on Haiti?
In Haiti I am sure the Hurricane was just another appalling assault on the fragile existence, in America the prequisite call that the Hurricane is the wrath of God on Homosexuals (we have been blamed for flooding in the UK, the decline in US Marriage, Last years US Earthquake, 9/11, Hurricane Katrina, Catholic Church pedophilia, The Fall of Srebrenica, and – perhaps the most bizarre of all – collapse of Panama’s Emergency Phone system. In a backward society, and very superstitious society, we could be making these links; the casting of runes, eclipses, or the strange patterns in the sky if we were unaware of the effects of global warming – but some Christians love to jump on a bandwagon no matter how many human lives it has cost.
I am watching True Blood at the moment from Season One, the Church of the Sun with its pathological hatred is a little too close for comfort. God would not kill innocents, would not kill Babies, the weak and destitute – and those Christians who think he would need to consider the God they are worshipping. In an amazing speech Archbishop Tutu – if the Church had more people like him they would be turning worshippers away from the doors –
“All over the world, lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people are persecuted. They face violence, torture and criminal sanctions because of how they live and who they love. We make them doubt that they too are children of God – and this must be nearly the ultimate blasphemy.”
Those Christians that believe people loving each incurred God’s wrath not need to examine their faith, they need to stop cheapening the cost this Hurricane has had people, the acts of courage that will have occurred, and the tragedy it has produced – on Gays, Lesbians, Christians, Muslims and Jews.
Hurricane Sandy has shown me how we are so concerned with the big that we forget the small, how I consume tragedy and wonderful people are in the face of disaster, and how craven they are at exploiting it.
The next question is, what do I do>;