Another dubious theory on causation of hurricanes

Eammon McCann may be an expert in the cannon law of the Catholic church, but he’s no great fan of that or any other religion. This tongue-in-cheek consideration of Councillor Mills’ rather unscientific reference to Hurricane Katrina last week is from his column in the Derry Journal.

Update: the story is beginning to break online in the US.

Update to the update: Eamon apologises for inaccuracies in the quotation above.By Eammon McCann

The Mills of God grind slow, but they grind exceeding stupid.

That’s Ballymena DUP councillor Maurice Mills, who has lashed out at the media for failing to report that Hurricane Katrina struck New Orleans just two days prior a scheduled gay festival called Southern Decadence. “Surely this is a warning to nations where such wickedness is increasingly promoted and practised,” suggested the councillor.

Southern Decadence has been a feature of New Orleans life for 35 years. One wonders why God waited so long before zapping the neighbourhood with his wrath. Maybe His patience just finally snapped.

That’s the view of the man who appears to have inspired the Ballymena councillor. Michael Marcavage, director of Repent America, explained within days of Katrina that, “New Orleans lived too long in a fool’s paradise. Southern Decadence fills the French Quarter of the city with drunken homosexuals engaging in sex acts in the public streets and bars. Hurricane Katrina has at last put an end to this annual celebration of sin.

“May this act of God bring us trembling before the throne of the Almighty.”

I am surprised that the Mills/Marcavage theory still retains currency, given that just last year I personally played a role in proving that the best way of preserving any city from the ravages of hurricanes is to boost the proportion of lesbians living in the area.

I’d chanced on a website which had quantified the correlation between the frequency of hurricanes and the incidence of gay sex. Researchers had taken the weather data from the US meteorological service; then inferred levels of gay sex from the numbers of gay bookshops, clubs and societies listed in the locality; and compared the one set of statistics with the other.

The main finding was that the greater the amount of gay sex in a State, the less likely the State was to be hit by killer weather phenomena. I took the research a small step further by refining the statistical comparison so as to focus on the effect of male as opposed to female gay sexual activity. I was then able to reveal that lesbians appeared to provide even greater protection than gay men.

Thus it was that I was able to demonstrate that South Carolina could save itself from an average of one hurricane a year by attracting five thousand extra, active lesbians.

Perhaps the number of lesbians living in an area should be taken into account when calculating house prices? “Great neighbourhood, prestigious schools, 10 minutes from city centre, protected by dykes.”

I leave that thought with you.

In the meantime, is there not something scary about believing in a God who’d visit such terrible suffering on the beings He’s supposed to hold in infinite love? Particularly when hurricanes, earthquakes and the like don’t discriminate between the righteous and the wrong-doers.

How does that old hymn go again?

The hurricane and earthquake,
Relentless burning sun,
The floodings and the famines,
He caused them, every one.

First published in the Derry Journal

Mick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics and the wider media and is a regular guest and speaking events across Ireland, the UK and Europe. Twitter: @MickFealty