Katrina Blogswarm

Joining today with lots of bloggers through Truth Laid Bear to raise awareness of flood aid relief efforts in the wake of hurricane katrina. You can donate through all kinds of places, including (just to pick one ecumenical group known to most readers of the Get Up Off Your Knees blog) World Vision.

I am always moved to see how charity efforts like this get such a huge response, and it really makes me think about the power of news/internet coverage to spark empathy. Most people are caring, and when they see their neighbors suffering, they want to reach out. And the media are helping: There are about 136,000 Katrina stories on Google news right now as I type, and it has been easy to find hours of coverage on TV and keep updated on the extent of the losses.

And what also is running through my mind: along with responding to people who suffer in sudden emergencies like this one (donate!) how could America generate this kind of cultural uprising of empathy for, say, the many more people whose lives are devastated every day by extreme poverty? Will we at some point see bloggers buzzing about not just tragedies that can be relieved by reactive charity, as important as that is, but about saving the lives of some of the millions of people, just as much our neighbors, living on less than a dollar a day -- but whose tragedies can only be changed with proactive justice? Since I'm wondering, I hope no one will mind my also linking ONE's signon letter in the runup to the World Summit.

For the required U2 content, since a lament Psalm counts as U2 content, we could all offer up Psalm 69 in the name of the victims of Katrina.

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