Thursday, January 13, 2005

Moral Theology Vs. The Tsunami III

In my previous post on the subject, I pointed out that the religious Right was surprisingly quiet about the Tsunami and any relief that they might be arranging for the victims. Turns, out there's a pretty good reason for some of these groups to not go bragging about their ideas for Tsunami relief. From WaPo (via Mustang Bobby and AmericaBlog):

A Virginia-based missionary group said this week that it has airlifted 300 "tsunami orphans" from the Muslim province of Banda Aceh to Jakarta, the Indonesian capital, where it plans to raise them in a Christian children's home.

The missionary group, WorldHelp, is one of dozens of Christian, Muslim and Jewish charities providing humanitarian relief to victims of the Dec. 26 earthquake and tsunami that devastated countries around the Indian Ocean, taking more than 150,000 lives.

Most of the religious charities do not attach any conditions to their aid, and many of the larger ones -- such as WorldVision, Catholic Relief Services and Church World Service -- have policies against proselytizing. But a few of the smaller groups have been raising money among evangelical Christians by presenting the tsunami emergency effort as a rare opportunity to make converts in hard-to-reach areas.

"Normally, Banda Aceh is closed to foreigners and closed to the gospel. But, because of this catastrophe, our partners there are earning the right to be heard and providing entrance for the gospel," WorldHelp said in an appeal for funds on its Web site this week.

The appeal said WorldHelp was working with native-born Christians in Indonesia who want to "plant Christian principles as early as possible" in the 300 Muslim children, all younger than 12, who lost their parents in the tsunami.

Back when I was in high school, there was an incident in Va Beach where a Baptist Church sponsored a youth group outing for inner city kids. It sounded like a good idea-- get kids off the street and let them play video games or checkers for a few hours so maybe they wouldn't turn to gangs. Then it was discovered that the church in question was driving into downtown, picking up the kids and taking them to be baptized. If any of the kids objected, they dropped them off and told them to walk home.

The problem here is the walk back to Jakarta is a lot further than the walk from the suburbs back to the hood.

If your faith compels you to help the needy, that's great. Reason should be enough to realize that these people, and others who are not as fortunate need our help but if you require that little extra push from the invisible man in the sky, fine. And hay, if you happen to strike up a religious discussion with an impressionable, scared, young Muslim kid while you're over there handing out bowls of rice and wrapping bandages, that's between you and them. But kidnapping kids and moving them half way around the world, brainwashing them into thinking that safety and sustenance is proportionate to how much you believe in some bullshit book of fairy stories, just to win points with some dead street preacher in your imaginary afterlife, well, that's just fucking evil.

And they wonder why the Muslim world hates us so God damned much that they'll hijack planes and use them as missiles with human warheads.


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