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CNN: Phoenix, AZ church fighting to feed the poor

This makes me very sad. Embedding the video doesn’t seem to work, so here’s the link.

More can be found here.

The central point from some of those in the neighborhood seems to be, “It’s okay for them to feed the poor as long as we don’t have to see it.” Sample quotes, from the body as well as the comments:

It’s great to offer help, but you have to look at the big picture… It’s very inappropriate to allow that kind of demographic to go there for one meal.

Would this person be happier if the church were busing the homeless in to be regular parishioners, I wonder? I’m going to guess not.

While the neighborhood strongly supports efforts to change the current paradigm that the homeless find themselves in, it’s important to find a holistic solution that can give them a hand up, rather than just a handout… The hope here is that the church will find it appropriate to spend its assets helping the homeless and not pursuing an appeal that could be characterized as an uphill battle. Their efforts here could be more appropriately used to help the homeless.

I just love the inversion of the problem here — the church will help the homeless more by not trying to help the homeless. If they continue in their misguided effort to help the poor, then they’ll actually be doing less than what they could be doing.

I feel that the church had been disingenuous in working with the neighborhood. They could have worked with other organizations to feed the homeless.

Translation: “As long as it doesn’t happen anywhere near someplace I might think about being and I don’t have to see what they’re doing and be disturbed in my comfortable, middle-class existence, then it’s fine with me. As soon as a poor person crosses my field of vision and takes my attention away from my nice flatscreen HDTV while I’m watching the game, however, then the church has crossed the line. Your right to feed the poor ends where my field of conceptualization begins.”

I think this church is an “in your face” kind of Christianity. If they really wanted to help the homeless they would do it near the down town [sic] area in which they congregate. But instead they try to force there [sic] well off [sic] neighbors to adhere to their way and their beliefs…kind of like the Taliban only without the guns and in a helpful way.

Riiiiiiight. When United Methodists are considered “in your face” for holding a pancake breakfast for freaking homeless people, then there can be no doubt we are not only in a post-Christian America, but rather in a post-humanity-means-diddly-squat-to-anybody America. United bloody Methodists like the frickin’ Taliban???????? Are we sure this isn’t The Onion? Oh, wait

I am reminded of C. S. Lewis’ vision of hell in The Great Divorce as a place where people are constantly trying to get as far away from each other as possible.

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1 Response to “CNN: Phoenix, AZ church fighting to feed the poor”


  1. 1 rjhargrav 21 November 2009 at 4:32 pm

    A congregation in Gainesville, FL had a large homeless demographic– they worked hard to support the homeless members of their congregation in being members of their congregation. This included buses from downtown to the church, etc. And every Sunday, after church, the entire congregation shared a meal together in the church hall.

    … and began getting major grief for feeding the homeless in a zone not designated for feeding the homeless. When this hit the news, several years ago, the church’s neighbors were pursuing legal action against the congregation. I don’t know whether this is ongoing or has been resolved, but it does seem that all members of this congregation, even those homeless members, are still sharing meals on church property.


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