Obama Ignores Christian Charities
Our nation mourns the tragic death of American aide worker Kayla Mueller, 26, at the hands of radical Islamic terrorist group ISIS. The life of this humanitarian, a devout Christian helping Muslims in war-torn Syria, was cut terribly short. Her life was nothing but an exploitation trophy for the group’s aspirations of total domination.
These grim hostage deaths of “infidels” are getting old. But what’s getting older is the president drawing some kind of moral equivalency between Christians and ISIS.
In an expression of verbal finger-wagging only two days after ISIS burned a Jordanian pilot alive in a cage, and just days before government sources reported Kayla’s death, President Obama used his podium time at the National Prayer Breakfast to lecture American Christians on their horrid past.
“Lest we get on our high horse and think this is unique to some other place, remember that during the Crusades and the Inquisition, people committed terrible deeds in the name of Christ,” Obama warned. He also threw in Jim Crow and slavery to underscore what evil has emanated from Christians based on his erudite historical interpretation.
Both liberal and conservative pundits are perplexed by this untimely reverse condemnation.
Are Christians really ISIS-like purveyors of evil? I don’t believe so.
Unfortunately, I didn’t know Kayla, but I’ve known several “Kaylas.” Thousands of young, passionate Christians live out their faith in remote, even dangerous regions across the globe guided by New Testament scripture in which Christ commands: Love thy neighbor and help orphans and widows in their need.
“When asked what kept her going in her mission (helping Syrian refugees), Kayla Mueller said, ‘I find God in the suffering eyes reflected in mine, if this is how you are revealed to me, this is how I will forever seek you.'” (Source: theguardian.com.)
I’ve witnessed 10-year-olds spend summer vacations with their parents in Africa planting gardens for impoverished villagers, and 80-year-olds with replaced knees dig fence post-holes and build bunk beds for orphans. All around the world are teams from American churches, including Hawaii’s, sleeping in seedy dorms or tents to help out poor, sick, disabled, unskilled and uneducated people of every religion — and of no religion.
They volunteer in places like Mexico, Central and South America, the Philippines, Africa, Bangladesh, the Pacific Islands and more. Children’s Medical Ministries, Samaritan’s Purse, Global Clubfoot initiative, Free Wheelchair Mission, Medical Teams International, The Tim Tebow Foundation, Worldwide Lab Improvement, Child Fund, World Vision, Compassion International, and Feed the Children are but a few of the Christian charities serving millions of poor and sick people. Catholic Charities alone helps 46 million poor worldwide.
When in Swaziland, Africa, a few years ago, I met a Taiwanese neurosurgeon when our Heart for Africa mission team was feeding vulnerable children at a local church. I asked if he could examine the crippled leg of an 8-year-old boy named Wilfred. Then, suddenly, the doctor blurted out:
“I’m Buddhist, but I want to tell you, the Christian churches that send people here are the only hope for this country.”
Heart for Africa, the Christian mission I serve with, is led by Ian and Janine Maxwell, who abandoned their comfortable corporate world to live on a farm in AIDS-devastated Swaziland. They toil 24/7 to support the abandoned and orphaned babies (now 89) who will be under their care until at least adulthood.
Certainly many secular nonprofits serve worldwide. But a December 2011 Christian Post article cited that in a Forbes charity rating based on stringent criteria, four out of the top five were Christian charities: Gleaning for the World, Kingsway Charities, Matthew 25: Ministries and Operation Compassion.
Christians are the first to admit their shortcomings, sin and human frailties. The ones I know would rather assume the place beneath the hooves of the president’s so-called “high horse” than ride atop it.
That would have included Kayla Mueller, who wrote home from her ISIS captivity that her only sorrow was for what she was putting her mother through.