Rod over at Makarios really lost all shreds of my respect. Of course, most rationally minded people would probably call me silly for getting so upset at somebody clearly so stone-dumb closed-minded, but a recent post declared that international aid comes from traditionally Christian countries because "Christians on the other hand act out of compassion... We help because we recognise in others a specialness, a treasure, a gift to the world that should not be discarded or ignored."
My response follows:
This is just over the top, Rod.
Now look - I doubt anything will cure your bigotry. You clearly want to hate a group of people, and no rationalizing or presentation of statistics will alter that desire.
However, I should point out the following:
In 2006, the top 20 countries donating to international aid - by percentage of income - were these:
4. The Netherlands
17. New Zealand
I found this list at www.care2.com, but you can also check OECD, www.poverty.com [http://www.poverty.com/
internationalaid.html] where you'll find out that Sweden donates 103 cents/ every $100 earned, Canada donates 30 cents/ every $100 earned and the United States donates 17 cents/ every $100 earned.
This is in response to a United Nations call for governments to donate 0.7% of their income to international aid. The countries that have met that schedule are Sweden, Luxembourg, Norway, the Netherlands and Denmark. The US and Canada are nowhere near the mark.
Neither is Japan (a predominantly atheistic country), but consider this UNICEF article:
"The government of Japan has allocated seventy million dollars to UNICEF to assist in the tsunami relief effort."
NEVERMIND that you're wrong in your premises. The United States is not a historically Christian nation (except that the majority of inhabitants have been Christian). I don't know about Canada, but either way they haven't contributed much to international aid.
AND helping strangers or even potential enemies seems to make worlds of sense to many people in traditionally non-theistic countries.
And when it comes to treasure... from UNICEF's mission statement:
"UNICEF was created with this purpose in mind – to work with others to overcome the obstacles that poverty, violence, disease and discrimination place in a child’s path. We believe that we can, together, advance the cause of humanity.
We advocate for measures to give children the best start in life, because proper care at the youngest age forms the strongest foundation for a person’s future.
We act so that all children are immunized against common childhood diseases, and are well nourished, because it is wrong for a child to suffer or die from a preventable illness."
"As secular humanists we believe in the central importance of the value of human happiness here and now. We are opposed to absolutist morality, yet we maintain that objective standards emerge, and ethical values and principles may be discovered, in the course of ethical deliberation. Secular humanist ethics maintains that it is possible for human beings to lead meaningful and wholesome lives for themselves and in service to their fellow human beings without the need of religious commandments or the benefit of clergy."
Of course you'll rationalize your way out of this, Rod! I'm not expecting to change your mind. You're filled with bigotry against people who haven't come to the conclusions you've come to because hey - you've considered the other options and they're all wrong!
It may be an empty phrase, but maybe you'll catch my general sentiment toward you at this point: Go to hell, Rod.