A few months ago, Houston's city council passed a law about preventing individuals and organizations feeding the homeless. I volunteered my time on the Fourth of July gathering petitions in overturning this stupid law.
This couple approached me and the female asked me if I knew Jesus. I told her and her friend, I know about jesus and no I don't want to know Jesus. I started to walk away. They jumped in front of me and demanded to know why I did not want to know Jesus. I said these words and they dropped their paraphernalia. This woman's eyes were wide like Dora the Explorer but her pupils were dilated.
I AM ATHEIST AND DAMN PROUD OF IT.
The male tried to make some comment as I was walking away. A couple of hours later I saw them trying to browbeat a Buddhist monk. They said that he was worshiping a false G'd and that he was going to hell. I could not pass this confrontation up, so I intervened.
I told the female that she is not in a position to condemn anyone to hell and to tell anyone that they're worshiping a false G'd. I told her, that if she was astute enough to read KJV, she would've known that Jesus is not the son of G'd. I said, that if you wasn't so stupid, you would've known that Mary and Joseph was not married and that made Jesus a bastard. jesus was born out of wedlock. Jesus is illegitimate.
I told both of them that they should get off the crack and leave people alone. Both of their jaws dropped. The monk said, it is about time that someone knows the truth about Jesus and is not afraid to tell it.
The monk and I are getting together for a beer this weekend.
The fine was reduced from $2,000 to $500.00. Where I live, several residents and myself included feed the homeless.
One of the council members voted to pass this law is a preacher.
Very, VERY well done. Brava!
This, beyond anything else, is what is necessary: that religionists get called on their bullshit, that they are not allowed to skate on their bullshit, but get confronted with the facts, repeatedly and consistently.
It'll take a few times to get this to sink in - a few million, I would say, at minimum - but this can work.
Wait. What? A law preventing feeding the homeless??? Why?? I am astounded.
Christians running around the streets preaching.... not so astounding.
Enjoy your beer.
We drank a few beers. We discussed issues besides religion. We solved a few world problems and we will be meeting again next week.
Unfortunately Houston is only one of several cities trying to "erase" homeless people by criminalizing their acts of daily living. I'm not proud to say that Philadelphia recently passed a ban on feeding people in city parks:
Laws That Target Homeless Imperil Programs That Feed Them Outdoors
The law does seem to be all about "cleaning up" the museum area, and making sure the extensive Fairmount Park, which also winds along the Schuylkill River, is attractive to affluent tourists.
"We at the national level see this as a trend much more about restricting activities that really define the homeless experience," says Neil Donovan, the executive director of the National Coalition for the Homeless.
"We do feel that communities are really, really frustrated with repeated efforts to end homelessness that have been quite unsuccessful," says Donovan. "But we push back and say, you know, that doesn't mean that you simply throw your hands in the air and make criminals out of homeless people."
Donovan says around 30 cities have restricted food sharing in some way.
He argues that the rules, and a growing number of ordinances against loitering, panhandling and camping, don't just marginalize the homeless. "It really takes the focus off of solutions and puts it much more on restrictions," he says.
There's a lawsuit against the ban, citing religious freedom as well as free speech:
Religious groups sue Philadelphia over ban against feeding the homeless in public
(I wish the law were being fought on purely secular grounds. No need to further the idea that "God Says So" somehow grants special privilege!)