Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Responding to Myanmar and China

With the disastrous ecological and human toll of the cyclone in Myanmar and the earthquake in China, our awareness of human suffering around the world has been exponentially increased over the past few days. Our involvement in the fate of others has been dramatically heightened by television and the internet. The distance separating us from others has been drastically shortened by the images and news brought into our living rooms. Jonathan Sacks says in his book the Dignity of Difference, “It seems that our compassion for the victims of poverty, war and famine, runs ahead of our capacity to act. Our moral sense is simultaneously activated and frustrated.” I am very frustrated that the government of Myanmar is blocking international aid. Let’s hope that their hearts will be softened by the needs they see and let’s hope that the United Nations will continue to push for relief efforts to reach the victims of the cyclone.

In situations like this it is good to remember that we are a part of denominations that are making responses to the crisis. Both the UCC and UMC churches have set up relief web sites for those who might want to contribute funds to Myanmar. I am sure that within a day or so, sites will also be set up for relief in China. The links to those sites are:

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