Saturday, April 19, 2008

It's all their fault.

The poor are responsible for their own plight.
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In biblical times, the plight of the poor, the homeless, the beggars of the day, was considered to be a punishment for sin - hence the popular mindset held that "it was their own fault". The righteous could easily dismiss them, and walk on by because they were unclean, like Samaritans and lepers, they were sinners. "They brought it upon themselves."
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We do the same thing today, only we dismiss the poor as drug addicts, alcoholics, hookers, mentallly ill, and so on - and we are certain we "know" most of them are there on the street through their own fault - or even because "they want to be". Maybe - maybe not. Whatever the case, does that justify the fact that we so easily ignore them and their plight?
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I know people who treat sick pets with more concern than Christians do a homeless stranger on a street corner. Indeed, how often I've heard of Catholic people who have solicited funds from others to care for their pets, or make house payments, or to help pay for personal tuition expenses, or even to ask people for money to go on a pilgrimage to Rome or to pay off student loans to enter a monastery. I expect we imagine ourselves to be good - and therefore deserving, even worthy - hence we permit ourselves to ask people we do not even know for money to support our "good" causes. Yet it is such a different story when it comes to helping the homeless, the down and out.
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The mayor's assistant wrote me the following in an email:
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"Those who are served by Sharing and Caring Hands are unique in that many users may be homeless and vulnerable because of these criminal behaviors such as drug abuse. The City can not look the other away, we have a responsibility to ensure the safety of everyone at Sharing and Caring Hands is considered, from the chronic crack cocaine user to the young single mother and her new born child." -Jeremy Hanson, Office of Mayor R.T. Rybak
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Can't you just feel the love? The concern to protect the poor, young single mother and her newborn child? Protecting her from those awful criminals? If the poor mother lives anyplace - she probably lives on the north or south side, in a neighborhood bordering downtown Minneapolis. These neighborhoods are hot beds of crime, drug trafficking and murder. That poor mother is much safer at Caring and Sharing Hands. Just last night, I watched a news story about a south Minneapolis family who narrowly escaped gun shots that came in through their bedroom window, piercing the opposite wall. The family wants to move to a better neighborhood but cannot afford it.
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I think the city of Minneapolis has a responsibility to ensure the safety of everyone in the city - leave Caring and Sharing Hands alone - the center was doing just fine until construction on the stadium began last year.
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PLEASE! If you haven't done so - come to the aid of Caring and Sharing hands and make your objections known to the City of Minneapolis. Please call today or before April 25 Mayor R.T. Rybak's policy aide: Erica Prosser 612-673-2133 or erica.prosser@ci.minneapolis.mn.us

1 comment:

  1. Dear Mrs. Copeland. I would love to meet such a woman. May God help her.

    ReplyDelete


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