Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Haiti Earthquake

When I read about the devastating earthquake in Haiti, it makes me glad that I live in the United States. Why? Don’t we have earthquakes here? Of course we do, but the reasons I appreciate living in the U.S. are:

a. We are a compassionate people, immediately getting aid to Haiti and other stricken areas when tragedy occurs. Interestingly we don’t discriminate in our aid. We’ve sent aid to Muslim countries, and even to countries that haven’t been exactly friendly to us. We are able to separate policies of a government from the needs of people who have suffered loss. I’m proud to be a citizen of such a generous country.

b. When I see the severe damage to buildings in Haiti and in China when they had their terrible earthquake, I realize why building codes are so important. Shoddy construction kills people. That’s not to say we don’t suffer damage here in the U.S. due to hurricanes, tornados, and earthquakes, but I suspect such damage is less because of building codes. Of course poor construction and maintenance of levees in New Orleans resulted in the destruction of a large part of a major U.S. city, but that goes to show that we aren’t immune to corrupt government, poor planning, and shoddy construction.

Because our society has its roots in what’s called the Judeo-Christian ethic (i.e., the Bible), we often do things that are consistent with that ethic. We help those in need and we send aid abroad. I might also mention that when disaster strikes, Christian relief organizations are there, either as first responders or later to give ongoing aid.

As our society degenerates and moves further away from its Judeo-Christian roots, I hope we don’t lose that compassion that makes us a beacon of light to a dark world. What other country is as generous and helpful in the world? Certainly not the oil rich nations. Certainly not China and India, which are prospering tremendously. Certainly not Japan. God bless the good old U.S. of A.

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