Skip to comments.Time Should Have Honored an Unheralded Person of Year
Posted on 12/23/2005 6:21:24 AM PST by rhema
Time did well in selecting Bono plus Bill and Melinda Gates as its charitable Persons of the Year, but I wish it had also put a non-celebrity -- maybe a volunteer Katrina relief worker -- on its cover.
It would have been good to honor one of the 9,000 Southern Baptists from 41 states who volunteered 120,000 days during the two months after the hurricane hit. During that time, they served 10 million meals and pushed forward cleanup and recovery efforts.
Or how about someone from the Salvation Army: Those folks served nearly 5 million hot meals and over 6.5 million sandwiches, snacks and drinks from 178 mobile feeding units and 11 field kitchens, with each kitchen able to produce 20,000 hot meals per day.
Big numbers, and those were just two of the active groups. Many others also delivered food and supplies in a much more flexible style than the bureaucratic FEMA. Ronnie Harris, mayor of the New Orleans suburb of Gretna, flat-out said: "Church workers were the first volunteers on the ground. It is churches that have made the difference in Hurricane Katrina recovery."
Many others concur, but some Christians worry that such church activity is the "social gospel" revisited, at the expense of evangelism. There's reason for concern, because we are all prone to wander spiritually and to focus on what the world praises than on what it misunderstands or even abhors. And yet, evangelism is often most successful, in God's timing, when those hostile to Christ look up in surprise at what Christians are doing.
For example, after Katrina, an atheist asked in the British left-wing Guardian Weekly why Christians "are the people most likely to take the risks and make the sacrifices involved in helping others." You can almost see the synapses sparking in the writer's brain: "It ought to be possible to live a Christian life without being a Christian or, better still, to take Christianity a la carte. Yet ... it is impossible to doubt that faith and charity go hand in hand."
He's right, and add evangelism to the mix: Faith leads to works, and works lead people to ask questions about faith. As the works of the faithful diminish the pride of the faithless -- the British writer concluded that Christians are "morally superior to atheists like me" -- Christian charity ploughs the ground for an evangelistic response: no, not morally superior, just touched by One who was.
Even hardcore U.S. anti-Christian publications couldn't help noticing the difference Christian belief made during the post-Katrina days. The New York Times story described how church groups were doing better than government agencies, and didn't even object (this one time) when those who "finish clearing debris or doing temporary repairs on damaged houses ... give the homeowners a signed Bible and say a prayer with them."
On Christmas, we might remember how a long time ago another nation faced a disaster even greater than Katrina. Enemy soldiers occupied the land and imposed toady officials on a resentful populace. It seemed that God had been quiet for centuries, and some said He would never speak again. Then the ultimate act of Christian charity transformed every aspect of life. That deed began the transformation of everything around us.
God is always transforming old into new: hearts of stone to hearts of flesh, the former sites of abortion businesses into pro-life counseling centers, maybe even the disaster of Katrina into something positive for those who have broken away from poverty and despair in New Orleans and found new opportunities elsewhere.
Effective evangelism conveys that good news, starting with Christ's birth and the way that millions of people gain rebirth through God's grace. Evangelism is particularly effective when it combines words and deeds, as it did when the herald angels sang 2,000 years ago, and as it did once again when the unheralded deliverers of post-Katrina compassion sacrificed for others.
There is no way Time would have selected someone so insignificant as a lowly, unknown CHRISTIAN! How would it look to the other liberals?
USCG should have at least gotten a mention by TIME for rescuing 7000+ lives in NO without losing one.
For me, the persons of the year were the American soldiers and Iraqi voters.
I am so happy you posted this. I have been thinking the same exact thing. Baptist Men are always so giving and feeding the needy, besides helping build back. My dad is one of those Baptist Men and I thank God for him daily. He is much more of a hero to me than anyone Time would decide upon.
Start your own magazine and you can select who you like. Time has always aimed for people who have an international impact -- including the American soldier.
I'm surprised Marvin didn't call for a boycott of the magazine. That's the usual MO of the nutty wing of the conservative party.
Without whom there would be no America!
Time is a joke. They send me their mags free, unordered, and unwanted for my waiting rooms. I trash them as I do not want my customers reading the trash and lies they spew.
considering the source, i guess bozo (yes i used spell check) deserved man of the year, a stepping stone for the great coveted nobel peace prize.
BONO??? Enough said.
How soon you people forget.
As someone who lives where Hurricane Rita hit hard let me just say I saw the nasty, dirty hard work that those disaster relief volunteers did. Had it not been for their hard work and sacrifice in god awful conditions many folks would be suffering still. They did not help out for recognition but to be good neighbors. For that I thank them.
If your area ever gets hit hard by a disaster you better hope an organized volunteer agency like the Southern Baptist Disaster Relief or Salvation Army is the first one on the scene instead of FEMA or Red Cross because they will totally screw up the recovery.
I mean no disrespect to anyone who participated in the aftermath of natural disasters. There is only one cover that is devoted to "Person of the Year" everyone can't be on it.
Go ahead and honor them. Time made their pick, you make your pick.
Is it too late for Bush? After all this is the year he admitted to an impeachable offense which led to his inevitable impeachment and prison sentence and restored credibilty and the anchor slot to Dan Rather, next year's winner.
I remember when they put "The American Soldier" on their front page. This year however, I have to agree with the original poster that they had many better choices with with they could have gone.
I would have gone with Pope John Paul II, or the Iraqi voter, as their stories captured the attention of the world. I think more so in the case of the former, but due in part to the wall-to-wall TV coverage.
I disagree. After having read Tracy Kidder's "Mountains Beyond Mountains" early this year, my eyes have been wide open to the massive suffering on the face of this earth that needs tending to. That Bill and Melinda Gates would devote their capitalist wealth and connections to make this planet better for people who have no voice or choice makes them honorable choices. That is not to discount the efforts of the other millions who do the little things in the face of tragedy. I applaud them as well. I just think Time made a thoughtful choice.
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