This is BEYOND messed up!

Arnold Abbott is 90 years old. Since 1990, he has helped prepare and serve hundreds of meals each week for homeless people in Fort Lauderdale. The city has passed a law banning charity, because it allows the homeless to avoid interacting with the government to get food. And we can’t have people NOT interacting with the government, right?

Abbott and two ministers from the Sanctuary Church were arrested on Tuesday for feeding the homeless. On Wednesday, they got out, went right back to it, and got arrested again. Damned recidivist! At least the cops waited until AFTER they had finished serving food before arresting the old man again.

Abbott believes if he does not continue his work homeless people will be forced to steal or dumpster dive. Fort Lauderdale Mayor Jack Seiler says that ridiculous. He told reporters, “Mr. Abbott has decided that he doesn’t think these individuals should have to have any interaction with government, that they should be fed in the parks. We disagree.”

Abbott is facing two $500 fines and up to four months in prison for his first two infractions, but he says he received calls from all over the world on Wednesday supporting him. My guess is, if they put him in jail, he’ll end up bringing the light of Christ into that dark place and they’ll be forced to let him go again.

2014_11 Arrested for feeding the homeless

Jesus said, “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit upon his glorious throne, and all the nations will be assembled before him. And he will separate them one from another, as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. He will place the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.

Then the king will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father. Inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, a stranger and you welcomed me, naked and you clothed me, ill and you cared for me, in prison and you visited me.’

Then the righteous will answer him and say, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? When did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? When did we see you ill or in prison, and visit you?’ And the king will say to them in reply, ‘Amen, I say to you, whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me.’

Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you accursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink, a stranger and you gave me no welcome, naked and you gave me no clothing, ill and in prison, and you did not care for me.’

Then they will answer and say, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or ill or in prison, and not minister to your needs?’ He will answer them, ‘Amen, I say to you, what you did not do for one of these least ones, you did not do for me.’ And these will go off to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.” -Matthew 25:31-46



Filed under Christianity

5 responses to “This is BEYOND messed up!

  1. I’ve been wondering when we might get to the “Solzhenitzyn Threshold” (I just made that up) where the sanity of those incarcerated exceeds those who are not due to the fact that we are locking up all the sane people. Looks like we’re well on our way.


  2. While I appreciate this fellow’s intentions, good as they are, I have had some questions about this. And as I think of how to state my questions, I’m reminded of a joke I read (again) recently. (Don’t think it was here…) I’ll try to abbreviate the telling.

    When a policeman’s haircut was finished, the barber said, it’s on the house, thank you for your service and all you do for us. Next morning, the barber arrived to find a box of doughnuts of appreciation.

    Later, a firefighter got the same treatment, no charge, thank you for your service. Next morning, barber arrives to find a box of firehouse muffins left for him in appreciation.

    A politician got his hair cut, and again the barber said, no charge, thank you for your service in governance. Next morning, the barber arrived to find a line of politicians expecting free haircuts.

    The problems with charity range from developing dependency (giving a man a fish vs. teaching him to fish) down to outright fraud (street beggers who at the end of the day get in their chauffered limos and go to their luxury homes — a documented case in Chicago).

    When we lived in the Big Potato, I used to always carry some dollars around to hand out to bums, as much in self-defense as any sense of charity. One Christmastime, I started handing out McDonald’s gift certificates, and was surprised (a little) at the angry responses I would get from some “needy” people. Also, there was a woman who “worked” our neighborhood. Her act was to sound half-witted. In halting, dim-witted sounding speech, she’d tell a sob story about her poverty and needy children. I gave her a handout first time she approached me. I had to tell her outright the second time she accosted me, at a different location, that she wasn’t keeping her stories straight.

    I’m no saint, but I don’t think I’m cruel or heartless. Near downtown, Milady and I saw a drunken bum passed out in the blazing summer sun one day, people stepping right over him. We managed to rouse him enough to get over into the shade before he fried and died. That was about all we could do for him, but we did.

    Discerning the truly needy, and discouraging the fraudsters, is a great art, which good charities do with wisdom (and government cannot do at all, which is the downfall of all government welfare programs). Free and open hand-outs draw more than the needy, but also the outright greedy.

    One reason to work through organized charities is to make sure your efforts and money are well-spent and don’t encourage the wrong people and don’t foster or encourage “skid row” areas. Certainly, there must be a better way to deal with this than jailing the Samaritan, but he needs to think, too, about why the law is there (I’m surmising, obviously). The individual handout is one thing, go ahead, don’t try to judge (although as noted I ended up doing so sometimes in Bum City). But as an organized or repeated act, your good intentions may be creating fire-proof paving stones.

    Well, that ran long. Hope it wasn’t too muddy.


    • chrissythehyphenated

      He’s not an individual, but a volunteer working with a church group. I believe he was highlighted in the news story I quoted (a Florida story reported in a British news outlet!) because his age made him more sympathetic and interesting than the ministers who were arrested alongside him.


    • chrissythehyphenated

      You’re never going to eliminate greedy, lazy people from using, abusing and gaming whatever system there is. But as you note, private charity is far superior not just in sniffing out the frauds, but also in making best use of available resources. A dollar donated to a soup kitchen will result in nearly a dollar’s worth of food in some person’s tummy. A dollar confiscated via taxes for food stamps will result in maybe 50 cents (or less) worth going to some person’s EBT card, which may or may not end up purchasing actual food.

      I’ve benefited from food stamps, WIC and aid to parents government funding, so I was more resistant to conservative arguments on this than on other issues. But then I read Sowell and learned that government welfare has not added on to private charity, but rather replaced it. And this is true even where the government isn’t actively punishing private charity as it appears to be doing increasingly in recent years.

      Government charity is also not just inefficient, but also impersonal. Jesus did not tell us to vote to raise taxes to feed the hungry; he told us to feed the hungry. The Good Samaritan story is specifically about this. The two who pass the man by are government leaders; the man who gets his hands dirty and uses his own cash to help the poor guy in the ditch is from the wrong side of the tracks. A Christmas Carol has this same idea in it when Scrooge rebels at the idea that he should help the poor. “I pay taxes!” he says.

      Every time I look at yet another thing the Lefties are doing, I find it lining up perfectly with the Good Book. This is just the latest instance. Since the 1960s, the Left has been discouraging charity passively via larger and larger government welfare programs. Now, they are actively persecuting those who continue to do what Jesus taught.