Images of the horrific, gut-wrenching damage to both bodies and buildings in Haiti's Port Au Prince are everywhere now, and without doubt, more will come. From the WSJ's piece here to the Boston Globe's photo essay here (warning: not for the faint of heart or stomach), human suffering has once again been brought to the forefront of our news cycle. As well it should.
Besides the inevitable deep grief and sense of appreciation for my own life and lifestyle that always comes after viewing a catastrophe, I'm always struck by two points. First, what do the photographers feel, snapping these sort of portraits--do they ever reach down to take that hand, reaching up to them? (I suspect yes--it's what any warm-blooded biped capable of compassion would be compelled to do.)
And second: When will this kind of catastrophe reach the shores of the United States?
Certainly, Hurricane Katrina was, to put it mildly, one for the books. With a death toll of about 1,000, it robbed scores of other Americans of their homes, towns and livelihood.
And I won't even venture into terrorism and 9/11.
But there's little doubt, at least in my mind, that as we look at these disasters in other countries, poor countries, as we send aid (a very worthy endeavor) and read news stories, that so many in our own country are ignoring the very real crisis that has already claimed nearly 50 million lives--God have mercy on us.
That was the first thought that popped into my mind after learning of Rev. Pat Robertson's comments on the "700 Club." He states Haitians "swore a pact with the Devil" in the late 1700s to escape colonial rule, and had since seen no peace or prosperity (transcript and historical background here).
Now, the man is a Christian and a long-standing defender of, well, many good things, so I'll take the role of a Reid-defending Democrat and leave him alone (The Anchoress does a fine enough job taking him to task, and I agree with her on every point, as well as NRO).
Because honestly. If we're going to look at a country that has, through worship of the god of convenience at the altar of self-interests, made a pact with the Enemy, we don't have to look to poor Haiti.
At times, I know my pro-life family and friends feel like we're a ragged team of Jonahs, running madly through the American streets Ninevah. Does no one hear the silent screams? Does no one see the woman in pain, in self-loathing contempt and contemplating suicide, 40 years after the lie of her her not-so-simple "procedure"? Does no one care that the Holy Innocents die every hour, every minute?
God is not mocked.
Let us pray, send donations and do whatever we can to help the desperate survivors of Haiti. And let us not forget our own, domestic devastation.