Sunday, September 18, 2005

Southern Man, Better Keep Your Head. Don't Forget What Your Good Book Said.

Ronnie C. Harris, Mayor
City of Gretna
P.O. Box 404
Gretna, LA, 70054-0404

Phone: (504) 363-1505
Fax: (504) 363-1509
E mail:

Dear Mr. Harris,

I read online the account of your town sheriff turning away refugees from the flooding in New Orleans. I read in the LA Times about your decision to back the sheriff in his choice.

My community chose to respond very differently to the tragedy. In the days after the hurricane struck, people started pitching together to send relief aid to New Orleans. There were garage sales, bake sales, small children selling lemonade. Members of a local college fraternity stayed up for 25 hours collecting dollar bills at the main intersection of our four stoplight town. The university where I work has taken in displaced students free of charge. My wife and I put our names on a list of volunteers to take refugees into our home.

But we are far away from the disaster, and can ultimately do little. You could do a lot, but chose to do nothing. No doubt you consider your actions a form of self defense, because hidden amongst the sick and elderly may have been a looter, who would break a window, or take a television. Crises bring out people's priorities. Others would have taken the risk in the name of compassion.

We live in wicked, secular New York state, but we know the meaning of Matthew 25:35
Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels: for I was an hungred, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not.


Rob Loftis

[address and bible quote via the comments at Making Light.]

No comments: