Their plan apparently was to “scoop up” 100 hundred children from the streets of Port-au-Prince, take them to a beach hotel in the Dominican Republic and there set up an orphanage from where they could be adopted.
Now I’m not suggesting that there was any real mal-intent here, although the Haitian authorities are quite rightly treating this as a potential child trafficking case. But actually I believe these Christian people were genuine in their desire to help.
Which is actually even scarier!
One of the ten was allowed to talk to a BBC reporter and the interview was broadcast on the Radio 4 “Today” program.
All we want to do is take these children somewhere they can be safe and experience God’s loveThe problem is, some of these kids have already been proved not to be orphans at all, and besides UNICEF already has many child resettlement camps established in Haiti which as well as caring for children’s immediate needs are attempting to reunite them with their parents or members of their extended family.
What these American Christians have displayed in a staggering degree of religious and cultural arrogance, which I would say is a direct result of religious fervour. No secular charity would behave in this way, but this group's certainty that the primary thing these children require is “God’s love” has blinded them to the harm they are doing. If I was being completely cynical I would say this was really the only way they intended the children to be “saved”.
Personally I hope the Haitian authorities pursue the charge of attempted child trafficking. Good intentions in this case are no excuse for evading responsibility for the harm they could cause these children.