Friday, September 02, 2005

"a closer look at"

That same post-event feeling in my stomach -- and frequent googling for news updates -- has followed me since Hurricane Katrina's devastation came to ever-expanding light. The piece that makes me the most angry (and a lot of it makes me angry) is the looting.

In what universe do some of these looters live? How will hauling away a DVD player or flat-screen TV make life better in a landscape littered with decomposing bodies on sidewalks?

Then I also got angry at the bland comments of Henry Fischer, a sociology professor who studies human response to disasters. In a recent newspaper article, he was asked about this type of luxury-item looting. He said, "That's something we as researchers are going to take a closer look at."

Here's a one-word explanation: sin.

Here's an expanded explanation: We are fallen.

Anyone, really anyone, is capable of anything. Some of us (most of us) need to remember we were originally made in the image of God.


Blogger Melissag said...

It just goes to show how easily it all can fall apart. What was a bustling (mostly) lawful city disintegrated into anarchy. I do think that when people are reduced to living like animals they tend to start acting like them, scavenging things they couldn't possibly use. Those people had no homes, no electricity it made no sense to steal a TV. They became animal-like hoarders taking whatever they saw because it was all they could think to do. I for one don't see it as sin, so much as a total loss of humanity and the consequences of that.

8:49 PM  
Blogger Hope McP said...

I totally agree. But I also think, given some of the reports, that once people drifted even farther into lawlessness (rapes, thefts, beatings), they'd made another choice: A moral decision beyond survival.

Years ago I read a book called Alas, Babylon by Pat Frank. It's on my "Reread List," and tells a story about a small Florida town trying to survive after a nuclear war. I thought about that book while I heard post-hurricane news, and how its characters responded to a nice little town quickly fell into anarchy, too. And when I read that book, I'm back once again thinking about sin and the image of God.

6:08 PM  
Blogger Melissag said...

You are right there too. Those people who raped, beat and robbed people I think were just complete opportunists and would have acted that way at any available opprtunity. I still believe the majority of those "looters" just declined into a kind of squirrel- like hoarding mentality. A kind of mass shock reaction.

6:16 PM  

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