A few definitions from Webster’s Dictionary:
Judeo-Christian – Having historical roots in both Judaism and Christianity.
Judaism – (a) A religion developed among the ancient Hebrews and characterized by belief in one transcendent God who has revealed himself to Abraham, Moses, and the Hebrew prophets and by a religious life in accordance with Scriptures and rabbinic traditions; (b) the cultural, social, and religious beliefs and practices of the Jews.
Christianity – The religion derived from Jesus Christ, based on the bible as sacred scripture, and professed by Eastern, Roman Catholic, and Protestant bodies.
Values – Something (as a principle or quality) intrinsically valuable or desirable.
Since its founding, the United States of America has been known for its Judeo-Christian values. Those values, as exemplified by the majority of Americans, came shining through last week after the earthquake in Haiti.
I reviewed a 34 page (small print) list of countries that have provided aid to Haiti, and the United States puts all of the other countries to shame. Not only has there been hundreds of millions of dollars sent to Haiti from our federal government, churches, individuals, celebrities, corporations, and other organizations, we have also provided assistance by sending over our volunteers, doctors, and military.
In the first week alone, in addition to over $160 million in aid, the United States sent:
• 3,500 soldiers from the Army;
• 2,200 Marines, along with three ships that can produce purified water – the USS Bataan, the USS Fort McHenry, and the USS Carter Hall;
• 4,000 sailors aboard the U.S. Navy aircraft carrier, USS Vinson, which has 19 helicopters on board, can produce purified water, and is equipped with 3 operating rooms and dozens of hospital beds;
• The USNS Comfort which has 250 hospital beds and 12 operating rooms;
• The USS Underwood and the USS Normandy which have over 250 personnel.
It is gratifying to see that we are still a nation that continues to adhere to its Judeo-Christian values and traditions.
One of our core beliefs as Christians is that we are all called to love our neighbors as ourselves. And who is our neighbor? Anyone who is in dire need of assistance. That’s where the concept of charity comes from – a concept that dates back to the time of Abraham and Moses (and was greatly expanded by Jesus Christ and His church).
Consider this: While Israel responded as quickly as the United States in sending help to Haiti – a delegation that included rescue forces, 40 doctors, 24 nurses, and medical personnel to set up a hospital capable of treating 500 patients – the only Moslem country I found on the list that provided aid to Haiti was Turkey. Moslems are required by their religion to provide aid to other Moslems, but not to outsiders.
India, which has the second largest population on earth, sent $1 million in aid, the same amount that several individual U.S. corporations sent. The Hindu religion has no place for charity. A person’s fate is what he deserves, based on the way he behaved in prior lifetimes.
Although many of the Asian countries contributed, the amounts that were given were a fraction of what other countries contributed as a percentage of their gross domestic product. China, which has the largest population on earth, along with a massive treasure chest of investments and reserves, gave $1 million dollars (one-tenth of what tiny Norway gave).
The lion’s share of the aid to Haiti has come (and will continue to come) from the United States and the other western (Christian based) countries.
While we are deluged with propaganda from both inside and outside of the United States that we are a selfish country, the facts prove otherwise. Despite the fact that our country is in debt up to its ears and is experiencing a serious recession with 10% + unemployment, we still stepped forward and provided massive assistance to our neighbors, both in manpower and money. And when all of the other countries have long forgotten about the devastation in Haiti, we will still be there helping them rebuild their country.
It is our Christian values that have made our country great. Yes we have suffered some major setbacks during the past 60 years, but we have the ability to come back stronger than before if we continue to stick together as Christians who are committed to our faith, our families, and our communities. And, of course, we must continue to pray daily for the grace that we, as a country, will return to a legal system that is based upon the same Judeo-Christian values that the United States of America was built upon.
The next time someone tells you that the United States is no longer a Christian nation you should hit him (or her) over the head with the details of what we, as a country, did for the Haitian people. And then you should say a prayer of thanksgiving that you were given the good fortune (and grace) to be born in a country that was founded upon Christian values and principles.
Take pride in the fact that you are a Christian. You are a member of an elite group that comes to the rescue of those who are in need.