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← Haiti earthquake: religion fills the void left by aid agencies

Haiti earthquake: religion fills the void left by aid agencies - Comments

paceetrate's Avatar Comment 1 by paceetrate

And so the vultures descend to prey upon the weak and vulnerable...

Mon, 25 Jan 2010 04:35:00 UTC | #434882

msloane's Avatar Comment 2 by msloane

"I've started a school and we are trying to give people food and clothes," said Reverend Sauverne Apollon ... after its headquarters was destroyed in the quake.

Didn't he get god's message. God destroyed his headquarters as a sign he wanted him out of there.

Mon, 25 Jan 2010 04:42:00 UTC | #434883

bthegoodwin's Avatar Comment 3 by bthegoodwin

There is nothing miraculous about statistics. If you drop hundreds of thousands of pounds of building materials on a million people, some of them, statistically, will fall into voids and survive, some will be trapped with food and survive for days, most will die, many will survive just long enough to die while being pulled from the debris or to die horribly while waiting for unavailable medicines or help. Simple, impersonal, unavoidable statistics.

It would be miraculous if no one survived, or everyone...or at least all the children. Maybe if the buildings hovered for three days while people ran to safety.

Is anyone else offended by the claim that Jesus liked some 40 year old kooky woman so much that he sustained her life but allowed all those children to be killed, maimed and orphaned?

Mon, 25 Jan 2010 05:13:00 UTC | #434887

nalfeshnee's Avatar Comment 5 by nalfeshnee

It's terribly, blackly ironic at the moment.

It seems not a day goes by without another mini-quake or aftershock for Haiti.

I hope I'm not viewed as trying to make humour out of people's misery, but honestly - how many earthquakes do you need to suffer before you question your faith in this evil god who is torturing you?

I also note Robertson has been interestingly silent on the many aftershocks. Guess they just happened randomly, huh?

Mon, 25 Jan 2010 08:53:00 UTC | #434928

Drosera's Avatar Comment 4 by Drosera

"Whether you are a [Pentecostal] preacher, a Catholic priest or voodoo, it's the same. Humanity needs to say: 'Stop. Stop now. Stop the sinning'."


Stop religion. It causes brain damage.

Mon, 25 Jan 2010 08:53:00 UTC | #434927

But God's Avatar Comment 6 by But God

"I've started a school and we are trying to give people food and clothes,"

"The people need hospital help, food and homes. I'm trying to do what I can,"

How can you sit in judgement whatever you believe? At least this man's belief causes him to do good. Your unbelief causes you to do bad, that is stand in judgement and ridicule a person who is helping others.

Mon, 25 Jan 2010 09:25:00 UTC | #434934

Jos Gibbons's Avatar Comment 7 by Jos Gibbons

This really confuses me. The title says "religion fills the void left by aid agencies", which suggests it is not aid that religion is giving to fill the void, since by definition aid agencies do that. But what do they list? Apollon's aid. Oh wait, there is something else:

God is great. For those who have lost their homes, Apollon offers ... an explanation
That's more like what the title suggested. Of course, religion explains to these people that the reason they lost their homes is because a great guy had a great reason to do it. Erm, isn't that just saying there is an explanation, rather than actually giving one?
Ouvida Alva, a ... voodoo leader, said: "...we are waitinf got the fire. Only he who believes will survive."
Wow, I never realised how similar to Christianity voodoo really is! As Phillips puts it, the messages are "equally bleak". Somehow, however, I don't think many mainstream Christians will welcome hearing they have so much in common with others.
[the president of the shanty town's community association said] Right now we need food, water and tents
That would seem like a better idea than warnings to not keep sinning.

Mon, 25 Jan 2010 09:26:00 UTC | #434935

Jos Gibbons's Avatar Comment 8 by Jos Gibbons

Comment #454373 by But God

Everyone gets some things wrong and some things right, and the former are OK - indeed, essential - to analyse critically for the sake of improvement later on, no matter how much of the latter is going on. Care to back up your claim that unbelief causes msloane to do bad? Or is this another article of faith?/

Mon, 25 Jan 2010 09:28:00 UTC | #434936

Quetzalcoatl's Avatar Comment 9 by Quetzalcoatl

But God-

You realise that your entire post about how wrong it is to judge other people was an example of you judging us? Ironic, much?

So, he is helping. Good for him. But does that make him immune from criticism if he says things that are ridiculous or patently false?

And how can an absence of belief cause someone to do anything? Wouldn't you need a belief for that?

Mon, 25 Jan 2010 09:39:00 UTC | #434939

Drosera's Avatar Comment 10 by Drosera

But God,

Your unbelief causes you to do bad, that is stand in judgement and ridicule a person who is helping others.


A person who claims that an earthquake happens because people are 'sinners' is a complete idiot who deserves ridicule. Moreover, when such a person uses a catastrophe as an opportunity to spread his hideous religious phantasies I call him a vile parasite. There.

Mon, 25 Jan 2010 10:12:00 UTC | #434951

serotonin_wraith's Avatar Comment 11 by serotonin_wraith

"When God speaks we must listen," said Apollon, known in Pont-Rouge as "le pasteur". "The earthquake is God's voice and He will do other things. The stars will crash down onto the earth."


Doesn't he know what a star is? Not even one could get much closer to us than our sun without wiping out all life. Millions of times larger than the earth, many lightyears away, the whole thing just shows they didn't know the difference between meteorites and stars. Fine a few thousand years ago, but now?!

Mon, 25 Jan 2010 10:16:00 UTC | #434956

But God's Avatar Comment 12 by But God

Quetzalcoatl You are confused read my post again, you make no sense. I am not criticising you for doing good, that is what you are doing. I am doing exact opposite of what you are doing?

Drosera " person who claims that an earthquake happens because people are 'sinners' is a complete idiot who deserves ridicule"

Please show me where this Pastor has said this? I don't see it in the article.

Oh and if he did say it I would disagree with him too but I would have just reasons too based on my world-view.

You say he is a "a vile parasite" by that I take it you mean a natural organism evolved from something else that feeds on other organisms and has no morality so cannot be held accountable for what he is doing? So I fail to see how he has done wrong as in the end in your world-view there is no wrong. So why are you judging him?

Mon, 25 Jan 2010 10:55:00 UTC | #434966

dochmbi's Avatar Comment 13 by dochmbi

If God is almighty and good, then the earthquake must be good and God should be thanked for it.

Mon, 25 Jan 2010 12:11:00 UTC | #434987

Vaal's Avatar Comment 14 by Vaal

As I put on another thread...

It is a great sell for the preachers when a natural event does occur, as they attribute it to their deity, keep themselves in a living, and maintain their power over a superstitious population, with not an iota of shame.

Mon, 25 Jan 2010 12:34:00 UTC | #434997

Drosera's Avatar Comment 15 by Drosera

But God,

Please show me where this Pastor has said this? I don't see it in the article.


The good pastor said this:

"The earthquake is God's voice and He will do other things. The stars will crash down onto the earth."


This clearly implies that the earthquake is God's will. What else can it be but a punishment for the sins of man? Christians, after all, think that people are born sinners.

So I fail to see how he has done wrong as in the end in your world-view there is no wrong. So why are you judging him?


I take it that you are one of those people who believe that without god there can be no morality. This is easily disproved by the fact that in modern societies where the majority of the people are atheists the incidence of rape and murder is if anything lower than in societies where the majority of the people are religious.

Mon, 25 Jan 2010 14:56:00 UTC | #435058

canatheist's Avatar Comment 16 by canatheist

In times like these, my usual indignation of all things religious subsided a little, and I confess I have mixed feelings. On one hand, I have to applaud the charitable works of the religious groups and their desire to help the earthquake victims. On the other hand, their assistance comes at a price, undying gratitude to the Lord, their (so called) savior.

So, I say thank you to the Reverend Apollon and other like him for their help to the victims, but don't for a minute think that your charitable works exempt you from wrath, ridicule and contempt from the Atheist community for blaming these poor people's trouble on their sinful misdeeds.

This quake was not caused by God, nor were any survivors spared because of God. Those who lost their lives, lost their loved ones, or lost their homes, did not do so because of God's retribution for past sins. To promote the idea that it was is the worst sin of all.

I see no dichotomy or hypocrisy in applauding acts of charity, whilst at the same time, taking people to task for preying on the fears and misfortunes of others. One has nothing to do with the other.

Mon, 25 Jan 2010 16:16:00 UTC | #435087

Quine's Avatar Comment 17 by Quine

I see no dichotomy or hypocrisy in applauding acts of charity, whilst at the same time, taking people to task for preying on the fears and misfortunes of others. One has nothing to do with the other.
Yes, I am wondering if the religious (well, some of them) may not be having the same feelings about us? Perhaps there will be some middle ground of understanding between those of them and those of us who are each doing it only for the benefit of those suffering.

Mon, 25 Jan 2010 16:37:00 UTC | #435090

Chris Roberts's Avatar Comment 18 by Chris Roberts

"I've started a school and we are trying to give people food and clothes," said ­Reverend Sauverne Apollon, 75, whose church – the Eglise Mission foi Caribéenne Independence d'Haiti – was one of the first to be constructed in the slum after its ­headquarters was destroyed in the quake.

"The people need hospital help, food and homes. I'm trying to do what I can," Apollon added.

Did this smack anyone else in the face as foolish?

Read it again - the people need hospital help, food and homes - yet one of the first things they build is a church?

Mon, 25 Jan 2010 16:42:00 UTC | #435094

King of NH's Avatar Comment 19 by King of NH

I don't see how religion is filling any void. It is telling people lies, using the tragedy to peddle their snake oil, and all in all acting like a jerk.

Stop the sinning? Seriously? What sort of sick and twisted message is that? "Your sister died a slow and agonizing death starving and dehydrated within earshot of rescue for six days because she was a sinner." Let me be perfectly clear. I will break your jaw, rip it out, and stab you with it repeatedly if you ever "console" me with something like this, and I will only do so because I am a peaceful man and wouldn't do to you what I want to do.

Moral high ground my ass. Why are the atheists the ones giving 100% financial support to MSF and the Red Cross then? Why is the real help secular?

Mon, 25 Jan 2010 19:12:00 UTC | #435143

TIKI AL's Avatar Comment 20 by TIKI AL

If Jesus already died for their sins, why did God pull the tectonic rug out from under them?

Is God a prankster with the sense of humor of a serial killer?

Now if all the Catholics lived, and all the Voo Doo practitioners died, would we be scratching our heads? Nah, it would just be a coincidence.

Mon, 25 Jan 2010 19:53:00 UTC | #435158

Steven Mading's Avatar Comment 21 by Steven Mading

The article is self-contradicting. Is he there for "hospial help, food, and homes" or is he there to build a church?

This is an example of the famous quote by Steven Weinberg. This is good people doing bad things for good reasons. (Due to the way religion hijacks altruistic impulses and redirects them into religious enterprises.) People like this guy probably genuinely do believe they are helping, and aren't being cynical vultures at all. Religion makes them do harmful work, the whole time honestly believing they're genuinely helping.

It's frustrating because in all the sadness about the situation as it stands, there isn't anyone really to get mad at. The initial lying culprits who knew they were full of shit are long dead now, leaving behind a progeny of genuine true believers. Good people causing harm due to misconceptions, not from bad intentions.

Mon, 25 Jan 2010 21:06:00 UTC | #435171

Trixie Goforth's Avatar Comment 22 by Trixie Goforth

I already had Voodoo on my mind, then somebody mentioned Pat Robertson, which is a similar subject.

Why, he's just an ole witch, his own self!

For years his big head's filled up my TV screen while he squinches his eyes shut and prays for healings to occur out in his own personal Woo Woo Land.

"There are gallbladders bein' healed right now! Thank you, Lord!" Then people call in and say they've been healed and he'd claim the Lord's anointing.

He was hung up on gallbladders! He knew how common they were and that he'd get lots of hits off that one. Reckon the Lord advised him of that.

I watched for years wondering if he'd ever say, "The Lord is healing somebody right now of Cerebral Autosomal Dominant Arteriopathy with Subcortical Infarcts and Leukoencephalopathy!

Ole witch.

Mon, 25 Jan 2010 21:30:00 UTC | #435180

Kmita's Avatar Comment 23 by Kmita

"The people need hospital help, food and homes. I'm trying to do what I can,"

""The people need... homes."

Right after I'm done spending resources building this here new church!

Mon, 25 Jan 2010 21:46:00 UTC | #435186

Carl Sai Baba's Avatar Comment 24 by Carl Sai Baba

If there are any parts of Haiti where nobody is available to do nothing, religion is there to fill the void.

Tue, 26 Jan 2010 03:07:00 UTC | #435284

Dave Porter's Avatar Comment 25 by Dave Porter

At first i thought the distribution of bibles by these religious groups was a low blow; taking advantage of the down and out poor to enhance their faith. Then I remembered from my teen years that bibles are flammable! They can use them for cooking since they have little other fuel sources.I know my bible burned really well. Now how many joules of energy are there for each page...?

Tue, 26 Jan 2010 03:16:00 UTC | #435286

everettattebury's Avatar Comment 26 by everettattebury

How terrible it must be to be a hungry and thirsty child and be shot with rubber bullets or sprayed in the face with pepper spray for trying to get to the food.

Tue, 26 Jan 2010 17:10:00 UTC | #435489