A Capuchin friar was recently flying to New Orleans, to give a parish mission there, and was sitting next to someone who was reading the Bible. They got to talking about the terrible effects of Hurricane Katrina and the Bible-quoting man told the Capuchin that Hurricane Katrina was God's punishment for so much sin in "Sin City." The Capuchin asked the other man, "Do you really think God tosses out punishments for sinful behavior?" "Absolutely!" So the friar asked, "What made New Orleans so much more deserving of punishment than any other city?" "All that sin in the French Quarter!" "Well," the friar said, "do you realize that the French Quarter was the one part of New Orleans that was spared and was not flooded? You should read the Bible more carefully."
God will indeed hold us accountable for the bad choices we make, "but You, O Lord, are a compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness." (Psalm 86:15) God is the one who will judge us all, but if our image of God is such that makes us judgmental and harsh in our attitude towards people who make bad choices, how is that harshness consistent with Jesus who associated with sinners? Actually, Jesus was very gentle with people who sinned. The only ones Jesus got really angry with were the ones who didn't think of themselves as sinners and used religion to "put heavy loads upon men's shoulders and not budge a finger to help them." We need to be very careful when thinking about other people's sins.