Friday, May 19, 2006
NOLA "Sidewalk Prophet" Declares That Insurance Companies Libel God
Isaiah Telit is on a mission. The familiar "sidewalk prophet" of downtown New Orleans has a placard that is drawing favorable attention: "Allstate, Prudential, State Farm: Katrina was no 'Act of God'."
"God told me that He was tired of the libel and slander," whispered a squinty-eyed Telit. "Katrina, Rita, Ivan the previous year...and all these starched men in white shirts and ties hundreds of miles away call it an 'act of God' on the paperwork. God is tired of taking the blame for human evil. Global warming, fouled-up evac plans, levees never funded, protective wetlands destroyed...yeah, right, you keep blaming God."
"It isn't in the nature of God to sue the insurance companies," continued Telit, "but it is in the nature of God to hold people accountable for evil actions. So I tell you: repent and be saved, beg God's forgiveness for this blasphemy."
A local insurance representative, who wished not to be named, said that the phrase "act of God" was simply a traditional way of referring to natural disasters. "We mean God no offense. And who are you going to believe, a homeless religious nut or the insurance industry?" she said. She paused. "Um, did I mention I just work here?"
Telit said he has been getting positive comments--such as high fives and fist pumping--from NOLA passersby. "Definitely more positive response than 'the end is near' sign I usually hold," he said.
When asked if this message from God reduces evil to a mere problem that can be humanly resolved, Telit laughed wheezily. "I don't think so. I mean, look at FEMA. God help us."