I watched the coverage of Harvey and Irma as they ripped through Texas and Florida and I am reminded of how indiscriminate natural disasters operate. They don’t care about ethnicity or political bent, they just do what they do. There have been a few preachers of  some unrecognizable gospel who say that storms (and earthquakes) like these are a demonstration of God’s wrath on his created people for their wickedness. It’s the “see-I-told-you-sinners-so” theology. That is not only just sad, it’s lazy Theology. The God of love does  not destroy. Their myopic view drives a deeper wedge between so-called holy-holies and the rest of creation. I remember back when Katrina slammed New Orleans and Pat Robertson proclaimed that it was God’s punishment on the French Quarter for their sinfulness, yet it was the poor in the 9th ward who took most of the shellacking and the French Quarter was relatively untouched. Either God is a bit nearsighted or old Pat has fallen and he can’t get up.

As I mentioned in previous writings, it is events like these that bring all peoples together. We all help. We all volunteer. Here, in the west, our land is on fire. It will take a collective effort to restore the pristine forests and scrub land that have been burnt to a cinder.  And it will happen. It will happen by ordinary Americans. Hurricane damage will be repaired by ordinary Americans. This is the American way. It’s what we do, and no one will ask for your papers when you volunteer to rebuild. They will welcome the help.

It has been 16 years ago today that the towers in New York crumbled before our very eyes. The hijackers that morning didn’t care who was working in the Twin Towers, they just wanted to bring them down and cripple America. They didn’t. Over the course of months we found out a little about the 2983 people who died as a result of the indiscriminate actions of a few. The victims were all precious to us. They were Americans. Even though over 100 were undocumented folks and 372 of them were foreign nationals all 472 were grieved over as one with everyone else. There was no distinction. On that day, they were all Americans.

As these natural disasters play out over the next several weeks and months, we need to keep in mind that no matter who’s documented or not, the victims of these storms are American as were the victims of 9/11.

and so it goes…