Don Feder on Katrina

One of my favorite nutballs, Don Feder, has now chimed in with his divine conspiracy theory of Katrina and he's firmly on the side of the Christian whackos and the Jewish whackos. Katrina, you see, was God's punishment for sodomy and for Israel pulling out of Gaza. He lists all of those "coincidences" between the pullout from Gaza and the hurricane aftermath in New Orleans that were cited in the Worldnutdaily last week, including mystical numerology:

Numerology is important in traditional Judaism. Each Hebrew letter is assigned a number value. Many scholars believe the Bible has hidden codes that can be unlocked by this device. Written in Hebrew, Katrina has a numerical equivalent of 374. There are two relevant passages that share this number -- "They did unto thee evil" (Genesis, 50:17) and "The sea upon land" (Exodus 14:15).

Wow, this is really easy. You just look for any sequence of hebrew letters that have a numerical equivalent of 374 and if you find any of them that say anything even remotely related to death or evil or water - voila! - you have a compelling "coincidence". Of course, they only list the "relevant" passages, out of what is certainly thousands of passages that add up to 374. It would be astonishing if, out of 1000 random passages in the bible, you didn't find many that contained something that could be related to water or evil or death. And naturally, they leave out the vital context. Genesis 50:17 is not about evil, it's about forgiving those that do evil against you. Here is the larger context:

12. And his sons did unto him according as he commanded them: 13. For his sons carried him into the land of Canaan, and buried him in the cave of the field of Machpelah, which Abraham bought with the field for a possession of a buryingplace of Ephron the Hittite, before Mamre. 14. And Joseph returned into Egypt, he, and his brethren, and all that went up with him to bury his father, after he had buried his father. 15. And when Joseph's brethren saw that their father was dead, they said, Joseph will peradventure hate us, and will certainly requite us all the evil which we did unto him. 16. And they sent a messenger unto Joseph, saying, Thy father did command before he died, saying, 17. So shall ye say unto Joseph, Forgive, I pray thee now, the trespass of thy brethren, and their sin; for they did unto thee evil: and now, we pray thee, forgive the trespass of the servants of the God of thy father. And Joseph wept when they spake unto him. 18. And his brethren also went and fell down before his face; and they said, Behold, we [be] thy servants. 19. And Joseph said unto them, Fear not: for [am] I in the place of God? 20. But as for you, ye thought evil against me; [but] God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as [it is] this day, to save much people alive. 21. Now therefore fear ye not: I will nourish you, and your little ones. And he comforted them, and spake kindly unto them.

Kinda difficult to use a passage about the importance of forgiving those who do evil things toward you as a reference to divine retribution, but hey, we'll just leave out the context and no one will notice, right? As for the other biblical reference, Exodus 14:15 says nothing about the sea on land. It says, "And the Lord said unto Moses, Wherefore criest thou unto me? speak unto the children of Israel, that they go forward." But in the larger context, one sees that this is actually the story of Moses parting the red sea so the Israelites could escape from Egypt. Unless one is going to suggest that the poor people of New Orleans are somehow equivalent to the armies of the Pharaoh, this verse isn't going to get you very far either. But Feder isn't done amusing us quite yet:

Katrina hit New Orleans days before the scheduled Southern Decadence - an annual orgy celebrating alternative death-styles, characterized by nudity and public copulation. New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin, welcomed the freak-fest with the following proclamation: "There is no place like this on Earth! Southern Decadence XXXII is an exciting event. We welcome you and know that you can anticipate great food, great music and great times in New Orleans." Not to mention great sodomy.

One really has to wonder how Feder knows that Southern Decadence will feature great sodomy. Perhaps it really only has mediocre sodomy. Or maybe sodomy is like pizza; even bad sodomy is still good.

If you're looking for passage from the Bible that seems to forecast 9/11 -- 3,300 year before planes hit the World Trade Center -- try Deuteronomy, 28:49. Here, God tells the Israelites what will befall them if they abandon His ways. "The Lord will bring a nation against thee from far, as the vulture swoopeth down (like a bird of prey descending on its target) ... a nation whose tongue thou shalt not understand (how many Americans know Arabic?): a nation of fierce countenance, that shalt not regard the person of the old, nor show favor to the young (jihad makes no age or gender distinctions, nor does it distinguish between soldiers and non-combatants) .... And he shall besiege thee in all thy gates, until thy high and fortified walls (The World Trade Center? The Pentagon?), come down, wherein thou didst trust." Would you like God to buy time on a telecast of Monday night football to transmit His message?

Wow. Is Feder really suggesting that the Lord has brought a nation against us from afar? That God himself is behind the actions of Bin Laden? Well that's funny, because that's exactly what Bin Laden says. I guess that means that Feder endorses the Muslim whacko theory of Katrina too. I wonder if there's a HIndu whacko theory of Katrina?

I've said it before, but I think these whackos should start their own weather channel. Let's see if they're as accurate in predicting as they are in explaining. I want a weather forecast on the 700 Club based on measures of sin as predictors of God's wrath:

Sodomy is up 14% in the midwest this month. Expect tornadoes.

There's a Planned Parenthood office opening in Kansas City. 40% chance of locusts.

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Wow, these people make non-sequiturs into an art form.

Y'know, if the weather guys had given the hurricane a different name, this nutjob would be quoting different Bible passages. Nice to know our weather service has so much influence over wacky religious thought-processes...I guess...

So what's next? Do the guys who try to predict the weather get to predict when the world will end? I guess thay'd have a better track record than Hal Lindsey...

"Would you like God to buy time on a telecast of Monday night football to transmit His message?" I wonder what kind of sign God will be sending if the Saints beat the Falcons on Monday nite football on December 12th.

Thanks Ed, for the best laugh I've had today. "Whacko" and "nutball" are way way too kind. Is this guy actually walking around loose among us?

If you are reading this Don, all I have to say to you is 4 56 7 89 54 3!

Feder used to be a columnist with the Boston Herald, a tabloid that is currently pretty much on its last legs. I don't know when they got rid of him, but he was widely considered to have been a wacko.

Point of grammatical order: "Wacko" derives from "wacky" which basically means "crazy. "Whacko" derives from "whack" which means "to hit." There's a difference, and the misuse actually does grate on me.

You gotta admit that Feder, if nothing else, provides for good comedic material. What's really frightening about him isn't that he's a wackjob - it's that he's actually progressing in his levels of wackjobbery.

By Chris Krolczyk (not verified) on 16 Sep 2005 #permalink

As one New Orleans resident tartly noted, the hurricane & floods left the neighborhoods with large gay populations mostly intact--leading him to conclude that "either the hurricane was a random act of natural violence, or your god has really lousy aim."

Incidentally, that Deuteronomy passage has, over the past few millenia, been alternatively interpreted as referring to the Assyrians, the Babylonians, the Greeks, and the Romans. It mostly sounds like what happened when Babylon invaded Judea in 587, and the fact that much of the Bible was put together in the aftermath of the Babylonian exile, this would make sense textually. On the other hand, if one really wanted to try to make a big, prophetic, wingnut like prophecy that's a more accurate supernatural explanation, the high walls crumbling down does sound eerily reminiscient of Masada.

I guess my point is that this guy is reaching so desperately for his justification that there are interpretations that make more sense, even in a supernatural, wingnut type of way, than his.


There is nothing surprising in any of those details. The only thing surprising is that there are people deluded enough to believe that crap.