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#321189 06/11/07 10:46 AM
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Skeptic Offline OP
Jellyfish
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About half the time I load this page to read the forums I get an Amercan Red Cross advertisement and it got me thinking about the need for a more secular worldwide aid organization. Now I realize that there is a Red Crescent which is essentially the same organization (I think) operating in Muslim countries. but I would be much more inclined to support an organization which did not tie itself to a religion. Either actually of figuratively. Is a Red Flying Spaghetti Monster the answer, I don't know. I do know that the Red Cross does alot of good and I assume the Red Crescent is similar but I would feel better served if I was sure that these organizations were not doing the work in order to advance their own agendas or religions. That is why the Red Earth or Red Human societies would get my support if they existed.

On a side note (because I think it is related) some friends of family are christian missionaries. They travel the world building schools and helping less fortunate people. This is a very noble cause, right? Well, I have never supported missionaries, the whole converting the heathens thing is annoying for me. The "my religion is right and yours is wrong attitude" based only on where you live or how you were raised culturally and no evidence is suspect. I cannot support the superstitions of one people being thrust on another just because the first think they are right.

Sorry if this turned into a rant, I think I will turn it into a blog post.

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Koala
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I agree with you totally. I always read the fine print of these organisations and I'm horrified that some of them use people's donations for what is effectively missionary work - ie, telling hungry, poverty stricken people that they are worthless unless they... [insert religious instruction here]. It doesn't matter if you build a thousand schools if the consequences are that you break down a person's self esteem in order to sell a religious crutch to "fix" them.

I like and support Kiva.org for this reason - they are secular and they are not a charity as such (ie, not keeping people dependent on them, or "owing" them loyalty - once the loan is paid back, there are no continuing strings attached).


Elle Carter Neal
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elle #321956 06/14/07 07:33 AM
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Jellyfish
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IIRC, the Red Cross took its logo from reversing the Swiss flag (as a sign of neutrality). The Red Crescent/Red Star are branches of the same organization with more culturally sensitive logos.

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Shark
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Actually, the Red Cross claims that it is a secular organization, unlike the Salvation Army, which is a religious one. In addition to the Red Cross and Red Crescent, the organization adopted a secular symbo in 2006: a red diamond known as the Red Crystal. I don't know to what extent the Red Crystal is used.

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Koala
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The concept of World Vision scares me.


Elle Carter Neal
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elle #332694 08/03/07 01:39 PM
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Shark
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I just checked out their website. They claim to be "inspired by Christian values." Why do so many Christians think that charity, kindness, and love are purely Christian values? It's so irritating.

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Jellyfish
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Well... it's probably because charity, love and kindness are virtues/actions that Christians are commanded to have/do in the new testament. I doubt that many (educated?) Christians believe they have a monopoly on those particular virtues; Muslims are also commanded to be charitable. However, not all virtues are shared among religions. Christians don't value purity as much as orthodox Jews, Muslims, and Hindus do. Do Muslims consider pride a virtue? I often hear that "humiliation" suffered by Palestinians justifes terrorist actions. If that's a religious edict rather than a cultural one, then it's another difference.

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Gecko
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>The "my religion is right and yours is wrong attitude" based only on where you live or how you were raised culturally and no evidence is suspect. I cannot support the superstitions of one people being thrust on another just because the first think they are right.

Amen to that! ;-)

One of my biggest gripes about scouts (that is, BSA, since I don't think it is the same in other countries, nor in GSA) is their policy on religion. If you want to be a merit badge counselor, even, you have to sign something that essentially says (this is paraphrased, since I don't have it in front of me) that in order to be a good, moral person, you have to believe in a deity. While my son is in scouts, I don't make waves, but I find that totally offensive! Not to mention dead wrong. But the high muckymucks don't want to change, because, then, maybe they might be wrong about something, ya see....

Sigh


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