Editor's note: Bill Horan is president of Operation Blessing International.
By Bill Horan, Special to CNN
While Americans and the media convened, debated and celebrated in Tampa and Charlotte in recent weeks, thousands of Americans in southeastern Louisiana became homeless, finding themselves living without electricity, clean water or other basic necessities after Hurricane Isaac hit.
Mitt Romney and President Obama, along with the national media, have come and gone from the region. What’s left behind is total devastation and a long road of rebuilding – again.
Yet this could be the end of the road for many families living there.
The newly upgraded levees in St. Bernard Parish, built after Katrina, worked and stopped flooding there and in New Orleans. But many residents here believe that these new levees caused all that extra water from the hurricane to funnel away from those protected areas and directly into Plaquemines Parish, which didn’t flood like this during Hurricane Katrina.
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Regardless, much of Plaquemines Parish is now ruined. Every single building along the 18-mile levee in the parish has been flooded, either destroyed or severely damaged. There are boats and burial vaults strewn helter-skelter all over the road and on the sloped side of the levee. There is a rotten smell that covers the soggy land and seems to seep into your pores. The water treatment plant is also flooded, and there isn’t any power
I recently went on a tour with the local fire chief and a district representative to the east bank of the Mississippi River in Plaquemines Parish. Many residents there are still out of work because of the BP oil spill in 2010. The effects of the spill are far from over: The oysters and shrimp have not come back, and many fishing families have suffered financial meltdown as a result. In fact, oil from the spill reportedly washed up again from the hurricane.
If there is such a thing as being under water twice at the same time, many residents of Plaquemines Parish are now experiencing it.
For more than a week, the relief group that I oversee, Operation Blessing International, has been in the impacted area, helping residents with basic needs. We spent more than two and a half years in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina, so many people there recognize us.
CNN’s Belief Blog: The faith angles behind the biggest stories
Now, we hope to be there for many days to come, helping residents who need assistance. We have received close to 700 requests from local homeowners to repair their severely damaged homes, a fraction of the 13,000 the state of Louisiana says were damaged by the hurricane. We are also coordinating volunteer efforts daily – more than 4,800 hours to date – to help with debris removal and repairs.
We were able to set up a full working kitchen in less than two hours and have served more than 21,000 hot meals to residents and first responders. We anticipated hundreds of people, but thousands have shown up.
It is very sad that, as a nation, we seem to have either diverted or turned our attention away from these sweet people in their time of greatest need. Americans have a great legacy of helping one another in times of disaster. People of faith embrace a God-given mandate requiring us to help the less fortunate.
Faith-based organizations like Operation Blessing International, driven by such beliefs, are often the first to arrive and the last to leave when disaster strikes. There are many more who would help if only they knew how hard Isaac hit those outside the new levees that protect New Orleans.
Helping could take several forms, from something quick and easy like donating money to an established charity working in the New Orleans area to gathering a group of friends and spending a few days volunteering with a charity on the ground, working to clear debris from homes and to start to repair the damage.
Sometimes, we need to give each other a nudge. I’m doing that now. Let’s come together as we’ve done time and time again, to help our brothers and sisters in southeastern Louisiana.
The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Bill Horan.
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People should not live in areas that are 7 ft below sea level that border the Gulf of Mexico in Hurricane Alley. And the taxpayers of other areas should not have to pay for the stupidity of these Cajuns.
I agree. People who live on floodplains, earthquake zones, and tornado-prone areas should either build accordingly or get the hell out.
Why should I be responsible for their lack of common sense?
Did they think Jesus was going to save them from disaster when he doesn't even exist?
Haven't they heard of reinforced concrete?
This is 2012 and they are still acting like farmers in the dark ages where guaranteed disasters are concerned.
And now they have to do it all over again like people who build huts out of mud and are then amazed when the rain makes them collapse. Just clueless.
It's really best for all people including children to have an agnostic approach to god, and an atheistic approach to all religion. It keeps things simple for kids, and lets them be all that they can be. They just need to be taught that some things, like all religion, were just made up by salesmen and politicians from long ago. (Yes, charlatan folklore and spam started long before the Bible; what would make you think they hadn't?) And they need to be taught that other things, like God, we really don't know a damn thing about.
Atheists have strong minds and don't need a religion. Many religious folk have the best intentions. But too often, religious folk run and hide their misdeeds within their religion (and by doing so, they disserve society). And too often, religious folk are easily offended when someone mocks their make-believe characters – and, as we can see they can get really CRAZY!
Although there are many religious folk with good intentions – some selflessly helping others, religions and religious organizations are, as a whole, just big old clubs – each trying to out do each other and inspiring hate and division (often disguised as love) along the way. The problem is that people too easily buy into religion and don't realize how unfounded it all is. And when they buy into it, they buy into a lot of really old, really weird tenets that are nothing but harmful for the human species.
Of course Islam is a crazy religion. But look at Christianity. Just look at all the things that Christians argue about amongst themselves today – abortion, men's and women's roles in the church, celibacy, contraception, acceptance of gays, etc. Most of these issues have their roots in the conflicted, unfounded tenets of early Christianity. Non-Mormons harp on Joseph Smith these days. But we really don't have any more proof at all to believe that Paul, the self-proclaimed "apostle" was anything more than an ordinary man who needed to make up religious "sales literature" to survive and spread his own personal beliefs. And yet a good chunk of the NT is attributed to Paul and accepted by many Christians. And a lot of what he wrote about has to do with many of the issues I mentioned above that have Christians fighting amongst themselves hundreds of years later. I don't buy any of it.
Get a good cup of tea, and sit down and collect your thoughts. If you find it helpful to pray to a god (something you know nothing about), fine. But it is really healthier for the mind to leave behind all the characters that people over the centuries have invented or given powers to, for which there is little or no foundation. Because with those invented characters and powers – that's where division and hate join the little party in your mind. That's where, in your mind, you are inheriting the division and hate from ordinary politicians, lobbyists and salesmen from long ago.
nope to nope
Prayer changes things
I'm sorry, "Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things", but your assertions regarding atheism and prayer are unfounded. The degree to which your assertions may represent correct statements is 0.0. To help you understand the degree to which your assertions may represent correct statements, I will access my Idiomatic Expression Equivalency module (IEE). Using my IEE module, the expression that best matches the degree to which your assertions may represent correct statements is: "TOTAL FAIL, DUDE".
I see that you repeat these unfounded statements with high frequency. Perhaps the following book might help you overcome this problem:
I'm Told I Have Dementia: What You Can Do... Who You Can Turn to...
by the Alzheimer's Disease Society
Free speech helps educate the masses................POLITICIANS too !
Where do morals come from?
By Kelly Murray, CNN
Gravity is not up for debate !
BY the way ...................Splat goes a fairy in the sky !...............bye bye tinker bell !
Einstein's Gravity Theory Passes Toughest Test Yet..............................E = mc2..........(U–Pb).................two math formulas.
Apr. 25, 2013 — A strange stellar pair nearly 7,000 light-years from Earth has provided physicists with a unique cosmic laboratory for studying the nature of gravity. The extremely strong gravity of a massive neutron star in orbit with a companion white dwarf star puts competing theories of gravity to a test more stringent than any available before
Hey James Madison................religion has none it looks like.............with the comments on this blog.
The Big question is ETHICS ! does religion have any ?
The Ethics of Resurrecting Extinct Species
Apr. 8, 2013 — At some point, scientists may be able to bring back extinct animals, and perhaps early humans, raising questions of ethics and environmental disruption.
April 30, 2013 at 4:16 pm | Report abuse |
May 1, 2013 at 12:42 pm | Report abuse |
Dinosaur Egg Study Supports Evolutionary Link Between Birds and Dinosaurs: How Troodon Likely Hatched Its Young
And NO ANGELS the pope KICKED them OFF the TEAM last year !
From Soup to Cells—the Origin of Life
the wrong path is Adam and Eve !
Human Y Chromosome Much Older Than Previously Thought
Mar. 4, 2013 — The discovery and analysis of an extremely rare African American Y chromosome pushes back the time of the most recent common ancestor for the Y chromosome lineage tree to 338,000 years ago. This time predates the age of the oldest known anatomically modern human fossils.
No god(s) needed or required to graduate from public schools in the US
Remember : Adam had to POKE himself hard with his OWN BONE to create Eve.
No god(s) needed................... Old. DNA works..................also catches crooks !
Ancient DNA Reveals Europe's Dynamic Genetic History
Apr. 23, 2013 — Ancient DNA recovered from a series of skeletons in central Germany up to 7,500 years old has been used to reconstruct the first detailed genetic history of modern Europe.
Ca-nabis and Cannabinoids (PDQ®) – National Cancer Insti-tute
Mar 21, 2013 – [1,2] These plant-derived compounds may be referred to as phytocannabinoids. ... have a protective effect against the development of certain types of tumors. ... In lung cancer cell lines, CBD upregulated ICAM-1, leading to ...
Good stuff !
The fact...............the earth is to old for this nonsemse ! Time to EVOLVE !
Ancient Earth Crust Stored in Deep Mantle
Apr. 24, 2013 — Scientists have long believed that lava erupted from certain oceanic volcanoes contains materials from the early Earth's crust. But decisive evidence for this phenomenon has proven elusive. New research from a team including Carnegie's Erik Hauri demonstrates that oceanic volcanic rocks contain samples of recycled crust dating back to the Archean era 2.5 billion years ago. Their work is published in Nature.
For what...................... ? Make sure to read what the pope said !
Learning is fun with facts.......................... and facts work when teaching children.
Atheist Prof. Peter Higgs: Stop calling Higgs boson the ‘God particle’
Professor Peter Higgs said recently that there is no God and so people should stop referring to the theoretical partial that
bears his name as the “God particle.”
Pope praises science, but insists God created world updated Thur October 28, 2010
Stephen Hawking is wrong, Pope Benedict XVI said Thursday – God did create the universe. The pope didn't actually mention the world-famous scientist, who argues in a book published last month that the laws of physics show there is no need for a supreme... \
Heaven is 'a fairy story,' scientist Stephen Hawking says updated Tue May 17, 2011
By Dan Gilgoff, CNN.com Religion Editor The concept of heaven or any kind of afterlife is a "fairy story," famed British scientist Stephen Hawking said in a newspaper interview this week. "I regard the brain as a computer which will stop working when...
April 7th, 2012
08:32 PM ET
The Jesus debate: Man vs. myth
Make sure to read comments
April 18, 2013 at 3:10 pm | Report abuse |
NASA: Three planets found are some of best candidates so far for habitable worlds outside our solar system.
NASA: Mars could have supported life
Star Dust we are
Holy Hallucinations 35
The ORIGIN story is bullsh-it...............so is the bible............... nasty !
Scientists have unearthed the first direct signs of cheesemaking, at a site in Poland that dates back 7,500 years.
BBC. Planet of the Apemen. Battle for Earth 1. Ho-mo Erectus
BACKFILL on E =mc2.....
Einstein letter, set for auction, shows scientist challenging idea of God, being 'chosen'
By Jessica Ravitz, CNN
Decades before atheist scientist and author Richard Dawkins called God a "delusion," one world-renowned physicist – Albert Einstein – was weighing in on faith matters with his own strong words.
“The word God is for me nothing more than the expression and product of human weaknesses, the Bible a collection of honorable, but still primitive legends,” Einstein wrote in German in a 1954 letter that will be auctioned on eBay later this month. "No interpretation no matter how subtle can (for me) change this.”
May 4, 2013 at 6:47 am | Report abuse |
Cheech & Chong's History of 420
Cheech & Chong's History of 420 from CheechAndChong
All cults...........creationists, ID believers and devil cults.................
The fact...............the earth is to old ...........time to EVOLVE !.
Dover Trial Transcripts............................................. FACTS.
Below are the complete transcripts from the Dover Trial. Thanks to our friends at the National Center for Science Education for helping us fill in the missing transcripts.
Education works for children
Earth From Space
Detailed satellite images reveal the web of connections that sustain life on Earth. Aired February 13, 2013 on PBS
"Earth From Space" is a groundbreaking two-hour special that reveals a spectacular new space-based vision of our planet. Produced in extensive consultation with NASA scientists, NOVA takes data from earth-observing satellites and transforms it into dazzling visual sequences, each one exposing the intricate and surprising web of forces that sustains life on earth. Viewers witness how dust blown from the Sahara fertilizes the Amazon; how a vast submarine "waterfall" off Antarctica helps drive ocean currents around the world; and how the sun's heating up of the southern Atlantic gives birth to a colossally powerful hurricane. From the microscopic world of water molecules vaporizing over the ocean to the magnetic field that is bigger than Earth itself, the show reveals the astonishing beauty and complexity of our dynamic planet.
February 16, 2013 at 7:18 am | Report abuse |
People who live on floodplains should not complain or ask for protection when those floodplains are flooded unless it is to apologize for burdening the country, then we should relocate them to a better location, like tornado country. lol
After Katrina, federal levees were built that stopped at the town of Braithwaite. Federal levees already existed to the south of Braithwaite. These federal levees are 32 feet high north of Braithwaite and 22 feet high south of Braithwaite. Braithwaite is 8.5 feet. With Hurricane Isaac they flooded and will likely flood again. The entire town of 18 miles flooded 12 – 18 feet. NO flooding south or Braithwaite to north.......the good people in Braithwatie are now on the wrong side of the wall.
Not sure your comments are correct, but you may not have been aware of these levees that are in place that didn't exist before.
Prayer really changes things
I'm sorry "Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things", but you assertions regarding atheism and prayer are unfounded. I see that you repeat these unfounded statements with high frequency. Perhaps the following book might help you overcome this problem:
Insanity: the behavior of repeating the same actions over again, and expecting different results. the cajuns are insane by definition.
It's really best for all people including children to have an agnostic approach to god, and an atheistic approach to all religion. It keeps things simple for kids, and let's them be all that they can be. They just need to be taught that some things, like all religion, were just made up by salesmen and politicians from long ago**; and that other things, like god, we really don't know a damn thing about.
Atheists have strong minds and don't need a religion. Sometimes, religious folk run and hide their misdeeds within their religion (and by doing so, they disserve society). Sometimes, religious folk are easily offended when someone mocks their make-believe characters – and, as we can see they can get really CRAZY!
Religions are just big old evil clubs – each trying to out do each other and inspiring hate and division along the way (disguised as love).
So instead of praying to make-believe people, get a good cup of tea and go on and sit down and collect your damn thoughts. My goodness.
** (yes, charlatan spam started long before the Bible; what would make your think it hadn't?)
For a better understanding of natural disasters we invite you to read the article ‘Natural Disasters – Earthquakes, Tornadoes, Tsunamis, Typhoons, Famines, Floods, Droughts, Wildfires and Pestilences’ listed on our website http://www.aworlddeceived.ca
All of the other pages and articles listed on our website explain how and by whom this whole world has been deceived as confirmed in Revelation 12:9.
This poster is a TROLL on this blog, they are proven LIARS and they are only here to sell their book to support their cult. Click the report abuse link to get rid of this TROLL!
All the liars on this blog are the atheists.
Revelation?? Everyone knows whoever wrote that mess was high as a kite. Evidently it was St. John the Opium Addict.
"All the liars on this blog are the atheists."
No, the liars have been the Christians over and over again.
According to Hugh Laurie's character, Dr House [the actor and his character both being atheist btw],
Obama just declared it's all George Bushes fault.
Prayer changes things
Typical of religion, they try to brainwash you into believing something is true by repeating it over and over. It's not working....try harder.
Prayer does not; you are such a LIAR. You have NO proof it changes anything! A great example of prayer proven not to work is the Christians in jail because prayer didn't work and their children died. For example: Susan Grady, who relied on prayer to heal her son. Nine-year-old Aaron Grady died and Susan Grady was arrested.
An article in the Journal of Pediatrics examined the deaths of 172 children from families who relied upon faith healing from 1975 to 1995. They concluded that four out of five ill children, who died under the care of faith healers or being left to prayer only, would most likely have survived if they had received medical care.
The statistical studies from the nineteenth century and the three CCU studies on prayer are quite consistent with the fact that humanity is wasting a huge amount of time on a procedure that simply doesn’t work. Nonetheless, faith in prayer is so pervasive and deeply rooted, you can be sure believers will continue to devise future studies in a desperate effort to confirm their beliefs!
fell for it again ! HA HA HA
William used to do gigs in the Catskills and is trying to make a come back and is just testing out his material on this blog. You could do the christian thing and throw him a bone, I think his stuff is insightful and funny; c'mon Topher LOL.
In the internet age, we all have short attention sp.... haha! That cat wants a cheezburger.
Nice try dip sh it, its "America" has a short attention span not your country. Do you get your jollies pretending to be one of US?We don't need or want you. There's your sign
@Cap'n Sayin Atheism Isn't an Angry Pervert Rangerfield
Back when I was the only Canadian at the Headquaters for the United States European Command in Stuttgart, Germany, the most useful phrase in German I learned was:
"Ich bin kein Amerikaner, ich bin Kanadischen".
captain america/truth be told/just sayin/etc.etc. You really are a pathetic, uneducated dolt. I notice you exude the most evil forms of pride in your posts that represent the ugliest aspect of we people from the U.S. You contribute nothing but misinformation and frankly, you display very poor writing skills.
Bull sh it every post you write proves you are a pretender, wanna be and a phony. There's your sign
@save the world...
I know what you mean, Doc Vestibule. When abroad I only admit to being a North American. Conveniently enough, people usually take that to mean I'm Canadian.
People should not live in areas that are 7 ft below sea level that border the Gulf of Mexico in Hurricane Alley. And the taxpayers of other areas should not have to pay for the stupidity of these Cajuns.
Only by Christianity absurdity of a Christian, Christian and pagan. Filthy Christian Captain Crunch dog. Filthy pagan islam pig dog. Filthy Randy Jackson dog. Filthy hebrew national pig dog. no dogs! who let them be out? Quran means nothing else but path of triple abdullah absolute quantified. please visit ahmadinebinpaid.com/blog.html and click on word Choice to open file. But turn virus protection off before.
Filthy Hebrew National BEEF dog!
Where is BEEF???
Allah, truth absolute truth helps those who help themselves, they need to get off of their butts and start rehabilitating, and rest will join in in, Stop hinduism, absurdity of hand out. To know causes of mayhem among humanity, handy work of hindu Jew's, criminal self centered, denier of truth absolute and thir hinduism, fabrication, hindu Mithra ism pagan savior ism, labeled as Christianity, please visit http://www.limitisthetruth.com/blog.html and click on word Choice to open file.
Why does Old Jeebus seem to hate the Red Necks so?
I mean don't we always hear disasters are the will of God, and caused by the sins of the victims?
Who am I to question Old Jeebus? If he thinks drowning his children is appropriate, then they drown :(
Repent all you lapsed sinners and swim towards Jeebus.
Swim like hell itself is rising up to swallow you parishoners.
I wonder in this is like 9-11? Can anyone get me a count of how many Camel Jockeys got swallowed up by the sea?
Not many I suppose.
Such blasphemy and outright disrespect!
I am here all week!
Try the veal!
So what, Topher?
The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.