Letter to the Editor

Dear Editor,

Why Haiti? It was already the poorest nation in the Western hemisphere, and then this 7.O earthquake devastates the people and the buildings. Why is Haiti so "cursed" and her people so unfortunate? You can't blame bad government for an earthquake. The US has arbitrarily intervened in Haiti's internal affairs several times. This time we're doing the correct thing by helping the people to recover from the trauma. (Even the Army can be useful sometimes. I'm a veteran.)

I saw Haitian women, children and some men dancing, singing chanting spontaneously in a parade down a street, a day after the earthquake, showing they still had faith.

Thornton Wilder wrote his magnificent novel "The Bridge of San Luis Rey" about the collapse of a bridge while the people who died were crossing. They're described by a Franciscan priest in detail. He sees them as no more evil than anyone else, and full of the richness of life. So it hardly seems that they are in fact being punished for their sins. The Franciscan has doubts about official theodicy (why God allows suffering) and he is called in question by the Inquisition. Haiti is a parallel case, only on a much larger scale.

I asked the chaplain at a hospital here in Wisconsin why some seem to suffer while others go untouched. He answered that he wondered also, but it seemed to be random. (There may be more to it than that.) He said, "The same rain falls on the good and the evil."

Another theory is that suffering allows us to exercise our charity toward the victims, so helping them and us.

My view is that we share the suffering of God when we suffer, for he suffered a bloody sweat at Gethsemane and was crucified at Gol the Place of the Skull.

Richard Kovac

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