The Limits of charity and the unlimited potential of justice.

I heard an amazing story on NPR today.  (I bet that there are million blog posts that start with that sentence.)

It hasn’t posted yet on PRI’s website  but it’s about Zambia’s response to the earthquake in Haiti.  Long story short,  Zambia raised $20 million for Haiti. The report concluded with a  Zambian woman quoting the well-known gospel story of a widow who gives away her last few pennies as the reason she felt compelled to give to Haiti, despite her own economic poverty.

I’ll link the story when it becomes available.

The same report says that so far over $500 million has been given away by the American people to help Haiti. I feel Americans have been generous in their response and sympathies toward Haiti these last few horrible weeks.

Still, charity has it limits.

In 2008, an American B-2 Stealth Bomber crashed as it was taking off from an airbase in Guam.  The value of that plane?  $1.2 billion.

We must do all we can to help the people of Haiti as they bury their dead, fight for survival, and make plans for the future.  Just as importantly, we must understand that charity is not a substitute for justice and that charity is often used as way to cover up deep injustices.

Let’s fight for a world where no one ever again will spend $1.2 billion on a military aircraft.

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