I can't count the times that I've heard complaints from the secular left about how much harm religion does to societies. There is no question that you can find a number of examples of the harm done by the abuse of religion for political purposes.
What is overlooked is all the good that organized religion does, and particularly, Christianity.
As I watch the stories around the tragedy in Haiti unfold, one thing strikes me: the number of missionaries involved in the stories. These missionaries have not come in to Haiti following the earthquake to take advantage of an opportunity. No, rather, these missionaries were already there. They were ministering to the poorest of the poor, to the oppressed, to the illiterate and the homeless, long before Obama and Clinton jumped in this week to address the problems of the nation.
I know personally people in my own church who have been to Haiti and to Fuji and to Brazil and to Mexico and to other countries and other continents to dig wells, build houses, teach people farming techniques, to educate children and do many other things to improve the quality of life in these places ... all in the name of Jesus.
Where is the secular left? Where is the ACLU? Where are the American atheist organizations?
They are nowhere to be found. They don't see it as their job to help people in distress. They don't see the need to address tragedies. Instead they sit back and say "How can a God allow these kinds of things to happen. How can God allow people to starve? How can God allow people to be homeless?"
I suspect God may be asking the same questions of them, as they sit at home on their hindsides and complain about having prayer in public places and seeing Christmas trees. God might say to them, "As soon as you create your own universe, you can create your own rules about what is just and what is right."
Before Obama and Clinton and Bush met this week to address the problems in Haiti and to begin an organization effort to bring in relief, our church was on the phone telling us how we could help. You see, my church is already there. They've been there for years. In fact, they've been there for decades. And they don't need to start some new kind of organized effort to help out. They've already got an organization in place specifically designed to minister to the needs of the Haitian people.
Let's keep that in mind the next time we are tempted to knock organized religion for the"harm" they do to society.