I don't generally like to get political in this column, so I'll keep this brief.
As I write this, the Red Cross is estimating between 45,000 and 50,000 people were killed in Tuesday's earthquake that rocked Haiti. While this would be a tragedy anywhere, things are only compounded by the fact that Haiti was already the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere.
So this is a time we can all put our differences aside and try to help our fellow human beings, right? It's asking a little much, isn't it?
Instead, it's another chance for a couple of America's favorite loudmouths to show off.
It started when televangelist Pat Robertson said the Caribbean nation was "cursed" because of a "pact with the devil" it made to drive out its French rulers.
Even from Robertson, who seems to believe he is the mouthpiece of a vengeful God whenever disaster strikes, this one was a shocker. I seem to recall Jesus speaking of helping those less fortunate, not judge them.
And then there's Rush Limbaugh. Never one to be upstaged in a who's-the-biggest-jerk contest, he politicized the whole situation by saying it was chance for Obama to help his standing in the "light-skinned and dark-skinned black community in this country."
I don't even know what that means, but I'm pretty sure it's really racist.
Look, you may generally agree or disagree with these men; I don't really care right now. I think my standing is pretty clear. But why must they choose this particular moment to make these statements?
Right now, what I see are seemingly endless images of disaster and suffering coming from one of the nations in the world that needed it least. Who are you, Pat Robertson and Rush Limbaugh, to pile on? Isn't this the time to offer our thoughts, prayers and financial support to people who really need all three?
When the images of suffering make us feel anything other than sympathy, maybe it's time to take a look in the mirror.
Jared Jernagan is the assistant editor of the Banner Graphic. He can be reached at email@example.com or 653-5151 ext. 21.