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Sending Bibles to Haiti (split from Daily News Thread)
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Robo
Formerly Roboman, still
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2010-01-20, 18:16

If my home was ever obliterated by a massive earthquake and I was left without food, water or shelter, I know exactly what I'd ask for. Six hundred solar-powered electronic talking bibles!

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Frank777
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2010-01-21, 02:01

Typical. Have you ever been on a relief effort?
Bibles are often one of the most requested items after a humanitarian disaster.

In a country with the poverty and literacy levels of Haiti, those audio Bibles will be all snapped up on the first day.
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Capella
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2010-01-21, 02:11

But why? Wouldn't you rather food, water, meds, shelter, bedding?
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turtle
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2010-01-21, 02:23

Spiritual stability is paramount in situations like those. That same reasoning is why those who are anti-religion (used loosely) call religious beliefs a crutch. That stable force when all else is shattered help you to cope with all that's happening around you.

Louis L'Amour, “To make democracy work, we must be a notion of participants, not simply observers. One who does not vote has no right to complain.”
MineCraft? mc.applenova.com | Visit us! | Maybe someday I'll proof read, until then deal with it.
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Frank777
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2010-01-21, 02:28

Quote:
Originally Posted by Capella View Post
But why? Wouldn't you rather food, water, meds, shelter, bedding?
You speak (or type) as those are all mutually exclusive.
The Red Cross isn't diverting resources to go pick up audio bibles. I'd be willing to bet that even the Salvation Army isn't either.

This is what Faith Comes By Hearing does. I've heard of them before (shipping the same unites to soldiers posted abroad.)

They are simply fulfilling a need based on their particular expertise. And the need is there.

Of course food and water are critically important. Meds are paramount, especially when reports are saying that Civil War type hospitals are now performing amputations without sedations.

But do not discount the need for this. There is a reason Christian groups take books like Philip Yancey's Where is God When It Hurts? in their kits with them when they respond to a disaster. With everything gone and many left without homes or loved ones, the biggest weapon against mass suicides is hope.


Edit: Apparently, I type slower than a Turtle.
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scratt
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2010-01-21, 02:48

I'm with Capella and Roboman on this. From my POV they might as well be taking them iPods.
Anyone in that situation would obviously take a bottle of water over a bible (or iPod) if given the choice, 100% of the time. (Perhaps at least with the iPod they might be able to get a case of water on the black market!)
I would not want to waste a square millimetre of space on an aid convoy, or a second of time handing out stuff with anything like that. Let them send Bibles next week if they really must have them. But not now.

If they truly have faith then they don't need a book. If their faith is so dependant on a physical item then there is a problem with it. And I can't believe that anyone who so desperately wants a bible would not at least be able to remember some of it for themselves in the meantime.

To me this is yet another of the insidious ways that religion tries to spread itself. It's just in these kinds of situations that Christianity in the past and Islam right now gets a foothold, or tires to reconsolidate it, for *all the wrong reasons* IMO.
The sooner it (i.e. Religion) is stamped out of existence the better. Sorry, just my opinion.

Just for the record, remember that I was here in Thailand during the Tsunami. Perhaps it's a function of the different style of religion here, but bibles were certainly not something that was requested. Instead monks stripped off and got involved helping. Now that's what religion should be about.

'Remember, measure life by the moments that take your breath away, not by how many breaths you take'
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Last edited by scratt : 2010-01-21 at 02:59.
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Frank777
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2010-01-21, 02:53

Quote:
Originally Posted by scratt View Post
I'm with Capella on this. From my POV they might as well be taking them iPods.
Anyone in that situation would obviously take a bottle of water over a bible (or iPod) if given the choice, 100% of the time. (Perhaps at least with the iPod they might be able to get a case of water on the black market!)
I would not want to waste a square millimetre of space on an aid convoy, or a second of time handing out stuff with anything like that. Let them send Bibles next week if they really must have them. But not now.

To me this is yet another of the insidious ways that religion tries to spread itself.
The sooner it (i.e. Religion) is stamped out of existence the better. Sorry, just my opinion.
Again with the mutually exclusive scenario. I guess you guys haven't spent any time handing out care packages.

By the way, when the survivors finish receiving medical treatment and their latest meal, what is it you think their minds are dwelling on?
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scratt
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2010-01-21, 03:02

Like I said (admittedly in an edit) I have actually participated in a few of these things.

I would expect their mind to be on family and friends, and then trying to secure their future. Sticking your nose in a bible does none of that.

And my point is that none of them are at that stage now. So get with the God Stuff next week please.

'Remember, measure life by the moments that take your breath away, not by how many breaths you take'
Extreme Sports Cafe | ESC's blog | scratt's blog | @thescratt
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eventhorizon
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2010-01-21, 03:50

Or just keep the god stuff...maybe send something educational and functional for this existence here on Earth instead.
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chucker
 
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2010-01-21, 04:51

Quote:
Originally Posted by scratt View Post
I'm with Capella and Roboman on this. From my POV they might as well be taking them iPods.
Anyone in that situation would obviously take a bottle of water over a bible (or iPod) if given the choice, 100% of the time.
I'll have to go with Frank777 on this — false dichotomy. And yes, I will in fact argue that giving them entertainment wouldn't be a bad thing. If you're in a disastrous situation, wouldn't you want to have temporary joy? Wouldn't you want a slight glimmer of hope that some day there'll be more to your life than searching for shelter and food?

Would you also argue they shouldn't get condoms because the shouldn't be having sex in the first place? Would you not support Child's Play because instead of giving kids in hospitals toys, one should give them medicine and nothing but, so they can focus on getting healthy? Of course not, because these situations just don't drastically improve from one day to another, and directly helping them doesn't require not making them happy.

Quote:
Just for the record, remember that I was here in Thailand during the Tsunami. Perhaps it's a function of the different style of religion here, but bibles were certainly not something that was requested. Instead monks stripped off and got involved helping. Now that's what religion should be about.
Agreed, but giving them a(n arguably insidious, misleading, abused) book doesn't imply not supporting them in other forms as well.
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scratt
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2010-01-21, 05:04

No I'd quite simply argue that even one bible taking up the space that one bottle of water could is f*&%ing immoral.

(And I'd point every thirsty person your way and have you do a little song and dance to alleviate their "entertainment needs" in this time of crisis. )

'Remember, measure life by the moments that take your breath away, not by how many breaths you take'
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eventhorizon
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2010-01-21, 05:21

As much as I vehemently disagree with sending bibles (and I really really really abhor the notion), what if after filling up the truck with all available supplies for whatever current trip, there's still space? Obviously, more supplies to fully fill the truck should have been on hand, but assuming you don't want to delay the delivery until more supplies are acquired...

I still say sending bibles in that case is immoral. Taking advantage of people at their lowest lows to convert them to your way of thought is disgusting. But just curious about your take on that scratt.
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curiousuburb
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2010-01-21, 05:22

And here I was thinking Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs started with food and shelter...

Maybe the military can clear off looters with Jesus rifles to spread some 5.56mm blessings around until we get to level 3.
Or maybe we could drop Pat Robertson. Oh wait...

All those who believe in telekinesis, raise my hand.
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scratt
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2010-01-21, 05:23

Bearing in mind that the entire point is that there are not enough supplies because they can't get into the airport, or simply have not got there yet, I'd ask how the fsck did the Bibles get there.. and why wasn't the other stuff sent on those planes or in those particular boxes....

'Remember, measure life by the moments that take your breath away, not by how many breaths you take'
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scratt
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2010-01-21, 05:27

Don't get me wrong.. I am just as pissed that plane space and personnel's time was obviously taken up by Hilary Clinton and that most hopeless of hopeless Ban Ki Moon. They should have sent food instead of them also IMO.

Food would probably have had more intelligent things to say as well.

I also noted that they had a "little ceremony" for UN staff killed *before* they got to work on actually touring the devastation to spout platitudes. Wonderful stuff! I know if I was dead and my work was about helping that country I'd rather they stuck my body in the piles in the street and carried on my work. But no, much better to get some pretty pictures for the next election campaign / nobel piece prize campaign.

'Remember, measure life by the moments that take your breath away, not by how many breaths you take'
Extreme Sports Cafe | ESC's blog | scratt's blog | @thescratt
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eventhorizon
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2010-01-21, 05:32

Quote:
Originally Posted by scratt View Post
Bearing in mind that the entire point is that there are not enough supplies because they can't get into the airport, or simply have not got there yet, I'd ask how the fsck did the Bibles get there.. and why wasn't the other stuff sent on those planes or in those particular boxes....
Touché. Instead of ordering a palette of bibles, an extra palette of legitimate supplies should have been ordered instead.
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chucker
 
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2010-01-21, 05:38

Quote:
Originally Posted by eventhorizon View Post
Touché. Instead of ordering a palette of bibles, an extra palette of legitimate supplies should have been ordered instead.
I think we can all agree on that.
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eventhorizon
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2010-01-21, 05:56

If only that were the truth. There are many who would disagree, and a few who have posted in this thread already. This is clearly evidenced from the fact that bibles have actually arrived in Haiti. What was that word for claiming to be altruistic but really having selfish motivations and lacking the balls to ever admit it? I can think of a few but they might get me in trouble.
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Iago
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2010-01-21, 06:13

Quote:
Originally Posted by scratt View Post
Food would probably have had more intelligent things to say as well.
Quote:
Originally Posted by eventhorizon View Post
Touché. Instead of ordering a palette of bibles, an extra palette of legitimate supplies should have been ordered instead.
Exactly. The food OR bibles thing is a false dichotomy as Chucker says, but it doesn't even have to be that bleak of a choice to see that there are far more important things to be taking up valuable space on a plane. There's a finite amount of space on Haiti. Some of it is being wasted by audiobook Bibles and Scientology e-meters. Oh, and at least food and water don't contain passages suggesting that natural disasters are the wrath of god

PZ Myers summed it up pretty well:

Quote:
Originally Posted by PZ Myers
Poor Haiti. First the earthquake, and now the cult vultures are descending on them. It's not just talking bibles: now the scientologists are coming.

Seriously, people. When a region suffers a disaster and the infrastructure is falling down in ruins and people need real help now, when the pipeline is limited and access is difficult, send in the experts (doctors and engineers, for instance) and immediately useful aid (medicine, food, drinking water), and all the peddlers of frivolous non-essentials should just stay out of the way. A box of e-meters is taking up space better spent on a box of antibiotics; a scientology auditor is displacing a doctor.
Gotta love that Gawker headline: John Travolta to Airlift Desperately Needed E-Meters to People of Haiti.

I'm Joseph Fritzl, and no windows was my idea.
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Kickaha
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2010-01-21, 11:04

Quote:
Originally Posted by eventhorizon View Post
If only that were the truth. There are many who would disagree, and a few who have posted in this thread already. This is clearly evidenced from the fact that bibles have actually arrived in Haiti. What was that word for claiming to be altruistic but really having selfish motivations and lacking the balls to ever admit it? I can think of a few but they might get me in trouble.
Hypocrite?
Bastard?
YoubetterhopeyourGodisn'thowyousayheisoryourefucke dforeternitybuddy?
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Frank777
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2010-01-21, 11:26

Quote:
Originally Posted by eventhorizon View Post
I still say sending bibles in that case is immoral. Taking advantage of people at their lowest lows to convert them to your way of thought is disgusting.
Apparently, you've failed to consider the notion that there is a thriving Christian community in Haiti, who would likely be the ones requesting Bibles. And most countries have a Bible Society, which would be charged with distributing Bibles through whatever channels they have that still exist. I cannot say I'm 100% certain, but it's extremely unlikely that anyone is being pulled off humanitarian service to distribute Bibles nationally.

At this point, the airport is still backed up but land and sea routes are in use. Many Christian groups have long worked in Haiti and are using helicopters, ships and small planes to bypass the main airport traffic situation.


With regard to Scientology, I personally think that Travolta flight is mainly PR. Even in the best of times, Haitians can't afford Scientology.
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Kickaha
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2010-01-21, 11:38

Quote:
Originally Posted by Frank777 View Post
Apparently, you've failed to consider the notion that there is a thriving Christian community in Haiti, who would likely be the ones requesting Bibles.
Yes, I'm sure they're much more concerned with getting Bibles than, oh, food, water, medicines... Sorry, don't buy it for a moment.

Quote:
And most countries have a Bible Society, which would be charged with distributing Bibles through whatever channels they have that still exist. I cannot say I'm 100% certain, but it's extremely unlikely that anyone is being pulled off humanitarian service to distribute Bibles nationally.

At this point, the airport is still backed up but land and sea routes are in use. Many Christian groups have long worked in Haiti and are using helicopters, ships and small planes to bypass the main airport traffic situation.
So why aren't they ferrying food, water, and medical supplies instead?

Oh right. Because those aren't as important as establishing a mental beachhead when people are vulnerable and desperate to cling to anything. Gotta move while the opportunity is hot, y'know.

I mean, yeah, it's their equipment and personnel to do with as they please, but I think situations like this really expose people's true priorities, regardless of their *stated* ones.

Quote:
With regard to Scientology, I personally think that Travolta flight is mainly PR.
And that differs from the Bibles... how, exactly?

My other brain is hung like a horse too.
#IRC isn't old school.
Old school is being able to say 'finger me' with a straight face.

Last edited by Kickaha : 2010-01-21 at 11:55.
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Frank777
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2010-01-21, 11:55

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kickaha View Post
So why aren't they ferrying food, water, and medical supplies instead?

Oh right. Because those aren't as important as establishing a mental beachhead when people are vulnerable and desperate to cling to anything. Gotta move while the opportunity is hot, y'know.
As I've mentioned in other threads, the Christian response to the Haiti earthquake (as in most large natural disasters) will likely register as one of the major interventions to the disaster short of the U.S. government response (because soldiers are crazy expensive.)

There must be hundreds of Christian groups operating in Haiti right now, though the biggies for disaster aid will be Samaritan's Purse, World Vision, the Salvation Army, Operation Blessing and the corresponding Baptist, Lutheran, and Christian Reformed disaster committees (the various names escape me right now.)

So it's not the case that they aren't ferrying the needed supplies, but just that some idiot picked up on the fact that Bibles are included in many general disaster response kits and decided to make a big deal about that.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Kickaha View Post
And that differs from the Bibles... how, exactly?
I knew I'd take some flak for that comment, but made it anyway. It differs because Scientology is almost as crazy expensive as the military. There's a reason they only go after Big Business executives and Hollywood/Sports celebrities. People shell out megabucks in their quest to get to the religion's highest levels, and Haitians in general aren't going to have that kind of income potential. Ever.

Scientology wasn't in Haiti before the disaster. I can't see them remaining for any length of time afterward.
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Iago
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2010-01-21, 12:01

Quote:
Originally Posted by Frank777 View Post
Apparently, you've failed to consider the notion that there is a thriving Christian community in Haiti,
Haiti is about 90% Christian. I don't think anybody is denying that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Frank777 View Post
who would likely be the ones requesting Bibles.
"Audio Bible company Faith Comes By Hearing is providing portable, solar-powered audio Bibles to local pastors so people can hear the Bible in Haitian Creole, according to ministry spokesman Jon Wilke. Faith Comes By Hearing is hoping to send a total of 3,000 Proclaimer audio Bibles to Haiti in the hands of disaster relief teams, church teams and ministries. "

I've read several reports on this story. Nobody seems to have 'requested' the Bibles.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Frank777 View Post
And most countries have a Bible Society, which would be charged with distributing Bibles through whatever channels they have that still exist.
In this case they are going out through visiting 'ministries' (careful not to say missionaries!) and local pastors working in tandem.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Frank777 View Post
I cannot say I'm 100% certain, but it's extremely unlikely that anyone is being pulled off humanitarian service to distribute Bibles nationally.
It's extraordinarily unlikely that anybody sensible enough to be doing humanitarian work in Haiti would think it worthwhile or appropriate to start peddling mythology to them when they need urgent aid.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Frank777 View Post
At this point, the airport is still backed up but land and sea routes are in use. Many Christian groups have long worked in Haiti and are using helicopters, ships and small planes to bypass the main airport traffic situation.
I think the overarching point everyone is making on this matter is that you're seeing Bibles taking up time and resources that should be used for other things. If each aid shipment coming in takes 5 minutes to process, and there is only one shipment of these Bibles, any food aid or equipment is therefore delayed by 5 minutes. Multiply that however you will.

The further issue is that religions are using this as an opportunity to "get" people at their lowest ebb. These people have been through an awful time. Religions are scoring PR points by pretending to do good, when in reality they've got a bible in one hand and an aid parcel in the other. Why can't this be non-partisan? Why can't religions just fucking drop it, for one second, and focus on real problems?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Frank777 View Post
With regard to Scientology, I personally think that Travolta flight is mainly PR. Even in the best of times, Haitians can't afford Scientology.
That's so narrow-minded that it beggars belief.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kickaha
Oh right. Because those aren't as important as establishing a mental beachhead when people are vulnerable and desperate to cling to anything. Gotta move while the opportunity is hot, y'know.
Bingo.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Frank777 View Post
As I've mentioned in other threads, the Christian response to the Haiti earthquake (as in most large natural disasters) will likely register as one of the major interventions to the disaster short of the U.S. government response (because soldiers are crazy expensive.)
And it will likely register as the most disingenuous, too. The godless liberals don't have any need to help their fellow man other than the reward of seeing him helped. They don't need an invisible middle eastern man in the sky to reward them for their good deeds.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Frank777 View Post
There must be hundreds of Christian groups operating in Haiti right now, though the biggies for disaster aid will be Samaritan's Purse, World Vision, the Salvation Army, Operation Blessing and the corresponding Baptist, Lutheran, and Christian Reformed disaster committees (the various names escape me right now.)
Just as there are hundreds of secular charities doing more good by not demeaning their cause with an hilariously inappropriate religious subtext.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Frank777 View Post
So it's not the case that they aren't ferrying the needed supplies, but just that some idiot picked up on the fact that Bibles are included in many general disaster response kits and decided to make a big deal about that.
No; these Bibles aren't part of a disaster response kit. They aren't in a kit containing a flashlight, some band aids, and a food parcel. These are being shipped out with 'ministries' specifically.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Frank777 View Post
I knew I'd take some flak for that comment, but made it anyway. It differs because Scientology is almost as crazy expensive as the military.
What? You're comparing the cost of shipping soldiers out to Haiti with the cost of getting involved with Scientology?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Frank777 View Post
There's a reason they only go after Big Business executives and Hollywood/Sports celebrities.
They don't. That's the point. You only hear about the celebrities but they have ripped off thousands of people who really didn't have the money in their time. Like almost all the Abrahamic religions, it's something of a pyramid scheme. You pay your 10% tithe to the Church and are expected to witness and convert others, who give a 10% tithe to the Church. Good deal.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Frank777 View Post
People shell out megabucks in their quest to get to the religion's highest levels, and Haitians in general aren't going to have that kind of income potential. Ever.
As I understand it, they are working with the aid workers as much as the Haitians. Free 'stress' tests, massages, etc, for the Americans and Europeans on the scene.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Frank777 View Post
Scientology wasn't in Haiti before the disaster. I can't see them remaining for any length of time afterward.
But it's a massive publicity coup for them, just as the Bibles are for Faith Comes By Hearing. It's also a chance to catch overemotional Americans at a low ebb.

Edit: This and this might help you understand Scientology's mission in Haiti. The first article shows that it is as much about the relief workers as the relief itself, and the second discusses Scientology attempting to help reverse economic decline in order to win hearts and minds. It's a long term play.

I'm Joseph Fritzl, and no windows was my idea.

Last edited by Iago : 2010-01-21 at 12:13.
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Kickaha
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2010-01-21, 12:12

Quote:
Originally Posted by Frank777 View Post
As I've mentioned in other threads, the Christian response to the Haiti earthquake (as in most large natural disasters) will likely register as one of the major interventions to the disaster short of the U.S. government response (because soldiers are crazy expensive.)

There must be hundreds of Christian groups operating in Haiti right now, though the biggies for disaster aid will be Samaritan's Purse, World Vision, the Salvation Army, Operation Blessing and the corresponding Baptist, Lutheran, and Christian Reformed disaster committees (the various names escape me right now.)
Good for them! Honestly!

But why ship useless books? I'm sorry, but if I were starving, dehydrated, and in need of antibiotics or simple painkillers, and some fucker handed me a *BOOK*, I'd beat him to death with it.

Quote:
So it's not the case that they aren't ferrying the needed supplies, but just that some idiot picked up on the fact that Bibles are included in many general disaster response kits and decided to make a big deal about that.
Every pound of Bible is a pound of food that isn't able to be shipped.

Priorities.

Quote:
I knew I'd take some flak for that comment, but made it anyway. It differs because Scientology is almost as crazy expensive as the military. There's a reason they only go after Big Business executives and Hollywood/Sports celebrities. People shell out megabucks in their quest to get to the religion's highest levels, and Haitians in general aren't going to have that kind of income potential. Ever.

Scientology wasn't in Haiti before the disaster. I can't see them remaining for any length of time afterward.
When the Christian churches no longer have gilded altars, Crystal Cathedrals, and television production companies, I'll buy that reasoning. Not before.

Religion is a business, no matter how hidden the balance sheets.

My other brain is hung like a horse too.
#IRC isn't old school.
Old school is being able to say 'finger me' with a straight face.
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Frank777
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2010-01-21, 12:17

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Originally Posted by Iago View Post
Haiti is about 90% Christian. I don't think anybody is denying that.


"Audio Bible company Faith Comes By Hearing is providing portable, solar-powered audio Bibles to local pastors so people can hear the Bible in Haitian Creole, according to ministry spokesman Jon Wilke. Faith Comes By Hearing is hoping to send a total of 3,000 Proclaimer audio Bibles to Haiti in the hands of disaster relief teams, church teams and ministries. "

I've read several reports on this story. Nobody seems to have 'requested' the Bibles.
So a country that is 90% Christian won't have requests for Bibles during a national calamity where churches and houses have been utterly destroyed? Who is kidding whom?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Iago View Post
In this case they are going out through visiting 'ministries' (careful not to say missionaries!) and local pastors working in tandem.
Every Christian is a missionary. Period.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Iago View Post
It's extraordinarily unlikely that anybody sensible enough to be doing humanitarian work in Haiti would think it worthwhile or appropriate to start peddling mythology to them when they need urgent aid.
Not worth the comment.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Iago View Post
I think the overarching point everyone is making on this matter is that you're seeing Bibles taking up time and resources that should be used for other things. If each aid shipment coming in takes 5 minutes to process, and there is only one shipment of these Bibles, any food aid or equipment is therefore delayed by 5 minutes. Multiply that however you will.
Nobody in any position on the ground has alleged that processing shipments of Bibles is in any way, shape or form delaying the relief effort. This is a manufactured controversy, pushed by the usual suspects, most of whom have never gotten off their butts to deliver humanitarian disaster relief anywhere in the world.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Iago View Post
The further issue is that religions are using this as an opportunity to "get" people at their lowest ebb. These people have been through an awful time. Religions are scoring PR points by pretending to do good, when in reality they've got a bible in one hand and an aid parcel in the other. Why can't this be non-partisan? Why can't religions just fucking drop it, for one second, and focus on real problems?
Again, such nonsense is usually spouted by people who have no history or experience in disaster relief.

Every time there's a situation like this, you hear people stateside complaining about these "converting missionaries"
But despite being watched by news crews from around the world, you never hear such reports from the field.

If there was one single relief agency created and supported by atheists, I might be more inclined to listen to such complaints.
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Frank777
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2010-01-21, 12:27

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Originally Posted by Kickaha View Post
Good for them! Honestly!

But why ship useless books? I'm sorry, but if I were starving, dehydrated, and in need of antibiotics or simple painkillers, and some fucker handed me a *BOOK*, I'd beat him to death with it.
I seriously doubt anyone is being handed a Bible if they're not in a condition to read it. Again, no-one has alleged that any group is taking bibles instead of humanitarian aid. If you've ever been overcome with life events, or had an extended stay in a hospital or prison, you might be inclined to agree that the Psalms can be an effective "painkiller" for the soul.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kickaha View Post
Every pound of Bible is a pound of food that isn't able to be shipped.
Untrue. Aid logistics don't work like that. I'd think there's likely enough food in Haiti right now to feed the whole island.
The major problem is likely distribution.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kickaha View Post
When the Christian churches no longer have gilded altars, Crystal Cathedrals, and television production companies, I'll buy that reasoning. Not before.
I understand your sentiments, but from what I've heard of Scientology, there can be serious costs to be a member.

Christians may pass the offering bucket around a lot, but nobody pays five-figure sums just to advance to the "next level" of the organization's hierarchy. (Not in general anyway, there are always crazy people in any group.)
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Iago
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2010-01-21, 12:38

Quote:
Originally Posted by Frank777 View Post
So a country that is 90% Christian won't have requests for Bibles during a national calamity where churches and houses have been utterly destroyed? Who is kidding whom?
Not within the first week of the disaster. And if they did, they should be politely told there are more important things to worry about first. Hopefully God will give them a break over missing Bible study while they're rebuilding their national infrastructure, although maybe not if what I've read in the Bible is true

Quote:
Originally Posted by Frank777 View Post
Every Christian is a missionary. Period.
That's not quite true, theologically speaking. Every Christian is/ought to be a 'witness', but mission is something quite different. You have a mandate from God to go forth and make believers of all men, but only specific people are 'called' to mission, just as only specific people are 'called' to the gift of prophecy.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Frank777 View Post
Not worth the comment.
Because it's inarguably true that getting food and medical aid to these people is infinitely more important than any book of bronze age myths ever could be.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Frank777 View Post
Nobody in any position on the ground has alleged that processing shipments of Bibles is in any way, shape or form delaying the relief effort.
That doesn't mean it isn't happening. It stands to reason that the Bibles take time to process.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Frank777 View Post
This is a manufactured controversy, pushed by the usual suspects, most of whom have never gotten off their butts to deliver humanitarian disaster relief anywhere in the world.
Do not judge so that thou may not be judged. You don't know anything about what the people writing the stories in the newspapers, or indeed on this forum, have done or are doing.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Frank777 View Post
Every time there's a situation like this, you hear people stateside complaining about these "converting missionaries"
I'm complaining about the religious overtones for charity work. It's tragic that people need an invisible fairy in the sky telling them to help their fellow man.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Frank777 View Post
But despite being watched by news crews from around the world, you never hear such reports from the field.
If someone came and gave me much-needed medical aid, then started preaching, I'd probably put up with it too.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Frank777 View Post
If there was one single relief agency created and supported by atheists, I might be more inclined to listen to such complaints.
That's infantile at best. Atheism isn't an organisation like Christianity. Most of the world are atheists about Christianity, just like you're an atheist about all the other crackpot theories of gods and fairies. Atheism is a religion in the same way as not collecting stamps is a hobby.

There are also plenty of secular charities and foundations set up, and many of the people who support them happen to be atheists. See also: this post.

Atheists on the ground in Haiti are going about their business and doing good. They don't care about being rewarded in heaven, and they aren't on a recruitment drive for their non-faith. I'm sure a vast majority of Christians and Buddhists and Hindus and Muslims on the ground in Haiti are doing equally good work and are measured and reasonable enough to shut the fuck up about their individual religious beliefs, but you can guarantee that there are some misguided zealots who are so hyped up on Jesus juice that they just can't keep quiet. Would it be better if the charities weren't there at all? Of course not. Would it be better if the charities were to reform, drop their religious overtones and simply act in fellowship with their fellow man? Absolutely.

How about instead of sending 3,000 robot Bibles to Haiti, which retail at $150 each, they sent a cheque for $450,000 to be used as the people on the ground see fit?

I'm Joseph Fritzl, and no windows was my idea.

Last edited by Iago : 2010-01-21 at 12:51.
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scratt
Veteran Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
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2010-01-21, 12:42

Quote:
Originally Posted by Frank777 View Post
Christians may pass the offering bucket around a lot, but nobody pays five-figure sums just to advance to the "next level" of the organization's hierarchy. (Not in general anyway, there are always crazy people in any group.)
What I would say to that is that human kind has paid a higher price than can ever be calculated in blood, death and war for religion. Particularly for Christianity and Islam.

If Scientology was here until the end of time I doubt they could ever catch up to the vast cost in human lives and property that Christianity alone is responsible for. Much as they try to.

Religion has never, and will never, be free. Far from it. There is always a cost. Even to those who don't buy it.

'Remember, measure life by the moments that take your breath away, not by how many breaths you take'
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Kickaha
Likes his boobies blue.
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Hell
 
2010-01-21, 13:00

Quote:
Originally Posted by Frank777 View Post
I seriously doubt anyone is being handed a Bible if they're not in a condition to read it. Again, no-one has alleged that any group is taking bibles instead of humanitarian aid. If you've ever been overcome with life events, or had an extended stay in a hospital or prison, you might be inclined to agree that the Psalms can be an effective "painkiller" for the soul.
*facepalm*

By that reasoning, hand out copies of Chicken Soup for the Soul. Or a Tim Robbins book. Or heck, maybe some Harry Potter, get their mind off of things.

Quote:
Untrue. Aid logistics don't work like that. I'd think there's likely enough food in Haiti right now to feed the whole island.
The major problem is likely distribution.
If they can *distribute Bibles* they can *distribute food*. Right?

Quote:
I understand your sentiments, but from what I've heard of Scientology, there can be serious costs to be a member.
Yes, there can.

In most Christian churches, it's 10% of your income as tithing.

Quote:
Christians may pass the offering bucket around a lot, but nobody pays five-figure sums just to advance to the "next level" of the organization's hierarchy. (Not in general anyway, there are always crazy people in any group.)
10% Hell Tax seems steep to me.

My other brain is hung like a horse too.
#IRC isn't old school.
Old school is being able to say 'finger me' with a straight face.
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