The Moral Dilemma

25 October 2012

If you were a follower of my previous blog, you may remember that I partake in a yearly charitable tradition of donating to Samaritan's Purse via Operation Christmas Child. Many of you will remember Operation Christmas Child from school, which is how I got into it to begin with. It was more commonly known back then as the 'Shoebox Appeal'. I do this every year without fail and it never usually ceases to entice me. This year though, there have been doubts. After hearing about much criticism of the supposedly "evangelical" organisation, I am in two minds on whether to send the box or not. There have been many accounts of unfair practise in that the organisation "forces" Christianity upon the recipients of the shoe boxes and many of those accounts have even been described as "racist". 

The dilemma I face is whether to send my box. Are these accounts 100% true or is there an element of Christianity involved that perhaps people of different religious backgrounds have taken great offence to and may have twisted to form negative press? Like with many things, it's hard to decipher whether what we are presented is 100% true, partly true or absolutely false. I would feel completely disgusted if Samaritan's Purse were presenting the boxes to such poverty-stricken children, on the basis that they had to be afflicted to Islamophobic preachings. The act of doing so would be blackmail; a crime of global condemning. 

I do not have the time or resources to research in-depth about the situation, in order to come to a solid and wholesome conclusion. Doing so would involve actually going out to the places of need and investigating myself. I am not a religious person, nor am I atheist but I completely condemn religious blackmail. No-one should be forced into doing something they do not want, especially young children living in such treacherous conditions. These children should be fed, clothed and adored, not drafted in as young soldiers of an almost cult-like organisation. 


  1. I have a similar dilemma except that I'm now an atheist. I've participated in the past through Girl Guides but despite very much wishing to take part for the last couple of years I've been against it since I heard the same rumours on the internet.

    I looked at my local (UK) site and I'm still not too convinced.

    While it might be educational (my adult Chinese tefl students didn't know the Christmas Story which is important when describing the customs) the overall tone, since its delivered by an Evangelical Group who exist to inform people about their 'good news' which they believe to be 100% true, has to compromise any claim not to be trying to gather up more followers.

    I'll give £20 to the British Red Cross instead this year, what with Syria.

    I'd love to do a box no strings attached- just a pure wish to give the child some joy. Wouldn't have to be Christmas. Could be Eid, Chinese New Year or at the start of the new school year.

    1. Thanks for your comment, I've been stuck on this for a while now. I ended up sending the box because I still wanted an under-privileged child to have a Christmas present and OCC was the easiest way for me at the time but I'm definitely thinking of stopping.

      I don't necessarily believe their site either, they're not necessarily going to write anything bad about themselves and I believe that not all rumours are all unfounded. There must be an element of truth to it.

      It's funny you should mention the Red Cross as they are the charity I support the most, as I believe they are the charity that donates the largest percengtage of their proceeds. Oxfam is apparently one of the charities that donate the least at just 6%.

      I'd love to go over to one of these countries and help out first hand but I want to find a charity with absolutely no ulterior motive.

      The world is such a selfish place :(


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