To hell with Haiti?

Scott Fowler’s most recent SN column offers some push-back against Pat Robertson’s latest bit of bilious ignorance, urging financial support for the Haiti relief effort. Good for him.

Fowler gets a lot wrong politically – mostly recently Ollie North (!) and Mike Huckabee – and one could wish that prominent evangelicals in southern gospel were half as courageous in denouncing the fringers amongst them as they are positioning themselves as victims of pervasive anti-Christian bias from the stage. But it’s good to see someone of some recognition push back against the likes of Robertson.

If I had my druthers, I’d say just give money directly to the Red Cross or other relief organizations that have a more encompassing mission and presence than Fowler’s recommendation of Compassion International, which - in addition to being slathered over with Sally Struthers-style hucksterism - focuses (rather narrowly in this particular crisis) only on children. And too, I guess it’s grading on a pretty steep curve to give credit as if it’s some accomplishment when an evangelical celebrity simply comes out in favor of, you know … helping people in need and stuff. But such is the state of allegedly Christian discourse in America today (see here for some cogent reflection on the penchant amongst prominent evangelical preachers toward outrageous nonsense). Let’s take sanity - and small-c compassion - where we find it.

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Comments

  1. Ward Hodges wrote:

    Doug Harrison’s most recent blog offers some push-back against Pat Robertson’s latest bit of bilious ignorance, urging financial support for the Haiti relief effort. Good for him.

    Harrison gets a lot wrong politically – mostly recently Hilliary Clinton (!) and Obama – and one could wish that prominent southern gospel critics were half as courageous in denouncing the fringers amongst them as they are positioning themselves as victims of pervasive anti-Christian bias from the “Christian Right.” But it’s good to see someone of some recognition push back against the likes of Robertson.

    If I had my druthers, I’d say just give money directly to the Compassion International or other relief organizations that have a more encompassing mission and presence than Harrison’s recommendation of the Red Cross, which focuses only on the physical need, leaving the spiritual need completely unrecognized and ignored. And too, I guess it’s grading on a pretty steep curve to give credit as if it’s some accomplishment when a member of the so called intelligentsia simply comes out in favor of, you know … helping people in need and stuff. But such is the state of allegedly academic elites in America today. They’re all for Christian relief, just without the Christianity. Robertson’s craziness aside, let’s take sanity - and address the spiritual needs of Haiti, along with the physical, or else our work, and the people of Haiti, will be hell bound indeed.

  2. David Bruce Murray wrote:

    Even better, give to the World Hunger fund.

    http://worldhungerfund.com/

    Compassion International, World Vision, and yes, even Red Cross, have to take a portion of contributions to pay administrative costs. The administrative costs of the World Hunger fund, in contrast, are underwritten by Southern Baptists. Everything given to the World Hunger fund goes to hungry people.

    If you want to specify donations for Haiti, give here:
    http://imbresources.org/index.cfm/fa/store.prod/ProdID/2825.cfm

  3. Bob Nolan wrote:

    Doug - knock it off. Your once must-read blog has now become a vast nothingness of left-leaning, conservative hating drivel.

    I used to WANT to read your material - now I have to be forced to read it. If Scott hadn’t linked to it on FB, I wouldn’t have read this piece.

    Just get back to SG commentary - and stay away from anything other than the music itself.

  4. Lenny wrote:

    #1 Ward, well, if it’s hell fire and brimstone politics you want, maybe you’ll like this
    http://www.blog.johnlanier.com/
    The Silence Of The Church

  5. Markp wrote:

    #3) AMEN, Bob. AMEN!!!!!!

  6. quartet-man wrote:

    #2 Umcor has the same deal. The administrative costs are paid through apportionments from the UMC, and 100% of monies given go to the need. It doesn’t matter to me which way the money is given, just another option.

    http://new.gbgm-umc.org/Umcor/

  7. RF wrote:

    Good form, quartet-man. UMCOR is a great way to give money without the administrators taking 60%.

  8. David Bruce Murray wrote:

    #6,
    I must give the United Methodists credit, too, for the fact that they offer a link to give directly online.

    Southern Baptists do offer a way to give to Haiti relief online, but they want all the general World Hunger fund donations to go through local churches. I can’t understand why they (I should say “we,” since I’m one of them) would not offer an online route for giving to the fund.

  9. NonInsider wrote:

    Hmmm sounds like Fowler has all of his Ducks in a row to me… Politically and compassionately…

  10. Rev. Ed Robinson wrote:

    I have had the privilege of supporting children through Compassion International for over 20 years. Never once have I had any concern regarding how my contributions have been handled and managed. Compassion International continues to do a wonderful job of being good stewards of its finances, making sure that the physical, educational, and spiritual needs of its children are being met. I know that there are a number of ministries whose focus is well-rounded, and I am so thankful that they do the work that they do, especially in an area like Haiti where there has been and continues to be such suffering.

  11. John Haymon wrote:

    I would never give to the Red Cross because of what happened here in Houston, Texas after tropical storm Allison. The Red Cross took all of the money that was donated to help the people of Houston and skipped town with it, not helping a one of the people here. My son’s room was destroyed in that flood and he had to sleep on the floor for about three months because the Red cross stole all of the funds and left town. Therefore, I would never give to the Red Cross, ever again!!!!!

  12. Marci (cookie lady) wrote:

    I know Scott Fowler…I know his heart and I’m totally behind whatever he says!

  13. wackythinker wrote:

    #3 & #5 — Sorry, but I happen to think this IS about sg, since it involves a prominent sg personality, and his encouraging us to help the unfortunate victims of this earthquake.

    Or did that get lost in the side comments about Scott’s politics? Or did it get lost in the reference to Pat Robertson.

    It’s still about southern gospel and culture.

  14. NG wrote:

    #11 I’ve read all my life of the great work of the American Red Cross. To read that it did not help one person in Houston after Hurricane Allison made no sense. So I checked the web news article on the Hurricane and found that: “The American Red Cross and the Salvation Army opened 48 shelters at the peak of need for people driven from their homes and served nearly 300,000 meals.”

  15. Glenn wrote:

    #3 and I guess #5. Forced to read?

  16. Wade wrote:

    3 & 5… If Dr. Dh was a righty and spewed it from the OTHER side they would think it was great and be ALL UP for it.

    But since the entry does not agree with their petty Political & Social View it is…”a vast nothingness of left-leaning, conservative hating drivel.”

    And ya gotta love the liars that say they woudl not have been here sans their right wing buddy posted it on facebook. If that was TRULY the case #3 would have ALL the other BACKGROUND!!!

    I don’t agree with all of Dr. DH’s stands but the difference in #3 and me is I am mature enough to listen to both sides and consider them with out doing what the lefties mostly do which is NAME CALLING!!

    GROW UP!!

  17. Texjoy777 wrote:

    I agree with 1 3 & 9. Perhaps you should stick to criticizing southern gospel MUSIC, disparaging as your comments may be, and leave politics to the people who actually know what their talking about.

    As for donating to the cause, my family is giving to a program our church headquarters is organizing. I don’t have to worry about how the funds are being used.

  18. wackythinker wrote:

    #17 — But the subtitle of this blog says it’s about “Southern Gospel Music and CULTURE.” (emphasis mine)

    If this ain’t about sg IN culture, I don’t know what is. Get a grip. I agree with Wade on this.

    Other that showing his disagreement with Scott’s political cronies, I’m not sure what you could possibly disagree with in Doug’s post. His choice of charities?

    Woopy Doo!

  19. quartet-man wrote:

    #16 Perhaps you are correct, and yet that seems to be Doug’s (although he seems a lot more fair than many on the left) and other peoples’ problem with people such as Fowler and Wolfe.

  20. KDM wrote:

    In response to Pat Robertson’s comments that God has abandoned Haiti to Satan because of their leader’s apocryphal ‘pact with the devil’ two hundred years ago…such abandonment isn’t the action of the God of the Bible. Robertson should know this. Look at the account of the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah. Abraham pleaded for the city, and God agreed to spare it if he could find five righteous men among the depravity of the city. The city was destroyed because no righeousness could be found.

    As long as there are blood-bought Christians in Haiti (and I’m sure there are), God will never turn away from them. I often think that the only thing that spares our own nation from similar catastrophe is the presence of God’s saints in America. He stays His hand for the sake of His children. Only God knows why Haiti has been so terribly afflicted, but as long as His people are there, He will not withold His mercy and love from them.

    That said, I believe it is our Christian responsibility to be that hand of mercy and love, extended in Christ’s name. This disaster gives us the opportunity to become a blessing to the Haitians, whether they are Christians or not. How you choose to give is up to you. But remember the story of the blind man Jesus healed. When the apostles asked whether the man or his parents sinned for such an affliction to be laid on the man, Jesus responded that the man was afflicted so that Christ may be glorified. So don’t bicker about the politics, just go out there and glorify God and be a blessing to someone in need!

  21. Extra Ink wrote:

    Am I dreaming, or did I read somewhere once (maybe here?) that SG artists who pitch Compassion International get a cut for themselves if they sign people up as members of CI?

  22. Scott Fowler wrote:

    No kick-backs were offered for this effort and if offered none would be accepted. It’s a shame that we have come to a place where the motives of c-compassion and charity have to endure the cynical scrutiny of the skeptical. But, as is the case with anything, it’s where we find ourselves thanks to the bad apples among us. Regardless, Legacy Five will continue to do whatever we can, when we can, to help others in need both at home and abroad. I hope you all will do the same. Just find a cause you can belive in and go to work….that’s the real point here.

  23. DP wrote:

    Amen Scott!!!

  24. Nate Stainbrook wrote:

    Well said Scott! Keep on fighting the good fight, and God will bless you for it!

  25. Extra Ink wrote:

    Scott,

    If you knew me, I don’t think you would call me a bad apple at all. I was just asking what I feel is a valid & fair question. I was not attacking you or questioning your heart. In fact, I love you and your music, and have for many years.

    I do think it’s fair to ask when someone is soliciting money from you for a cause if they are receiving a portion of the funds. It’s always good stewardship to know where your money is going.

  26. NonInsider wrote:

    Extra Ink… I don’t think he was actually calling YOU a bad apple. He was answering your question, and made the bad apple comment in general towards anyone that runs down an organization that he firmly believes in and supports.

  27. Scott Fowler wrote:

    Extra Ink….non insider is right. I was not referring to you. Sorry I wasn’t more clear. I’m just saying that because of the folks down thru the years who have been less than forthright about collecting/distributing charital contributions, we do indeed have to ask how the contributions are being used. I agree with you that we must find out where our gifts are going. Unfortunately, healthy skepticism is a must. Trust but verify!

  28. Extra Ink wrote:

    Thanks for the clarification, Scott. Again, love your ministry and here’s hoping that L5 continues spreading the good news for many years to come.

  29. John Haymon wrote:

    Well the Red Cross might have opened all those shelters but when I went and all of my friends in my neighborhood, they gave us an appointment for three weeks later and when we showed up at the appointment, there was a note taped up saying that the Red Cross had closed the sight and left town. You might want to tell my friend and her company that gave $10,000.00 to the Red Cross and see what they have to say about your wonderful Red Cross. And it wasn’t just one person that the Red Cross didn’t help either, it was thousands of people. The Red Cross said they had saved the money for other such future disasters because I emailed them to complain about what they had done to the people in Houston and that is the reply I got after they had sent me an email asking for a donation. So I still wouldn’t give the Red Cross the time of day, much less any money. I am glad your dealings with the Red Cross have been better than mine. I can only hope that some disaster never happens in your neighborhood as it did in ours and you that you never have to rely on the Red Cross for assistance.

  30. John Haymon wrote:

    To NG:
    I hope and pray that you never have to expereince the disappointment that I felt when the Red Cross did that to me. I didn’t just read about it somewhere, I actually expereinced it as well as thousands of other Houstonians. They might have served over three hundred thousand meals but I never received one of them. And that is doing very little when there are over five million people in the Houston area. So I wouldn’t say that was a point to brag about either.

  31. quartet-man wrote:

    I have personally seen the Red Cross help when we had flooding here. I was blessed to not have need, but I personally saw water, cleaning kits, makeup, and various things given to people in need. They set up a “store” and also got trucks of other things delivered. One issue with them, is you have to specify that you want it kept locally or it might not stay there. It isn’t that it doesn’t go to help someone, but it might not be where you live. I don’t know what their overhead is.

  32. johnhaymon wrote:

    Well, Quartet Man, I am happy for your positive experience with the Red Cross. I am just sorry that I never experienced it and those companies that donated the money did specify that the money stay in the community. But I guess the Red Cross was busy buying make up and cleaning supplies for some other areas, but I just know that they did not do any of that in my community. However, I will say that after Hurricane Ike, the Red Crosss came down through the neighborhood passing out plates of food. For that I am grateful. But I will never forget what they did after tropical storm Allison stalled over Houston and flooded the town.

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