Times Leader Letter to Editor 12/4/10

I submitted the following letter to the editor that was published [without my serial commas].

Reader believes Haiti needs money, not pews

A recent article, “Passing on spirit,” featured members of an area church shipping religious-themed items such as stained-glass windows, chandeliers, an organ and pews to a church in Haiti.

As the article mentions, members think this is a wonderful way to help Haitians. Youths said this action is a “good deed.” I disagree.

Haiti has been plagued with earthquakes, a great deal of civil and political unrest, poverty and a recent cholera outbreak. It is one of the worst places to live at the moment.

In times of great peril and the need for humanitarian efforts, religious items shouldn’t be a first concern or even a concern at all. If you’re going to help the Haitians, you should send monetary donations to the American Red Cross efforts in Haiti, Doctors Without Borders or another charitable organization.

Readers might think, “Well, what are you doing to help Haiti?” But if you do so, you’re missing my point and committing an ad hominem fallacy. My argument here is that this church community’s moral priorities are out of whack.

Instead of shipping these religious items, they should have sold the items and donated the money to charity. They could have even sent money to build a modest church (without stained glass and chandeliers) and given the rest to a charity to help Haitians.

Justin Vacula Co-organizer and spokesperson NEPA Freethought Society Wilkes-Barre


For more detail on this story, please view my previous post.