Suffering and Misery Trend Du Jour

Am I the only Christian who finds it a little annoying when other Christians jump on a cause?

Even though I’ve meant to cut down on the amount of Christian television I watch (and I have to a small degree), I still watch enough of it to be appalled or irritated by what I see.

Starting some time last year, a lot of Christians on TBN began talking about human trafficking.

This practice usually involves criminals kidnapping and forcing underage girls (and sometimes adult women) into prostitution, and that usually in Asian nations, though it is on the rise in the United States.

Of course, human trafficking (sometimes referred to as the sex slave industry) is reprehensible and disgusting, and yes, it’s good that people, including Christians, are trying to halt it.

My issue is that some Christians seem to treat various types of tragedy, human suffering, and evil as though they are trendy, like Calvin Klein and Jordache jeans were in 1982, bell bottom jeans in 1976, or poodle skirts in 1958.

Non-Christians, especially the famous, are guilty of this as well, so I don’t mean to excuse them on this point.

Recall Bob Geldolf’s “Live Aid” back in the 1980s, which was followed by “Farm Aid,” and later, there was some kind of charity called “Hands Across America.”

“Live Aid” was a big secular appeal for Americans and Brits to raise money for hungry Africans by having pop singers perform on a stage to a live and televised audience.

After the “Live Aid” concerts, it seems that most celebrities, outside of U2’s Bono, lost interest in starving Africans. I rarely hear or see other famous people raising the issue these days.

Last year, when an earthquake struck Haiti, Christians on TBN and other Christian networks jumped all over it, because that was perceived to be the trendy, hip, happening tragedy- of- the- moment.

I rarely hear anything about Haiti on Christian programs now, even though as late as last month, I heard on secular news shows that there were cholera outbreaks (due to contaminated water) in Haiti.

There was much hand-wringing by Christian tele-evangelists over Haiti in the first few weeks after the earthquake, but

    aside from:

    -one brief mention of on-going efforts in Haiti on a ‘Billy Graham special’ hosted by his son Franklin around November 2010;


    -a show devoted to raising funds to help Haitians impacted by the earthquake on pastor Jentezen Franklin’s “Kingdom Connection” show

I don’t hear a peep about Haiti these days from the majority Christians.

To make matters more annoying, when an earthquake struck another nation (I believe it was Chile) just a week or two after the Haitian earthquake, both secular and Christian media pretty much ignored it.

I cannot understand the selective compassion and attention at work here by Christians and NonChristians. Why do people get so worked up over earthquakes that affect Haitians but not Chileans?

Are Chileans considered of less value than Haitians, or is there some other factor in people’s thinking that I’m missing? (I don’t see Haiti as being more impoverished than Chile as a good explanation.)

Months before the Haitian earthquake, one recurrent topic I was seeing every so often on Christian shows and in Christian magazines pertained to “cutting,” where the authors would educate parents that some teen age girls cut themselves with razor blades.

Reports and discussions on Christian television regarding the “cutting” topic eventually died out and never got the traction and coverage of the Haitian earthquake, or the human trafficking stories.

I guess emotionally troubled girls cutting themselves with razor blades was not deemed as glitzy, tragic, or glamorous enough by most Christian media.

Oddly enough, while Christians are quick to dump one issue for the newer, shinier one (Haitian earthquake victims are so out, but now girls caught in sex trafficking is so where it’s at!), I sometimes see pastors preaching against topics that are over twenty years old.

I still sometimes hear pastor John Hagee railing against “dungeons and dragons” in his sermons.

Most kids haven’t played dungeons and dragons since the 1980s (or that was when it was a popular fad), so it sounds ridiculous to hear a pastor ranting about this.

It would sound almost as bad for Hagee, in 2011, to rant about the dangers of that 1970s television situation comedy “The Brady Bunch” or warn parents of the dangers of .33 rpm Elvis and Beatles rock and roll records.

In the past several years, I’ve heard Hagee criticize the Harry Potter books because he believes they might entice children to become involved with the occult.

The Harry Potter book franchise excitement died out several years ago, and the only remaining, contemporary Harry Potter phenomenon in society is based on the one or two movies left with the series, and kids these days don’t get as worked up over the films anymore.

However, I have no doubt that in ten years, if he’s still preaching, that Hagee will be screaming that Potter is influencing kids to dabble in the occult. (Even though kids ten years from now will have no idea who Harry Potter is.)

Human trafficking is evil and disgusting, and yes, it’s great people are bringing awareness to it and trying to eradicate it, but I’ve seen so many Christian television shows and Christian hosts devote time to it in the past year and a half that it gets to be annoying, because it comes across as though speaking about it or fighting against it is a fad on the same level of hula hoops, jelly sandals and lava lamps.

I can tell you if an outbreak of some virus strikes the inhabitants of Brazil tomorrow, killing 80% of that nation’s population, that these same Christian shows will become obsessed with sick Brazilians and will lose interest in human trafficking.
Related posts this blog:

(Link): The Bible Says Christians are to Help Other Christians First (not sex trafficked people, not orphans in Africa, not homeless crack addicts, etc)

(Link): Ann Coulter’s Very Accurate Ebola Post Being Criticized As Being Insensitive – But It’s Not; It’s Accurate

(Link): Part 2 – Suffering and Misery Trend Du Jour

(Link): You Don’t Need to Look Far To Find Hurting People Who Could Use Your Help and Compassion

(Link): Do You Rate Your Family Too High? (Christians Who Idolize the Family) (article)

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