Who Gets the Prize? by Andrew Schatkin

In the past few years, two significant government and political figures have received the Nobel Peace Prize. They are President Barack Obama and former vice President Al Gore. Who am I to question the judgment of the Nobel committee or the entitlement or worthiness of these individuals to have been given and to have accepted this great honor? One may wonder that with six billion people on the planet. less prominent political figures might be considered for this honor. Maybe there are people who are equally or possibly more worthy of this honor but lack power and wealth?

I have a comment to make. A time ago, I read in The New York Times a very short story that ten committed Christians from the United States, who had gone to Afghanistan to provide free medical care to those persons in dire poverty, had been murdered. The secular press gave little notice to this event and; in fact, no one I know had much to say about it. Those individuals went to Afghanistan motivated by the eternal love and mercy of Jesus Christ and his particular concern for the poverty-stricken in this world to carry out his mission with respect to these deeply deprived persons in Afghanistan. They came from what the sophisticated, educated, and wealthy elite of Hillary Clinton and David Brooks would look down because they were Christians. They gave up their lives in sacrifice and love to others. They passed unrecognized and gained no prize or honor. The entire world failed to recognize their supreme sacrifice which they did by reason of their deeply-held faith that God gave his only begotten son to die for all men and women not because of their wealth and power but because of his love for all humanity, regardless of sex, race, and in particular their economic statue.

The media and the world in general had little to say about this event. It has much to say about politicians with a degree of wealth and power and it would appear recognizes them and confers upon them its prizes. It gave no prize to these Christian people that gave up their lives in love of others.

The Salvation Army, a Protestant sect for over 100 years, has gone into the most economically-deprived areas in the cities and the world and given help and aid to the poorest of the poor. They continue to do so. The secular press and the mainstream media say nothing about these people’s profound commitment to the love of Jesus Christ for all humanity. The media speak much of prominent political figures, rock stars, and in general people with material status in our society. It has little to say of those Christians presently in their graves in Afghanistan and certainly has had nothing to say about the Salvation Army and its work for the poorest of the poor in the slums of this world.

The media and press in the West and North America and Europe and possibly in Africa and Asia have little or nothing to say about these people. It would appear there is some discontinuity or disfigurement our social and political fabric that only politicians get the prize and those Christians who commit their lives to the most deprived in our world are not spoken of. The world the press and he media have nothing to say of their work and their deeds. Who should get the prize? One may also ask where true greatness lies in political prominence or loving deeds. Where is the Holiday for Dr. Albert Schweitzer, who gave up his European university post to serve the sick and poverty stricken in Africa?