September 17, 2005
Put up or shut up
Today I planted my butt in front of my big screen and pigged out on college football. There were some good games, close games; two that I watched went into overtime. I couldn’t help but remember that one year ago tonight we had just watched Ivan pass through and devastate Pensacola. I couldn’t help but think of the folks to the west of us in Mississippi who are living now like we lived last year.
Katrina traveled up through almost the entire state. Winds at Meridian were clocked in excess of 100 MPH. The small rural towns of that state suffered unimaginable damage from Katrina. Who were the first responders to their tragedy? Churches from adjacent neighborhoods and from surrounding states rounded up volunteers and rolled in to provide succor to these folks and to help them survive. I imagine by now that FEMA has probably arrived and set up stations, but it was the church volunteers who were there first without any governmental persuasion.
The churches throughout the rural areas of our country comprise the social and moral fabric of the communities. Like me, you can be a non-participant in organized religion and still recognize the roll played by these congregations. What I haven’t heard of is assistance like this:
The ACLU setting up a feeding line.
The NAACP doing any work whatsoever.
People for the American Way helping in the shelters.
Jesse Jackson directing traffic at the gas stations.
You get my point. If you’re gonna talk the talk then we expect you to walk the walk. Otherwise, shut up and take notes from the people who care and are involved in American life.
Posted by TGOO at September 17, 2005 10:01 PM
Very good point... can't add anything without repeating you!
And, the ironic part is that I read that many of us small (l) libertarians who seem to be mostly agnostic donated out money to the Salvation Army. Why? Because we know they have a history of doing the best job with the resources at hand and we support them although they are a Christian religious group. We figure that if someone is hungry and needsa place to stay they shouldn't mind sitting through a serman. And, of course this is not the case anyway when a disaster such as Katrina hits. But the rest of the time the bums that the Starvation Army take care of have a choice-they could go to work.
But they are talking the talk -- those groups you list actually do not advocate helping people -- they advocate taking from some selected people and giving to others by the use of force. I see them as entirely consistent, unfortunately.
I actually "amen"-ed TGOO's post. It doesn't really matter, because I still agree with it 110%!
Comparing churches to the ACLU or People for the American Way is really comparing apples and oranges. Churches (and synagogues and mosques) have a humanitarian mission, and they are an important part of our society in that aspect. The ACLU and People for the American way are political action organizations, and this sort of thing falls outside of their field of operations. The Heritage Foundation's web site (a conservative think tank) isn't taking donations for this either. The NAACP, though, is devoting almost all of their front page to Hurricane Katrina relief, accepting donations and what not.
And Jesse Jackson has been to New Orleans to help out there. http://www.rainbowpush.org/FMPro?-db=rpodata.fp5&-format=rainbowpush%2fdata%2fdetailpress.htm&-lay=main&-sortfield=date&-sortorder=descend&category=press&-recid=33312&-find=
You can argue that he's wrong in how he's characterizing the federal government's response and the role of race in all of this, but he has done something.
You're quite right, Scott. The political action organizations do not participate in anything other than the politics associated with their own agenda. My point was that they have the following and the wherwithal to do so. A disaster of this scope, even though it was caused by neglect, would have been an opportunity to step out of their ivory towers and help make good things happen. I was not aware that the NAACP was accepting donations. Good for them. As for Jesse Jackson, when he appears on the scene, any scene, it's to get face time for Jesse from the media, period, not to help out. His presence provides nothing of value to any situation.