Father Randy Dollins: Yes, but for how long?
January 29, 2010
"Redistribution of wealth" is a trigger phrase that conjures ideas of socialism or communism, and yet, what is charitable giving? Voluntary redistribution of wealth?
Maybe the key word here is "voluntary."
As of Monday, the "Hope for Haiti Now" telethon has raised $61 million. Additionally, tens of millions of dollars have been raised by other organizations. We give because we are aware of a need, but for how long?
Although there are countless photos that have captured our attention and raised our awareness about Haiti, there is one that stands out, the photo of an 8-year-old boy named Kiki.
Upon rescue from the rubble, he raised his hands in the air and smiled. Because of this image, he has been dubbed the "face of hope." When asked about his rescue he said, "I smiled because I was free — I smiled because I was alive."
In a way, Kiki represents humanity, striving for freedom and persevering to stay alive. The image is inherently pro-life. We see it and cheer, as did the rescue workers, because it awakens an instinctive God-given compulsion to promote and protect life.
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The cruel reality is that millions of people are living in horrible poverty, and millions of others are suffering the after effects of local disasters, yet nobody is recording a CD for them, no movie star is answering a phone for them, and most likely they will never receive a redistribution of wealth, voluntary or not.
Further, the image of Kiki brings to mind an even deadlier disaster that we like to pretend isn't happening, i.e., abortion on demand.
While the Haitian death toll could reach as high as 250,000, that would only be a quarter of the number of abortions that took place in the U.S. last year.
Since 1973, the most dangerous place to live for an American is in the womb. Those of us born in the past 37 years have our own Kiki-esque story in that we emerged from a place where nearly 33 percent have been killed.
Here is the question: Is rescuing Kiki more important than preventing an abortion?
The rescue workers, and those of us watching at home, are engaged in a form pro-life activism, but it is limited. Part of the problem is that instead of being fully pro-life, people tend to be selectively opposed to certain means of death, e.g., anti-natural disaster or anti-war.
To be "pro-life" one must object to the gamut of evils opposed to life, advocating life from natural conception to natural death.
The unfortunate reality of our society is that Kiki is more important than a child who is conceived unintentionally, but only so long as Haiti has our attention.
Awareness seems to expire; after all we have other things to worry about like the Super Bowl and Apple's new iPad.