Monday, March 21, 2011

Missionaries are like Looters: Using the Japan Earthquake

What's the difference between a looter and anyone else that uses a disaster for his own gain? In my ethics playbook, a disaster calls for one thing only: help the victims. Everything else should be put aside while we pick up the pieces and try to put the victims' lives back together.

Apparently Christian minister Neal Hicks, who has spent thirty years proselytizing in Japan, doesn't see it that way. To him, the Japanese earthquake is an opportunity. The Japanese victims are vulnerable, and it's up to Mr. Hicks to take advantage of their vulnerability.
According to Hicks, there has not been anything like this since WWII that's prompted the Japanese to turn from their 'no-god' god to the living God. "The Japanese are once again shaken. They're asking eternal questions again. We have another window of opportunity, and there are missionaries in Japan who are prepared to communicate the Gospel."

"I think it is probably one of the most opportune moments--at least in the last 50 to 60 years since the war--that we've ever had," says Hicks.
If you believe as I do that a person's mental, ethical and spiritual needs are more important than material needs, then isn't Mr Hicks actually worse than a looter? A looter takes material things, but Mr. Hicks is using tragedy to steal people's spiritual beliefs, to pry them loose from their cultural heritage and push his own brand of religion.

I have an idea, Mr. Hicks. According to your religion, God saw fit to send this earthquake to Japan and kill somewhere between 10,000 and 20,000 people. Maybe instead of convincing people to worship the very god that screwed them, you could help clean up the mess.

In my opinion Mr. Hicks and his ilk are no better than common looters. Mr. Hicks comes in the guise of friendship when people are in terrible anguish. A truly moral man, whether Christian, Jewish, Muslim or anything else, would just roll up his sleeves and get to work. He wouldn't say one word about his religion unless he was asked for spiritual help. Mr. Hicks should be ashamed of himself.

I'd rather meet a looter. At least the looter is an unabashed thief.


  1. Nothing like a good disaster to convert the unbelievers.

  2. Discussing ... but the expected behavior. Looks just like any business opportunity.

  3. Oh, man. Do they even listen to what they say? Do they mean that the only way someone can believe their stuff is if that someone has his/her life crushed.

    Religion is really disgusting. It feeds on broken spirits.


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