Thursday, March 16, 2006

priorities out of whack?

The U.S. government estimates that each year, 50,000 people (mostly women and children) are trafficked through the United States for the purpose of sexual and physical slavery.

Last year Nike paid Tiger Woods the same amount to appear in its advertisements as it did 35,000 Vietnamese workers to make its shoes. Levis, Reebok, and Gap Inc. (owners of Gap, Banana Republic, and Old Navy) weren’t far behind.

Last week a fourteen year old black boy was murdered by guards in a sheriff’s boot camp in Tampa Florida. During the first autopsy, a sheriff’s coroner attempted to cover up the truth by suggesting that he had died from sickle cell disease. A second autopsy confirmed that he had definitely not.

Everyday, 30,000 children die from preventable illnesses and malnutrition.

While America falls further and further into dept over the war, its new budget cuts food stamp and Medicaid programs, housing assistance for low-income seniors and persons with disabilities, and cuts to community social service programs, while giving a 600 billion tax cut for anybody in American that makes over $1 million a year.

In schools with a high percentage of poor children, 53% of classes are taught by teachers who are not qualified to teach that particular class.

According to the American Lung Association, more than half of all Americans live in counties with unsafe levels of smog and particle pollution, which leads to many lung and respiratory illnesses.

Every hour, 150 children are abused in the United States alone.

Last week, the U.S. House of Representatives approved a controversial bill—backed by the food industry and supported by several key lawmakers whose family members or close friends are food-industry lobbyists—which will wipe out more than 200 state laws that mandate local inspections and require safety labels on food products to warn consumers about everything from mercury in fish to pesticides in vegetables.

Right now your child, or a child you know, is being targeted by a sexual predator over the internet. Sites like myspace.com are being bombarded by sexual predators posing as teenagers in order to coax erotic and, sometimes, nude photos from teenage boys and girls.

“On Monday a conservative Christian activist group launched a campaign urging Christians to boycott Ford Motor Company for its role in ‘supporting gay rights groups, offering benefits to same-sex couples, and actively recruiting gay employees’.” cnn.com

Sigh. Are these people paying attention at all?

Comments on "priorities out of whack?"

 

Blogger Larry said ... (11:02 PM) : 

Tim,

Interesting you mention myspace. We have had some discussion about it in the territory. I have used it to find out what is going on in the lives of people we love and want to protect. Others feel we should not touch it.

I am also concerned about the whole priorties of the church issue. Rarely do we hear about the abuses of corporate America in third world countries. I would hasten to say though that it is not just the Americans, but many of the European countries are just as guilty of this economic colonialism. Christians should take a stand.

By the way, you did not really talk about deforestation and other concerns that come with polution and "economic development" that is not somewhat regulated.

I am not for over regulation. I am for sensible, moral regulation. All Christians should be. We seem to be for regulating things that don't feed our selfish, unChrist-like appetites. I know I am probably the chief of sinners when it comes to that.

God help us all.

 

Blogger Bill said ... (8:23 PM) : 

Christondom and Armydom has become a middle class religion here in the western world. Personally I have no use for middle class religion. I have no use for middle class boycotts, btw I think I'll buy a Ford next time. I have no use for middle class church, for middle class fellowship, any of it. It does not seem real or what God called me to. So leave me on skid row is my cry.

In the middle class world of christiandom there is no tolleration for poor its thier own fault you know. In middle class Christiandom we just through money at the problem hoping it will go away. In middle class Christiandom there is no realization of life the way it is. In middle class Christiandom, fights seem pointless.

 

Blogger Neatr_natr said ... (8:27 PM) : 

Sometimes reality is too scary, so we choose distraction. Hey the gays are having too gay a time, thats as good a distraction as any, lets pick on them.
Lets face it, we are supporting evil in the world through our insatiable need to consume. Convenience has removed any need to work (I mean actual back breaking work) so we can't find an alternative (b/c searching is not convenient) so we ignore any hope for an alternative.

 

Blogger Gareth Evans said ... (1:00 PM) : 

Check out peer to peer lending as done by www.kiva.org or www.globalgiving.com

Also look at other microfinance programmes such as SA Mustard Seeds (SAMIDE Tanzania), World Relief USA and Canada, and World Hope International USA (LEAP Liberia).

By giving people the chance to lift themselves out of poverty microfinance is a sustainable aid to reduce poverty.

Fair trade will help these entrepreneurs gain market share. But without the access to capital they wont get out of the starting blocks.

 

Blogger tarisayl said ... (10:58 PM) : 

Hey! By any chance did you realize that good things are still happening in the US? I know it's more fun to talk about all the bad though so I won't mention the stateside Mission Trip that our youth just got back from and I won't say anything about the upcoming Mission Trip that is being put in to motion.

I understand that everything mentioned in your blog is a major issue, but just once, could you please say something nice? My priorities are in order. I'm not saying that these issues should be set aside, but if we do nothing but dwell on the negative 24/7 we'll never have hope for anything. Sorry. Just my two cents.

 

Blogger Tim said ... (9:19 AM) : 

I only pointed out atrocities in the U.S. simply because a lot of Americans feel that atrocities overseas are simply out of their reach. So, when you speak of the plight of Africa, many people respond, “Well yeah, but that’s Africa. I can’t do anything about that over here.” It was simply meant to point out that, if American Christians are looking for something to stand up and fight for, there are plenty of MUCH better options, even in America, than Ford hiring gay people.

And, not to be unbelievably cynical, but it seems to me that there are plenty of people already singing the praises of the right wing church in America. Isn’t it about time that a few of us evangelicals stood up and said, “Uh guys, things aren’t quite right here.”

 

Blogger BLUE said ... (7:43 PM) : 

Tim
Or for that matter the Salvation Army hiring gay people

 

Blogger BLUE said ... (8:06 PM) : 

The American taxpayer sends BILLIONS overseas in aide. We certainly are out of touch! And to take a play out of the playbook. We are good at throwing money at problems.
BILLIONS. We have done no good whatsoever overseas. Hundreds of thousand of young men and women are buried overseas they died defending those who could not defend themselves. We have done no good. We are users and nothing else. We only exploit and take and give nothing back.

Should we look into our shortcomings and do better. Yes. Those countries that have gotten aide are also culpable for the actions that they have taken with the very money we have given them to help their own people.

American technology has in fact taught parts of drought stricken Africa how to cultivate during a drought.

While we can control our assistance to the world we cannot control those who would do harm to their own people by enriching themselves instead of helping their own. Oh, we could step in and make them help their own but then we are the bully of the world for doing so.

Terisa there is a lot of good going on out there.

 

Blogger Gareth Evans said ... (10:30 AM) : 

All,

The US has indeed sent BILLIONS to Africa, but it isnt meeting its 0.7% of GDP target.

Check out www.oecd.org/dac/stats/dac/dcrannex for statistics on aid.

Britain is not reaching its 0.7% target either but has pledged to do so. (Trying to keep a balanced view!)

The argument that US companies are helping the poor in Africa to cultivate land that is in drought is a good one. BUT often the aid to do such things is tied to the country purchasing US goods and services. Britain is guilty of the same.

The worrying thing is the wars that are caused. Through the greed for oil, minerals, metals etc etc. (http://www.prq0.com/apps/display.asp?id=23711930,ZdficidafbDF&oid=UdjeaBG)

Having worked in Liberia I have seen the destruction of 14 years of civil war. Children used as soldiers and sex slaves. Women raped, not just in war but now, due to a lack of civil education.

There are definately much more important things than Ford hiring gay people.

That post was all over the place... but it is a broad topic!

 

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