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Why More Hurricanes Now Than in the Past?
But it wasn't only sexual immorality that New Orleans was known for. Take for example the following article,
which appeared across the country just eleven days before Katrina hit:
New Orleans murder rate on the rise again
Homicide rate nowhere near ’94 peak but still 10 times national average
NEW ORLEANS — Last year, university researchers conducted an
experiment in which police fired 700 blank rounds in a New Orleans
neighborhood in a single afternoon. No one called to report the gunfire.
New Orleans residents are reluctant to come forward as witnesses,
fearing retaliation. And experts say that is one of several reasons
homicides are on the rise in the Big Easy at a time when other
cities are seeing their murder rates plummet to levels not seen in decades.
. . . in recent
years, the city's homicide rate has climbed again to nearly 10
times the national average. . . .
There had been 192 this year by mid-August, compared
with 169 at the same time in 2004. Adjusted for the city's size,
those numbers dwarf murder rates in Washington, Detroit, Baltimore,
Atlanta, Chicago, Los Angeles and New York City. . . .
Only one in four people arrested in the city for murder is eventually
convicted, according to a recent study by the New Orleans Police Foundation, a private nonprofit group.
According to the study, 42 percent of serious crime cases reviewed
by prosecutors — about 22,000 — were turned away between 2002
and 2004 because the cases were not deemed suitable for court.
District Attorney Eddie Jordan said the lack of eyewitness testimony
was one reason for the dropped cases. New Orleans has had such
a problem with retaliation against witnesses — including murder
— that the district attorney's office took the unusual step of
starting a local witness protection program.
Witnesses may also be reluctant to talk to police because of
the department's struggles with allegations of brutality and corruption. . . .
But recently, complaints about police brutality have surfaced
again.—Aug. 18, 2005.
The situation had obviously gotten extremely out of hand,
in neighborhoods other than just the French Quarter.
|Hurricane Katrina destroyed Copa Casino|
in Gulfport, MS.—GulfCoastNews.com.
New Orleans was spared a direct hit as Katrina veered east. Not that it mattered much, as things turned out.
But that veering didn't help the Mississippi Gulf Coast any.
When we lived down that way there were no casinos in Gulfport or Biloxi, but in the years that
have passed casinos in those cities have turned into a $2.7 billion-a-year industry. 14,000 workers in
12 or so casinos, generating half a million a day in ill-gotten tax revenue for the state of Mississippi. And
Katrina wiped it all out.
Were those involved in such vice taking all this as Providence's cue that it's time to pursue another
line of work? Undoubtedly some were, but not everyone. State gambling officials and casino executives,
just days after the hurricane, talked about getting the Mississippi legislature to enact special
legislation to keep their "industry" alive. Wouldn't it have been smarter to at least wait until
after hurricane season before tossing around such ideas?
Come to think of it, if as a society we want to live dissolute lives, why do we build our
Sin Cities below sea level, our Sodoms on fault lines, and our casinos on the Gulf Coast?
Does it not appear that we are daring God to destroy us when we purposely build our centers of sin
in such obviously vulnerable places?
Worst Sinners? "Nay."
Some might be tempted to think that the party-goers of New Orleans and the casino operators of
Gulfport and Biloxi were worse sinners than anyone else. Not so, suggests Jesus Himself:
And Jesus answering said unto them, Suppose ye that these Galilaeans
were sinners above all the Galilaeans, because they suffered
such things? I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise
perish. Or those eighteen, upon whom the tower in Siloam fell, and slew
them, think ye that they were sinners above all men that dwelt
in Jerusalem? I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise
perish. (Lk. 13:2-5)
According to Ellen White, because men do not recognize that God has been mercifully holding
back Satan's destructive power, in a "limited degree" he is being "permitted to destroy":
The same Hand that kept the fiery serpents of the wilderness from
entering the camp of the Israelites until God's chosen people provoked Him
with their constant murmurs and complaints, is today guarding the honest in
heart. Were this restraining Hand withdrawn, the enemy of our souls would at
once begin the work of destruction that he has so long desired to accomplish.
And because God's long-continued forbearance is not now recognized, the
forces of evil are already, to a limited degree, permitted to destroy. How
soon human agencies will see blotted out of existence their magnificent
buildings, which are their pride!—Manuscript Releases, vol. 19, p. 281, bold added.
And quite clearly, the "honest in heart" are not always spared. Even some of the followers
of God will perish in the calamities that are beginning to befall our planet:
How often have those in danger of being destroyed by terrible
outbreakings of winds and waters been mercifully shielded from harm! Do we
realize that we have been spared from destruction only because of the
protecting care of unseen agencies? Although many ships have gone down and
many men and women on board have perished, God has mercifully spared His
people. But we should not be surprised if some of those who love and fear God
were to be engulfed in the tempestuous waters of the ocean. They would sleep
until the Lifegiver comes to give them life. We are not to cast one word of
reflection upon God or upon His manner of working.—Ibid., bold added.
With all this in mind, the following counsel seems especially pertinent:
Let us turn our attention away from unimportant things, and give
ourselves to God. We scarcely dream of the destroying angels that already are
permitted to bring disaster and destruction in their path. Shall my life be
spared to act a part in the closing scenes of this earth's history?—Manuscript
Releases, vol. 21, p. 437.
Give Us Your Opinion
|What do you think about why we're having worse hurricanes now?
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