Friday, February 5, 2010

Kidnappers or Good Samaritans?

By now, you've read or heard about the group of 10 men and women from Idaho who have been arrested for attempting to kidnap 33 Haitian children.  I won't attempt to restate all the facts of the story other than to say that their position is that they were there to rescue children orphaned by the recent earthquake.  There have been numerous news stories about this case and you can click here to read just one of them. You may also want to read a few of the 352 comments posted to that story at the time that I'm writing this.  I have to confess that I was stunned that I had to read down to the 20th comment before I found the first one that did not completely vilify these people and that one comment was certainly not a ringing endorsement of their actions.  Like you, I have no first-hand knowledge of the events and have to rely on news accounts to try to understand what happened here.

I've long preached the gospel of "do the right thing and let the chips fall where they may" but this incident has caused me to re-think that philosophy.  When does courage become defiance?  When does "acting for the greater good" become arrogance? When does my sense of urgency become recklessness?

Knowing that these Americans are sitting in a Haitian jail and those 33 children are back in the care of an orphanage in Haiti, do you think these Americans did the right thing and why? What kind of impact do you think this will have on the continued aid efforts in Haiti?

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