Friday, January 21, 2011

Abe Sauer's Great Piece on Why Christian Aid in Haiti Sucks

I don’t read everything that appears on the internet, but surely Abe Sauer’s long, exhaustively-researched hit piece on Christian aid groups in Haiti illegally using government money from USAID to proselytize to the voodoo-practicing Haitians before giving them aid was just about the best thing that flashed across anyone’s monitor last week. The law states that the US government can give money to Christian groups as long as they in turn spend that money caring for the needy and don’t thrust Bibles into native hands at the same time they, the Christian groups, are bandaging up those hands. Because, y’know, if the US formally funded groups devoted spreading evangelical Christianity in the third world it would violate the Constitution in a pretty direct way.

I don’t have anything really to say about the piece itself, other than you should go read it, right now, the whole thing, but I will say that whenever the religious right (and the organizations mentioned in this article are undoubtedly right-wing; they have Sarah Palin’s support and some are overseen by the Graham family) gets the government to bend backwards to appease their agenda, I get visibly angry. Not at the Christians, necessarily, but at the atheists, agnostics, and others that generally oppose the Christians’ goals but aren’t motivated or organized enough to stop them.

Look, I know the United States is a Christian nation--not “founded on Christian principles,” but clearly, dominated demographically by Christians. Furthermore, a lot of these Christians have no problem just standing up and yelling, “Stop teaching my children evolution!” or “Put the Ten Commandments outside of this motherfucking courthouse!” (They don’t say “motherfucking,” but the tone is close enough.) A lot of people who disagree with these statements—which are fucking insane, by the way—are more or less happy to ignore the Christians, or laugh them off, and basically go about their merry, non-spiritual business as organisms.

The problem with this is that the Christians win this way. As an atheist, I’m having more and more of a problem with that.

For years, I didn’t want to argue with any Christians, or be vocal about my non-belief. Because no one wants to listen to that smug asshole atheist yammering about the inconsistencies in the Bible and treating Christians like brain-damaged infants. But there’s a difference between letting people believe what they believe and having a situation where a US-funded aid group refuses to give a job to a Haitian man until he converts to Christianity. That shit is not okay, and it’s not anti-Christian to say so. We don’t have to fruitlessly debate the existence of God to point out that turning USAID into a Christian organization is terrible foreign policy.

Of course, some Christians believe that it is their duty to convert the unbelievers, especially the brown, downtrodden unbelievers who have just gone through a disaster and are emotionally fragile and have more immediate problems than a lack of Jesus, such as, their entire families are dead and they have no food or medicine. If you’re one of those Christians that believes that telling those people about Jesus is “helping” them, fuck you.


  1. Haiti already was Christian, just not the "right kind." (I found this blog because of your excellent "Atlas Shrugged" post. Keep up the good work!)

  2. I'm glad someone is speaking up about that kind of shit. Christians don't really want to help anyone they just want everyone to agree with them. One time I tried to volunteer to help out in math classrooms in Africa through a Christian group, then at the last part of signing up they told me I needed to sign a document saying that I am a Christian and have accepted Jesus into my heart. I told them I'm not a Christian and I don't believe Jesus is God but I still want to go to Africa to help improve their math education (which I thought of as kind of the opposite of Christianity - logic and reason). So they told me I couldn't go. In the same bubbly loser voice they answer the phone with. Fucking losers.

  3. Hey Joe, why would you sign up with a Christian group if your not a christian? If you really wanted to help and not just start trouble you would have found a "non-Christian" group and gone over there. Good intentions are nothing more than just good intentions.