And then I went to bed.
This morning I woke up, took my kid to school at the crack of yesterday (oh zero-hour, how I love thee...NOT) and then went into work for a few hours. A few comments popped up on Facebook, which was fine and dandy and mid-morning I left to drive north to teach.
Teaching was wonderful. The kids are still fresh and excited. They were happy for music and happy to sing. They were excited about what we plan to do this semester, and we had a few more new faces. It was a great morning. I drove up north singing, and I drove back singing. I know it's early in the semester when everything is still good, but I was lifted up all the same, equally grateful for music, students, and my opportunity to be involved in the musical, creative, and educational process.
I settled back in at my desk and booted up several programs and windows in my usual anal-retentive precise order: Email, new webby library catalog, old DOS-like library catalog and Firefox (blog, gmail, facebook, twitter).
It seems that while I was off whistling a happy tune, there was QUITE the discussion about my post from yesterday. Well, I was in such a good mood, I decided to let all the parties get it out of their system, and then I'd go back and deal with it later. I'd let "later" be tomorrow, but it's already tomorrow, and I know if I don't tackle this now, I won't sleep. So here goes.
I like to think that one of my strengths is to write from a fairly non-confrontational point of view. That isn't to say that I don't have an opinion -- of course I do -- but for better or for worse, I have never particularly been a "my way or the highway" kind of person. In fact, one of my baby blogs that dealt with political issues was called "Waffles of Compromise" because I felt as if I could usually see the positive aspects on either side of a debate. You might think it's more waffle-ish and less compromise, and you might be right. Or not. (SEE?)
At any rate, I entirely stand behind what I wrote, but I feel compelled to reiterate a few points that I think have gotten lost in the shuffle.
Yes, I had (and still have) a problem with statements about cursed nations, pacts with the devil and the repression of "Napoleon the 3rd, or whatever." I have to wonder, how long will it be before I am blamed along with the entire female population for some calamity or other because we're cursed because Eve talked to the serpent and ate the apple? As troubling as those thoughts are, one of my big concerns is the timing of these statements. I had, indeed, heard that he and his organization had sent relief. Wonderful. As he should. As we should. As everybody should. But what would compel anyone to assist with one hand and rebuke with the other? And as for the tired, "they took my comments out of context," all I can say is, I've heard that "bad editing" excuse from plenty of reality television type people. Yes, there is such a thing as editing. But they can only edit what you say. And, to the best of my knowledge, although Mr. Robertson has issued statements on the "pact with the devil" statement, I have yet to hear a plausible explanation how on this earth a tragedy of this magnitude could be considered "a blessing in disguise."
The point of my post yesterday was to encourage everybody to action; to DO and DO and DO some more for those who are hurting. This is not the time for sermons or speculations or suppositions. There is so much to do, there is so much need out there, there is so much hurt that needs healing. If Mr. Robertson has sent all the aid he claims and has organized support groups to go over there and take an active part in compassionate assistance, that's great. But his terribly mistimed, unnecessary and ultimately hurtful statements have drowned out any good work he may have done and any good intentions he may have. As one commentator stated online, "Oh Pat... you are like the weird uncle we wish nobody would listen to."
I have read two excellent and well-balanced articles on the Mr. Robertson in light of the Haiti tragedy that can be found HERE and HERE. I think this says it the best:
"To suggest that Haiti's extreme poverty or epic tragedy is a result of God or the devil is not for you or me to say. It is our responsibility to communicate the character of a loving God who calls us to care for orphans and widows, to feed the hungry, to welcome the stranger, clothe the naked and look after the sick."I'm OK with debate, and I'm perfectly fine with differences of opinion. I am quite certain that we all have more things in common with each other than differences. But now is the time for action. Now is the time to DO. Be the living spirit of the compassion. Be the helping hands of love. Save all the rest for another day.
I love you all.