Christianity and Middle-Earth

Thursday, December 30, 2004

Blessing Those Who Curse Us

I’ve taken to knitting amoeba-shaped potholders in my old age, by way of occupational therapy, and listening to the TV news or talk radio whilst I do so.

This may be canceling out the knitting benefits.

The first clips the radio host plays are from some woman with a British accent griping about the US working with Japan, Australia and India to coordinate tsunami relief instead of going on hands and knees with our largesse to the UN so they can protect their vested interests and power. Not that that’s how she put it.

My immediate reaction is “Tough cookies, lady.” Then I want to shake her ‘til she swallows her enamel, preferably an entire set of dentures and some Polygrip with it.

You’re doing a great job, your Highness. How many American voters did you turn against your precious UN with that little bit of nastiness? Not the smartest way to go about featherbedding, ya think?

Then I grit my own long-suffering molars and start chasing down the skittering fragments of my Christian veneer, in the hopes that I can paste it back into place without too many noticeable gaps.


Now in a complete flip-flop, there’s a guy on the radio-station’s phone complaining about hurricane victims in Florida not getting FEMA loans while we’re sending money off to tsunami victims.

Oh, no! Bagshot Row has been leveled – it’s Numenor all over again!

There goes the veneer…

There are two problems here. One is gross ingratitude to a country that is generous beyond even what the Oil-for-Food pickpockets can imagine. The other is Americans who can’t seem to endure seeing others getting help from the US government without weighing every penny against their own troubles with a self-pitying thumb on the scales.

Yes, I know what the hurricanes did. I’ve got a mother-in-law in Vero Beach and a sister-in-law in Miami, and we’ve had our own disasters in that line here in Eastern North Carolina of late. Quite a number of people died here during Hurricane Floyd four or five years ago, and a lot of people lost everything, including one of my cousins. That happens when you have water to the top of your front door.

My point is not that American hurricane victims shouldn’t have all the help possible; it’s rather that there’s a time to be concerned about yourself and there’s a time to put others first without griping and moaning. This is one of the latter.

When your fellow men are enduring horrors such as this:
In one building, the naked bodies of drowned babies, looking as if they were sleeping, were neatly laid out in rows.
and tens of thousands of people may have to start drinking sewage, it’s no time for us to start complaining because we have to eat peanut butter instead of sirloin - or even hamburger.


As for the elite lady and her well-to-do vinegar-spouting, I can only say that if any people on this planet have loved their enemies and done good to those who hate them, it’s Americans. We are become a hissing and a byword to half the planet at the least and still we willingly, even eagerly, give and give and give.

Even if some of us gripe about it.


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