Is this the kind of aid Pat Robertson’s Operation Blessing is offering in Haiti? Food and…faith healing?

(h/t Right Wing Watch)

This reminds me of what happened in the aftermath of the tsunami when Christian missionaries were asked, by local Christian communities, to leave the country because they were doing a lot more proselytizing and coercing conversions than feeding, clothing, or helping in any way.*

I hope Christian aid groups are doing some good in Haiti, and if they are, good for them.

But if they’re pulling these sorts of stunts? They’d be better off to go somewhere else and let Doctors Without Borders or some other adult organization take over.

*I’m quite aware that, in the minds of many born-again Christian leaders, converting the people to Christianity IS helping. This is why sane people of all stripes, believers or non-, must continually challenge these sorts of beliefs in the public square. Because I’m sorry, but proselytizing is NOT appropriate in these situations. I’m reminded of the famous quote from St. Francis of Assisi, “Preach the gospel at all times — If necessary, use words.” The point he was making seems to be lost on many modern day evangelical and fundamentalist believers. I’m no Christian, but the general message from Jesus as to how to treat and care for people is solid. It’s also not unique. Most faiths have some version of the same idea. In Judaism, it’s called tikkun olam — the repairing of the world. In Islam it’s zakat. And indeed, atheists, agnostics and freethinkers of all sorts rely on a humanistic concept of caring for those less fortunate, simply because it’s the right thing to do as regards other sentient beings, as we would want done for us.