Thursday, January 14, 2010

God don't like ugly...

I just watched an ABC News segment on Haiti.

Update - here is a link to the segment.

A bilingual reporter flew in with an aide organization and then toured several neighborhoods and talked to Haitians who are sleeping out in the streets because their homes have been destroyed.

The neighborhood was very quiet despite the masses of people…no babies crying or people moaning, no angry shouts or desperate pleas. And the people that the reporter spoke with had a look in their eyes…shock and pain and fear…and something else – hope.

As the segment came to an end, the reporter having spoken to several people with injuries who were unable to find medical care, a spontaneous worship broke out…women raised their arms to the sky and swayed to a rhythm that comes from within.

Back and forth, they shifted their weight together and sang a song of praise.

Even those who were unable to stand joined in…the camera capturing it all as the segment ended and the reporter noted that people who have lost everything have not lost their faith.

And I couldn’t help but note the difference between faith in practice…between the kind of faith that has a broken body lift hands and sing…and resume faith, where the prosperity gospel translates into making money as a television preacher by speaking words of hate and judgment in the name of God.

When there is a disaster both kinds of faith are present.

I saw the same after Hurricane Katrina or the Tsunami – so many people living their values by giving of themselves and some others indulging in public displays of ig’nance so poorly timed and lacking in compassion or decency that they literally took my breathe away.

The Haitian people are strong…they have endured despite oppression, tyranny, poverty and corruption.

And many Haitians are people of faith…some of that was captured in the segment that aired this morning, which showed Haitians using their faith to soothe and comfort as they sat surrounded by devastation and want.

Voices blending and bodies swaying, faces marked with blood and covered in dust, arms raised high with palms facing up.

Faithful and empowered through it…

…rather than vengeful and seeking power with it.

I stand in awe of the first.

As for the other…well, God don’t like ugly.

13 comments:

Kelley said...

As always, your comparison is extraordinarily insightful. I can only hope that this incident will finally and forever expose the hatemongers for what they really are: sad, pathetic, angry and selfish excuses for human beings who exist for no other reason than to spread hate. Let this be the beginning of their downfall, and a healthy rebirth of of the nation and people of Haiti.


I shall continue to kneel in the United Church of Bitchitude and Latter Day Drunks! Preach it, Shark Fu!

CableGirl said...

As a general rule I try to ignore comments and discussions of "faith" because I find, more often than not, those discussions are of the superficial type you mentioned. The real kind, the kind you just described by the people of Haiti? That gives me, an atheist, hope for humanity.

niteskolar said...

What incredible perspective. Thank you.

SR said...

In the middle of a stressful day, reading this post was calming. What a beautiful description of the faith of the people interviewed. I can't wait to watch the newsclip when I get a break. And an all too true comparison to the modern day "pharisees" who have hijacked religion.

tlc said...

Thank you for this. I'm writing letters within my faith community and to the network he's on, he needs to stop having a pulpit entirely. I've also sent along links to this blog post. Thank you again. You say & witness exactly what needs it.

CC said...

"GOD OUR FATHER, WALK THROUGH THE LAND OF HAITI; HAVE MERCY ON THEIR LIVES AND SOULS; TAKE AWAY ALL OF THEIR WORRIES AND ILLNESSES; WATCH OVER AND HEAL THEIR FAM ILIES. LET YOUR PERFECT WILL BE DONE. IN JESUS ' NAME WE PRAY.. AMEN "

JoyfulC said...

There's a huge difference between "faith" and "religion."

Too often, "religion" serves to give divine approval to one's own preferences or prejudices. It's a way to divide people; an excuse to oppress people.

"Faith" is another matter. To me, faith is believing that god loves what she has made (... yeah, she -- I realize that god has no need of gender, but since god gives life and nourishes, it seems natural to me to go with 'she') -- she loves what she has made whether it be prey or predator -- and that she only expects of us that we take no more than we need from this world, and that we put back in what we can.

The US is in a bad situation right now. There are Christians in the US who are little more than Taliban -- fundamentalist extremists who hide their hate behind religion. Americans need to stand up to this, before it gets too out of hand.

D. said...

I linked to this because as someone renewed and reconciled in faith, I (yeah it's all about Me) need every reminder that my God is not the twisted vengeful cockroach that the haters worship.

Also, adding to what CC said.

Dusty said...

What an incredible post Shark Fu. Your pov on this is spot-friggin-on. Thank you so much for sharing it with us.

On a side note..it would be very hard for me to pray to a Gawd if I was a Haitian. But I am in awe of them for still having faith in spite of all the fuckery and such that is put upon these people on a daily basis.

If there is a Gawd, he/she/it better start taking care of these folks...they love their Gawd regardless of the lot they were handed in life. I could not be like them I fear..

Vigilante said...

Yeah! What Dusty said!

charmngbilly said...

shug, it's been awhile but i've been lurking. beautiful, excellent post and the comments!! 'tis a joy. now that i'm older i begin to realize more and more that folks like Roberts and his ilk have something essential to being fully and completely human missing.....and their strange shibboleths and adhesion(stickier i think than adherence or subscription)to a strange and frightening bloody atonement theology and a syncretic idolatry are a symptom of it. well, i've got to get to working on helping organize a drag/strip show to raise funds for the Haiti relief. be good, carry on.....stay strong. y'know, the usual.....

rde said...

It's amazing that these Haitians, in their time of desperate need, have given something to other people.

Cherie said...

When you mention the Haitian people enduring so many problems with poverty and corruptionm I can't help but think about how women are affected in this situation and if they receive the care they need to take care of their family. Please check out this article on why some argue it is more important to give to the women of Haiti in times like these http://www.thedailyfemme.com/femme/?p=315