Evangelical writer Hal Lindsey has a special place in my heart for reasons that need not concern us here, but I don't see how he can say this:
Well, Hal might be right, but his reasoning is unpersuasive. I'm not sure when in our history we enjoyed such supernatural protection as Lindsey suggests. Were our losses from Katrina, both economic and in terms of human life, unprecedented? Hardly. Every war we've fought from the revolution through the civil war up to the world wars of the twentieth century, Korea, Vietnam, and Iraq have been far costlier certainly in terms of human life and probably in economic terms as well. Numerous natural disasters and epidemics throughout our history have been far more destructive of human life than has Katrina. After all, the death toll from Katrina may not exceed a couple of thousand. It is indeed a devastating economic blow, but even at a cost of 100 billion dollars it's about the annual cost of the war in Iraq.
I'm not arguing that God hasn't blessed this nation. I'm simply saying that it's hard to point to Katrina as evidence that we've entered a unique epoch where He's stopped blessing us and is now punishing us.
Parenthetically, in the same article Lindsey describes the effects of a nuclear explosion in an American city from a terrorist suitcase bomb with the approximate yield of a Hiroshima fission bomb. The Hiroshima bomb was a 13 kiloton (the equivalent of a thousand tons of TNT) airburst over a city made largely of wood. The devastation that Lindsey describes sounds cataclysmic but is highly exaggerated. I might well be wrong, but I'm skeptical that a ground explosion of a 13 kt device in a city made largely of brick and steel would produce the destruction he describes. In fact, I question whether his facts are based upon a 13 kt weapon at all. They sound more like the results of a one megaton (the equivalent of one million tons of TNT) nuclear blast. Of course, it's possible, I suppose, that a suitcase bomb could be produced with such explosive power, but the sources that Google comes up with (See here, for instance) are all pretty much in agreement that any bomb which could fit in even a large trunk would have probable yields of much less than 3 to 5 kt. and probably much less than one kiloton.
This is not to minimize the threat posed by any sized nuclear bomb, since even a small weapon would release a lot of radiation and take a lot of lives, but Lindsey's article makes the effect of such an attack seem far worse than it would probably be.