Another source for Katrina news & views

hdr rightIf you are interested in news and commentary about the theological issues linked to Katrina, the Anglican Web Elves up north — wise guys in multiple meanings of that phrase — have started a blog that includes all kinds of useful links. This is the CaNN site, which stands either for Classical Anglican Net News or Clergy Against Nabobs of Negativism. I can never remember which is right. Wait, that last one would be Clergy Against Nattering Nabobs of Negativism, which would be CaNNN.

Today’s offerings can be found here. If you want to jump back to digests of previous editions — they are updating the contents every few hours — then you need to start at the home page and scroll way down. It does not appear that they have created an actual Katrina index page for all of the materials that they are collecting.

In terms of truth in theological advertising, be forewarned that this is a niche news site for a pack of quite traditional Anglicans. But right now, they are rounding up all kinds of viewpoints on this hot topic. For example, here is the official post listing the Katrina relief efforts that are recommended for atheists and skeptics. Once again, note the crucial role played by the “P” word:

A Call to Action from American Atheists

“All we have is each other . . .”

AMERICAN ATHEISTS urges all fellow nonbelievers to contribute to the rescue and other humanitarian efforts in the devastating wake of Hurricane Katrina. A number of secular, non-religious aid organizations are active in this relief campaign. They do not incorporate a religious message in their operations, discriminate on the basis of religion, nor do they proselytize to those vulnerable people currently in need.

AMERICAN NATIONAL RED CROSS (Founded by Deist-Unitarian Clara Barton)


NETWORK FOR GOOD (has numerous listings for helping groups, both religious and secular)

HUMANE SOCEITY OF THE UNITED STATES! (Our winged and four-legged friends need help, too!)

* OTHER CHARITIES will be listed as we learn about their legitimate participation in the relief effort. Everyone [contributing] should be aware of scams; unfortunately, not all “charities” are legitimate and have a proven track record. Also, there are “religious” outreaches which do not proselytize as part of their efforts to help others. If you have a suggestion for an established, reputable secular humanitarian group that is worth of our support and would like to see it listed here, contact and we may be able to include it in this list. The list will be found at

I am sure there are denominational relief agencies that are anxious to be included in the non-proselytizing list. I’d like to see that list myself.

On the other side of the aisle, I am waiting — tell me if I have missed one — for a major newspaper to note the excellent job that some very, very conservative believers are doing in dissecting the theological arguments of the “God poured out His wrath” on New Orleans crowd. “Theodicy” is a very tricky business and, as C.S. Lewis liked to say, there really are people who should avoid trying to read and explain adult books.

Meanwhile, let me note that journalists may want to bookmark some of these sites in their browsers. When it comes to tropical storms, we are already up to the letter “O” and North America is still weeks away from the peak of the hurricane season. Sorry to bring that up, but it’s true. And Pat Robertson hasn’t even gotten busy — yet.

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About tmatt

Terry Mattingly directs the Washington Journalism Center at the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities. He writes a weekly column for the Universal Syndicate.

  • Erik Nelson

    I still find it strange that the first group that the American Athiests suggest is the…ahem…Red Cross. I guess Deist-Unitarians are athiests, too?

    I was relieved to see Colson address the theodicy issue. But I still haven’t seen any news outlets pick up on this. I still have hope.

  • Jill

    Half the blogs I read are on CaNN. They do a great job! Thanks for giving them some publicity.

  • Joe

    Christian engineers fail to collectively and intentionally influence their profession, as Christ directed his followers to influence their spheres of influence – in a salt, light, and leaven way. Christ’s cultural commission to his followers, amplifies God basic direction to humanity to steward his Creation (see Gen 1 and 2).

    There are at least 2 presuppositions to Christ’s cultural commission: 1) that institutions of human society would need the preservative, restorative, redeeming influence of Christians, and 2) Christians could be effective in providing it within their spheres of influence, both individually and collectively.

    It was basic design deficiencies in the interior levee system of New Orleans (inability to isolate a leak) that took down New Orleans. The existence and persistence of that basic design deficiency, in my opinion, results, at least in part, from Christian engineers with responsibility for the integrity of the levee system failing to apply their theology to their work.

    So how do we blame God for that?

    The fault, dear Christians, lies not with God, but with ourselves (to paraphrase Cicero).


    Joe Carson, P.E.
    President, Affiliation of Christian Engineers

  • Stephen A.

    Thank GOD the athiests are on board with the relief efforts.