Friday, September 02, 2005

Our third world country

God's heart breaks.

It is not the natural disaster -- not the devastating winds and torrents of rain, neither the crushing waves nor the overflowing lakes. Though we may call it an "act of God", the horror of it is no Godly activity. We say "act of God" to reflect our impotency, our utter inability (and our deep desire) to control the greatest powers of the natural world.

It is the unnecessary pain: the suffering, the starvation, the disease, the dying. It is the loss of hope: being stranded, watching bodies float by, waiting for loved-ones' calls that do not come. It is the ineffectual aid: the planes and helicopters flying over groups of people waving madly to be rescued; the tens of thousands packed into arenas without sanitation, food, water, air (never mind sleep, safety, comfort).

And it is the horror of the richest country in the world choosing -- choosing -- to behave as a third world nation: continually cutting the taxes and responsibilities of the richest people and corporations; propping up invented wars; building prisons and breaking down schools; denying health care; directing infrastructure funds to high-profile pet projects that glorify only the well-shod leaders who build them.

It is the horror of our choosing to allow the median household income in Mississippi and Louisiana to be less than the cost of a new Hummer -- and praising those who make, market, and buy the Hummer.

It is the horror of our choosing to refuse aid and kindness and connection from our global partners out of hubris and unfounded "independence".

It is the horror of redirecting our national guard to protect Iraqi civilians we ourselves are bombing.

It is the horror of the President's pride in sending just $10 billion to the effort to save our own dying, suffering, hopeless people.

It is the horror of redirecting federal funds intended for building the very flood control that would have prevented this precise disaster to increasing the "security" in our airports.

It is the horror of our pretending to be a Christian country.

It is the horror of our calm acceptance of the idolization of independence, wealth, and the GNP, and our disdain for the real needs of real people right here in our neighborhoods.

It is the horror that we are the cause of our own desolation.

God's heart breaks.;;

No comments: