I found this out in the blogosphere and just had to respond. Check out the actual post and then my response at the end.

Reaching out in our time of need…

Help Now – http://www.redcross.org

After reading several articles concerning the relief efforts in the Gulf Coast region, I felt the need to contact my several federal representatives concerning our nation’s response. I urge everyone reading this message to reach out and support those in need and to contact your representatives and let them know how you feel about our nation’s response and the needs of the Gulf Coast region. The following is a letter I have submitted to Rep. William Jenkins, Congressman for the 1st District of the State of Tennessee, Sen. Bill Frist, Majority Leader and Senoir Senator for the State of Tennessee, and Sen. Lamar Alexander, Senator for the State of Tennessee:

September 4, 2005

Dear Sir:

My name is M. Ben Lawson and I am a resident of Sullivan County and the great state of Tennessee. I am writing you today, as one of my several representatives to our federal government, to urge all the officials in power in the Untied States, especially the Secretary of Homeland Security, the Director of FEMA, the Secretary of State, and the President of the United States to move with much more diligence and haste to aid those suffering after the tragedy in our nation’s Gulf Coast areas. I, like many other Americans and others from around the world, have been brought to tears watching and reading the reports as they have filtered in slowly from Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama. And I, like many other Americans, do not feel that our nation’s leadership has moved quickly enough to stem the suffering of our citizens. Unlike the President, I do not believe our nation is responding in a timely manner.

I fully realize that the task at hand is extremely daunting and that the response infrastructure is greatly hampered by the shear devastation caused by the storm and the resulting tidal surge, but as the most powerful and resourceful nation in the world, the United States can and should stand to meet this challenge with all its many resources, and those of its neighbors around the world. In the aftermath of the tsunami in December, the United States was the leader of the world’s response to that tragedy, rallying governments around the world to that cause and leading in contributions to the affected areas. U.S. Forces were on the ground within one or two days and two former Presidents were tapped to lead the efforts in raising money and awareness of needs around the world. Yet, I read today in several media reports that nations from around the world have responded to our needs and our current tragedy with offers of man power, equipment, medical aid, search and rescue support, support vessels, money, and even oil reserves to help speed our recovery, but the United States to date has accepted no offers and Secretary of State Rice has publicly stated that the government has yet to determine our needs in relation to our current level of supplies through the Department of Homeland Security. Even our closest neighbors, Canada and Mexico, are left standing by as we proudly attempt to handle our problems from within our borders.

Sir, I am a proud man who does not like to admit when I need the help of those around me. I also consider myself giving to those in need and I am willing to help anyone who can benefit from my assistance. I believe in flying to the relief of a brother or sister in need, be it a neighbor, a Tennessean, an American, or a citizen of the world. I fear the United States is suffering from the same pride I have exhibited in my own life from time to time. The nations of the world are standing by to help us, yet we are proudly responding “No, Thank you” to each request. We as Americans are accustomed to hearing our nation and its President referred to as “the Leader of the Free World”. We often hear speeches about bringing countries together, about building coalitions, and about the peaceful unity of the world’s people. Yet, in this desperate time of need in the United States, we are refusing the aid of the very countries we have repeatedly supported and aided in the past. Many of the nations offering their assistance are the very same world states that the U.S. aided and supported during the tsunami of December 2004. It is time we swallow our pride and allow our allies to come together and help us as we have helped them in the past. What better example can we set for the world than our willingness to welcome them in our time of suffering and loss.

I ask you as an official and representative of the government of the United States to employee all of your powers and influence to speed the relief efforts in the Gulf Coast. Rally all of the resources of our great nation to bring aid to those in need. Reach out to our country’s allies to speed this cause. The security and stability of the Unites States and its people is in the best interest of all the nations in the world. Please allow them to help us. May God bless the United States and bring peace to its people.

Sincerely,

M. Ben Lawson

Please help those in need in any way that you can.
Help Now – http://www.redcross.org

AND MY RESPONSE…
At February 18, 2006 8:20 AM, Jama Oliver said…
Uh oh. Here’s where our political beliefs may diverge. While I certailny feel, absolutely without doubt, that the people of the gulf coast region (or any other devastated group) needs and deserves all the help they can get, I do not feel that it is the government’s job to provide it. I have yet to determine through my readings of your site whether or not you are a Christian, but I shall use this as a reference nevertheless. When Christ told us to assist each other, to “do unto others”, etc. He was referring to us personally, not us as in the government. While I do feel that it is necessary for a group of people to love and care for each other, that responsibility should fall on the people themselves, not their ruling body. I find it to be a serious problem within our nation that we rely on the government to do the helping rather than doing it ourselves. While many people travelled to the Gulf Coast region to help, and even more donated money and resources, how many left it up to the government rather than giving of themselves? We give the impression of being helpful without actually having to lift a finger (which is why Christ instructed us to help, rather than delegating it to our leaders.)

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