People who have near death experiences all talk about a peaceful, euphoric , bright light enveloping them. From the moment we are conceived, we are moving towards that light. This is my heels diggin' in, I don't wanna' go, reluctant journey, into the light. Stephen

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

A Straightforward Simple Question.

Haiti was just hit with the big one.  I heard a little bit on the radio coming home from grocery shopping and then clicked on the tube while unloading and stowing.  There were alot of audio reports from people on the ground there.  After listening for a few minutes, I was struck by something.  Most of the people reporting from Haiti were from Christian charities, relief organizations, missionaries and such. Christians.  On the ground, in the poorest, most destitute country in the Western Hemisphere. No reports from any atheist charity workers.  No reports from any Wiccan charities.  No reports from any Pagan charities.  It got me thinking. Why are most of the selfless givers in the world Christians?

While far from being a pillar of the local Christian community in my little burg, I am a Christian.  In all it's permutations, Catholic, Methodist, Anglican, Nazarene, Baptist, Assembly of God, etc., charity for the least among others is a common thread.  To me that quality stands in stark contrast to the narcissim of atheism, or the jihadism of Islam.  When we hear of an Islamic charity,  it' usually a front for a fund-raising or fund -channelling shadow group advocating terrorism.  I know one thing for sure, they ain't in Haiti. 

A couple thoughts:   These Christian groups are on the ground sacrificing, giving themselves for others, 365 days a year.  It makes me proud to be a Christian.  But, in my little world, too often I don't step back and look at the plight of mankind as being universal.  I just spent $171.52 at the grocery store and whipped up a nice dinner.  I'm sitting in an electrified home with running water.  My cat, The Little Bitch, is living better than the folks in Haiti right now.  And those folks include the Christian missionaries and charities. 

I've been pouting alot lately about the economic downturn, corrupt politicians, how bad my business is going, woe is me. Actually, I'm a lucky sonofabitch.  Lucky my little tin shelter didn't just disappear along with the lives of many of my countrymen.  I'm lucky to be sitting here with a full belly playing on this computer.  I'm lucky that God gave me a conscience.  We are all lucky to be part of this big bloggity community.

It would feel pretty good to get involved with something to help the situation down there.  Any ideas?


Marla said...

Gosh. I posted this exact same entry (well not really exact) this afternoon. I can't believe how much I take for granted. We are so blessed just to have clean water... much less all the other crap we've got.

You made some very good points about Christianity. I'm a proud Christian as well and so thankful that we have missionaries who put themselves out there.

Stephen said...


virgil xenophon said...

And Stephen, note how the very crowd (you can guess who I mean--doesn't take a PhD in Poly-Sci) that proudly boasts of their love for the "little"/"fellow" man and the downtrodden the world over is the very same crowd that demeans practicing Christians in every way possible every chance they get--whether by personal commentary, in the way they are treated/depicted on TV and in the movies and in current literature. I can't begin to list the number of church groups which sent help in the form of manpower, food and materials to New Orleans--and CONTINUE to do so unto this day in many cases--most of which get ZERO national recognition except in the N.O and their own hometown press.

Yet we see this never-ending drum-beat of disparagement of Christians in the current over-all culture--be it the attacks on Christmas or whatever--especially by many of the "in-crowd" oh-so-sophisticated Hollywood types. Oh, a few like Sean Penn cruise into places like N.O. for their photo op., but precious few have any staying power, or evince financial commitment past the initial (truly heartfelt to be sure) outpouring of TV specials to raise money. But the only organizations with the true staying power and direct on-the-scene personal involvement are the Christian groups comprised of people most Hollywood types or lefty intellectuals wouldn't give the time of day--even as those same people they so heartily despise and disdain are busily trying to provide aid and comfort to the very people liberals claim to love so much.

Stephen said...

Virg, It disgusts me. Sometimes I think that Christian philanthropists need to toot their own horn a little more. I know it goes against humility, but damnit! Somebody has to shout the truth.

And then, Pat Robertson comes along and gives the enemy more ammo. I believe he is a man of god. But, discretion for the greater good is not a far fetched idea. Sometimes, wannabe quick-draw experts end up with .45 diameter holes in their boots.

virgil xenophon said...

Stephen, on then Pat Robertson thing, you might want to head on over to "Ghost of a Flea" @

and scroll down to the 14 Jan heading. Read all plus links and tell me what you think. (Today's post is good also.)

PS: The Flea is a great sight--unique mix of art, hist,music, culture & politics.

Stephen said...

Virg, Thanks for the tip. I can tell you right now after reading just that one post and perusing my way down to it, I'm going to be spending some time over there. But right now I'm gonna do a little changin' on this site.

Overflowing Brain said...


I read the link, and I actually knew about that. The issue I have is that a) I don't think that God is actually punishing the grand and great grandchildren of people who sought the help of a voodoo master for their revolution or that b) Pat Robertson needed to say that right after such a disaster. It just wasn't the time.

Now, before I go, I have to say, I lived in New Orleans in the 3 years after Katrina. There are a huge number of Christian charities that went and helped there and we were very grateful for them, but they were not the only ones involved in the aftermath of Katrina.

There were many secular charities, groups and organizations that were involved at all stages of the Katrina recovery. It's not to minimize the Christian groups' work, but I think that you have to give credit where it's due and it would be wrong to think that the only people involved in Katrina aid were Christian.

I don't want to minimize what Christian groups are doing, I just want to make sure that it's understood that they're not the only ones there helping.

Stephen said...

Katie, I agree. I definitely don't condone Pat Robertson popping off. Statements like his muddy the usually clear running waters of charity and hope that the vast majority of Christian outreach programs provide the least among others.

Virgil touched on another aspect of it that irritates me. So many "right thinking" people, (politicians, celebrities, etc.) are constantly condemning Christianity usually in the glare of a narcicisstic spotlight. I think it just deserves pointing out that both before and after governments and self promoters pitch in, the vast majority of outreach around the world is Christian based. In it for the long haul.

As Pat Robertson illustrates so well, no matter if you are right or wrong, sometimes you should just keep your mouth shut.