Because I question the wisdom of billions of government money spent on Katrina relief, does that make me a bad person? Am I uncaring of those in dire need? I think not.
I certainly don’t discount the horror of seeing your home destroyed and losing everything you own in a flood. Seeing your neighborhood underwater, not knowing if your loved ones survived the disaster… it is hard for those who haven’t been through these traumas to comprehend the toll it must take on those who experienced it. Certainly all of us have a responsibility to help our neighbors in need. But should debate about government money spent on such a thing be cut off? The popular media seems to think so. We have seen very little public discourse on the issue. American dependence on government to fix all of our problems seems complete.
World magazine’s Joel Belz offers his perspective:
Is the crisis portrayed in a way that helps the public respond as thoughtfully as it should? There were reasons last week to wonder. What does it mean when thousands of offers for housing were going unclaimed? What forces were at work when a friend of mine went to ground zero with a chain saw and a generator, and had people all but tell him to go away. They could take care of their own problems, thank you very much. What was the problem when a relief truck got to the Gulf area only to find no place to go with its cargo?
None of those incidents diminishes the reality or scope of the suffering that has occurred. But the solutions that are needed are far more complex and nuanced than those glibly provided by opportunistic politicians and media folks. Be wary when either of them starts scaring you with reports of 10,000 corpses, and when you hear them filling their endless hours with stories of homeless pets. Have they both gotten a little too frantic for a story?
The gravity of the disaster must not sway us from thoughtful consideration of such issues. Those who address them are not heartless in the face of great need. They realize that even with the noblest of intentions, it is possible for us to make mistakes about the best way to address our problems.
Read the full article: Getting a Bit Carried Away?
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