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Helping is not natural

Culture

We often see as “natural” the cultural assumptions that come only with a Christian worldview. For example, in the United States we have many “Good Samaritan” laws protecting people who bind up the wounds and save the lives of victims of accidents or muggings. Many countries with little Christian influence, though, don’t have such rules.

You may have seen, for example, the 2011 video from China showing how 18 people did not stop to help a toddler run over by a van. Given Chinese law, that callousness may be self-preservation: Last month teenagers who failed in their attempt to rescue drowning girls had to pay fines of thousands of dollars. India suffers from a similar lassitude, in its case partly related to Hindu views of karma.

But China, perhaps under the influence of the growing number of Christians there, may be changing. Two weeks ago, a new law in Shenzhen, a city of 10 million in southern China, began providing legal protection for Good Samaritans against lawsuits brought by those haughty enough to blame those who tried to save them.

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Marvin Olasky
Marvin Olasky

Marvin is editor in chief of WORLD News Group and the author of more than 20 books, including The Tragedy of American Compassion. Follow Marvin on Twitter @MarvinOlasky.

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