On air: Did the New life Children’s Refuge do anything wrong?

This is the organisation which is “dedicated to rescuing, loving and caring for orphaned, abandoned and impoverished Haitian and Dominican children, demonstrating God’s love and helping each child find healing, hope, joy and new life in Christ”.

 And they’re at the centre of a huge story. They were held up on Saturday as they headed for the Dominican Republic with a group of Haitian children.

Their defence has been that, ‘The mistake we made is we didn’t understand additional paperwork was required’.

The UN’s not impressed. Kent Page is with Unicef in Haiti and said, “You can’t just go and take a child out of a country – no matter what country you are in.”

Are they right to want to get children in need out of Haiti, even if the paperwork isn’t possible? Is there a danger here that bureaucracy could cost lives?

Or do you have grave concerns about this earthquake being used to remove children who should be going nowhere?

Do you have any concerns about the motives of organisations that want to introduce children to Jesus?

Or should this case not cloud the really important work many Christian organisation do?

136 Responses to “On air: Did the New life Children’s Refuge do anything wrong?”

  1. 1 alan loughlin
    February 1, 2010 at 14:14

    I would not trust any religious organisation, they always have another agenda, it is obvious they want to brainwash the children into believing in some non-existant being, they just create more bigotry and intolerance, just look around the world now all the trouble strife terrorism etc all caused by this, we should be stopping this from happening, if not we are storing up more terrorism etc for the future

    • 2 Druthulhu
      February 3, 2010 at 04:48

      It’s a good thing we have open-minded tolerant people like you to keep us straight, alan.

    • 3 Andrew
      February 4, 2010 at 23:25

      Alan, people make mistakes. Do not blame religion or God for the short-comings of man-kind as a whole. Both the religious and secular are capable of atrocity, not because a god commands them to do so, but that the people are fallible. You also fit into the category of imperfection. In fact, saying that religious organizations brainwash and lead people into terrorism is proof that you’re brainwashed by cynicism, and cynicism is a false perception of reality. Truth is, everyone is in need of a savior. You and I both. Some live as though money is their savior, others live like love is their savior. Who can ever say those who trust Jesus Christ as the savior of the world are brainwashed, bigots, arrogant, fundamentalists, or terrorists? It’s wrong to say this. You’d be better to say mankind is capable of (prone to) wrongdoing, but certainly not God. The Bible says God of Abraham, Moses, and David revealed himself in Jesus to prove his desire to save, love and redeem the world. He did this for both you and I, along with the Jew and Gentile, righteous and sinful. All we can do is repent and believe.

      • 4 Chris
        February 8, 2010 at 07:11

        By retorting this way, you are showing just how cynical you are yourself and perhaps justifying his concerns, whether legitimate or not.

    • 5 Pastor Mattier
      February 6, 2010 at 06:11

      Taking Children is a serious crime. It is illegal in every country in the world. The person/people who came up with this idea should serve their sentence – like they would in any other country – weather it is 15 years – or six months or whatever is deemed fit in the country the crime is commited. This wrong doing needs to be discussed with the southern united states Christian communities so that the reputation of the universal christian body isn’t tarnished further let alone the American people as a whole.

  2. 6 patti in cape coral
    February 1, 2010 at 14:20

    From the link I read there is no way to know yet what the “kidnapper’s” intentions were. There is a lot of he said-she said going on. I think I’ll wait for more information before I form an opinion, but I do have to say that under such difficult circumstances paperwork and records become even more important than they were before. What if these children have family members who are looking for them? I’m not a big fan of paperwork, believe me, I have a long, intimate, and contentious relationship with immigration paperwork. But it has a purpose, and for the most part, it’s a good one. The problem is that paperwork takes time, and it’s hard to watch children suffer while they wait for a signature. Still, it’s a necessary evil.

  3. 7 Luci Smith
    February 1, 2010 at 14:24

    Good people can be instrumental in putting the lives of children in danger, despite all of their good intentions.
    I think that it is good that the New Life Children’s Refuge workers were stopped. The Haitian Government and/or the UN need to have control over the fates of these children.

    • 8 Scott Kennedy
      February 2, 2010 at 15:26

      I agree. The New Life Children’s Refuge workers should stop and think. Now there is the possibility that they are just pawns in a larger Christian network to boost orphan numbers at their facilities in order to secure additional funding? Listening to their response from prison they appear to be some what numb to political function and “trust God to see them through.” God also tells us to abide by laws and international guidelines set forth by our governments.

      I am a bit skeptical of religious organizations these days. They hide covert financial dealings behind a smoke screen of “god.” They are a business, but lack true transparency. Perhaps churchs and Christian org. want to consider an org. by the name of “Glass Pockets.org.” It is managed by the Foundation Center of NY., which is a well established philanthropic library and education center that provides hundreds of thousands of viewers with churches 990’s, their funding data, their giving patterns and the like.

  4. February 1, 2010 at 14:38

    Taking children out of a country by whatever organisation without paperwork amounts to kidnapping. Although the aim of the New life Children’s Refuge was to rescue the children and provide an orphanage to them, it has to comply with Haiti’s and international law concerning child protection. If the New life Children’s Refuge can get away with this incident, childless parents can use the earthquake disaster in Haiti to get as many children as they want citing humanitarian concern.

    The disaster in Haiti shouldn’t also become a golden opportunity for child traffickers to amass huge fortunes profiting from the current turmoil in the country and possibly corrupt officials on the borders that can facilitate such trafficking.

    • 11 Dennis Junior
      February 1, 2010 at 18:35

      Thanks, Abdelilah for putting that remarks together and, its sad that this situation will put a hamper on the already problems in the country.

      -Dennis Junior-

    • 12 jack
      February 1, 2010 at 20:52

      This is totally right. Say what you want, what they did is kidnapping. Think about this: if you were a parent in hospital fater an earthquake, and some freaks would take your children to another country (a 2 months baby can’t talk…) how would you react?

      These guys deserve a lesson, so that others can learn from this. You cannot kidnap kids for whatever the reason is. It is unacceptable, it is illegal and it is a crime.

  5. 13 Pancha Chandra
    February 1, 2010 at 14:54

    There is such a fine line with regard to the decisions to be made. Taking the children out of Haiti could mean uprooting the children from their country of birth. Further there could still be hope that at least one natural parent in each case is found. On the positive side the chilren could have new opportunities if they are adopted abroad. The organizations that are trying to help the children have good intentions. At a critical period like this one should not doubt the sincerity of religious organisations wanting to help.

  6. 14 Nigel
    February 1, 2010 at 15:12

    The operative words in the “organisation’s statement are “….God’s love…..” and “….new life in Christ……” Fundamentalist Christian wordology at its best and almost certainly, saving heathens and the unconverted in order to help the chances of the “saviours” in their trek to Heaven is what this is really all about. In this case it would seem that the taking of these trophies of goodness was not going to be stopped by the laws of man which the fundamental laws of God are greater than. They should be stopped.

  7. 15 Roberto
    February 1, 2010 at 15:15

    RE “” Is there a danger here that bureaucracy could cost lives? “”

    ——— Too late. Haitian & UN bureaucrats have already laid the groundwork for lives being lost and nothing has changed.

    Haitians are clamoring for food and water, and the government have the personnel to screen border checkpoints?

    Makes a juicy media story about busting a religious sect by implying they’re kidnapping Haitian children, but real kidnappers know how to genuinely operate under the radar and have already spirited children out.

    This story is the low laying fruit of the week story for lazy media.

  8. 16 Sol
    February 1, 2010 at 15:18

    What they have done is wrong. These are not orphans. Furthermore there are guidelines in place that this organization refused to follow. This is child trafficking regardless of who these people pray to.

  9. 17 Emmanuel Arnaud
    February 1, 2010 at 15:25

    Good intentions do not in any way give these good church going white folk from Idaho the right to circumvent the law, abduct and mistreat children, no matter where they are from or how critical the situation may be. Would this have been acceptable procedure in their own state, let alone the US? The NLCR and NLAF (New Life Adoption Foundation) must surely be aware of the strict adoption guidleines the industry adheres to, after all this is the business they are in.

  10. 18 piscator
    February 1, 2010 at 15:33

    Of course these people should be condemned. did anyone ask them to go into another country and filch children? Is the Idaho so lawless that they still think they are in the Wild West and can do whatever enters their heads to other peoples children?

    I aplogise for repeating the next bit, but WHYS has asked the same question twice.

    I always feel a little uneasy when known corrupt governments talk about ‘not filling in the correct paperwork’. Makes one wonder about the extent of the problem. Maybe other people have ‘filed in the correct paperwork’, and made off with children.
    Certainly all of the children who have been kidnapped from their relations in Haiti already should be sent back and processed by the legitimate experienced aid and government agencies before any other action is taken to resettle them.

  11. 19 Gene Garman, M.Div.
    February 1, 2010 at 15:36

    Typical religion fundamentalist arrogance and ignorance which results in human beings who actually believe in a supernatural existence which, to them, justifies unlawful activities and their own delusions. It is the same mental nonsense responsible for stupid suicide murderers. As one of my professors used to say, “It is alright to be a fundy, just don’t be a fool.” Another used to point out, intelligent beings have brains to use, not to sit on. Unfortunately, the people of Haiti are a part of one of the poorest and most economically oppressed nations in the world, except for the wealthy business types who are allowed to rule without challenge and to keep the poor women of Haiti too undereducated to stop breeding more children than they can afford.

    • 20 cat
      February 1, 2010 at 19:03

      Mr Garman
      Well said,I agree with you one hundred percent.Self righteous religious fools thinking they can cross borders with buses full of children is absurd. I only assume that it is God who brought those children to them and God would find a way for them to save them! Believing that the church is a good enough cover to break laws is dispicable behaviour. I suppose if it was a group of Atheists doing the same thing then it would most certainly be kidnapping! The arrogance astounds me.

  12. 21 dan
    February 1, 2010 at 15:39

    @alan loughlin
    It is a mistake that religions caused more grief & wars in the world than not. Hitler, Stalin et al were NOT religious. Perhaps you think it better that children who cannot fend for themselves die in the streets unloved and starving. Simply pathetic.
    In a grocery store a 5 yr old was acting up and the mother tried reasoning with the boy as if he was an adult with adult reasonaing abilities. She failed in a most dramatic fashion.
    Religion serves as a grounding for values for children and is the beginnings of how children lean and cope with the world around them.
    I think that New Life Childrens Refuge did the absolute correct thing to do. They save human beings but perhaps others think it of higher moral imperative to save some disease causing insect.
    Ros, I have to come down on the side of any legitimate organization that is there to save children orphaned, traumatized, hurt, starving, alone, left out to be exploited etc over the faux morality of those that speak of cultural identity, or haven’t any belief in a higher power. Are those people racists in hiding? I don’t know, I just know that I want to see as many children saved as we can.

    • 22 culchiewoman
      February 1, 2010 at 16:22

      The best you can do is cite two examples of non-religiously-started wars? Wow. Com’n…every other war bar those two were started by religious leaders. Besides which, none of this is germane to the point. The discussion involves whether or not the Idaho-based Baptist group was child-trafficking or well-intentioned.

      Doesn’t matter…they were caught child-trafficking. These people seem to be in the adoption ‘business’ — they didn’t know Haiti closed its doors last week to any child removal? I’m just an adoption activist and I was already well aware that Haiti had suspended all child airlifting (I also knew that Ireland suspended adoptions from Vietnam on Jan. 14 because of rampant corruption). If they didn’t know, then it sounds like they care little for what’s in the best interest of children, what constitutes good, fair adoption practice and adherence to the Hague Convention on Intercountry Adoption. Shame on them.

  13. 23 gary indiana
    February 1, 2010 at 16:03

    One could say “You should have known better.” to these folks. In times past I certainly would have. However, recollecting the milliion times in my life I’ve said it to myself makes me unwilling to say it in this instance.

  14. 24 Roy, Washington DC
    February 1, 2010 at 16:08

    Missing something like a non-orphaned girl who thinks she is going to camp is inexcusable. If you are going to take children out of a country, you had better make sure your documentation is in order. This is what happens if you don’t.

    It really doesn’t matter that this was a Christian organization, either. It’s valid to question their motives, but it’s not like they were handing out Bibles to people who were starving. Their intentions may have been good, but they went about this in the worst way possible.

  15. 25 audre
    February 1, 2010 at 16:10

    This is a tough call! Whilst I have strong reservations about the possible kidnapping of children for Jesus, if I were starving would I care who fed me and for what reason?

    There is no black and white in this situation, I am afraid. Let’s save the lives and then have the conversation.

  16. 27 Amy Lynn S.
    February 1, 2010 at 16:15

    “Some of the older children had spoken to aid workers and “say their parents are alive, and some of them gave us an address and phone numbers”, said Patricia Vargas.”

    Luci Smith and many are comments above were correct. It really doesn’t matter who you are or what your intentions are – horrible things can result.

    For those still unconvinced, here is an overview of the problem with adoptions (and child trafficking, as in this case):

    An excerpt:
    “Hearing about the specific needs of children often sparks a desire to adopt those who seem to have lost their families,” said Nicole Behnam, child protection specialist at World Vision. “The intentions are often noble and generous. However, early in a crisis, it is better for children to be protected while remaining in their home countries until the locations of their family members can be confirmed and adoption possibilities explored within their own communities.”

  17. 28 Lee collins
    February 1, 2010 at 16:17

    This organisation is completely out-of-order, to think they could just waltz into a country and take away children!! Are they crazy!!? Who the hell do they think they are? They must be so arrogant, cheeky and a bit creepy at the same time. To hide behind a religious veil is no defence to stealing children. Who governs them? Who’s in charge of checking out who they are? Complete idiots! And personally speaking, i think they should do hard time in jail to send a message to their whole organisation, that what they did is no different to perverts kidnapping children.

  18. 29 dan
    February 1, 2010 at 16:19

    @Gene Garman
    “Choke” “Gasp” Jeez, I hardly know where to begin but who are we to tell those poor nations to not have babies? If that isn’t racism, then I don’t know what is.
    Haitians have been exploited in many ways but “economically oppressed” shows a lack of understanding of Haiti’s history.
    Before the earthquake President Clinton had a coalition of business leaders and industrialists ready to invest in and build up Haiti. Hugo Chavez was not one looking to build up Haiti.
    Now, with the utter devastation Haitians have tragedy of unimaginable proportions and an opportunity.
    Your Professor aside, you need to look and think for yourself. Higher education should be about expanding YOUR mind rather than parroting the prejudices of others.
    If we cannot help the Haitians in whatever way we can then we have lost our humanity and no longer deserve to dominate this planet.

  19. 31 Gary Paudler
    February 1, 2010 at 16:23

    I don’t know the New Life people’s motives but their methods were so clearly wrong. Children have been introduced to God by good Christians using kidnapping, forced labor, torture and murder. There is no way that the New Life knuckleheads didn’t know that they couldn’t just round-up stray kids and take them out of the country. Religious fundamentalists always justify whatever they do by attributing it to God’s plan but they are fallible and conflicted humans messing with other people’s lives and should be treated like any secular human traffickers.

  20. February 1, 2010 at 16:31

    Set aside the issue of whether or not these children are truly orphans. The silly adults who piled them on a bus had no business being in charge of themselves, let alone setting themselves in charge of children. The facts released to date indict the adults: they flaunted the BP (best practices) researched and adopted by world agencies for the care and protection of children during disasters; they were either arrogant or naive when they thought word-of-mouth “permission” by non-Haitian officials was enough to remove the children; they believed their mission of God excused any lapses in adult judgment. That these adults didn’t bring water and food with them to immediately aid the children on the bus is further indictment of poor judgment… one of the babies was so dehydrated it required intensive care after it was RESCUED from these adults’ “care”. Thank goodness for the children’s sakes that Haitian officials were on their toes. A word of counsel for other folks pretending to be adults… keep your poor judgment and arrogance at home where like-minded “adults” praise your arrogance and naivety.

  21. 33 rob z.
    February 1, 2010 at 16:32

    It is clear that rules have been established and a proper procedure in place.Breaking the rules and violating said procedure is clearly wrong.Saying that you are a religious charity or groupe does not excuse breaking the law,good intentions or not.
    Robz in Florida.

  22. 34 dan
    February 1, 2010 at 16:44

    I am missing something here.
    It seems many would rather leave these children to starve to death dying in pain and unloved rahther than risk them being exposed to God.
    The truth is that the religious orhanization have worked to ease the suffering in Haiti as well as other 3rd world countries and we do not see any secular (God is dead) organizations helping the Haitians or any other 3rd world country.
    What is it about God that so frightens some that they are more comfortable allowing a child to die on the street, alone in horror?

    • 35 Gary Paudler
      February 1, 2010 at 16:56

      What you’re missing is the New Life organization’s inability to determine who is an orphan and who might have family able, willing and eager to take care of them. There are hundreds of secular organizations working night and day to help the Haitians, most of them know the difference between disaster relief and kidnapping.
      You offer a typically simplistic false choice: Either allow any unqualified group to extract children from Haiti or consign those children to horrible, lonely deaths but there are thousands of qualified rescuers doing their level (and legal) best for the people of Haiti without relieving children of any chance that they might reconnect with their families. Kidnapping is a well-defined crime, even for Christians.

    • 36 Nina
      February 1, 2010 at 17:07

      I think you are incorrect. There are many providing aid to this country free of the guise of religion. Traditionally, someone who chooses not to affiliate themselves with a religion generally does not feel the inclination to advertise the fact they are helping out of the goodness of their own heart. They are helping because they can.

  23. 37 Gary Paudler
    February 1, 2010 at 16:47

    Jeez Dan, (what’s “jeez” short for?) The people of Haiti have been absolutely economically oppressed; what history have you read that suggests otherwise? How in the world is it racism to advocate population control in a country that struggles with abject poverty? You infer that they have over-populated because of their race; that is racism. How is it that we “deserve” to dominate the planet? Language, opposable thumbs and brains big enough to justify selfish acts aren’t enough to make us deserve the right to dominate anything but our own little lives. Gene quoted his prof. as saying that it’s alright to be a fundamentalist (wouldn’t you agree?) but not alright to be a fool. It looks like you might take exception to the latter but you use an innocuous and easily acceptable quote to impugn Gene’s ability to think for himself.
    This is an open conversation but today, as often, rather than express and substantiate your own opinions you try to intimidate the other community members with ad hominem attacks suggesting that yours is the only possible valid point of view.

  24. 38 Tony from Singapura
    February 1, 2010 at 16:48

    They put all their trust in God, only to find out that the UN is more powerful.

  25. 39 Francisco in Spain
    February 1, 2010 at 16:57

    I don’t know whether they were wrong picking up the childrens or whether they commmited a mistake, or it was intentional, but it’s very easy to critisice comfortably from home doing nothing else.., this people went there willing to cooperate and help the children in need, maybe they were so eager to do something for the children that they didn’t take into account about parents or family who might be still alive for taking care of the children

    • February 2, 2010 at 16:28

      Or perhaps were eager to take advantage of the situation to spirit children away. Seriously, taking children away is not the only, or even the best, way ot help them. I applaud all those who have gone to Haiti to help and would have applauded these folks as well–if they had gone to Haiti to help legally. Again, it’s not “take the children or they die”–there are other ways to help.

  26. February 1, 2010 at 17:00

    As to the children, I agree with Patti in Cape Coral – in times of disaster, filing the paperwork (with someone! Red Cross? Unicef?)is even more important. As to “exposing the children to God”, that’s their parents work. I am sick and tired of so-called Christians thinking they have the highest ground when it comes to ‘morality’. And I don’t think our choices are only between force-feeding the Christian idea of God to a starving child or letting them die “in horror.” Jesus didn’t make kindness a quid pro quo for subservience to Christianity.
    Re: Dan’s statement “If we cannot help the Haitians in whatever way we can then we have lost our humanity and no longer deserve to dominate this planet.” Where and how did the United States ever earn the right to dominate any planet? Or are there many out there still subscribing to “Manifest Destiny”?

  27. 42 Kate M.
    February 1, 2010 at 17:08

    They should have been stopped! Human trafficking is a HUGE problem. Traffickers take advantage of bad situations. This may be a legitimate organization that is truly trying to help children but what if they are not?

  28. 43 bjay
    February 1, 2010 at 17:09

    Children’s Refuge did anything wrong?

    Ye !
    Not to I know of.com, although, I would prefer not to free for all concepts.
    They should have known to go through a proper channel.
    Thay have lied. Therefore, I cannot give a ‘benefit of the doute’
    specially for a ‘REILGIS’ entity.


  29. February 1, 2010 at 17:21

    I totally agree with the majority of comments above on this one.
    Even if we accept their own explanation which would be a generous stance to take, what sort of organisation does not know the paperwork required to remove children from the country they are working in. It is unfortunately the case that people wishing to do harm to children tend to take positions that provide a plentifull supply. The Catholic church in Ireland has proved this point.
    Then there is the fact that these people have no idea if these children have parents or relatives looking for them there. In all this was at the least a stupid act and I am glad these children were rescued but not from Haiti but from those who had kidnapped them. I am fed up with fanatical people of all religeons.

  30. 45 Crispo, Uganda
    February 1, 2010 at 17:29

    Did they do anything wrong? Yes, but under what circumstances?

    The fact that they didn’t follow the rules under Haitian and international law, does make them guilty. If this was a well intended act, I see no reason as to why they simply wanted to sneak incognito. That is classified as kidnapping and child trafficking for which they certainly have to serve a punishment and am sure they are aware of it.

    Yes, I don’t deny that there might have been good intentions in their actions and certainly will give reasons to try and exonerate themselves; like may be bureaucracy and disorganisation in the government systems given the devastating earthquake.
    Is that enough to justify such an action?

    In Africa, we like to say, “he who leaves by the back door is certainly a thief” and so do I think New Life is!

    To me, they have certainly over-stepped the limit. If they get away with it, it will be a golden opportunity for Child Traffickers as well and a bad precedent.

  31. 46 nora
    February 1, 2010 at 17:45

    When a nine year old child says she was told she was off to summer camp, it speaks volumes. The truth already compromised for these young victims by the self appointed representatives of God.

    It made me shiver, as I was molested as a kid by a reputable cleric at a reputable religious summer camp. The New Life Children’s Fund should take children’s rights seriously. I am glad that the Justice system is limping back to life in Haiti, and am quite grateful that the judicial system was there for the nine year old with parents.

  32. 47 TomK in Mpls
    February 1, 2010 at 17:51

    There are so many maybes and total unknowns here, that it is best to pull back, settle down, follow procedure, and follow up with a covert investigation. Assuming they go back to reasonable food and housing, only good will come from this. Either they will be found to be child traffickers and be busted, or better informed people will have learned to make better decisions. Maybe procedures will be improved.

  33. 48 Wendy Simpson
    February 1, 2010 at 17:52

    Self-indulgence at its worst and an insult to Haiti.

  34. 49 Tracy in Portland
    February 1, 2010 at 18:01

    I would think if their intentions where altuistic they would be attempting to improve the childrens circumstances in Haiti. Not sneak them them out of the country for people desperate for children to call their own. With the resources to go get a busload of kids and transport them, how much aid could they have brought instead. How about searching for the childrens families? If they want the children to have a home. How much better with their own families that they may have been separated from. Imagine some mother in a hospital somewhere, unable to search for the children she was separated from. Now imagine how much worse their sorrow of never knowing there loved ones lived and grieve for them too.

  35. 50 ZIRINNYON
    February 1, 2010 at 18:03

    Even though this land is experiencing a great desaster, please, these good poeple must respect the international law. Haiti Is crying , yes, but Haiti is not dead.
    What can not be done in the USA must not be overlooked in this land.
    Even Jesus love to respect the law, ” let us give ceasar what belongs to ceasar”,therefore,let us give to the Haitians their dignity knowing that USA helps them. The earthquake should not be a root of enslaving the children of Port au prince.

  36. 51 John in Salem
    February 1, 2010 at 18:21

    While I personally don’t like their evangelical intentions it was wrong no matter what their motives were.
    Haiti has not suddenly become a lawless frontier because of an earthquake and they had no right to do what THEY thought was best. Homeless and hungry citizens of Haiti, of any age, should be fed and sheltered where they are – anyone needing urgent medical care that is unavailable should be airlifted out by the military or supervised agencies. Opportunists always abound in these situations and rules have to be followed if people are to be protected.

  37. 52 Tom D Ford
    February 1, 2010 at 18:32

    “Do you have any concerns about the motives of organisations that want to introduce children to Jesus?”

    If I understand correctly, Haiti is a mostly Catholic country, so that makes it look very suspicious that a Baptist organization would be taking Catholic children away to indoctrinate them into the Baptist church.

    Those kids are very vulnerable right now and changing their religion from Catholicism to Baptist would undermine any stability that their parents and the Catholic Church might already have built into them.

    It look like those Baptists are preying on vulnerable children, a particularly sleazy thing to be doing right now.

  38. 53 skinnymalinky1
    February 1, 2010 at 18:42

    At best these workers were extremely näive not knowing about the necessary paperwork, especially given their claim to be “dedicated… to Haitian children”. This alone would cast grave doubts on their ability to responsibly take care of orphaned children. At worst, they are no better than more organised child traffikers. In any case, they have put all Christian organisations in a bad light.
    Kate in Frankfurt, Germany.

  39. 54 dan
    February 1, 2010 at 18:44

    Wow…you all sit there in your warm homes with running water and enough food to be able to eat 24/7 with all the comforts of life and lecture that the children of Haiti should not be expose to a religious organization that is trying to save them
    Better for you if the simply died on the street so you can blame the “evil” corporations and George W. Bush must fit in there somewhere.
    Let’s let them starve while you are filling out and checking authenticity of paperwork because you are etrrified that the children might also be expose to religion.

    Gary we deserve to dominate the plant because we are the sentient of the planet. Maybe you are more comfortable with animals to dominate the planet.
    Dinosaurs dominated the planet far longer than humans have been alive but they developed nothing and never became self aware. But let’s not let that get in the way of your myopic narriative.
    The people of Haiti do not have your lilly white skin but they are humans nevertheless and those children it looks like were give to this organization by an orphanage so that they might be rescued.

    • 55 Tracy in Portland
      February 1, 2010 at 19:51

      Saved, or stolen Dan? It seems no different than saving other peoples belonging by liberating them. Oh thats stealing isn’t it? Hmm.

  40. 56 Dennis Junior
    February 1, 2010 at 18:45

    **The New Life Children Refuge** is presumed innocent under any and all laws until proven guilty!

    But, the following comments are MY own opinions; Yes, the organisation is doing many things wrong:

    First: In a calamity NO Children should be leaving the country without authorisation of the ACCEPTABLE government authorities in Haiti e.g. President…

    -Dennis Junior-

  41. February 1, 2010 at 19:05

    Thousands of Haitian children are smuggled across the Dominican border every year, where they are kept in virtual slavery as child prostitutes and beggars. Where is the outrage over that? Why hasn’t it been reported? Where was the Haitian government then?

    Yet when these well-intentioned rescuers can’t produce the necessary “paperwork” (and anyone who has ever worked in Haiti will understand their corrupt mind-numbing beaucracy), they end up in a Haitian jail??

    Child trafficking is definitely a problem in Haiti. But this isn’t it.

  42. 59 alexander
    February 1, 2010 at 19:11

    their “GOOD SAMARITARIAN” move sounds suspecious,if they really wanted to help why didnt they go through the proper channels?

  43. 60 dan
    February 1, 2010 at 19:18

    I think people are too hung up on religion and are blinded by the suffereing.

    @Sparkystar41 in Stayton,Oregon USA
    It is HUMANS that have come to dominate the planet. In any event the United States has the duty in our hemisphere as the only lead force capable of helping the Hatians.

    As for “Internatioanl Law” I laugh as this is the cat dragged out of the closet only when it is convenient to beat up on someone but too often “International Law” is ignored by aggressor nations and those that excuse those aggressors.

  44. 61 Jack
    February 1, 2010 at 19:19

    Okie doke. Let’s say Memphis, Tennessee (USA) has a nasty Earthquake. A group of Muslims comes in and finds a bunch of kids who appear to be orphaned. So they get nabbed trying to take the kids out of the country.

    Who’s going to be okay with this?

  45. 62 Chintan in Houston
    February 1, 2010 at 19:20

    Just because they were orphans that does not give anyone right to dislocate them from their homeland to a another place.

    The argument of safer, healthier environment argument is ridiculous because that means no kids should grow up in third world countries and only the rich countries have the right to raise children. Trust me a poor orphan being cared and fed by responsible caretakers in a third world country beats Britney Spears and Kevin Federline in the US as parents.

  46. February 1, 2010 at 19:24

    Another thing I wanted to express and didn’t have the opportunity – the predominance of white – in this case & others, Americans – clamoring to adopt the children of Haiti now. I think many people did not realize the brevity of these adoptions.

  47. February 1, 2010 at 19:26

    Did the new life childrens refuge do anything wrong?
    Yes ,why didn’t they do what other NGOs are doing.
    They should follow best practice in the case of child welfare after natural disasters ie help them in country rather than extracting them to an alien country unnecessarily.
    A lot of charities have to turn up and look like they are doing something to justify collecting money from people,how useful are really?

  48. 65 dan
    February 1, 2010 at 19:26

    People are bringing up the ills of religion but are ignoring 3600 years of good that Monotheism has accomplished.

  49. 67 Kate M.
    February 1, 2010 at 19:27

    There have been comments about how religion is ruining the world. Groups will kill or harm each other for anything. Take out religion and wars will be started over shoe size or eye color. It is not the religion that is at fault.

  50. 68 Chintan in Houston
    February 1, 2010 at 19:28

    Ros, this conversation is going nowhere, you are trying to make it sensational by talking about religion rather then human trafficking or breaking the law.

    This is terrible!

  51. 69 Joe Eichenauer
    February 1, 2010 at 19:30

    I am curious how this issue would have been perceived in a different context. Suppose if after hurricane Katrina in New Orleans a group of Haitians came and tried to take a number of children away to “help” them? I believe many people defending the group who went to Haiti to do this would have been persecuting this hypothetical group.

  52. 70 patti in cape coral
    February 1, 2010 at 19:35

    I tried to ignore the religion part of it, but obviously it’s part of the issue. I have to say that if christians want to convert people to their side, it’s unecessary to resort to bible thumping, or sneaking children around (if that’s what was happening). If religious organizations are open to advice, here’s my bit: I think they would gain more converts just doing good works and having joy in doing those works, without judgement. That would be the strongest advertisement for your faith. You can’t drag people kicking and screaming into heaven.

    Also, people of all faiths need to follow the law in a sovereign country, and in fact, when it comes to children they should be especially vigilant. If the bible is your guide, I believe it does tell people to follow the laws of the land.

  53. February 1, 2010 at 19:40

    I wanted to share more while I was on the show – to ask where the outrage has been over the 2000+ Haitian children that have been taken across the border on an annual basis. And those responsible weren’t doing it to save the children. In this case, the individuals had their hearts in the right place; they were just misguided. The fact is the religious NGO’s have been caring for these children long before the earthquake and will be there long after the Red Cross moves on. It’s sad to see the focus on religion rather than on the suffering of the children. As one woman I know who has spent a lot of time in Haiti said, “In Haiti, we’re all Christians.” It’s easy in the states to say I’m a Catholic and I don’t like what the Protestants are doing in Haiti. This is irrelevant when a child will DIE if someone doesn’t do something. Oftentimes, the laws that are supposed to be followed change from day-to-day. Adoptions of true orphans can sometimes take years.

    February 1, 2010 at 19:41

    This information is shocking because it sounds strange for people calling themselves Christians and yet they are using ileagal means to move children out of their habitat. We cannot trust believe anyone now religious or not without a credible proof given the fact that now we have heard of organ harvests and such vices that abound in the world. Some of those crimes have been conducted by religious people or other do gooders.
    In my mind, I think anyone having good intention for Haiti should choose to help the whole society including the children. They can adopt those children yes, but it can also be done in with children still living in Haiti. Taking them away does not auger well for the Haiti’s future.

  55. 73 Pam in Portland
    February 1, 2010 at 19:42

    Well meaning Christians accidentally causing harm? Oh my what a surprise!

    I don’t find what they were trying to do the least bit noble. They didn’t want to set up an orphanage in Haiti or try to reunite these children with any potential family members or just help the children survive in their own country. They wanted to secret these kids away and set up an orphanage in DR–a virtual tropical paradise by comparison where they could MAKE MONEY and live on a tropical island under the guise of doing god’s work. It’s disgusting and the fact that even those involved in the trafficking don’t believe they had bad intentions doesn’t make it any better.

  56. 74 Gloria in Oregon
    February 1, 2010 at 19:43

    What audacity! This is the most despicable type of looting: kidnapping. They basically intended to whisk away vulnerable and desperate young children, all in the name of brainwashing their minds. Ah, the fervor of those who feel compelled to proselytize.

    If this ‘church group’ wanted to help people in Haiti, they could collectively have raised an enormous amount of money and sent it to one or more several humanitarian relief funds that are highly experienced in such disasters, and are there, on the ground, assisting the people of Haiti in their own environment.

  57. 75 Jack
    February 1, 2010 at 19:58

    @Gloria in Oregon

    You nailed it. It’s funny how Pat Robertson can say that Haiti brought this one themselves by having a “pact with the devil” and we’re all supposed to believe that his brothers in Christ had only the best of intentions.

  58. February 1, 2010 at 20:10

    I’m curious how many people posting comments have ever actually BEEN to Haiti. I think being there and seeing the conditions would change a lot of opinions.

    @Jack – please don’t hold Pat Robertson against us. He doesn’t speak for all Christians.

  59. 77 Anya
    February 1, 2010 at 20:20

    This incident is a part of bigger patterns of the deep distrust of developing nations towards the developed countries. Some of this distrust comes from the history of colonization and forced Christianity. Sometimes there are cultural misunderstanding and ignorance and yet other times the corrupt government officials arrest the westerners in hope to extract bribes in the process. Without further evidence we can continue the passionate debate who was right and who was wrong, but when I heard the news about arrested aid volunteers, my first thought was that Haitian government is not only not being appreciative of the time, effort and resources people bring in, but they are being hostile and suspicious towards the very people who are trying to help Haiti.
    All last week I’ve heard the Haitians say “we got nothing from our government”. Is this the best way to spend valuable time and limited resources for the Haitian government to help its people?

  60. 78 Annette
    February 1, 2010 at 20:30

    God gives direct warning to those to use His name in an ungodly manner. The Third Commandment says ” Thou shalt not take the name of God in vain, for the Lord will not hold him guiltless that taketh His name in vain.
    God knows their hearts and their intentions. Let us not judge them least we be found guilty.
    It always amazes me how the God of our fathers is lumped together with the god of this world when injustice(s) happens. This is the true injustice.
    May God have mercy on us all.

  61. 79 Number 6
    February 1, 2010 at 20:35

    just spent a lot of time readind ALL the posts here….a wide range of views indeed..but im willing to bet my last penny that this gets brushed under the carpet like lots of other things these evil religious nuts do…perhaps fred phelps from the westbro baptist church will intervene and help them out……no?….ok then …its not going to be a problem for them god will step in and they will magickly be transported home and everything will be forgotten ….never happened….no? ….but they were doing gods work they were inspired by god..no?…..ok then i hope these sleezy child theives go to jail for a long time…….who said haiti was a voodoo country ? another inspired man of god…..perhaps they will get their heads eaten…would be too good for them

  62. 80 Dana
    February 1, 2010 at 20:40

    “Whoever knows the good he ought to do and doesn’t do it sins.” I think it is comfortable for those not actively engaged in trying to do good to criticize those who are working to help a situation ‘in the moment’. There is a lot of arm chair quarterbacking goin on here. I think it makes those not acting feel better about themselves. “Better to do nothing then to do something ‘wrong’?” In this case I don’t think so. I hope everyone is comfortable.

  63. 81 Janis
    February 1, 2010 at 20:45

    If these actions were done by members of another country, trust me, nobody would be looking at a positive side…they would be in jail TODAY.

    There is a lot of kids in other parts of the world that are suffering; why this people are not there giving other children opportunities by legal means??…I call it taking advantage in the middle of the chaos and destruction.

    NO ONE is exempt of following international laws.

  64. 82 Dana
    February 1, 2010 at 20:47

    BTW Yes, I have been to Haiti and worked feeding children and treating AIDs and yes my only regrets involve not doing more and not taking more risks on behalf of people there. So I am very uncomfortable.

  65. 83 Anatoliy
    February 1, 2010 at 20:59

    It is pathetic, simply pathetic. Instead of judging those who do something in that mess, a lot of anti-religious jerks here sit in their comfort zone and bragging about what is or not wrong. Time will show what it really was and a lot of you will be ashamed if shame is not lost in your burnt conscious yet. Get your butts off your chairs from your computers, go to Haiti and judge there.

  66. 84 Jon
    February 1, 2010 at 21:59

    Misguided intentions coupled with a holier-than-thou attitude endangered these children. Fundamentalist churches, please STAY HOME, if you want to actually help, send money. That’s it, I know it’s troubling for all of humanity to bear witness to such a tragedy, but what you have done creates more problems for a very vulnerable community.

  67. 85 Jon
    February 1, 2010 at 22:01

    @Cherie, the Red Cross is an institution there and will be there far longer than your time on earth. I worked for the Red Cross in Haiti in the early 90s, you??

  68. 86 Rachel
    February 1, 2010 at 22:14

    I don’t know how an organization that is about adopting children could think that it was permissible to remove children from a country without proper documents. I simply do not believe this organization was acting in good faith, and hope that some journalist will follow up and find out what they intended to do next, and whether it would have benefited them financially. I think they should be prosecuted, and that as at least one earlier commenter said, their religion has nothing to do with it.

  69. 87 Jummai
    February 1, 2010 at 22:24

    I hope that these Americans would jail for trying to steal children out Haiti. This group really believe that they are the best solution for these children. They are criminals who may be have stolen children from Haiti and elsewhere for profit, i will urgent the Child Protection agences to look into the background of this group. There is something sinister about the group. Who gave them the right to believe that just because a child is poor it deserve to be remove from its surroundings? I am very sad that some human are so inhuman as to go so far in name a God. I am a christian but i am thinking that children should be given to other culture to be abuse just because they poor. I hope that these group to jail for a long time.

  70. 88 PlumberB
    February 1, 2010 at 22:56

    I am going to assume that the New Life Christian ‘rescuers’ had good, if terribly misguided, intentions. Shooting from the hip, I suspect this is a result of the cloistered, ‘us against the world’, closed minded environment common to any number of Baptist, Christian and yes, Muslim communities. When these folks have to fit the reality of the world into the rigid structural form of whatever sectarian community they have created, distortions are inevitable. I have little doubt that the New Lifers truly believe they were doing the right thing – and in God’s name as well. The problem is that good intentions and God’s name alone does not ensure the right thing being done.

    I can’t wait to see the emergence of a reality based Christian movement that accepts that a belief system not including Jesus, or even God, does not necessarily mean an eternity in hell that has to be combatted. The days jihad and “Onward Christian Soldiers, Marching as to war…” is more than a little frightening in today’s world. We need more thinkers and fewer blind zealots.

  71. 89 lala
    February 1, 2010 at 23:37

    One question: Shouldn’t they already know about the child adoption laws? They defintely were going about it the wrong way especially if these children have families, this is very imprudent since it is very early, time id needed to unite families.

  72. 90 Harry
    February 2, 2010 at 00:34

    I’m sure if they would have gotten away with it they would have brought them here to sell into adoption. Don’t we have enough problems in the US than to let all the Haitian kids here?

  73. 91 TJ
    February 2, 2010 at 00:42

    How incredibly stupid of these people to go into a recently ravaged country and attempt to remove children without paperwork, or consideration for proper authorization to do so. Although I’m sure their intent was not of malice, they most certainly deserve to answer against the charges against them. I have visited impoverished countries and there are many ways that you can help the citizens of those countries without attempting for whatever reason to take children from their homes. As for the religious beliefs of those charged, they would be better served by using common sense vs, the calling of God!

  74. 92 Ari
    February 2, 2010 at 02:06

    I don’t think this has anything to do with christians, athiest, etc etc. Why is everyone so focused on bashing christians? I mean I understand that it sucked that these people who says they are christians decided to act in a decitful way, but does that mean all christians are the same, no. It goes for athiest too, if an athiest does something unhumane does that mean all athiest are bad, no. We need to focus on the wrong that was done, not what their religious preference. There are rules to everything. This group claims that they were trying to do something good, they were trying to help the helpless children of Haiti. Like one of the commenters said, if they were trying to help, they would have went through the process. Now I can sit here and judge whether they had the right intentions or not, but because they did what they did, their creditablity is out the door. I hope they fix this mess and come down hard on those who are trying to use this devestation to profit by any means necessary.

  75. 93 jpotter
    February 2, 2010 at 02:52

    We now know that at least one of these children is NOT an orphan and was told she was going to a fun camp. Undoubtedly at least some of the others are the same.

    Yes, other children have been kidnapped by those with ill intent, and haven’t been stopped at the border. I’m thinking it’s likely there’s security in place right now for exactly his kind of thing, as there should be. Saying “Haiti’s government is corrupt” as some sort of criticism of this example of NONcorrupt government behavior is missing the point.

    I’m also not convinced their intentions were all that benevolent. Whisking them away from their homes without even trying to ascertain if they had any family; trying to pass off the lack of documentation or any kind of permission to take these as “golly, we just didn’t realize” — how could any thinking adult think this is the way to do it? American imperialism at its worst: whatever their lives have been like, living in good Christian fellowship with us will be better. Don’t worry, we know best. Give me a break. We haven’t heard the whole story about them.

    One more point: UNICEF and other NGOs are hard at work identifying, sheltering and caring for displaced children while searching for their parents or families. For these “misguided” America church folks, spending all those resources and a few weeks on the ground in Port-au-Prince aiding in that effort would be much more valuable, and perhaps would prove a good test of their actual intentions.

    At the very least, Haiti should expell them from their country and forbid them to come back.

  76. February 2, 2010 at 04:21

    ..still too little news out there to form a solid opinion.lets wait and see

  77. 95 WTF???
    February 2, 2010 at 07:39

    Pardon my anger, but….Why in the world is there any debate about this? Those people kidnapped these children! PERIOD. They are not stupid…they must have known that paperwork was necessary. These are children! Not cattle. Heck, even if they were cattle, you’d need paperwork! Why do people think they can just swoop in and remove people from their homeland and set them up in a place THEY want? Sound familiar? Those children would have disappeared and no one would ever have heard from them again. There would have been no trace or trail of them. And in Idaho of all places…no diversity, plenty of KKK and fringe groups. And Yes, I have been to Idaho numerous times having lived right across the border in Montana. And NO, not everyone in Idaho is scary. But this situation and their attitude makes you think the worse. Enforced slavery still exists in this country and a recent documentary was done on it. Yes, Haiti is horrible and has been for many years. But that is no excuse. Want to help? Then don’t be underhanded. Because it makes you and your excuses stink to high heaven. Things that make you go Hmmmm.

  78. 96 Halima
    February 2, 2010 at 07:44

    yes, good intentions or not. they were at best naive and rather stupid, at worst they were attempting to abduct children for their own agenda, even if they believed their agenda to be a good one.

    It has to be an incredibly stupid thing to think you can just collect children from whatever situation without attempting to find out the history of those children, and without an attempt to contact some authorities however chaotic the situation. It is also immoral.

    Religions people seem to believe they are above laws the rest of us have for very good reasons.

  79. 97 Curious
    February 2, 2010 at 09:24

    Total hypocrisy, doing gods work! With no paperwork, how on earth would the extended members of the children’s families ever know what happened to them. This is just mindless ignorance masquerading as gods work

  80. 98 JanB
    February 2, 2010 at 14:09

    I wouldn’t worry much about the religious doctrines they wanted to instill in the children, the same thing would probably have happened to the children in Haiti anyway since it’s a deeply religious country.

  81. 99 bevx
    February 2, 2010 at 15:09

    First thought is yes!
    Great if the truth, but many take the wrong advantages.
    They have to be vetted and unfortunately the red tape has to happen to ensure that the children are correctly provided for.
    2nd thought is no. If they were truly looking out to do the best for those most unfortunate children.

  82. 100 Elias
    February 2, 2010 at 16:23

    Whilst the abducters of the children may or may not have had good intentions, they were wrong in taking them without necessary permission from the governing authorities.

  83. 101 Alison K
    February 2, 2010 at 16:46

    I doubt they were trying to take the kids to sell them into slavery. But, their religion seems to have deluded them into thinking that the law doesn’t apply to them. At best, they rounded up some children and decided to take them across the border to a better, calmer place with the intention of searching for their families later.

    At worst, they felt that it would be better for the kids to be raised in the groups’ particular brand of Christianity, and that the supposed superiority of their religion justified taking the kids away from their families and communities. We saw religious groups act the same way after the tsunami.

    Either way, they are finding out the hard way that the rules do apply to them. And that’s as it should be.

  84. 102 piscator
    February 2, 2010 at 17:49

    Most posters are tending to give the benefit of the doubt to these alleged kidnappers, because they claim to be on a mission from God. Most of us are conditioned to claims of religious motives as demonstrating superiority of moral purpose. Therefore, if I was but a simple kidnapper, I would pretend to be driven by the purest Christian motives, and hide behind the Rowan Atkinson stage character of the bumbling, but well meaning, vicar .

    This is why this episode is very bad for real compassionate religious folk. Very many really bad ideas put about by greedy people are excused by mixed them up with a bit of Soul Spam. Hence, in Australia, aboriginal children were forced into Christian schools; in most Muslim countries, it is illegal for children born in mixed marriages not to be brought up as Muslims; in Israel, God gave the land exclusively to one group of children; in India, children’s education and life style is based on their religious caste. The result is, that the fastest growing group on Earth, the Agnostics and the Atheists, become more and more disgusted with religion bringing itself into criticism – for example, the religious excuses for homophobia and terrorism in the news is being discussed on these boards at the moment.

    But I digress from the topic. I think Christians, and all faith groups should be decrying groups, like the one in this story, not trying to cover for them. Because the wrong that people like this do reflects on all people who claim that religion is important for the World’s future, and whilst this group could possibly plead insanity, they should not be allowed to plead higher motives, and immunity, than people without such an excuse.

    • 103 Jeanne
      February 3, 2010 at 05:13

      Perfectly said! I agree 100% and was sitting here trying to put into words that exact sentiment…thanks for explaining way better than I could have! When you are wrong and you know it, just say amen.

  85. 104 Tom D Ford
    February 2, 2010 at 17:51

    If I recall correctly, Cuba was the first to aid Haiti in this disaster. And Cuba is not exactly known for promoting and evangelizing religion. The people of Cuba seem to do good for their fellow human beings without any threat or promise from any supernatural being, from any “God”. And I have not heard that any of the Cubans have been accused of doing anything wrong like the “New Life” people apparently did.

    So. I wonder if there is any Cuban charitable organization that people around the world can contribute to in order to support their good works? I don’t think Americans could contribute without being accused of supporting Communism and maybe even being sent to jail, but maybe other Nations could help out.

    The Cubans seem to care for people in place, like many WHYS posters have suggested is the best thing to do, so maybe instead of giving money to suspicious Religious charities, people can support the Cuban efforts.

    In other words, please don’t stop helping because of the “New Life” type religious people, try and look for other groups that have proved to be effective, even if they are considered a pariah state by some in the US.

  86. 105 mbh
    February 2, 2010 at 19:42

    I think the intentions of the New Life Refuge people were good but they were niave. I’ve seen this many times in my own church. People get so carried away with doing “God’s work” they don’t stop to think about the consequences or they rush in before they have all the facts. They mean well but they end up making a mess of it. It’s sad. Now all this time, energy and money will be put towards prosecuting these people rather than toward the children who really need it.

  87. 106 KB
    February 2, 2010 at 20:00

    Imagine being a little child in shock and being snatched from a tropical French speaking home and extended social network to Idaho where it is frigid, completely, shockingly, foreign. Where they can and will be exposed to racism and fundamentalist religious beliefs. To really help children, the abductors could relocate to Haiti and dedicate their time, $$ and efforts to helping the children where they live, the kindest approach, rather than remove them from everything they know. Their acts are unlawful and the name of the act is child abduction. If they were resourceful enough to have a bus and gas they are resourceful enough to know the law. No excuses. The UN, CARACOM, other national relief agencies, registered and legitimate charitable organizations will be happy to accept their money and supplies to continue the improvements already underway in Haiti.

  88. 107 Hellbinder
    February 2, 2010 at 20:06

    Tom D Ford ,

    words fail when discribing your ignorance.

    I am litterally in tears over reading the utter deception and ingnorance nearly all of you display.

  89. 108 JanB
    February 2, 2010 at 20:13

    @Tom D Ford

    Maybe Cuba is spending a lot of money that their own poor citizens need. You know, it’s not uncommon for isolated dictatorships to spend lots of money on foreign aid for political purposes, to make them look good, while they’re taking the money away from their own people. After all, we’d never know if a bunch of poor Cubans died in a hospital or prison or didn’t get any education or pensions this year because the government took the money for their Haitian prestige project. It’s not like Cuba is sitting on a pile of money (besides, they have plenty of poor, needy slums themselves) so where do they get the money for this aid? And what information do we have on the quality and effectiveness of the Cuban aid?

    I think if you do not want your money to go to religious charities, organizations like the Red Cross and Doctors Without Borders would be a more ethical choice than the Castro dynasty.

    P.S. Cuba was the first country to send aid because they were the closest by after the Dominican Republic and Haiti has been known to refuse Dominican aid (those two have a history). Though technically, the first aid came from aid workers already in the country before the earthquake, some of them were Cuban, but many more were American or European.

  90. 109 Wendy Simpson
    February 2, 2010 at 20:14

    I bet they had the paperwork for the bus they were driving.

  91. 110 JanB
    February 2, 2010 at 20:17

    “Imagine being a little child in shock and being snatched from a tropical French speaking home and extended social network to Idaho where it is frigid, completely, shockingly, foreign. Where they can and will be exposed to racism and fundamentalist religious beliefs.”

    Imagine the child being forced to grow up in a slum where it will also be fed a lot of religious bullcrap, be vulnerable to gang violence and if it survives that kind of childhood it will most likely seek work in the Dominican Republic (where it will also be exposed to racism), maybe it will even move to the United States, just ask the average Haitian if they want to leave the country and most of them would say “yes”.

  92. 111 Kate
    February 2, 2010 at 20:38

    Contrary to what many of you feel, this is not a religious question; it just doesn’t matter who they are or where they are from for that matter. To take a child WITHOUT permission is kidnapping, plain and simple. Why not help build an orphanage there instead of another country. You want to help, do as others are doing stay there and help them in their own country.
    As Joe Eichenauer pointed out, how would you feel if this had happened in New Orleans after Katrina? Let’s take this one step further. Let’s say you are in New Orleans and get separated from your child and one of these children taken was yours. NOW, how do you feel? Are these people doing the right thing now that it is your country and your child? There is NO difference.
    For whoever (I can’t remember who it was) made the rude comment about the people of Idaho based on a few people, have you heard about the 2 men from Idaho who are down there helping out. They have a friendship with a Pastor down there. They became friends through church work and were worried when they couldn’t get hold of him. They searched for him with only a sign with his name because of the language barrier. Good news is they found him and his family. They didn’t leave though and are now helping people with shelter, food and water.
    Cherie, it doesn’t matter if I have been to Haiti. I am not stupid and I know how bad it is there. I knew before the earthquake. It still does not make it right to kidnap children.

  93. 112 C Doyle
    February 2, 2010 at 20:39

    The practice has been refered to as a “Cowboy Adoption” and that is exactly what it is. Religious organisations, however good there intentions cannot circumvent the law and take children across borders without the say of officials. The problem is two fold. The possibility of adopting a Haitian child has become the new Cause Celeb and everyone wants one. The second problem is the Fundemental Evangelical churches mostly American who are flooding Haiti with members in search or new converts, the children being the easiset as the most vulnerable and desparate. These New Life Refuge members should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law as an example to others who may attempt similar abductions. It is a straight forward cult in the guise of a charitable organisation.

  94. 113 Alex
    February 2, 2010 at 21:37

    I’m glad there was no one in the US needing any help at all so these people have to go looking for good deeds outside the country! What a bunch of self-aggrandizing pompous attention-seekers. Gotta be where the “action” is – where the “story” is. What they were doing with the children seems a little shady – let’s hope they hold them for a while.

  95. 114 Kevin
    February 2, 2010 at 21:56

    I think if we can put the religion aside, these were people that acted out of gut instead of mind. Not all charity orginizations, even the ones with religious ties, are not this reckless. This just makes good print.

  96. 115 Dana
    February 2, 2010 at 23:01

    The problem is here is an imbalance of power. These children were given to this group because their families and orphanges did not feel that they had the ability to care for their children. The group did not recognize the imbalance and thought they were, “helping”. People more experienced in working with impoverished and dislocated people know this.

  97. 116 Drew
    February 3, 2010 at 03:51

    The simple fact is that the children’s parents were still alive, the children KNEW that their parents were still alive, and yet these miscreants and cultists ignored the children’s pleas.

    (I refer to them as satanic cultists because they claim to worship the Christian God but no God, of ANY religion, would EVER approve of children being removed from their parents).

    These cultists deserve what’s coming to them.

  98. 117 obita john okidi
    February 3, 2010 at 09:52

    as long as the faith of re- allocating the children was good, then why should we deny to help the needy children? as I talk now am in northern Uganda where children are almost loosing life daily, because of some of these similar problems , and remember 85% of the total population of the people in northern uganda were displaced for almost 24 years of war , where you an average camp is estimated to be one square mile with as many as 15000 to 25000 people crammed in small huts with inadequate space and facilities, people had know option, cholera broke in and killed alot, latter hepatitis E came in and alot lost lives again, sincerely wherever, there is capacity to save and help lives, please good wills come and help .The previous photos of those suffering people of northern Uganda currently similar with the haiti, you wouldn’t love to look at it again, all the reserved comments are welcome on mi email, God bless you all

  99. 118 Jen
    February 3, 2010 at 13:20

    Obviously the “kidnappers” weren’t trying to hide the children if they were taking them across the border on a bus. Desperate times call for desperate measures. That being said, with a pretty much non-existant government in place children are dying in the meantime. This organization’s concern for these orphaned children was acted out in ignorance and naivety. Sometime those with good intentions forget there are many people with horrible intentions out in this world.

    My husband just returned from Haiti and he said it is worse than it seems on the news. When you are there in person and you see these children, the same age as your own out walking the streets hungry and naked, you want to bring them all safely home.

    There are many so called Christians out there but I think they are like many other religions that are “Christians” by name. The Bible says that you will know them by their fruits. Look at their fruits and judge them not by their words alone. It is hard to not be cynical when hearing the word Christian when you have some crazy ones out there. Those are the ones the media seems to spotlight. The second greatest commandment in the Bible is love your neighbor as yourself.

  100. 119 Annamom
    February 3, 2010 at 16:00

    Maybe the NLCR folks should consider taking their ideas of love and support to work within Haiti. How about blankets, food, water and love being offered in the community where these children live and clearly where their parents will continue to live. I wonder if this recently-thrown-together non-profit organization thought about where these children will go as they grow up. Do they have a long-term plan? Who will care for them when they are no longer babies and toddlers? Christian “trauma junkies” who take advantage of an impoverished country suffering from a world disaster are an embarrassment to the rest of us. No wonder Christians have such a bad name!

  101. 120 Wendy Simpson
    February 3, 2010 at 17:33

    If the word ‘religion’ is taken away, then it’s easier to see the actions of these people as a form of mental disorder that’s not only a danger to others, but a danger to themselves.

  102. 121 Ed in Washington DC
    February 3, 2010 at 19:03

    One of the fundamental tenents of Christian doctrine is “do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”: brotherly, neighborly and charitable compassion for humanity. With that principal squarely in mind, what would we think if well intentioned Buddhist, Jews, Muslims or Atheist assiting child victims of the Katrina tragedy made arbitrary decisions without proper documentation to remove those children from the United States. The practice of this group in Haiti represents the height of arrogance. Sure these children need help like all the victims in this tragedy, but all reasonable minded people should agree that this went well beyond charitable compassion for your neighbor and was usurping parental rights and the rights of a soveriegn nation

  103. 122 AtlantaBlue
    February 4, 2010 at 01:09

    If Christian Missionary Cubans arrived in New Orleans post-Katrina and took the “orphaned” children back to Havana, there would be War with Cuba. How is this any different? There are laws regarding the process of adoption, as well as laws that deal with temporary lodging for children who are in a disaster area. They did it in England in WW2, moving London’s children to the countryside to avoid further loss of life.

    If you want to work for the welfare of children, do it the legal way. Laws are laws. In this case, Haitian law prevails. If, as it has been suggested, that they are tried in the USA, then Haitian law should be used, and if any sentence is imposed, they should serve it in the country where the law was broken, just like everyone else in the world.

    I won’t comment on the Christian Fundamentalist part of all of this, but if I were a child in a desperate situation, I would pray that I wouldn’t be taken in by a Fundamentalist, and force fed doctrine.

  104. 123 Heidi
    February 4, 2010 at 20:21


    They did EVERYTHING wrong. By trying to impose their fundamentalist “christian” ideals to kidnapping children. They have created more problems for the Haitian government who now has to feed these 10 arrogant, selfish people who are finding out that the road to hell is paved with “good intentions.”

    As a person who is adopting internationally, the laws are there and apply to EVERYONE! Just because God was supposedly guiding them to “save” these children, does not make it right. No amount of righteous intention should override Haitian nor international law on child trafficking.

    The absolute disregard for law is appalling. And hiding behind God won’t save these people. I hope they have the book (of law) thrown at them. They disrespected Haitian law, culture and would have disrespected the religion of those Haitian children and indoctrinated them into their fundamentalist view of their sect of Christianity. And, they went against their own 10 commandments: isn’t thou shalt not steal in there still?

    Thank you to all the rational people who are commenting here. I get worked up. Love Wendy Simpson’s comment. If anyone else did it and didn’t have the Bible to hide behind, you’d think they were child traffickers and put them away. Don’t let them off easy!

    • 124 mleckrone
      February 7, 2010 at 07:41

      Haitian Law, did you say? What a quaint concept. From here on out Haiti will bill ruled, hopefully, by anyone but haitians.

  105. 125 amnaturelle
    February 4, 2010 at 20:49

    …the road to hell is paved with good intentions.

  106. 126 Bernadette
    February 5, 2010 at 00:19

    I feel for the children. Even if there parents did not have the means to feed there children, the children did not want to go with this church group. They had no right to take the children. The government was right to stop this group as i would hope they do to any group from any country. These people of Haiti have suffered enough and so has the children. Leave them in there own country, but in a safe place.

  107. 127 Liselle
    February 5, 2010 at 00:54

    Should there ever be a disaster in a vulnberable part of the U.S. Bible Belt, I hope some god-loving sect does not come swooping in to scoop up all the wandering kids they see, the way these people did.

  108. 128 Cassandra
    February 5, 2010 at 03:05

    I agree with some of the others..why take children from their families if we are concerned about their going hungry…why not feed them? Reminds me of what an old boss used to say “The road to hell is paved with good intentions…”

  109. 129 Jones
    February 5, 2010 at 04:11

    If they are not charge in Haiti, then you they should be charge in the United States.

  110. 130 Tiziana
    February 5, 2010 at 04:51

    I don’t think this incident is about religion actually. This is a situation where people have taken matters into their own hands, we don’t know for sure what their intentions were, but thank goodness they were stopped! They should have to go through all the legal processes and be punished if that is deemed appropriate. However I don’t think their religious beliefs should come into it. What they did was wrong no matter what. I am not religious by the way.

  111. 131 Ralph
    February 5, 2010 at 20:48

    i had ordered two kidneys, 6 livers…..

  112. 132 mo
    February 5, 2010 at 21:34

    Is this another example of American extreme arrogance towards the rest of the world???

    Or is it just blindness caused by self righteousness??

    Either way these people should be tried by human traficking by the US state or Justice department.

    Let the truth come out on its own and not by the media spin doctors.

  113. 133 extremest_traumas_survivor
    February 7, 2010 at 00:37

    The woman in charge seem to be a habitual crook:


  114. 134 To Kate
    February 7, 2010 at 22:49

    I am the person who made the comment about Idaho. But next time, really read it…I said “And NO, not everyone in Idaho is scary”. Get it right if you intend to comment please. I stand by my comments. People from all over this country and the world are assisting and not making up their own rules when it suites them. The people down in the trenches in Haiti…don’t you think some of them would love to bring some child back home to keep them out of misery’s way? But they don’t. What right did these people have to take ANYONE’S children? I don’t care how many ‘God’ inspired impulses they have. This woman can’t even manage her own business affairs let alone the complexity of taking children away from their own culture and language and caring for them. I applaud the rationally-minded commentators here who see this for what it was and is: KIDNAPPING. I mean, do you really think those people were going to get these children settled and then go back to Haiti and say ‘Hey look what we did and they are fine and dandy’? Those children would have been gone, and cut off from their home and families (in some cases). They (the kidnappers) deserve everything they get so that anyone other people thinking along the same lines will get the message. Want to help? Then do it the right way.

  115. 135 Brian E Ladd
    February 10, 2010 at 23:29

    I think they are extremely fortunate. If this had happened in Guatemala where I have been a missionary for 10 years they probably would not be alive to talk about it. They said that God told them to do this. I am sorry but this is not faith but presumption. These so called missionaries should be banned from ever entering Haiti again and thoroughly chatised by their Church unless it is as silly as they were.

  116. 136 audre
    February 12, 2010 at 15:56

    Well this group is in the news again. Maybe their motives were not as pure and Godly as they would have us believe.


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