Help and hope produce friends
To the editor:
For 30 years America and the West have made enemies around the world, especially in Indonesia and other Muslim countries. Westerners weren't tolerated and were badly persecuted for attempting to impose on them our dissolute western values such as abortion on demand. This was the ugly side of our culture.
The tsunami gave Indonesia a different, more beautiful view of America's generous, loving side, resulting in some surprising, historic results. Catholic Relief Services was honored by Indonesia for its ongoing tsunami relief services. The award was presented in Banda, Aceh, which is 87 percent Muslim. Those who attended the ceremony said they had received little help from other Muslim nations.
Catholic Relief Services continues to provide massive amounts of emergency food and health care, remaining behind to help rebuild Indonesia's infrastructure. Roads, bridges, wells, houses, hospitals, schools and bus stations are being rebuilt, and people are being put back to work through small-business grants and job training through the help of Catholic Relief Services.
Christian Americans once viewed as evil are now thought of as friends. Persecution has halted, and people walk the streets without fear with smiles on their faces. Way to go, CRS and other Christian relief services.
Muslims have expressed gratitude for the presence of the U.S. military and its relief efforts. Help and hope bring friends. Abortions bring persecution and war.
CHRISTINE E. STEPHENS, Cape Girardeau