J Walking

J Walking

Indifference to sufering Afghanis

Evangelical leader John Whitehead of the Rutherford Institute (that once represented Paula Jones) is one of the Christian leaders who stood up after the election and warned that Christian political involvement was compromising the name of Jesus.

Now he is trying to get America’s attention about Afghanistan. He has written a tough piece about America’s indifference to abject poverty and suffering in that country that is in the midst of a two-year drought, has one of the worst living standards in the world, and is seeing parents sell their children into slavery to pay for food.

The Bush Administration wants Congress to approve $10.6 billion for security and reconstruction in Afghanistan, but here’s the problem: we already have a pretty good idea of how that money is going to be spent. As recent reports indicate—and based on the U.S. government’s track record thus far, most of the funds will go toward contractors and private companies that will make a killing on the contracts and have very little to show for it in the end.


…The plight of the Afghan people can be summed up in one word: desperation. As desperate as they are for food, safety and lives not ravaged by war and poverty, it’s little wonder that Afghanistan remains a breeding ground for terrorists and terrorist activities. But democracy starts at the kitchen table. In other words, you won’t get people to start thinking with their heads, politically or otherwise, until you can get them to stop thinking with their stomachs.

The United States has the wherewithal to do something about these problems—and not just by throwing money around. Thus far, the total cost of military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan amounts to roughly $400 billion. Just the war in Iraq is costing American taxpayers a whopping $8 billion a month. Clearly, siphoning more money over to build more roads, as President Bush has proposed, will not fix the problem.


So what’s the answer? For one, we need to start thinking along more humanitarian lines instead of plotting ways to fatten the pocketbooks of military contractors. Why not assign more of the occupying American troops to humanitarian relief and send them into villages to distribute needed food, clothing and medical relief? Why not send over some agricultural experts to help the farmers develop sustainable crops?

Europeans who travel to this country invariably tell me that America is known as the greatest Christian nation in the world. Central to the teachings of Jesus Christ was compassion for the poor and the destitute. It’s high time that America started acting like the Christian country others believe it to be. This means that we must begin showing compassion because, if ever there has been a country that needs compassion, it’s Afghanistan.

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posted February 2, 2007 at 5:06 am

Yet again David, you neglect the real problem. The answer? Islam.

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posted February 2, 2007 at 3:52 pm

I’m getting the impression that you want the United States, a secular, sovereign nation, to act as if were a Christian individual or Church. This is the exact same thing you accuse the conservative religious right of doing–trying to force political change through haranguing and threatening to boycott, etc.At best, government can be a partner in humanitarian endeavors, but Christians should never forget that sovereign nations are worldly, and must of necessity be so. They are beholden to many different classes of people (including voting blocks, powerful lobbies, etc). This is the nature of the beast. When yet another group (Christians) begins to pressure and agitate for change and yes, even threatens, then Christians have embraced the world’s ways and are indistinguishable from other political groups. And ‘Caesar’ knows that. Wouldn’t it be much better to organize the Christians to provide humanitarian aid, and then petition the government to let them deliver it/provide it/maintain it?I think the Biblical example of Esther is helpful here. And that of Abigail in I Sam. Or that of Nehemiah. These people were able to accomplish good for themselves and others through a humble acknowledgement of their respective leader’s authority over them (as we’re told to do by Paul), and through doing good for their leaders. They weren’t running around criticizing and being hateful. Their eyes weren’t closed, either. I’m sure they were aware of the shortcomings and limitations of the governments of their time, but their heart allegience was to a higher power (the Lord God of Israel). They understood the difference. They sought the counsel and help of God, and then acted in the human arena to effect change. They knew who the real Power was and what that Power could accomplish, regardless of the human institution. This hand-wringing about political and business corruption is silly. This sort of thing has gone on since the beginning of time. Stop bowing down to a government, leaving little sacrifices to Moloch and thinking you’re going to get something for disobeying the First Commandment. There is no limit to what Christians can accomplish when they do what the Bible says…feed the poor, visit those in prison, help the widow and the orphan, preach the gospel…Jesus said we would do greater things than He. Well, stop looking to government to accomplish the Lord’s work and get about it yourselves. The Lord commissioned His Church Body to do His work, not the United States government. Americans worship their civil government and when it doesn’t act in the way they want, they ‘turn and rend it’. This is idolatry, plain and simple.

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posted February 2, 2007 at 8:49 pm

Gretchen,I have to say, that is a beautiful post. Thank you.

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posted February 3, 2007 at 12:45 am

Gretchen, BRAVO! cheers, Paul

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Mr. Dad

posted February 3, 2007 at 5:23 am

Gretchen, Ditto. Too bad you’re a right-wing fundamentalist nutball. “I’m” just kidding, but, not those on the Left-side of American politics. But I’ll follow you where ever you preach that message of truth. Bravo.

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