Many in the Right Wing fringe blamed Hurricane Sandy and other disasters on gays and Liberals. Could it be time to analyze why Texas and Florida are the two states that God sent Hurricanes to decimate this season?
God may have sent Hurricane Harvey & Irma to punish Texas & Florida or maybe to restore faith in government for those who have yet to see the light. Texas passed some of the evilest legislations against some of God's people. The state's anti-sanctuary law, SB4, threatens to split and destroy families. Florida and Lousiana are next in line to pass a similar bill. Well, Hurricane Harvey hit both Texas and Lousiana very hard, and Hurricane Irma is about to do the same or worse to Florida.
One must not forget that Houston voted against HERO, an ordinance that would have protected among others our trans residents. Many in the clergy, like Pharisees, lied to mislead a majority to vote it down. My friend Cody Pogue, a History & Government professor in the Houston area and previous candidate for the Texas Congress, said it best then.
"There are over 2,000 verses in the Bible that command us to help the less fortunate," Cody Pogue said. "There are only six verses, most of them in the Old Testament that say something about homosexuality. If we want to talk about sin, let's talk about America's sin of not helping others, our sin of putting our love of money ahead of our love for humanity, and our sin of not loving our neighbor as ourselves."
Both Texans and Floridians elected governments that denied their most needy citizens access to health care that would have been free to the states for the first three years and ten percent after that. They showed a lack of humanity, love, and compassion for their neighbors by spitefully refusing the Medicaid Expansion to the Affordable Care Act.
Based on Pogues reading of the Bible., these two states are in direct conflict with the good book. Just like God caused the flood when his people went too far he may be making an example out of Texas and Florida, again with the weather.
Of course, I do not believe any of the nonsense I just wrote about God punishing Texas and Florida! This narrative is a converse of the Right to show the absurd ones we must endure from infantile, flawed or simply silly thinking.
Now here is the reality we must face. Hurricane Harvey has left many Texans vulnerable, unemployed, sicker, and without health insurance. Had the Texas government accepted the Medicaid Expansion to the Affordable Care Act, the misery that hundreds of thousands will go through would have been mitigated. Instead, the Republicans running the Texas government are effectively continuing the murder of its citizens by neglect based on political malpractice inflicted by a flawed and inhumane ideology. The same applies to Florida.
Here is another reality. With many cities in South Texas decimated by Hurricane Harvey, the need for thousands of builders is ever present for the rebuilding process. Houston Chronicle's Stan Marek said it best in his op-ed titled "Texas shuns immigrants the moment they're needed most."
As the flood waters left behind by Hurricane Harvey begin to recede around our great city, the questions of how to rebuild and who will do the work are top of mind. Following the passage of a ban on "sanctuary cities" in Texas, we were already faced with a quickly depleting workforce. Many construction workers, both documented and undocumented, have begun fleeing our state because they're concerned local police will start rounding up immigrants.
With a massive rebuilding effort set to get underway, the need is greater than ever for an alternative to deportations and a wall meant to keep out many of the very people who will be responsible for restoration of the Gulf Coast. When Tropical Storm Allison devastated Houston in 2001, causing $9 billion in damage, thousands of workers - many of whom were unauthorized - flocked to our city to help with the rebuilding. Many were exploited by unethical employers who refused to pay them. Very few were covered by accident insurance and could only receive emergency room treatment if they were injured.
But they were here and they got the job done. Today, the situation is different. Texas is no longer seen as a welcoming place for immigrants without papers. The "sanctuary cities" ban that was set to take effect this month sent a clear message: If you're undocumented, you are not welcome.
As a humanist, I don't tend to believe there is any correlation between the supernatural and human activities are outcomes. But suppose I am wrong? The destruction of a substantial portion of Houston and Texas could not have occurred at a better time. As we all know, more important than xenophobia, racism, sexism, and all of the other isms is the mighty dollar. Irrespective of why these hurricanes occurred or are occurring, it is clear that the debate will change. It will be all about keeping our immigrants here. It will all be as well, big government coming through for these two big Red States; and if the government does not come through, watch them turn blue before their time.
Also published on Medium.