• Culture

    New Orleans Descends into Darkness

    I’ve done a series of posts on New Orleans and the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Lately, I’ve been observing how the national media coverage has been turning attention away from the dysfunctionality of the federal response to the dysfunctionality of New Orleans itself.

  • Culture,  Politics

    Katrina Didn’t Do It

    I wrote last week about the alarming murder rate in post-Katrina New Orleans—nine murders in the first eight days of 2007 (previous post). I also pointed out that the problems that New Orleans is facing are not mainly due to Katrina. Katrina merely exacerbated problems that were there before the storm.

  • Culture

    Murder in New Orleans

    Several stories appeared in the news last week about New Orleans and its abysmal violent crime rate. In the first eight days of 2007, there were nine murders in New Orleans. In the first week of 2007, there was one day on which six people were murdered. These murders are not all gang related affairs either. Dr. Paul Gailiunas’ runs a health clinic that serves some of the poorest residents of New Orleans. Last week, intruders broke into his home, shot and killed his wife and shot him three times while he was holding their baby (read about the tragic story here). This murder and all the others have occurred…

  • Personal

    Criswell College Students Go into the Aftermath of Katrina

    Preparing food for the Salvation Army Mobile Canteens at 3:30am. Photo by Josh Ramsey. We parked our Canteen truck right next to the tents where military vehicles were dropping off and processing evacuees in front of the now infamous Ernest N. Morial Convention Center in New Orleans. This was the site that saw thousands of New Orleans residents stranded without food and bathrooms for days after the levees broke. It became a den of misery and lawlessness. A Military Policeman informed me that when the army arrived, they found dead bodies inside the Convention Center—bodies that had been brutalized, some apparently mugged and others raped. It is places like these…

  • Personal

    Going to New Orleans

    Dear Readers, I won’t be blogging for the next few days because I’m going to New Orleans. I’m leading a group of students from the Criswell College to a staging area in Baton Rouge where we will link up with Southern Baptist Convention Disaster Relief. We will man a Salvation Army Mobile Canteen and will be responsible for distributing 300,000 meals per day in New Orleans. The last several days, I’ve been blogging a lot about the political side of the Hurrican Katrina tragedy because I think the news coverage has been reflexively condemning of federal authorities. I am happy to say that I think that that tide is turning.…

  • Politics

    State of Louisiana Prevented Red Cross from Providing Relief to New Orleans Superdome

    This is an unbelievable story being reported by Major Garrett of FOX News. The following is from Hugh Hewitt’s website: “The Fox News Channel’s Major Garrett was just on my show extending the story he had just reported on Brit Hume’s show: The Red Cross is confirming to Garrett that it had prepositioned water, food, blankets and hygiene products for delivery to the Superdome and the Convention Center in the immediate aftermath of the hurricane, but were blocked from delivering those supplies by orders of the Louisiana state government, which did not want to attract people to the Superdome and/or Convention Center. Garrett has no paper trail yet, but will…

  • Politics

    Mayor of New Orleans Had Responsibility To Evacuate

    The city of New Orleans had a set of emergency procedures in place before Katrina hit that pertain to such events as catastrophic Hurricanes. The document is titled: “City of New Orleans Comprehensive Emergency Management Plan.” This document outlines the plan that the city is to follow in case of an emergency evacuation. It says the following: “Conduct of an actual evacuation will be the responsibility of the Mayor of New Orleans in coordination with the Director of the Office of Emergency Preparedness, and the OEP Shelter Coordinator . . . Transportation will be provided to those persons requiring public transportation from the area . . . The evacuation must…

  • Culture,  Politics

    New Orleans: Then and Now

    I was struck this morning when NBC’s Today Show offered glowing and nostalgic remembrances of how great New Orleans was before the hurricane. The parties, the good times, the food, and the music. According to the Today Show’s reporting, New Orleans was a virtual heaven on earth—a true American original. I have to say, however, that as a native Louisianan, I don’t think that description of pre-hurricane New Orleans really rings true. Yes, it is true that the city had its charms, but it also had its challenges, the kinds of challenges that are routinely overlooked by reveling tourists. I could relate story after story about how difficult the city…

  • Christianity,  Politics

    U. S. Senate Resolution on the Election of Fred Luter

    On June 29, Senator Mary Landrieu submitted a resolution in the United States Senate that congratulates the Southern Baptist Convention for electing Rev. Fred Luter as its first African American president. The resolution has been referred to the judiciary committee and awaits disposition. You can download a PDF of the resolution here, or you can read it below. Senate Resolution 518 Whereas the Southern Baptist Convention formed in 1845 in Augusta, Georgia, in opposition to the abolition of slavery;

  • Christianity

    Why I’m Thankful We’re Keeping Our Name

    I think I may be in the minority among those of my generation in the SBC. But I breathed a sigh of relief when I read the news last night that the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) would be sticking with its name. The task force appointed by SBC President Bryant Wright recommended last night that “Southern Baptist Convention” remain our legal name and that “Great Commission Baptists” be adopted as our nickname. I am fine with the nickname, but I have been mainly concerned that our official name stay the same. So I couldn’t be happier about this result.