Haiti Gets Bibles – Needs Hospitals

Posted by on January 19, 2010 in Thoughts | 44 comments

Our universe is a place of massive physical forces, and given the microscopic size of humanity in the scale of it all, it’s not surprising that we get caught up in the midst of these forces. And when we do, lives and infrastructure are lost on a relatively massive scale.

In 2004, the Indian Ocean Tsunami, caused by a massive earthquake off the west coast of Sumatra, causing massive devastation of homes and communities, and taking more than 230,000 lives in Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Thailand, India and The Maldives. In 2005 Hurricane Katrina took 1,836 lives due to one of the most powerful hurricanes to ever hit United States soil. In September of 2009, the island of Samoa was hit by an earthquake, and a resulting tsunami which claimed the lives of at least 189 people, and injuring hundreds more. And these are just a few of the more recent events that come to mind. There are plenty more examples where communities have been devastated by natural disasters, one look at this list of natural disasters by death-toll will give you some perspective on what sorts of disasters and the numbers of lives we’re dealing with here. It’s devastating…

These natural disasters have a few things in common:

  • All involved the deaths of innocent people
  • All involved massive amounts of suffering
  • All destroyed the livelihoods of hundreds of people
  • All took a very long time to repair damage
  • Not all damage can be repaired
  • None of them were caused by God

I know this last point is without anything to back it up, but given that we call it a “natural” disaster, it infers happening without the intervention of an “all-powerful being”. (They also call these “Acts Of God” but this is an antiquated saying, only used in insurance policies and in hate-speeches by the overly religious.)

While the latest disaster is on most people’s minds, secular or religious, we all seem to find it within ourselves to want to help where we can. Most aid organisations send food, medical supplies and people to help restore infrastructure and bring the stricken area back up from the brink of total annihilation. Some, believe it or not, send bibles.

I’m not going to get into a debate about the value of faith in a situation when everything else is lost, that is not my point at all. What I do see is an opportunistic preying, where religious groups see a chance to spread the word further RATHER THAN HELPING WITH FOOD AND SHELTER.

So it was with a heavy heart when I read the article Portable hospital and medical staff blocked from landing at Port au Prince airport fromThe British Journal of Healthcare Computing and Information Management. That is really unfortunate.

But when I read this I was incensed: Solar-powered Bibles sent to Haiti from Australia’s ABC website.

I want to know, what type of backward planet are we living in where this kind of man-made injustice is served to those most in need? The decision in the first place to send bibles instead of real needed supplies is perverse. I know I’m not the only one who feels this way.

But the last line of that article sums up my point “Tens of thousands of Port-au-Prince residents are living outdoors because their homes have collapsed or they fear aftershocks following Wednesday’s quake.”

UPDATE – I have received a number of negative comments on this post. My main point here is INTENDED to be, “lets put our religious/non-religious agendas aside and send aid that will HELP in the short term. There is plenty of time to send items of comfort/faith items later on.” I know this is a bit of a rant, but it is NOT my intention to exploit the situation to push my agenda, but rather to get people to think, “What would you prefer if you were there? Shelter and food, or a book?” I am sorry to those I have disappointed with my opinions. :(

Please give secularly, to avoid these problems http://givingaid.richarddawkins.net/

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44 Comments

  1. Unbelieveable! Just what is the point in that. Didn’t someone think. “Hang on this serves no purpose what so ever. Why don’t we just pray (another fruitless activity) so the Airport is less busy. [So the people who are ACTUALLY HELPING can get there].”

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  2. Martin, this post, in which you use the death of 200,000 people, the homelessness of over a million, and the misery which is ongoing, HAS BEEN ONGOING, and WILL BE ONGOING, in order to make some some utterly pointless discussion about the delivery of a set of bibles, actually disgusts me.
    Yes, I know you gave 10 dollars, or 50 dollars to a charity. That does not give you the right to sweep aside the unimaginable suffer of several million people in order to harp on utterly contrived and ill constructed argument for the sake of your beliefs.
    This is as bad, or worse than anything you accuse the Christian from doing…you are exploiting this for your own beliefs.
    Where is your fucking heart? Can you not just shut up about this long enough to simply help?
    This is just disgusting.

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    • I’m not exactly sure how you see me sweeping aside the suffering. If anything I am drawing attention to it, and the reality of what is needed there, as opposed to sending teddybears. Sorry to have disappointed you. :(

      Maybe my point was clouded in my disgust that the MSF hospital had been blocked. It could have been a shipment of teddybears that had made it through, and I would have been angry too.

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      • Martin, that is a classic (not classy) technique for trolling — “how can you think of ___ at a time like this! You awful monster! Thinking bad!! Blargh!” It’s misdirection, or deflection, designed to make you the bad guy because you pointed out something that makes them and their kind look bad. And coming from a completely anonymous twatwaffle like “Justaguy11″ … it’s not even worth your time to read it, let alone apologize because of it.

        Anyone who’s watched the coverage for any length of time knows that people are desperate, frantic, starving, and dying horrible deaths because there are inadequate supplies to treat their injuries. So, you are absolutely justified in being upset that bibles were sent instead of food, water, and medical supplies, because it really IS stupid and offensive.

        People ARE DYING from lack of supplies. RIGHT NOW. As I type this. As you read this. And I guarantee you none of those people are dying from lack of bibles. Wasting resources like that isn’t just offensive — it’s murder. The resources and money spent bringing in totally useless stuff that is bulky and heavy should have been spent bringing in antibiotics, bandages, antiseptic, water, etc.

        Take a moment to imagine laying for days in excruciating pain, hungry, thirsty, while gangrene slowly ate away at you, becoming increasingly septic, and doctors have no way to help you. If even ten people could have been saved this fate by that load of bibles being something other than bibles, then those bibles killed those people. Plain and simple.

        Sorry to ramble on so, but there’s just no way on earth you should be apologizing. You were right, 100%.

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    • oh yeah, because shipping BIBLES instead of food, medicine, or water-filtration is not exploiting misery for their own belief, and talking about this is EXACTLY as bad as taking up valuable resources to send useless junk to a place that’s already not getting USEFUL stuff quickly enough.

      Pretty nasty double-standard you have there, Justaguy.

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      • Read the story. NOBODY SHIPPED BIBLES INSTEAD OF SUPPLIES. This is something Martin has invented. To push his dogma.
        This posting is factually WRONG. Did you even READ the story here?

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      • Yes, someone did indeed ship bibles. HIGH TECH BIBLES! What else could have filled those boxes and been sent with that postage? Useful things.

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    • You sir, are a fool.

      You think it shouldn’t offend these people that a group wishing to evangalise the dispossessed has or could cause disruption to the supply of real aid?

      Use your brain for something other than spouting your brainwashed lines of personal offence here. The airport has limited space for planes. Further, for each plane that lands limited infrastructure for loading and unloading the aid. Therefore, every useless plane that lands without aid, holds up a plane that could land with useful aid. This waste of resources costs lives and should be prosecuted as such!

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      • You sir, apparently cannot read. NOBODY IS STOPPING ACTUAL AID FLIGHTS TO DELIVER ELECTRONIC DEVICES SENT BY SOME FOOLS IN New Mexico.

        Martin, however, is willing to make up that “fact” in order to castigate groups who are RIGHT NOW ON THE GROUND AND HELPING. Again, try reading the article Martin posted instead of just reacting with your beliefs. READ, instead of RANT.

        http://is.gd/6LD7P

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    • Let’s summarize, Justaguy. You don’t like that Marty’s made a very valid point, so you’re going to tell him that the only thing he’s allowed to do is to donate to charity and then shut up. Not only that, but you’re going to diminish his contribution as well… what kind of a pathetic excuse for a human being does that?

      Marty did nothing to sweep aside the suffering in Haiti – instead that’s the very thing he’s concerned about and WHY he posted this blog, in my view. You can start by considering the least evil that giving Haitians a Bible could perpetuate: waste. People’s useless contributions do nothing to alleviate the suffering as Marty said, and in my opinion, end up confusing and hurting people even more, which is a greater evil than the waste. Yes, that’s what the book of fiction that is called the Bible is good for – it’s full of contradiction, hate, bad life lessons, and myth that gets the stupid to act and rely on blind faith in nothing to guide those acts. Not only does Bible donation do nothing to end the hunger, thirst, pain, and rioting that is plaguing Haiti at this second, but it pushes an agenda on people at their most vulnerable. How’s that for exploitation?

      If you’re going to do something with your time, do something that matters – that’s what I hear Martin trying to say.

      This is the truth. If you don’t like it, keep on believing.

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      • My points 1 and 2 are entirely accurate, which is not true of Martin’s story here.

        My point 3, about religious orgs providing decades of help to Haiti, is ENTIRELY ACCURATE. Read the link.

        I am NOT a religious person, but your zealotry, exactly like a religious zealots, makes you assume that.

        Martin is detracting from the massive amount of work being done BY RELIGIOUS GROUPS ON THE GROUND IN HAITI by trying to besmirch them with this utterly fabricated cause and effect rant he has posted.

        I do not care WHO helps in Haiti, but I will not besmirch those WHO ARE ACTIVELY HELPING by making up negative blog posts like this.

        Again, try actually READING THE ARTICLE I linked by the NEW YORK TIMES entitled: “Religious Groups Fill Haiti Government Gaps” http://is.gd/6LD7P

        If you are going to simply attack me based on your beliefs, I will not respond, as I will not respond to Zealous Christians who ALSO attack people without knowledge, without reading, and without hearts.

        Haiti needs help. Haiti will need help for YEARS. Religious groups have been there for decades and WILL CONTINUE TO BE THERE. Don’t besmirch their efforts simply based on your dogma.

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      • Justaguy, perhaps you need to look up the definition of red herring. You’re so excited about defending the religious in general that you are blinded at the point of this blog. Do you think that because the religious have done some form of good at some point that the things they do that are wasteful, exploitative, or just plain stupid don’t deserve critique? Just come on out and say it.

        You told another commenter that nobody shipped bibles. Someone did ship bibles. Bibles designed for mass communication at that – mindblowing when there are people faced with immediate death. That’s not a need, that’s junkmail.

        I have never met another atheist that is as blind as your comments pretend to indicate. Therefore, you don’t seem to be an atheist, you seem to be a troll. The article you linked has nothing to do with Martin’s point.

        Haiti does need help – bibles are not help.

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  3. You were a lot nicer than I was.

    http://digitalcuttlefish.blogspot.com/2010/01/starving-have-bible.html

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  4. ** edit: ahh, i see, justaguy11 isn’t entirely anonymous, he’s been flaming you on twitter. Hope you’ve blocked him by now, no reason to let that sort of ignorance have free access to you.

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  5. http://www.abc.net.au/news/video/2010/01/18/2795316.htm

    This is what you are using to espouse your dogma.

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    • Yes it’s completely heartbreaking. All dogma aside, and given the quake earlier today, all the more reason to make sure money given goes to sending help, REAL help, people who can and will help, supplies that will help.

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      • Martin, I’m sorry, but while you are entitled to your opinion, you are NOT entitled to your own facts in order to exploit the misery of a group of people, and to disparage another group that is actively helping, all to push your dogma.It is despicable of you to twist things in this way, and to exploit this misery, all because of your beliefs. You are as bad or worse than Robertson. You give Atheism a very bad name.

        1. These bibles HAVE NOT BEEN DELIVERED TO HAITI, according the article you posted. They were “sent” by some idiots in NMexico, meaning, what? They put them in the mail? You have zero idea what happened to these ELECTRONIC DEVICES (not books. try reading the article, Martin)

        2. NOBODY STOPPED A HOSPITAL FLIGHT IN ORDER TO DELIVER THESE ELECTRONIC DEVICES, Martin. The AIRPORT WAS DAMAGED and the number of flights and size of aircraft exceeded the runway capabilities. There is ZERO relationship between the ELECTRONIC DEVICES in the first story and the inability of a plane to land in the second story. You are twisting facts here, childishly.

        3. Religious groups HAVE BEEN PROVIDING AID in HAITI for DECADES, up to and including the day the quake hit. These groups have been providing medical, food, housing, and child healthcare in the slums of HAITI for YEARS when nobody else would do it. They have run 4 of the largest hospitals as charities FOR YEARS. http://is.gd/6LD7P

        Your dogmatic blindness in promoting your anti-religious beliefs has become as skewed as any right wing Christian group’s efforts at this point.

        You are exploiting others’ misery.

        You are twisting a story and making up facts while doing so.

        You are disparaging the massive efforts by many extremely helpful religious groups in the process.

        All because of your Atheist zealousness.

        Zealots are the problem in all this, Martin. Both Religious and Atheists. They (you) will twist and exploit anything, and anyone for their beliefs.

        You’ve proven it here.

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        • OK I’ve had enough of this. My point is this, and this only.

          - There is limited access to these people. I don’t care who the fuck they are sending thee things, needless items should be put at the BACK of the queue. Needed items should put put FIRST in the queue. That is all.

          In answer to 1. and 2. I never said that the delivery of bibles was shipped INSTEAD of the hospital. I KNOW they are Electronic bibles (books in electronic form maybe?) Whether they were sent by idiots in NM or sent by you or me doesn’t matter, it’s ALL GETTING IN THE WAY OF NEEDED SUPPLIES. Like I said it could have been a shipment of teddybears, but it happened to be electronic bibles, I would be just as upset.

          In answer to 3. I know this, and this is not my point EITHER. it is all as I said above.

          You accuse me of hatred and exploitation. The only hatred I feel is the way you continually refuse to accept my intended point with this post. Your take on this post is not how I see it. You are welcome you your opinions, but you are insulting me personally and this I will not accept on my blog. It’s obvious that you’ve decided to make it your personal vendetta against me and my blog post.

          You’ve had your say, and I assume you’ve seen and read what others have said also. Now can you just please leave well enough alone? This is a contentious issue, because so many people have their voices to be heard. Nobody is going to agree 100% what is the correct course of action.

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          • Martin, the correct course of action is TO SUPPORT EVERYONE WHO HAS BOOTS ON THE GROUND in HAITI.

            The correct course of action is NOT TO INVENT reasons to besmirch groups giving aid as you have attempted to do with all religious groups here.

            The correct course of action is to PUT ASIDE DOGMA and help.

            If you can’t see that, you are as blind as any Christian, and you give Atheism a terrible name.

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          • Justaguy, support doesn’t equal BLIND support for stupid wasteful acts of exploitation and wishful thinking. Support doesn’t mean not questioning, using your brain, or turning off rationality. No one said that religion has done no good in the history of time (though I would personally argue that in the long run, it’s done much more harm than good overall). You are attempting, pathetically, to hijack the topic and reason for this blog, and you are incredibly unsuccessful. Troll be gone!

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          • Read.
            The.
            Article.

            The Religious groups in Haiti ARE providing some of the best actual boots on the ground aid in Haiti NOW AS THEY HAVE DONE FOR DECADES.

            Read.
            The.
            Article.

            http://is.gd/6LD7P

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          • Even if that was true, that’s not even remotely close to the point of this blog. Your inability to stay on topic speaks volumes about your intellect.

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          • The point of this blog posting is to falsely disparage a group of people who are actually making an effective difference helping in Haiti now. With fiction.

            The point, which has not changed. IS TO HELP HAITI.

            Disparaging groups that are ON THE GROUND and EFFECTIVELY HELPING NOW does not do that…it harms that effort.

            That is the point.

            Help.

            Haiti.

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          • No Justaguy, the point of this blog is to point out a wasteful and exploitative excuse for “help” that does nothing to help with the immediate problem in Haiti, which is survival of human beings. People are dying and here are some idiots who think the best thing they can do is to proselytize (help themselves, not help Haiti) by sending the world’s best selling book of fiction down to a bunch of suffering people. Oh, let’s applaud that. What are you, some hick down in the dirty south that has nothing better to do than to pretend to have reasoning capabilities beyond that of an adolescent? You’re a heartless ignorant fake.

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          • You think that’s name calling? No, it’s simply what you appear to be based on your twisting of this blog to suit your so-called “christian” agenda. It’s the truth about you as you’ve made yourself out to be through tons of irrelevant posts. That’s your own fault. Perhaps if you were able to debate rationally and actually address the point being made or answer to one single thing that’s been leveled against you, you’d be worthy of being called a participant, but you’re most certainly not. You’ve proven yourself to be ignorant, and heartless, and a fake.

            Heartless for not caring about the real suffering going on in Haiti and for thinking that this ill-disguised attempt at proselytizing is acceptable when people are dying.
            Ignorant for being unable to participate in a discussion like a rational human being and for thinking you can slip something as obnoxious as this by intelligent people.
            And fake because you claim to be non-religious when it’s as clear as day that you’re as pseudo-christian as they come.

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      • Justaguy, you are disparaging the truth. Numbers 1 and 2 are red herrings. As to 3, religious AND SECULAR groups have both provided aid all over the world (read: ACTUAL aid, meaning food water shelter medicine etc., not books of fiction that are designed to change the way one thinks about reality, i.e. to cast reality aside). And as far as the work of religious orgs, they may give aid as defined by what I listed above, but at what price? Exposing countless vulnerable and desperate human beings to their crap. I doubt you’ve read my first reply to you, but again, that’s purely exploitative.

        The entire point of Martin’s post is that there are better things to be doing than sending a book of fiction to a bunch of people in the middle of a tragedy where survival is at issue. I’d almost rather have people just praying (also doing NOTHING to help) because at least that doesn’t have the nasty after effects that a bible can in the hands of the desperate and ignorant.

        As an afterthought, may I suggest that one possible benefit of these Bibles would be to burn them for heat/sterilization of instruments? :)

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  6. This is how to help

    http://www.google.com/relief/haitiearthquake/

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  7. Thanks for your thoughts geared towards the Haiti situation. I have made my donations and hope many can follow. I am heartstruck.

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  8. Marty, your heart is big. These people need food, water, shelter and medicine, not proselytizing. You are 100% correct.

    That said, the Haitians are an overwhelmingly Catholic country. I’m sure – if someone is a person of faith – that their faith can provide some measure of comfort to them. I wouldn’t begrudge them that. BUT if you asked any of them – any single one of them – do you want supplies or Bibles, no matter how religious that person is they’re going to ask for the supplies. That’s what they need and want desperately.

    The funny thing about faith – no matter how much most of us who read you feel about it as fellow non-theists – is that it doesn’t require a book. It just requires a heart. For that heart to exist, these people need basic care.

    Anything else is selfish on the part of *any* organization going into Haiti right now.

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    • Kelley, you said it better than I did — and that is the basic bottom line, that until the people of Haiti are in the position to answer “no thanks, we’re fine, but we’re kind of bored and depressed, got anything to read?” to an offer of supplies, then supplies are all that should be sent.

      I chose the Clinton foundation for my contributions, because I liked their pledge that 95.9% of donations go straight to helping, and I knew that Fmr. President Clinton has a personal commitment to help Hatians predating this tragedy. With the Clinton foundation or the Red Cross, you can’t go wrong — they have the experience and resources necessary.

      Texting the word HAITI to 20222 donates to the Clinton foundation.

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  9. Great blog. I completely agree with you. As much as the US/UN say they are providing aid, dollars, man power etc. I haven’t seen or heard of any. They are providing troops for security. If you’re worried about security in Haiti you need to move out of the way for those that are there to provide relief. Israel has a mobile hospital, has had for a while, where are the US field hospitals? US troops dispensing 1 bottle of water per person at one tent encampment. Please give me a break, give Haiti a break, give back the aid dollars so we can give it to a country that is truly there to provide support and assistance. And the famous hospital ship? That has had 2 whole patients transported for care. When it comes to disaster response the US fails miserably again. Send me an effn bible, see what happens!

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  10. and Martin…the TITLE of your post is:

    “Haiti Gets Bibles, needs Hospitals”

    THIS
    DID
    NOT
    HAPPEN.

    You invented this cause and effect. That is wrong.

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    • Moot point, you would be all up in arms still if I’d titled it “Hospitals having a hard time getting to Haiti, and idiots are sending bibles” which is accurate. OK title might be a bit misleading, granted. You seem to mistake 2 unrelated events for “cause and effect”.

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  11. Justaguy, regardless of the accuracy of what you are trolling, that is not the point of this blog.

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  12. Justaguy, regardless of the accuracy of what you’re trolling, that isn’t the point of this article, which is about a specific instance.

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    • The point of this blog entry is Martin saying, “Look at the awful religious groups whose bibles are holding up needed hospital supplies.”

      This is complete and utter fiction, by Martin, and is used to disparage the groups who are ACTUALLY ON THE GROUND IN HAITI and who are ACTUALLY HELPING.

      As for being a troll, Martin and I used to correspond previously on Twitter, as we are both climbers. I am not a troll. I am a person who has seen the suffering of Haitians my whole life, who knows who is actually helping there now, and who has attempted, repeatedly, to convey that to Martin.

      Martin, and the people who have commented back to me, are responding without reason, without facts, and without anything much other than dogma.

      Martin has admitted (just now) that his blog title is misleading, but he *still* fails to recognize that it is wrong and harmful to disparage the groups WHO ARE ACTUALLY HELPING IN HAITI with his fiction here.

      I am not willing to allow Martin to harm, unchallenged, the people who ARE ON THE GROUND AND HELPING IN HAITI now.

      This is about helping Haiti. Martin should retract this posting and simply write one that encourages help, without falsely disparaging those who are actually helping.

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  13. No Justaguy, the point of this blog is to point out a wasteful and exploitative excuse for “help” that does nothing to help with the immediate problem in Haiti, which is survival of human beings. People are dying and here are some idiots who think the best thing they can do is to proselytize (help themselves, not help Haiti) by sending the world’s best selling book of fiction down to a bunch of suffering people. Oh, let’s applaud that. What are you, some hick down in the dirty south that has nothing better to do than to pretend to have reasoning capabilities beyond that of an adolescent? Heartless ignorant fake.

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  14. Hey Marty, just chiming in to let you know that I agree, the bibles are unnecessary. I’m not an outright atheist, but bibles are not what the Haitians need right now and it really would’ve been more appropriate for the organization to send aid in the form of food, clothing or medical supplies. This is also true from a psychological perspective. When one is literally fighting for survival, a bible or any text, religious or not, would be superfluous and would ultimately hinder that survival especially if it was given instead of necessary aid.

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  15. OK that is enough! This is MY blog and I will not abide ANY posts that result in personal attacks. A condition of commenting on this website is outlined in my mission statement. I reserve the right to edit out any disparaging personal remarks from this blog. I also reserve the right to stop people who are posting inappropriately from posting again.

    Don’t believe me? Read here, it was the very first thing I wrote on this blog:
    http://atheistclimber.wordpress.com/an-ever-evolving-personal-mission-statement/

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  16. I guess the level of anger is to be expected for such an issue of this. The story of the solar-powered bibles has been going around the atheist rounds, and I thought I’d share some thoughts with you.

    There are a considerable number of christian Haitians (I can’t find the numbers, but its a large proportion). In times like this, a devout believer of a faith will find encouragement through hearing the words of their beliefs. A lot of the Haitian people are illiterate (its the poorest country in the western hemisphere) and so the bibles serve the purpose of having some encouragement given to them in this horrible time.

    Now, I’m sure this is not substituting any other form of aid, it is complementing it. After all, its only 600 of the devices. That’s really not going to hold up food and other supplies at this time.

    I would hope that the church group is adding to their shipment with supplies that can fill the more immediate needs of the people. I don’t think the bibles are necessary, although they will provide some comfort, even if I don’t agree with the message.

    Finally, I suggest you donate to an established group such as Médecins Sans Frontières (http://www.msf.org.au/) which doesn’t have any religious links, and supports fantastic people who know what they are doing.

    And to the person that was slamming Martin, pull your head in. He was never making light of this tragedy, he was simply highlighting something he doesn’t agree with.

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  17. What is all the fuss about justaguy11? A bee in your bonnet perhaps? Karly’s + dot lizards responses say it all.

    Martin’s facts are correct and if all you’ve got is to try to discredit these facts then, you, my friend, are an over emotional fool.

    What are you, in fact, so incensed about?

    After reading Martin’s post, which is reasonable and intelligent, and queries the good of taking up precious cargo space by sending religious texts over basic human supplies, I don’t understand why would you have a problem?

    You have obviously not been in a situation where your life was dependant on the kindness of others because I sure as hell would not even be interested in reading or hearing the words of a religious text if my elderly parents my children were starving or dying from their injuries.

    I believe that in times of life and death ritual and belief are incredibly important, but to deny the right to live by placing beliefs over physical requirements shows how disconnected we (you) are …But really, if you were being honest, you actually have no idea about being in a desperate situation – you probably wrote your abusive posts from the comfort of your cheap ikea furnished living room.

    Maybe you need to have a little think about this before attacking someone with all the right intentions.

    Your opinions are those of someone with their own agenda – which of course you are entitled to but that doesn’t make your opinions valid or correct. I find your little rant abhorrent and you should grow up and realise that there is more to life than your tiny agenda and your need to make your little view relevant. Small mindedness should be bred out.

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  18. Thanks for your spirited dialog about the solar powered audio Bibles. Even if you are a person of faith or not, we all agree that food, water, medical supplies, doctors, nurses, etc., are first priority.

    First things first, these audio Bibles are NOT displacing ANY essential aid to these people who have suffered so much.

    Besides, these devices are still in the states enroute to dozens of relief groups who have called ASKING for them. The Haitians have been preyed upon for a long-time by those interested in exploiting their natural resources and impoverishing their people.

    Our non-profit believes the people of Haiti are that nation’s most precious resource and we desire to empower them with the Scriptures (in which they believe) in a format they can use. Roughly half the nation is unable to read, so giving them the Bible in a format they can use–audio, is completely reasonable.

    Our organization has been working with the Haitians since 1986, providing them free audio Scriptures in their own language. We work with the world’s poorest people in Bangladesh, Philippines, Haiti and 147 other countries. And we’ve been doing so for decades now.

    We respect others’ rights to believe or not believe, and we fully acknowledge that both people of faith or no faith are putting forth great effort to come to Haiti’s aid in this terrible tragedy. In times like this, we should all work together for the good of our common man.

    – Faith Comes By Hearing

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  19. Gday folks!

    First time poster and all that…

    Suppose that I am a young Haitian boy. Suppose that I am a Christian (many posts and links here have suggested that I am very likely to be a Christian). Suppose a devastating earthquake hits my tiny impoverished nation and initially kills hundreds of thousands of my fellow Haitians. Suppose that I and some of my family are spared this “Act Of God”…

    * * *

    I am still alive. I now have only one brother instead of two, and Father is gone. Many of my friends are gone or seriously ill. We now live in a canvas tent in a sea of canvas tents, and the big toe on my left foot is infected.

    Thankfully, people from far away (who I do no know) are helping: my friend Emmanuel has received a solar-powered lantern, and now his mother can prepare dinner and read stories to him when it is dark. We also have received a solar-powered device, but our one tells stories that I do not understand. It is nice to hear the voice sometimes, but I would prefer to have a light so that I and my brother can stay up playing just a little longer. I think a solar-powered light might make it easier for Mama to apply the salt water to my toe, but she has not said as much.

    * * *

    Is my tale overly emotive, perhaps? Of course it is, but I am absolutely certain that it comes nowhere near the gravity of the real stories of Haitians now.

    Here is what I think: if you have the technology to make a solar-powered audio-book, then you obviously have the technology to make a solar-powered lantern. If you want to help, give people LIGHT and NOT “I am the way and the light”. You can’t proselytize a dead person.

    Finally, there is absolutely no ’cause/effect’ stated or implied in the original post. However, there have been a number of posts that suggest that every unnecessary item being shipped into Haiti is taking up runway space that could be filled by something useful, like say, solar-powered lanterns. Kinda makes sense to me.

    Any trolls wanna speak up?

    Thanks all.

    Fly.

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  20. A pox on thee, troll!

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