By Anna

Bankok's super highway

Bankok's super highway

Though bragging about spirituality is something only found in Christian communities in America, it has become the stuff of heroes in Thailand. The Por Tek Tung Foundation in Bangkok provides emergency medical services for free in a city where there is more need for medical attention than there are rescuers.

According to Sept/Oct issue of the Utne Reader hundreds of volunteer emergency rescue workers scour the cities of China on the weekends to save the injured in order to gain spiritual merit as Buddhists. None of the volunteers are professionally trained, but do have 110 hours of first aid training. In Bangkok a motorist is killed every 36 minutes, hence the need for trained volunteers who can reach the accident before an ambulance.

Some speculative comments have arisen as to whether these volunteers are putting themselves in danger by rescue racing to see who can reach the scene first. I mostly wonder what could happen in America if people believed in spiritual merit making. The United States doesn’t have near the problem of preventable motor deaths as Asia, but our good-will actions need resuscitating nonetheless.

Has Christianity’s emphasis on Ephesians’ “not by works, but by the free gift of God” made America sterile to the wounded and inconsiderate of any religion where works are necessary?