1 dead fashion designer vs 217,000 dead Haitians

Watching and reading various media sources today I noticed a general order of news priority:

  • The death of fashion designer Alexander McQueen
  • Revised death toll from the earthquake in Haiti to 217,000
  • Celebrations and comment surrounding the 20 year anniversary of Nelson Mandela’s release from prison.

We live in a world where a relatively small number of inhabitants are overwhelmingly preoccuppied with the luxury of appearance while an overwhelmingly large number of inhabitants are preoccupied with surviving.

Perhaps you might argue that both the Haitian earthquake and Nelson Mandela are older news and so naturally will be less prominent. Perhaps you could argue that fashion is not just clothes but art and a commentary on our times. Perhaps you could argue that this snapshot of media priorities is not a true reflection of Western cultural values.


Oh no, Christians in the media

O.N.C.I.T.M 1: 10 well-intentioned American Baptists have been arrested in Haiti for allegedly attempting to abduct at least 33 or up to 100 children by taking them by bus to the Dominican Republic.

One of the Baptists said they realised they didn’t have all the right paperwork, for what they thought were abandoned children, but were “just trying to do the right thing.”

Doing the right thing starts with having great respect for the nations and peoples you are among, even if their lifestyle or processes are different to yours. It can be too easy for us in the west to wrongly view these as sub-standard or insignificant, because we fail to penetrate the cultural differences.

Perhaps the chaos of devastated Haiti is a mitigating factor, and there may be other motivations for those who are holding the Christians without charge, but there is definitely a lesson for us all as weconsider our place in the world.

O.N.C.I.T.M 2: An American missionary couple featured on morning television because of their comments that Darwin is a godless, sinful city. The clean middle-class-looking couple lost all credibility with no one believing they knew the first thing about the city they claim to want to reach with the gospel.

The mistake here, again, is the presumption of  describing a foreign city without knowing it or earning the right to be heard. The other mistake is thinking that one city is some how more sinful than another just because its sins may be more obvious, such as alcohol abuse.

Gotta love these Christians, they are so passionate and committed and probably deeply spiritual. But a few brains wouldn’t go astray.

“Forgive me Lord for when I have acted out of the same pride and disrespect which is not love.” PH