Tuesday, October 11


I've delayed posting on this because I was trying to find some kind of confirmation in the media. But the lack of coverage simply validates the essential story.

My Florida family has been devotedly working with churches throughout the state in Hurricane Katrina relief work along the Gulf Coast, clearing debris and working on reconstruction projects. They tell me that 10,000 Christian churches are involved, all of whom are pledged to do this honorable work without recompense from the government, yet their efforts are unreported by a media that, rightly, is occupied with pointing out the failures of a governmental response and, wrongly, with photo ops of a president who is desperately trying to use them to bolster his faltering approval ratings.

As anyone who reads this blog knows, I am extremely critical of those so-called "Christians" who are more concerned with Republican politics, power, and material pursuits than with ministering in a Christ-like way. So it is equally incumbent upon me to point out instances where Christians ARE obeying the directives of Christ to feed the hungry, visit the sick and minister to the needy.

I'm proud of my brothers-in-law who have devoted weeks to the cleanup and reconstruction effort. The oldest is 71, and he's been clearing debris! One of my other brothers-in-law has spent countless hours helping one of our nephews who is trying to kick drugs and rebuild his life. I'm proud of my elegant and dynamic 84-year-old mother, who still manages her Baptist Church's Target-sized clothing distribution center and in her classic Southern lady style has become the trusted and compassionate advisor to the local "ladies of the night." I'm proud of my sisters, one of whom I heard last week on a 24-hour visit to them gently but firmly chastise another relative for a kindly-meant remark ("They'd be more comfortable in their own neighborhood") (I know it sounds bad, but I know her heart, and she was truly thinking of their feelings) that she noted could be construed as supporting a racist outlook. Another of my sisters devotedly cared for her AIDS-inflicted stepson until he died, and is a vocal champion of gay acceptance in the community -- not easy in the religious South.

These good people are all Republicans. I don't get it. I don't understand how they can be. But they are. All I can think of is, they just believe government should butt out of charitable work and leave it to folks like them. If everyone was LIKE them, maybe it'd be different.


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