A Prayer From An Atheist

When there are millions out there caught up in chaos, carnage and corruption, why I am unimaginably fortunate to have personal freedom from such persecutions? What did I do to be blessed with this fortunate life? What did the rest of the world do so wrong to be cursed with such suffering?

Is it because I was born American? Born white? Born male? Is it because I was Baptized and ate the body of Christ? Maybe if I still believed then God would give me the answer. But looking out from these rocks at the sun setting in front of me I found it impossible to believe that this majestic beauty was created by the same God that created us in his own image. That God would have built a big casino with air-conditioning and luxury suites.

These are not new thoughts, they are not profound, but after spending four weeks in an island paradise witnessing the total demolition of it's beauty in the erecting of massive resorts for rich foreigners to come and exploit the gracious (and cheap) labor of the locals for our own selfish escapism... these are important thoughts. Ones that seem very rarely to enter the vacuous heads of our over-privileged capitalist minds. Instead I had conversations with guys who were "amazed" at how easy it is to "make a fortune off these people" and how cheap it was to buy up their property. Not a single thought about where these people will go once you buy their property, not a concern about how this beautiful island they are building on will lose it's beauty once it is saturated in all our "luxuries" we cannot seem to live without. Instead of enjoying the inherent beauty of this place and it's people we must bring our posh resorts, our European restaurants, our McDonald's and Starbucks with us so it feels just like home.

We can't enjoy a foreign land without making it ours... Just like we can't enjoy the earth without making it ours.

Hopefully humanity will one day learn to be humane. Hopefully the fortunate few will one day learn it is not necessary to keep taking more fortune from those who have little.

Hopefully our earth will be kinder to us than we have been to it.

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