By Doug Newman – email me!
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Posted at Daily Paul.
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There is just so much wrong here.
Winters in Rockford, Illinois, are by nature very cold. This past winter was downright excruciating.
Pastor Dave Frederick of Rockford’s Apostolic Pentecostal Church responded to this by doing as commanded in Matthew 25:40-46 and opened the doors of his church to the city’s homeless. Up to 50 people would sleep at the church some nights, getting blankets, pillows and warm meals.
Enter the Rockford zoning authorities. As the above Alternet article states:
“Now, the city’s homeless will have to find other arrangements. As Rockford’s WIFR 23 News first reported, last week city officials told the Pastor that using the space as a shelter breaks zoning laws. His options include spending a lot of money on renovations or spending a lot of money — $300,000 — to buy a new building.
“The only other shelter in town, Rockford Rescue Mission, is often full and doesn’t allow alcohol and drugs, so people who drink or do drugs can’t go there anyway.
“‘Everybody that left is back out on the street,’ says Thomas Stirling, who volunteers at the shelter. ‘It still drops below freezing at night. It’s a really sad thing.’
“Pastor Frederick says that they’d found people under bridges, on park benches, and that’s likely where they’ll return. ‘What are they going to do? Go back to that bridge? One man is getting a tent and going into the woods.’
“Given that the woods, park benches and the undersides of bridges likely do not meet zoning requirements for shelter either, the city’s official explanation has raised suspicions. The Pastor thinks they’re using the zoning law as a pretext to disperse the homeless from the area.”
Unintended consequences, anyone?
An act of Christian charity is punished by the iron fist of the state. And it is not just the left-wing economic regulatory state that is doing damage here.
The article goes onto say:
“Laws that ban sitting or lying down in public, camping, and panhandling enable police to move the homeless out of the nice parts of town. Going after groups who feed or shelter the homeless can serve a similar function, preventing them from assembling in certain spaces.”
How many of these people will at some point in the future be harassed, abused or worse by the police, who are second only to the military as the right’s favorite agency of the state?
When will Christians realize that the true battle is not between right and left, but rather between the state and the individual?
God’s very First Commandment reads in part: “Thou shalt have no other gods before me.” – Exodus 20:3
I have written several times over the years on both of my blogs that, at some point, the state always winds up saying: “Thou shalt have no other gods before me. And even if you do try and do the Christian thing, I will punish you anyway.
Come to think of it, excessive state power is always unchristian.