Katrina revealed US unwillingess to address inequalities say theologians
The failed evacuation plan for Hurricane Katrina revealed more than government incompetence. It also exposed the unwillingness of Americans to confront the structural problems of class and to address inequalities on a person-to-person level, theologians in the US have said.
Seeing some people drive off in their SUVs while others were left behind reminded him of the biblical story of Lazarus and the rich man, said Albert J. Raboteau, professor of religion at Princeton University. People of means aren't aware of the problems the poor face, he said.
Laurie Zoloth, an ethicist and professor of religion at Northwestern University's Feinberg School of Medicine, said there would have been less suffering if each city block had formed a social organization to look after residents in the immediate area.
'The metaphor of our society is, ëWe're all in this alone.' That's the tragedy,' said Zoloth. The hurricane evacuation, she said, drove home the point that people do not believe that their actionsóor inactionó will dramatically affect others.
The comments were contained in the latest newsletter of Vital Theology, published this week.
Vital Theology surveyed 16 theologians on two key questions surrounding what could be learned in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina and whether it raised different questions from those that arose in relationship to 9/11 or the December 2004 tsunami.
'Katrina raised a host of theological questions for Americans to grapple with," said Publisher David W. Reid.
Vital Theology is an independent, ecumenical, newsletter that provides theological perspectives on issues in the news. It has no ties to any denomination, corporation, nonprofit organization or educational institution.
Founded in 2004, Vital Theology was named 'Best Newsletter' by Associated Church Press in its inaugural year of publication.
The entire issue is available on the newsletter's Web site