Reading Gizmodo this afternoon, I came across a frankly disturbing article on how a Christian group is sending audio Bibles to victims of the earthquake in Haiti. Now, I'd like to firstly say that I'm sure there are plenty of Christian organisations out there which have donated real money and provided real aid for the people suffering out there. However, this still doesn't detract from the fact that this idea is completely and utterly fucking ridiculous. The Scientology one linked in the article is as well, but we've come to expect that from Scientology anyway so nobody really gives a shit.
When people are still coming to terms with such a massive disaster, when they are still trying to figure out how to get back on their feet when they have no house and no possessions, when there are people who are starving because they have no money for food, people badly injured, dying... you send them fucking solar powered Bibles?
Today there was another aftershock, of magnitude 6.1. It's crazy and alarming that it's even referred to as "another aftershock", because in most places it'd be referred to as "a fucking big earthquake". Fact is that there are 200,000 people dead (at least) and over 1,500,000 homeless. That's a lot of people. That's slightly more than one for every twenty seconds remaining in 2010. A lot of people who are in desperate need of proper help, not preaching.
The best case scenario here is that these Christians are trying to raise morale. Haiti is primarily a Christian country, so I wouldn't say these Bibles are an entirely shitty idea, but it's still completely retarded. If you're going to the trouble of making these things, of shipping them out there... why the fuck would you? Why the fuck wouldn't you send something which is a little more desperately required? If I was dying of starvation and a man told me that God loved me, then if I was a Christian at least I'd probably take some hope from that. But if he told me that he'd just gone to the high-street and bought me a Bible I'd be pretty pissed off and would want to know why the fuck he didn't think of getting me some food.
The website of the group responsible for this has a picture advertising them giving out the audio Bibles. It's a picture of people crowding round, reaching out for bottles of presumably some sort of nutrient water stuff being handed out. Notice that they're not clamouring for the audio Bibles. These aren't people who said "fuck that food and water shit, what I really need right now is to hear the Bible from a solar powered radio". They're people wanting real aid.
What's really extra fucking stupid is that these guys have just gone through one of the worst natural disasters of recent times. I'm pretty sure right now that they're not best pleased with God. To send them Bibles and messages saying he loves them just seems almost to be taking the piss a little bit. Sure, God may have just destroyed your entire house, caused you to lose all of your possessions and left you struggling to survive, but remember: He loves you. It's fucking bullshit. Does God really show his love for an almost exclusively Catholic nation by sending it a magnitude 7.0 earthquake and a fuckload of aftershocks?
The most cynical view would be that they're doing this to stop people thinking that way. To make sure people stay Christian and don't abandon their religion. Which, if it's the case (and I hope it isn't) then that's just utterly wrong. To prioritise people staying to the religion you believe to be right rather than staying alive is just slightly sick.
I'll stress again that I know plenty of Christians will find this audio Bible stuff similarly horrific, and that this isn't how all Christians think, or administer aid. But I still think that whoever suggested the idea of sending them Bibles instead of proper, useful aid, needs a slap. Regardless of morale, people are dying out there, and you can't save a starving person with words of God.