Do Unto Others

I don’t believe there’s a single member of either of these churches that is saying to him or herself right now, “You know, I hope that, if I’m ever in a tragedy so immense that many of my friends and family are dead, I am without a place to live, and I’m not sure which, if any, of my children, neices, or nephews are still alive, someone sneaks into my country and kidnaps my children and takes them home with them so that I never know what happened to them and they never know that I am still alive and searching desperately for them.”

So, one wonders why the fuck they thought it was okay for them to sneak into Haiti and steal children. I mean, seriously, if you are a part of a group that thinks Jesus is telling you to sneak into another country and steal their children, you are in a dangerous cult. You probably need to go to prison for your own well-being, if not for the well-being of the families you would victimize, because you cannot be trusted to be in society.


And that the minister is all “pray for our members, the Devil is working against them”?! Your members are involved in a plot to steal children. They are on the side of evil. And it is scary that no one in those churches seems to see that.


11 thoughts on “Do Unto Others

  1. I agree with you completely that it is better to leave children where they are after an apocalyptic natural disaster, so they can die of starvation or disease, or be sold into child prostitution, or end up used as child/slave labor in a sweatshop, or become the next revolution’s foot soldiers. Because, after all, it is horrible to think they might be better off somewhere else than in a devastated country, and inconceivable that missionaries (those God-jobbers who were already building them an orphanage) might actually have the intent of helping the little persons.

  2. I was horrified and appalled that they think the best thing they can do for Haiti is to STEAL THEIR CHILDREN. Most children in orphanages are not, in fact, orphans, but part of a poverty-devastated family. I respect the people who do aid work; I do not respect the people who don’t bother to ask what people in that country actually want.

    Mikee – what is the first thing people want in a disaster? Hint: it’s not wealth. It’s their families. I have no doubt that the missionaries think they were helping. But their “help” is so abhorrently inappropriate that it does, in fact, amount to harm.

  3. As you say, Mikee, they already had an established vehicle for providing aid on the ground and the means/will to do so. What can possibly be the justification in that circumstance for extracting dozens of kids extra-legally?

  4. If they were really taking children without permission from their families (or without verifying there was no family) then they deserve what they get. But unless I missed something, it wasn’t clear that’s what they were doing.

    It’s quite possible they had permission from the parents but with the chaos in the country they didn’t get any paperwork. The story explicitly mentioned that the government had halted all adoptions that weren’t in the works before the quake.

  5. W., please. If they had permission from the parents, why did they tell some of the children they were going to camp? Clearly, they knew the chances of these kids having family–and family that wanted them and that they wanted to be with–were pretty high.

    Like you said, adoptions had been halted. So, they were smuggling kids out of the country.

    Mikee’s trying to make a distinction between what these folks are doing and what other child smugglers are doing, but is there really much of one?

    They’re stealing children away from their families and those families are never going to know what became of those kids. If your neice was abducted, would you take any comfort in knowing that there were some Baptists in the area abducting children during the time your neice went missing?

    Or would the religions of potential abductors not really matter in such a scenario?

    I think the problem is that it’s very hard to believe that these folks from these two churches would actually do what they have admitted to doing. Even the author of the article seems to be floundering for some way of understanding how well-meaning people could do something so vile, so the author searches out people who, in a time of great stress, would consider giving their children away.

    But what does that tell us? I might be willing to give my child to a nice family from Idaho. That doesn’t give that nice family the right to assume they can just take one of your children.

    It’s also an attitude that privileges a certain type of family. Even an orphan in Haiti might have family that is looking for him or her. A grandfather who would take the child in, if he could find the child. A cousin in New York who is ready, with paperwork, for when the ban is lifted, to bring the child here.

    A nice Christian family in Idaho doesn’t deserve a child more than that child’s family. That’s part of why the ban is in place, to sort out and make sure that competing claims to children are thought through thorougly.

    And the other thing that’s hinted at, but not really explored, is the very, very problematic relationships between Haitians and the outsiders who try to “save” them.

    It’s very hard for some Christians to understand that their best intentions don’t always lead to good things happening.

    And that, to me, sounds like what’s happening here. These folks never thought it through any further than “There’s tremendous suffering. We have homes with open beds. Let’s go get as many kids as we can and bring them here.”

    No one thought, “My god, what if someone took my child under these circumstances?”

    Or, if they did, they had some kind of elaborate self-justification I just don’t understand.

  6. The mindset that would tell parents/children that the only alternative one will provide to Mikee’s vision of a post-disaster world is to take the kids far, far away forever is kind of bothersome. Because, you know, saying that you would work at preventing those horrors while keeping parents and children together is an alternative that these folks don’t seem to have thought of. Which is … interesting.

  7. I’m afraid that I can’t help but see some ingrained racism in this situation, try though I might not to. I keep wondering, if there were a tremendous earthquake in Italy would American church groups be stealing children away and smuggling them out of the country? Even if there were an earthquake in Turkey would they do the same thing? I’m afraid that in this situation I read a certain level of assuming that the Haitians are savages, so what are you going to do except steal the children out of the savagery for their own good?

    I hope I’m wrong.

  8. Some of the ancestors of those kids were transported to the Caribbean by earnest Christians who believed they were doing the will of God by bringing Africans (against their will) to a place where they could learn of the light of Christ and live useful lives.

    You can see where the people of Haiti might be skeptical.

  9. I don’t recall anything like this happening after Hurricane Katrina, or did I miss it? When that tragedy occurred, were these Idaho churches flocking to New Orleans to “save” the children?

    I just did a quick and dirty google search and found nothing except news of how they [wouldn’t] place children with unlicensed caregivers and that it’s taking a lot of time to determine the status of the children’s families.

  10. A few nights ago an old high school friend started chatting with me on FB. She is a well-meaning person, but was up and couldn’t sleep because she was so aggrieved by the poor children in Haiti.

    She found, and posted on Facebook, some entry from some guy who was advocating that all the Christians should pool their money and hire planes to basically airlift all these children back to the U.S.

    It was the oddest conversation. Because this friend of mine thought that it was obviously better for these kids to be treated like plants being harvested. She has 8 children of her own and thinks of herself as a sort of mother-to-the world, I think. But no matter how hard I tried I could not convince her that perhaps it was better to alleviate their situation while allowing them to remain in their own home.

    It’s one of the more troubling conversations I’ve had because it was so frustrating. Arrogance is arrogance no matter how well-meaning the arrogant person is.

  11. Because, after all, it is horrible to think they might be better off somewhere else than in a devastated country

    Would you feel the same way if it was someone else deciding that YOUR kids were “better off” somewhere besides your home?

    Perhaps it’s better if we let PARENTS decide where their children are better off.

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