A lesson in Christian charity

A lesson in Christian charity Open letter to Lawrence Cannon, minister of Foreign Affairs, government of Canada: I cannot believe, given the enormity of the disaster, that Ottawa is sending only $33,000,000 in aid to Pakistan. (I recall that the victims

Open letter to Lawrence Cannon, minister of Foreign Affairs, government of Canada:

I cannot believe, given the enormity of the disaster, that Ottawa is sending only $33,000,000 in aid to Pakistan. (I recall that the victims of the Southeast Asian tsunami received around $400 million in Canadian aid.)

Several news reports have spokespeople from various governments lamenting the fact that “terrorist” charities are bringing aid to the people and, as a result, are winning “hearts and minds.”

Your government has no problem spending billions of dollars and sacrificing the lives of Canadians in Afghanistan, supposedly to “win hearts and minds.” Neither does your government have a problem spending $18 billion for 65 advanced fighter jets whose sole purpose is to kill Ð they cannot be used to deliver food, water or medicine, just missiles, bullets and bombs.

You can spend $9 billion to construct more jails in the face of dropping crime rates: jails whose main result will be to produce smarter and more violent criminals.

Like the Iranians, your government wants “to be tough on crime,” and “to punch above your weight.” Why not “give till it hurts” or “love like there’s no tomorrow?”

I think Prime Minister Stephen Harper likes to call himself a Christian Ð I do not know about you.

So, for Harper, and all the other Christians in the government, I quote the Gospel of St. Matthew 25:41 – 43:

“Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’”

If we can spend so much to kill, maim and imprison people, surely we can spend more to provide the desperate people of Pakistan and other countries with food, water, shelter, clothing and medicine.

To do anything less is a sin.

Michael Purves

Whitehorse