Monday, February 08, 2010

Cultural Hijacking

Concerning the American missionaries accused of "kidnapping" children from Haiti they were trying to adopt:

I understand that the missionaries were only trying to do what was right. Haiti right now is a hell, and they were trying to save these children from hell. They're heart was in the right place.

However, children are the heritage of our future. They are the ones to perpetuate our culture, our traditions, our hopes. Each society has its own set of standards and ideals that we place on our children. To take children away is to steal a culture's future. If a parent chooses to move a child from one nation to another, that parent is making a choice against one society in favor of another.

But no one can make the choice for another society's children. For the Haitians, yes, their country is a hell, but that is partly the result of a disaster, partly the result of France that dismantled their government, and partly the result of American economic imperialism throughout the globe. Yes, many Americans think we have a better way of life, but for much of the world it is simply a wealthier way of life, not better at all.

I have never met these missionaries and I cannot make a judgement of them. But it makes me wonder if they have a cultural superiority in their hearts. Do they think that America will truly be better for those children? Economically, surly, but would that be truly better? To take them away from their Haitian cultural heritage? To live as Americans-- who are eating up the world's resources faster than it can accept?

It also makes me wonder about those involved in the Sanctuary movement for immigrants to the U.S. A number of Christian liberals are speaking about the U.S. as if it were the kingdom of God. As if immigrating to the U.S. is the best thing that could happen to those immigrants and they have the right to live here. Now, I know that where a number of these folks come from are places that are difficult to live and that they have gone through many struggles to arrive in the U.S. out of necessity. However, should we be pouring money into something that the citizens of the U.S. are clearly opposed to, or should we put our resources into making the rest of the world a better place to live, where one can feed the children? If money was already going from the U.S. to build up the immigrant communities, they wouldn't need to come to the U.S.

The U.S. is not the best culture in the world. Nor is it the worst. It is just one of many. Let's keep things in perspective and deny the cultural imperialism that we can so easily get caught up in.

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