GREENVILLE, SOUTH CAROLINA
With this year's hurricane season approaching forecasters are bracing for what could be a very active season. And with a new hurricane season comes a new batch of names that are picked for the storms by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO). When hurricanes first began to receive names on an international scale, they were always given women's names until 1978 when men's names began to be used also. Traditionally the names of the hurricanes over the years have reflected the names found in the cultures of the participating members of the WMO, rendering names such as Camille, Georges, Dennis, etc. But if Dr. Bob Jones III, chancellor of Bob Jones University, had his way, that list of names would be expanded.
"If you take a look at the names of hurricanes over the past 50 years, there's something strikingly obvious," said Jones. "Sure, we see names like Camille, Katrina and Rita, all fine names, but I have yet to see a hurricane given a truly deep Biblical name, and I think it's time for that to change. America is a Christian nation, founded on Christian principles, and I think it only fair that the names we give major destructive forces reflect that."
Jones has recently voiced his opinion openly on a number of radio and television programs, but Thursday made a formal written appeal to the WMO encouraging its members to "not to forget the Christians" when they think of names for the violent storms. As Jones' letter states;
It is important for you members to not forget the Christians who founded this nation. I feel that what we stand for as believers has been grossly overlooked by your organization when naming hurricanes, and I encourage you wholeheartedly to consider us. Nothing would please me more than for people's hearts and minds to think of Christianity when a major storm strikes our country.
Jones went on to further suggest some possible names.
Names such as Abel, Seth or Cain would all be very appropriate. And below you will find some more names that I would suggest:
Abijam (which means father of the sea by the way)
Jones hopes that his letter will be considered and that by next year storms will be referred to in 'more Biblical terms.'
"It would please me greatly to turn on my TV next hurricane season and see a big category 5 storm named 'Hoglah' headed straight for our coasts," said Jones. "I can only hope that the WMO has the good sense to adopt my requests."