Posted by: alliehope | January 15, 2010

Tragedy–and Shame

As reports continue to pour in from earthquake-shattered Haiti, one crossed my email that completely fried me. I short-circuited into outrage immediately. It seems that credit card company Visa is profiting from donations made on behalf of the victims of the recent earthquake. The word I immediately used for that is unprintable, and then I thought to myself, My God, this is the height of unchallenged greed!

According to the email I received, Visa is gettng 3% of some credit-card based donation to agencies working in Haiti–and have been getting these “transaction fees” from charitable donations for quite some time. A company like that should not be able to profit financially from such tragedy. If you’re as outraged as I am, sign the petition. It takes less than one minute to call out Visa on their greed, and say, “This is not what I stand for”. If you’re a cardholder with them, consider cancelling your account as a way of backing up your stand. If enough people do that, they might realize that their greed is morally wrong, period.

My outrage isn’t just limited to the revelation of financial shenanigans, however. It seems that both Pat Robertson and Rush Limbaugh have stuck their feet in their mouths about this tragedy. Here are two voices of sanity on the matter. Listening to both Olbermann and the commentator, Eugene Robinson of the Washington Post (a writer I respect greatly), I thought of the moral outrage present in using a tragedy–exploiting a tragedy to get their own views out is just as immoral.

I happen to think of that kind of profiteering, that of manipulating tragedy to one’s benefit, as one of the worst forms of narcissism. It is beyond outrageous. I cannot, nor will I ever, attempt any sort of theodicy (an study of God’s role in suffering) in the light of tragedies like this, since words and logic fail when faced with suffering of this massive of a scale. However, let me be unequivocally here: shame on you, Visa, shame on you, Pat Robertson, and shame on you, Rush Limbaugh.


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