[UPDATE: Here's an item about Mayor Nagin's apology for this statement.]
Surely God is mad at America. He's sending hurricane after hurricane after hurricane. Surely he's not approval of us being in Iraq under false pretenses.
But surely he's upset at black America also. We as black people, it's time. It's time for us to come together. It's time for us to rebuild a New Orleans, the one that should be, a chocolate New Orleans. And I don't care what people are saying uptown or wherever they are. This city will be chocolate at the end of the day.
(Source: Transcript of video clip aired on MSNBC's The Situation, Jan. 16, 2006; there might have been some editing, but I presume that it didn't change the substance; CNN and also MSNBC's Scarborough Country reports this as "Surely God is mad at America. He's sending hurricane after hurricane after hurricane. And it's destroying and putting stress on this country. Surely he's not approval of us being in Iraq under false pretenses. But surely he is upset at black America also.")
But if God is mad at America, why exactly did he decide to kill, injure, and make homeless this particular chunk of America? Are poor people, who generally suffer the most from natural disasters, particularly likely to be guilty in God's eyes? (Though the dead in Katrina weren't disproportionately poor by New Orleans standards, the dislocation caused by natural disasters generally disproportionately hurts poor people, who are least likely to have savings to fall back on, least likely to have educations and other credentials that would make it easy to start over, and least likely to be adequately insured. Surely God knows that.)
Were those hurt by Katrina particularly able to control America's Iraq policy? Were they particularly able to prevent whatever problems of black America Mayor Nagin is pointing to? Actually, wouldn't Mayor Nagin and his fellow politicians have had more influence (though of course surely not unlimited influence) that could have helped "black America" "come together"? And, if so, why didn't God target them especially? (Or is it that Mayor Nagin was spared because of his righteousness, and others were punished because they were especially sinful? You can't have it both ways — it's either that, or it's that God was punishing people without regard to their own deserts.)
Of course, one possible response is that God works in mysterious ways, and either chooses not to control natural disasters, or sends them for reasons and in manners that are beyond human understanding. But if that's so, then why is Mayor Nagin so confident that God is mad at America, and that the reason is God's disapproval of America's actions in Iraq, or of the actions of black America? And how, if at all, is Mayor Nagin different from Rev. Shanks and Rev. Robertson in this respect?
Thanks to InstaPundit for the pointer.