Ten American missionaries from an Idaho Baptist church may face criminal charges for human "trafficking" after they tried to fly 33 Haitian children illegally out of the disaster-stricken country. While Haitian Prime Minister Jean-Max Bellerive has called the Americans "kidnappers," the missionaries claim they were just trying to help orphans (at least one child, it turns out, has a living parent) and "do the right thing." Has this incident been blown out of proportion? (Watch an AP report about Baptists' Haitian adoptions)
The Baptists should be freed: With "up to one million" orphaned children in Haiti, says Will Heaven in the Daily Telegraph, this is no time to let a fear of "bureaucracy" prevent good Samaritans from lending a hand.
"Let's cut these US Christian 'child smugglers' some slack, shall we?"
These people must be stopped: The missionaries may just be "well-intentioned fools for Jesus," says Arthur G Broadhurst at Alternet, but they might have had some darker motive. It wouldn't be the first time "religious fundamentalists" tried to capitalize on a disaster to pull a fast one.
"Fools, for Christ's Sake!"
The missionaries meant well — but they were wrong: You can't fault this Christian group for its "natural impulse" to save children, said Deb Barry of Save the Children, as quoted by the Associated Press. But impetuously swooping in and snatching children is no solution; in chaos like this, would-be rescuers are bound to scoop up "orphans" whose parents have actually survived.
US group held after fleeing Haiti with children
Haiti needs to focus on its larger crisis, not this: Debating when adoption becomes abduction is the last thing the ill-equipped, understaffed Haitian government should be tackling, says Matthew Clark in the Chistian Science Monitor. This overblown "international incident" could derail the daunting chore of "caring for the one million left homeless by the quake."
"Haiti 'orphan' rescue mission: Adoption or child trafficking?"
SEE MORE OF THE WEEK'S COVERAGE OF HAITI:
• Can Bill Clinton save Haiti?
• The Haiti cruise ship scandal
• Haiti coverage: 'Disaster porn'?
• Haiti disaster: the essential facts
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- This is what happens when Republicans actually enact their radical agenda
- How to be the most productive person in your office — and still get home by 5:30 p.m.
- 43 TV shows to watch in 2014
- The Obama administration's nonstop incoherence on ISIS
- 6 things the happiest families all have in common
- How I dug myself out of debt — and stayed that way
- 6 super-helpful iOS8 tricks you probably don't know about
- Why so many Christians won't back down on gay marriage
- The science of sex: 4 harsh truths about dating and mating
- The European Union was supposed to end nationalism. It gave it new life instead.
Subscribe to the Week