Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Suffering Haitians and God

While Haitians face misery and horror in the aftermath of a 7.0 magnitude earthquake, American leaders invoked the face of God. Rev. Pat Robertson wielded the God club with his remarks:

Something happened a long time ago in Haiti and people might not want to talk about it. They were under the heel of the French, Napoleon III and whatever. And they got together and swore a pact to the devil. They said, “We will serve you if you get us free from the prince.” True story. And so the devil said, “OK, it’s a deal.” They kicked the French out, the Haitians revolted and got themselves free. But ever since, they have been cursed by one thing after the other, desperately poor.

Pat suggested God punished Haitians with an earthquake for a centuries old ago pact with the devil. The Haitian earthquake came days after Pat revealed his annual prophesy, stating America is under the wrath of God. Robertson made no mention of Haiti in his predictions.

Meanwhile President Obama asked God to bless the people of Haiti, amidst their horrific suffering. Obama mentioned working with Haitian NGO's (nongovernmental organizations). It brought to mind President George W. Bush suggesting people in Bay St. Louis go to their Salvation Army, just down the street. Locals replied, "It's gone."

George W. offered no further advice. He may have been stunned God destroyed a Salvation Army. Did the same happen in Haiti? What kind of NGO capacity remains in a dirt poor country, where citizens make yellow dirt cookies to give the sensation of food, knowing it has no nutrition value.

In the midst of their suffering, Haitians hear rebukes and tantalizing promises of aid. In this size disaster, it can't come soon enough. There is only one group with the ability to move aid, establish supply lines, and set up hospitals in a short period of time. That's the U.S. military. However, aid it not its mission.

Where there's capacity, there's no mission. Where there's mission, the capacity is woefully short. Before the quake, Haiti suffered from tremendous scarcity. It geometrically increased yesterday. I imagine God is with each and every person in their confusion and suffering. He wouldn't be anywhere else.