Tag Archives: god

A Discreet Atheist’s Thoughts on Haiti

14 Jan

“Why does God do these things?”

(I don’t believe in God.) Last night, an 89 year-old woman at the nursing home my Mom works at asked her this question. My Mom, a part-time Catholic, responded with the usual shpiel — God made us, God made all things, whatever happens to us and whatever we do is beyond His control.

I am a covert atheist. I don’t wear devil horns to bed, I don’t roll my eyes when others talk about a higher power, and I consider the Bible a pretty good read. The reason I don’t advertise the fact that I don’t believe in God is because I feel that it limits the pool of people I can interact with. If you don’t believe me, you’ve never been to Catholic school.

Though I am not God-fearing, the disaster in Haiti has nonetheless stirred up some strong feelings on my part. I feel deep sorrow for those that lie in rubble waiting to be found. I can’t imagine how slow time passes when a family member or friend is missing. When I see news reports of people walking through the streets, I wonder what it would feel like to have no home to return to and no grasp on privacy or comfort for an untold amount of time.

Sitting on my couch in my bathrobe with a hot cup of coffee by my side, I feel guilty. When I Google “How to help Haiti,” all I see are links for donation websites. Years ago, I remember reading somewhere that the greatest aid to disaster relief is often in manpower, not in money. I wish there was something I could physically do to help. Last year, a friend of mine joined AmeriCorps, and I remember looking into it, then getting caught up in schoolwork and applications to internships. I’ve always felt that I shouldn’t be selfish about my youth — though I’m only 5’3″, I’m strong, smart, and diligent. I graduate college this May. Though it’s not much help for Haiti right now, I’m going to look into joining the Peace Corps.

My thoughts go out to the people suffering the aftermath of the earthquake in Haiti.

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