woensdag 24 maart 2021

Crimi-com (English)

[This is an English translation of my today's Dutch blog Crimi-com]

On the front doormat this morning a black girl smiles at me with a broad smile and wide eyes, next to the words "Hope for the most criminal country in the world". Even before I pick up the envelope of the Dutch Bible Society from the mat, I feel uncomfortable with that sentence and this form of communication.

The message appears to be about a country with many gangs and terrorism and the highest number of murders in the world. But does that make the country in itself criminal and is there no distinction between perpetrators and victims? Would I wish my country to be sold so enthusiastically somewhere else on the other side of the world as "the most criminal country in the world"? I cannot argue my feeling very well, but it doesn’t feel right for me and it gives a very negative association.

The envelope contains a letter and a folder that explains things in a more nuanced way. Okay, I’m prepared to believe somehow that you can fight crime by handing out Bibles. “Thus, the word of God can shape the values ​​and norms of children and young people (as well as their parents),” says Cardinal Óscar Andrés Rodríguez Maradiaga, Archbishop of Tegucigalpa. And there is money needed for that.

I can't help thinking of a joke by Jewish-American filmmaker Woody Allen who once said: "I always carry a bullet in my shirt pocket. Why? Well, someone once threw a Bible at me and that bullet saved my life."

The explanation and nuance is in the envelope, but the opening sentence "most criminal country in the world" doesn’t feel right to me. In addition, I do not like the use of young black girls as a sales tool to raise money, but that has gradually become commonplace in the world of fundraising in all media. No money without big eyes.

I can't help thinking of the television news that enters my living room at the same time as this envelope: that a young television presenter has been arrested for offering money in a live stream to a minor to show his private parts. No, that comparison is not valid, I completely agree, but the line is thin. Cute kids are worth money.

The intention is good, but who came up with such an envelope?

As far as I am concerned, the Bible Society may ask for money to distribute Bibles in a crime-ridden country. But I would start by saving money on the communications advisor.

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