We watched the devestating results of the tsunami at the beginning of the year and now we watch the repercussions of the hurricane in America.
An interesting observation of difference in the behavior of the victums in the two very different societies.
The violence and brutality we see in America were not seen in the Asian countries affected by the tsunami. It is a very bad reflection on the American democratic society.

The true measure of a man (and perhaps society) is not how he behaves when things are going well, but who he is when in a crisis.

I think America has embarrassed herself.

I would not wish to labour the point, but in another thread I did say: I have travelled to many countries and have found more decency and respect for human life in non-Christian countries such as Thailand and Sri Lanka. These were of course two of the many countries affected by the tsunami. I emphasise that I am not in any way suggesting that Christians are without compassion, rather that the Christian ethic is not manifest at the social level in many "Christian" countries. One may say of the US (and indeed many other countries) It is a country of Christians but not It is a Christian country.

The recent events do of course bring an edge to the other thread called: Why does God cause destruction?
G'day Forbes,
I was surprised by your comment "I have travelled to many countries and have found more decency and respect for human life in non-Christian countries" I am not very widely travelled, I live in Australia and have only been to three Asian countries, but I know many people who tave travelled and worked all over the world and your statement is exactly the opposite of what I have heard from others.
I remember too, that the tsunami hit mainly Muslim countries, and there are many oil rich Muslim countries, yet the first and most help came from Christian countries in wake of the tsunami. But I'd really like not to get into discussion that has already been dealt with in other threads. It seems you have an axe to grind Forbes.Emotion: smile

But I don't think religion is what this is about. I do not think that it is because of the religious culture that these people are in that is responsible for the difference in behavior. No religion has a selfish or violent morality. Though I guess all aspects of culture play a part.
I suspect it has more to do with fact that the people in the Asian countries were more emotionally and mentaly equipt to cope with it, perhaps because of their environment they have more experience with dealing with having to fend for themselves.
But take away the American's McDonalds and TV and they are not equiped at all to deal with it. Also you have people who have always felt powerless and victims at the bottom of societies social ladder, suddenly find themselves in a situation were they can exercise some control. It looks like a society that has plenty and is more intricate or dependant, cannot handle it when what they have is removed and their social structure is taken away.
I realize that on both accounts, I am an outsider looking on from a safe distance and that the issues are more complex than what I have suggested. I would really like to know what people from other cultures think.

Teachers: We supply a list of EFL job vacancies
Hi Forbes

I suppose you have never heard about the LTTE in Sri Lanka when you mention that there is more decency and respect in Sri Lanka than in the U.S. Will you find savage political killers in the United States like LTTE? I don't think so.

You probably do not have an inside picture of exactly all that happened during the Tsunami, I know, because I live in the exact area where it took place.

Like Ms.Terri said, Asians were more emotionally equipped to bare the pains of loss, something many people usually go through, in this part of the world than Americans.

Another point is, America is not a Christian country alone. There are people from every race and religion in there. It is simply not right to judge a country foreign to ours when we are sitting miles apart with lack of basic knowledge of the background of that country.

I have indeed heard of the Tamil Tigers and was in Sri Lanka some twenty odd years ago. Shortly after I left a bomb went off a few yards from where I regularly caught a bus from the centre of Colombo to Nugegoda. The Tamil Tigers did of course have substantial support in Tamil Nadu until one of them assassinated Rajiv Gandhi. I think there are savage political killers in the US - they just haven't got round to killing anyone yet. I feel that something may spark them off, but hope that I am wrong. But even if there is no political violence of the extreme sort, there is still plenty of violence in the US. Only the other day I was reading that for the first time in many years the annual murder toll in New York may be less than 500. That's just New York.

There are of course many non-Christians in the US, but the vast majority are Christians.

The efforts of the western relief agencies were reported in the western media. I call this the "Mother Theresa" effect. There was an impression in the UK and no doubt elsewhere that Mother Theresa and her helpers were the only people in India helping the poor. Not true. I am sure the locals were not standing around watching while western aid workers did their excelent work in the areas devastated by the tsunami.

I am not saying that the countries of SE Asia are paradises, as they are not. However, there is a "feeling" that informs these countries that I do not find elsewhere.
Are you forgetting the reports from the tsunami?

The UN's children's' agency, Unicef, said it had received several reports of criminals offering kidnapped children from Aceh for sale or adoption.

In Sri Lanka, the National Child Protection Authority is investigating reports that two girls were sexually abused at a shelter in Galle, and a separate report that another woman was gang-raped.

A collection box for the disaster appeal was stolen from Salisbury Cathedral in England, and fake e-mail messages claiming to be from Oxfam have been sent to people in Hong Kong, asking them to donate money to the relief effort.

Any money donated went instead to a bank account in Europe, according to police and charity workers.

Reports of rapes, harassment and forced marriages coming from emergency camps around the region.

Authorities in Thailand dispatched hundreds of additional police to coastal provinces hardest hit by Sunday's tsunami in an effort to stem an apparent tide of looting. Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra issued stern warnings to would-be looters, and several arrests have already been made.
Students: Are you brave enough to let our tutors analyse your pronunciation?
I think also that it is not religous, but cultural; though religion can have an important role in forming a culture. And also, there is something else, I think. Americans are very unique in spreading the news about the US around the world. They think that since something is important to them should be important to other nations as well; that's of course what I think. That's why many of us have heard about Peterson, Stuart, .... If someone is kidnapped in the US, the news will travel to all four corners of the world; but it's not the same about other countries. So it can explain why we are well-informed about what happened in the US, but few of us followed the news of similar cases in Asia.
Just wanted to inform you that the United States is the country that attracts the largest amount of Christian missionaires in the world. Do you know why? Because rates of Christianity are rapidly falling in North America and perhaps this is the reason Americans are responding in such negative ways to tragedy. The Christian faith provides hope and the belief that God will provide at all times, the fact that Americans are rioting and pillaging New Orleans is a clear indication that they are not finding hope in God and that the U.S. finds hope in the individual. We should not look at the United States as an overwhelmingly Christian nation but a nation that has an overwhelming need for the Christian faith. Christian organizations accross the world were the first to help both those affected by the tsunami and the hurricane, and have been known for this throughout history. We need to recognize that an American is not a Christian by definition, the term is too easily thrown around. A Christian is a believer in Christ and one who tries to live their life in Christ's footsteps through love and forgiveness. The Americans that are shooting and looting are not doing so and calling them Christians is not fair to the Christian faith. They are individualists out to serve themselves like much of the American population has become. Shame isn't it???