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Would You March With Martin?


Ellwood
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I had an interesting weekend as I met up with an old Haitian friend who runs a very large Christian school, medical center and orphanage in Haiti.   He is also the Haitian director for CRU  (Campus Crusade for Christ).   FYI, he knows about my deconversion but we both have chosen to not deal with it at length.   I have said, "If god chooses to show me evidence he exists, then you will be the first one I call."   He likes that and we left it there.   

I spent both days with him, driving him to stores to buy needed supplies, buying TONS of clothing at goodwill type of places,  I helped financially and also bought him and his son one of the cool RC helicopters!   I even went to my old church at his request to hear him preach.   It was my first Sunday in church in about a year.  My deconversion is public there also. 

All went well and we had a great time.   He simply is a fantastic person who positively affects the lives of hundreds of needy Haitians, mostly children.   His group provides their only daily meal in most cases.   He mentioned that my old pastor whom he is staying with was a bit confused why he liked spending so much time with me.  lol!

 

Here is how I tried to process this and come to how I can support him.   I have long admired Martin Luther King.   Would I, as an atheist, have marched with Martin Luther King even though he was a "believer"?   I think I would have.

In a similar way, can I support a friend who is running an organization that is feeding and educating 500 Haitian children every day, even though it is an almost fundamental christian organization?

 

What do the rest of you think?   Would you have marched with Martin Luther King?  Where is that line we draw in the sand for humanity?  

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I had an interesting weekend as I met up with an old Haitian friend who runs a very large Christian school, medical center and orphanage in Haiti.   He is also the Haitian director for CRU  (Campus Crusade for Christ).   FYI, he knows about my deconversion but we both have chosen to not deal with it at length.   I have said, "If god chooses to show me evidence he exists, then you will be the first one I call."   He likes that and we left it there.   

 

I spent both days with him, driving him to stores to buy needed supplies, buying TONS of clothing at goodwill type of places,  I helped financially and also bought him and his son one of the cool RC helicopters!   I even went to my old church at his request to hear him preach.   It was my first Sunday in church in about a year.  My deconversion is public there also. 

 

All went well and we had a great time.   He simply is a fantastic person who positively affects the lives of hundreds of needy Haitians, mostly children.   His group provides their only daily meal in most cases.   He mentioned that my old pastor whom he is staying with was a bit confused why he liked spending so much time with me.  lol!

 

Here is how I tried to process this and come to how I can support him.   I have long admired Martin Luther King.   Would I, as an atheist, have marched with Martin Luther King even though he was a "believer"?   I think I would have.

 

In a similar way, can I support a friend who is running an organization that is feeding and educating 500 Haitian children every day, even though it is an almost fundamental christian organization?

 

What do the rest of you think?   Would you have marched with Martin Luther King?  Where is that line we draw in the sand for humanity?  

 

Why does what MLK choose to believe for religion have to affect the fact that I believe in equal rights for all humans world wide?

 

I would have ran with him fought for him. God did not give or not give me the chance to teach and fight for what is right for us all (equality) I will fight for someones right to believe in a fairy tale even one I choose not to believe in. The same goes fo their speech I do not like. If I am unwilling to stand up for their rights why should I be given mine? It doesn't matter what they believe it matters that we all have a choice of our own. I will fight for that choice and would hope that those on the other side would fight in the same manner. We know they won't but it would be nice.

 

I bet MLK would have been happy to have us atheist there at his side crying for a fair share of what all of them had helped to build. This country would not be here as it is today if not for the labor of so many that got so little in return. That trancends silly religious notions and I think that MLK would have seen that. Maybe I am dead wrong but how could you turn down the help of anyonoe willing to risk their life for a cause that affects religious and non religious alike.

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can I support a friend who is running an organization that is feeding and educating 500 Haitian children every day

 

I don't know. For me, it would depend on if there are religious strings attached to the aid.

 

My father was a missionary to Haiti. I contributed clothing and supplies, but I hated that it had to be filtered down through the religious veneer. They built some schools (shacks) where they taught English and Christianity. They provided some much needed medicines, but not the most needed medicine - birth control. Birth control isn't Biblical, apparently.

 

I can work with and help anyone who is doing good deeds regardless of that person's beliefs. What I can't do is help promote religion under the guise of humanitarian aid.

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I too am concerned about promoting religion under the guise of humanitarian aid.  I think that is a part of my friends organization.  But I think if I was sitting with a haitian who had not had a meal for days that they would say they would take that meal no matter what kind of message they had to endure.   

I was there one Sunday and after the service they gave out formula to the moms and candy to the kids.   I was guilty of bringing much of the candy.

 

In a way all this reminds me of our dear younger atheists who live in silence at home so that they can get their room, board and education and not be harassed.   I guess there is no such thing as a free lunch! 

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It depends on the end. Is the purpose to genuinely help people or to help people with a some arm twisting to convert? Someone being religious personally does not factor in whether or not I'll help, because that is their personal life. If someone has a good idea and I agree with it, I'll probably give my support regardless of the personal beliefs of the individuals. I'd still march with Martin, he had a necessary message for people to hear.

 

Now if I find them unethical, then no I am not giving them my support. A slight "This help was provided by [organization], we believe in Jesus." is fine. A "You are nothing without Jesus, convert heathen" arm twisting is not acceptable. 

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