Hagee backs off comment connecting gays with Katrina
Rev. John Hagee, endorser of GOP presidential candidate Sen. John McCain, has retracted controversial comments he made implying that Hurricane Katrina was punishment from God for a planned gay pride parade, one that he considered the culmination of an era of sin in New Orleans.
On the September 18, 2006 edition of National Public Radio's Fresh Air, Hagee said that Hurricane Katrina was the wrath of God for New Orleans' acceptance of gay culture:
All hurricanes are acts of God, because God controls the heavens. I believe that New Orleans had a level of sin that was offensive to God, and they are -- were recipients of the judgment of God for that. The newspaper carried the story in our local area that was not carried nationally that there was to be a homosexual parade there on the Monday that the Katrina came. And the promise of that parade was that it was going to reach a level of sexuality never demonstrated before in any of the other Gay Pride parades. So I believe that the judgment of God is a very real thing. I know that there are people who demur from that, but I believe that the Bible teaches that when you violate the law of God, that God brings punishment sometimes before the day of judgment. And I believe that the Hurricane Katrina was, in fact, the judgment of God against the city of New Orleans.
"As a believing Christian," Hagee said in a statement Friday, "I see the hand of God in everything that happens here on earth, both the blessings and the curses.
"But ultimately neither I nor any other person can know the mind of God concerning Hurricane Katrina. I should not have suggested otherwise. No matter what the cause of the storm, my heart goes out to all who suffered in this terrible tragedy. There but for the grace of God go any one of us."