Religious conservatives claim Katrina was God's omen, punishment for the United States

In the wake of Hurricane Katrina, some religious conservatives have speculated that the storm was sent by God as an omen or as a punishment for America's alleged sins. Media Matters for America has documented such statements from three religious conservative media figures: Pat Robertson, Hal Lindsey, and Charles Colson.

Pat Robertson: Katrina linked to legalized abortion

On the September 12 broadcast of the Christian Broadcasting Network's The 700 Club, host Rev. Pat Robertson, founder of the Christian Coalition of America and a former Republican presidential candidate, linked Hurricane Katrina and terrorist attacks to legalized abortion:

ROBERTSON: You know, it's just amazing, though, that people say the litmus test for [Supreme Court nominee John G.] Roberts [Jr.] is whether or not he supports the wholesale slaughter of unborn children. We have killed over 40 million unborn babies in America. I was reading, yesterday, a book that was very interesting about what God has to say in the Old Testament about those who shed innocent blood. And he used the term that those who do this, “the land will vomit you out.” That -- you look at your -- you look at the book of Leviticus and see what it says there. And this author of this said, “well 'vomit out' means you are not able to defend yourself.” But have we found we are unable somehow to defend ourselves against some of the attacks that are coming against us, either by terrorists or now by natural disaster? Could they be connected in some way? And he goes down the list of the things that God says will cause a nation to lose its possession, and to be vomited out. And the amazing thing is, a judge has now got to say, “I will support the wholesale slaughter of innocent children” in order to get confirmed to the bench. And I am sure Judge Roberts is not going to say any such thing. But nevertheless, that's the litmus test that's being put on, the very thing that could endanger our nation. And it's very interesting. Read the bible, read Leviticus, see what it says there.

On the September 1 broadcast of The 700 Club, Robertson also claimed that, in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, Roberts can “be thankful that a tragedy has brought him some good,” inasmuch as Democratic senators may be less likely to question him aggressively.

According to Robertson's website, The 700 Club “reaches an average of one million American viewers daily.” But according to a Los Angeles Times report, The 700 Club “has drawn an average of 863,000 viewers a day during the 2004-2005 television season, Nielsen Media Research said.”

Hal Lindsey: Katrina proof that “judgment of America has begun”

On the September 9 broadcast of the Trinity Broadcasting Network's International Intelligence Briefing, host Hal Lindsey stated:

LINDSEY: It seems clear that the prophetic times I have been expecting for decades have finally arrived. And even worse, it appears that the judgment of America has begun. I warn continually that the last days lineup of world powers does not include anything resembling the United States of America. Instead, a revived Roman Empire in Europe is to rule the West, and then the world.

Based in Santa Ana, California, and owned by Jan and Paul Crouch, TBN is the world's largest Christian television network. TBN's website claims its programming is carried by more than 5,000 stations around the world. Lindsey also writes a weekly column for the conservative website and is the author of several books on Biblical prophecy, including The Late Great Planet Earth.

Charles Colson: God allowed Katrina to happen to bring attention to lack of preparation for terrorist attack

On the September 12 broadcast of his BreakPoint radio program, former Nixon special counsel-turned-Christian radio commentator Charles Colson speculated that God allowed Hurricane Katrina as a reminder to the United States of the importance of winning the “war on terror”:

COLSON: [O]ne lesson I learned from Katrina is that we had better win the war on terror and resolve to prevent another 9-11. Katrina exposed how easy it would be to take a city out.

[... ]

COLSON: Katrina gave us a preview of what America would look like if we fail to fight the war on terror. "Did God have anything to do with Katrina?," people ask. My answer is, he allowed it and perhaps he allowed it to get our attention so that we don't delude ourselves into thinking that all we have to do is put things back the way they were and life will be normal again.

According to the program's website, BreakPoint “airs each weekday on over 1,000 outlets with an estimated listening audience of 1 million people.” Colson also writes a column for Christianity Today and another for his own BreakPoint Online website that is also carried by