Friday, January 15, 2010

Rush is....fill in your own answer

I'm thoroughly disgusted right now.

When word of the hurrendous earthquake in Haiti hit this out-of-touch traveler, my heart sank for those poor people. I was in a moving truck and on the road with little radio signal so I was eager to get to my hotel that night and see a little news about it. I saw a very nice address from the president and excellent coverage from several news stations. But my attention was soon focused on some very distasteful and unbelievable comments made by two individuals: Pat Robertson and Rush Limbaugh.

Among many other things, Pat Robertson is a preacher, the founder of the Christian Coalition and launched a failed run at the 1988 Republican presidential nomination. You'd think this guy's Christian heart would go out to the victims of the earthquake, right? Wrong. His comment on the tragedy was that it was the consequence for a "pact to the devil" the Hatian people made in order to gain freedom from France. Unbelievable.

Rush Limbaugh is more well-known to the common person as one of the most conservative voices on the radio waves today. I see this guy as a total renagade who shoots his mouth off and has something good to say about once a decade. Unfortunately, someone has given him a national forum on which he can vomit his toxic, bile ramblings. Anyway, even the most conservative Republican I know (no names!) would still be shocked and appalled to hear what he had to say about the earthquake. He implied that Obama is using this terrible event as an opportunity to seem "compassionate" and "humanitarian" and a way to connect with "light-skinned and dark-skinned black in this country". Rush also discouraged his listeners from donating to Haiti by saying, "We've already donated to Haiti. It's called the U.S. income tax." Unbelievable.

I often get asked how I can be Christian and support the liberal political base. I understand how it seems contradictory at times. But let's look at these guys instead. They claim to support the Christian right. Ask anyone, or read the Bible, and you'll quickly learn that, as Christians, our call is to love and care for one another. I remember lots of tragedy and poverty from the Bible and I also remember Jesus being right there in the middle of all of it doing what could be done. Not asking for miracles here....just that people can do what they can. Someone I know in Wisconsin recently was watching the news coverage on the earthquake with her 3-year-old. Said 3-year-old ran to her room and dumped out her piggy bank and wanted to give all $17 to the people in Haiti (don't get me started on how a 3-year-old has that much money!). How moving! This child is definitely giving out of her own (somewhat questionable) poverty when these unbalanced men are calling names and childishly withholding help all the while encouraging others to do the same.

Such shame. I'm thoroughly disgusted.

In my research, I unfortunately found a reason to like Rush. He has raised 1.7 million dollars for Leukemia and Lymphoma research and personally donated hundreds of thousands of dollars. Most people in my life know that these diseases changed my family's life forever when my mom was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma back in 1994 (recently reclassified as Small Cell Lymphatic Leukemia). I just spoke with my mom about this and we agreed that, if it was within our financial power, we'd write Rush a check for all of this money. We don't want to be associated with any of it.

To end on a more positive note, I encourage you to do what you can to help out neighbors across the gulf. When it comes down to it, these aren't people of another race or nationality. They are just people. People with fewer resources than we have and we are called, by whatever faith to which we subscribe, to do what we can. Leni and I, despite both being unemployed, will be sending what we can to Haiti through the Haiti Fund of an organization called Episcopal Relief and Development. I support this organization not only because I am an Episcopalian but also because it is one of few charitable organizations that sends 100% of donations to their intended recipients. Not a penny goes to "administrative costs".

Please find a similar organization and send what you can. Every $10 helps. Or $17 if you can keep up with the 3-year-olds.

Keep It Real!

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