One Day, Two Disasters in Louisiana

Thursday, April 11, 2024

This morning, I read about two disasters, one natural and one man-made, that happened yesterday in Louisiana.

Debris lines show the extent of the flooding. The faint uppermost line is less than a foot below doorstep level. (Image by the author, copying permitted.)
The former took the form of a nasty storm that not only spawned a tornado that touched down northeast of New Orleans, but also dumped over half a foot of rain within a couple of hours.

Fortunately for us, our neighborhood got just the rain.

We have a very effective drainage system here, but we're on flat land and the rate of rainfall caused enough street flooding to stall out a car that had been driving through. Also, we found ourselves less than a foot away from having water in the house.

The water was gone two hours later, but I have been warned: I was concerned only about the possibility of wind and hail, and was paying attention for tornado warnings.

Flooding is a real possibility I've never really had to think about before, other than for insurance purposes. Now that I see how easily that can occur, I have to give flooding serious thought during hurricane season.

As my mother said after I sent some pictures and video around to the family: Welcome to Louisiana.

The other disaster -- man-made, much more dangerous in the long term, and slower-moving -- comes in the form of theocracy creeping closer at a faster pace in the red part of America these days. Louisiana has moved a step closer to mandating display of the Ten Commandments in public school classrooms, in clear violation of the Establishment Clause of the Constitution:
Louisiana is one step closer to becoming the first state to require that public schools display the Ten Commandments in every classroom under a bill approved Wednesday by the state's House of Representatives.

Following a lengthy debate, lawmakers voted 82-19 in favor of House Bill 71. The bill's author, Rep. Dodie Horton, R-Haughton, said the legislation honors the country's religious origins.

"The Ten Commandments are the basis of all laws in Louisiana, and given all the junk our children are exposed to in classrooms today, it's imperative that we put the Ten Commandments back in a prominent position," she said.
Dodie Horton's name and degree of ignorance sound like an April Fool's joke -- or a minor villain in an Ayn Rand novel. But this is the eleventh and I was reading the news.

Setting those observations aside, even if we grant her fallacious assertion about the basis of American law, has she no historical knowledge whatsoever of the consequences of having government enforce religious teachings -- which are, by nature not debatable?

Even the most religious of the Founders knew that religious power leads to religious persecution, and that it would be foolish to assume that followers of one's own religion would be the ones in power if that were permitted to occur.

There are many other problems with state sponsorship of religion, but this one, obvious to practically anyone who cares to exert a modicum of mental effort, should alarm anyone tempted to cheer about this foolish and thoroughly anti-American development.

Those who would force us to follow what they imagine will be their religion do not know or care about the consequences of their actions, much less about America.

-- CAV

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