Hurricane Evacuees and Religious Leaders Discuss Faith After the Storms

October 2, 2005

Source: The Morning News

On October 2, 2005 The Morning News reported, "Joseph Bell [a New Orleans Parish resident and recent evacuee] believes God protected him through [Hurricane Katrina]... Bell,33, said he believes the destruction in New Orleans was mostly caused by man. He said man built the levees that failed to hold back the water from a city that had become inhabited by 'bad' people.... The Hindus have another take on this, according to Sharmila Sanka, a member of the Hindu Association of Northwest Arkansas. Sanka said Hindus believe Mother Nature creates natural disasters to teach humanity 'not to exceed its limits and to contemplate God.' Man should be humbled by nature and not abuse it, she said... James Ownbey, a founder of the Buddhist group at the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship in Fayetteville, said that in the Buddhist religion, internal peace is the key to ending suffering... [Britt Skarda, senior pastor at First United Methodist Church in Springdale] said there are several ways community and church members can help create a healthy living environment for evacuees. He said it is important that people affected by the storms do not separate themselves from the faith-based community and do continue to vocalize their feelings."