In response to John Piper's September 17th column, I propose a slightly different angle. Whereas Piper is careful to show how inappropriate it is for humans to attempt to hold God accountable, there is yet a more dangerous form of blame occurring in relation to Hurricane Katrina, blaming of government.
Attribution for the scope of the disaster is repeatedly and emphatically cast upon a federal system that did not cause it and was never intended to be a response team to any kind of disaster save international invasion. What has happened in the minds of Americans is that we so much do not believe in God, and we so much have pledged our allegiance to our government, that we no longer blame God for what He alone could have done - or prevented.
Popular concepts of God do not permit us to think that God is in control of natural mechanisms. I brought up the point that few Americans were blaming God rather than government in a newspaper writing class at North Carolina State University where I attend and the consensus response was, "You think God caused Katrina?!?" I am certain that Piper would agree that a recovery of a sense of God's sovereignty is in order.
I expect such a reaction from unbelievers, but the church ought to know better. I am concerned that many in the church will fall into the same mantra of demanding that the government do something, rather than giving God credit for His awesome might, and recognizing their responsibility to that something. After all, what good does it do Him to be God if He can't act like it every now and then, and what good does it do us if we let the world be better salt and light than we are?