The pros at the Religion Newswriters Association have posted a collection of resources linked to Hurricane Katrina and the swarm of spiritual and moral questions events such as this raise. Check it out. Some of this is pretty standard material, offering theological echoes of the tsunami story. Thus, item No. 1 in the ReligionLink list is:
Evil And Suffering
Katrina has inspired talk of why such destruction occurs. Where is God? Why would God allow such suffering? Why do bad things happen to good people? Is Katrina a sign of the end times? With New Orleans, a city known for drinking, debauchery and licentiousness, there is an added factor. Some suggest that the city's sins caused the storm to ravage it. These questions will play out in the conversations of storm victims, relief workers, donors to relief efforts, clergy and political leaders in the days to come, revealing much about the foundations of people's beliefs.
Obviously, I think the middle section of that note is spot on. But check out the rest of the list. Some of this stuff is really strong -- the power of prayer, homelessness, charity, race, class, technology, hope, burials, voodoo. And can the historic churches and cemeteries be saved?
Try to imagine what a journalist would run into researching a feature on how different faiths will view funerals and burials under these circumstances. Is there a Roman Catholic rite for the re-burial of a body?
And voodoo. What happens if you let New Orleans be New Orleans?