… seek justice …

Justice is blind. – iustitia caeca est.

… towards the end of the 15th century, “justice” has been portrayed as ‘blind,’ but is it?  was it ever?  what does “justice is blind” even mean?

… according to Webster’s Dictionary;  justice* means “the maintenance or administration of what is just especially by the impartial adjustment of conflicting claims or the assignment of merited rewards or punishments” and just** means “what is morally upright and good.”  now that “maintenance” and “administration” is primarily, in the world we live in, conducted through courts of law and wars, administered by lawyers, judges, politicians, police and military personnel.  the determination of what is “just” has been primarily regulated to our governments who make laws based on what they view as justice.

… this legal system determines a just, proper, fitting reward or punishment based on adherence to these laws.

… the state wants to be worshiped.  it want you to believe that “they” are who is responsible for justice, the final authority over “what is morally upright and good” in a society.  they build armies and police forces to enforce their ideas of ‘what is morally upright and good.’

When you spread out your hands, I will hide my eyes from you;
even though you make many prayers, I will not listen;
your hands are full of blood. Wash yourselves; make yourselves clean;
remove the evil of your deeds from before my eyes;
cease to do evil, learn to do good;
seek justice, correct oppression;
bring justice to the fatherless, plead the widow’s cause.
“Come now, let us reason together, says the
Lord: though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall become like wool. If you are willing and obedient, you shall eat the good of the land; but if you refuse and rebel, you shall be eaten by the sword; for the mouth of the Lord has spoken.”” Isaiah 1:15–20, ESV

… we live in a world where >21,000 children starve to death DAILY ..  where billionaires spend $61,000,000 to launch their $250,000 cars into space just for fun…

.. justice .. the quality of being just, impartial, or fair..

… is there any justice left on the planet Earth?

… until the smallest child born into slavery in every country is set free,
there is no justice …

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, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’” Matthew 25:34–36, ESV

Poverty – Jason Upton

There’s a power in poverty that breaks principalities
And brings the authority’s down to their knees
There’s a brewing frustration and ageless temptation
To fight for control by some manipulation

But the God of the kingdoms and the God of the Nations
The God of creation sends his revelation
Thru the homeless and penniless Jesus the son
The poor will inherit the Kingdom to come

Where will we turn when our world falls apart
And all of the treasures we’ve stored in our barns
Can’t buy the Kingdom of God?

Who will we praise when we’ve praised all our lives
men who build Kingdoms and men who build fame
What will we fear when all that remains
Is God on His throne, with a child in his arms,
and love in his eyes
And the sound of his heart cries.

*jus•tice \ˈjəs-təs\ noun
[Middle English, from Anglo-French justise, from Latin justitia, from justus] 12th century
1      a: the maintenance or administration of what is just especially by the impartial adjustment of conflicting claims or the assignment of merited rewards or punishments
b: JUDGE
c: the administration of law especially: the establishment or determination of rights according to the rules of law or equity
2      a: the quality of being just, impartial, or fair
b      (1): the principle or ideal of just dealing or right action
(2): conformity to this principle or ideal: RIGHTEOUSNESS
c: the quality of conforming to law
3:      conformity to truth, fact, or reason: CORRECTNESS

**just \ˈjəst\ adjective
[Middle English, from Anglo-French & Latin; Anglo-French juste, from Latin justus, from jus right, law; akin to Sanskrit yos welfare] 14th century
1      a: having a basis in or conforming to fact or reason: REASONABLE 〈a just but not a generous decision〉
b archaic: faithful to an original
c: conforming to a standard of correctness: PROPER 〈just proportions〉
2      a      (1): acting or being in conformity with what is morally upright or good: RIGHTEOUS 〈a just war〉
(2): being what is merited: DESERVED 〈a just punishment〉
b: legally correct: LAWFUL 〈just title to an estate〉 synonym see FAIR, UPRIGHT—just•ly adverb—just•ness \ˈjəs(t)-nəs\ noun

Inc Merriam-Webster, Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary. (Springfield, MA: Merriam-Webster, Inc., 2003).

A War on Homelessness, or a War on the Homeless?

A War on Homelessness, or a War on the Homeless?

by Nick Cooper, nick@nickcooper.com •  originally printed in Free Press Houston (freepresshouston.com), April, 2012

On March 2, Hank Rush, the CEO of Star of Hope Mission, who makes a quarter-million dollar salary for his work with the poor, joined several other homeless service leaders in signing a commentary in the Houston Chronicle.  They gave their support to a new law that would impose a $2,000 fine on unpaid volunteers for sharing home-cooked food with the needy in public.

Going so far as to criminalize bringing a box of fruit into one’s house, to keep it out of a hot car for a few hours before going to share it, the law would have been laughable if it weren’t a threat to the food supply of a vulnerable population.

Wondering why homeless service providers might consider supporting a law that was so potentially devastating to Houston’s homeless population, activists began researching Star of Hope.  The first news item that came up, was that Mayor Annise Parker had announced a massive public / private partnership with the Star of Hope, just four days before the commentary was published.  $3 million initially, and $1.5 million per year thereafter, was planned for a “Sobering Center” for people found drunk in public.  Touted as a cheaper and less punitive alternative to incarceration, the project would benefit Rush and other signatories to the commentary.

    The Mayor, ‘Balance,’ and Her ‘Emergency’

    The Mayor and Council Member James Rodriguez began promoting the new ’emergency’ law, though the nature of the emergency seemed to be constantly in flux.  First, council members were told there was a crisis of food poisoning of the homeless, but the Mayor dropped that argument after being forced in open session to admit that there was no info to back up her claims.  Next, they switched to talking about trash being left by organizations feeding the homeless, but apparently there was no study of that either.  Eventually, Parker and Rodriguez seemed to settle on the main issue at stake here: the property rights of downtown business owners.

“I perceive this ordinance as trying to balance the rights and the needs of different groups of people,” said the Mayor.  Apparently, for her, the homeless are the ones holding the upper-hand in this imbalance, and the victims, the downtown business owners, require the City’s emergency help.  The ‘need’ of property owners is being trampled by the need of the homeless to eat, sleep, and excrete.

She compelled city council to act urgently to control trash and excrement, not by putting out more receptacles and toilets, but by policing the food supply.

“While the Mayor professes to try to help the homeless,” said civil rights attorney Randall Kallinen, “she’s done nothing to put in sanitary facilities that the homeless might be able to use.”

After years of ‘civility’ ordinances which criminalize homeless people for lying down, Houston City Council moved quickly towards enacting this new level of oppression.

The open secret here is that the only urgent matter is the opening of the new Dynamo soccer stadium.  With homeless sleeping nearby, the Mayor wanted one more tool to evict the homeless encampments.  As if to confirm this, City Council passed another urgent measure in March: drinking alcohol in public would be legalized in lots owned by, and at times set by sports venues.  Without even an acknowledgement of the irony and scandalous timing of these two amendments, the City granted sports fans an exemption to an anti-homeless law that had been on the books for almost 20 years.

While of course, ‘property rights’ doesn’t seem like an ’emergency’ issue, the Mayor didn’t let that slow her down. She ramped up pressure on the council to pass this law to force volunteers to show police specific prior written permission to share food.  Coalition for the Homeless President / CEO Marilyn Brown supported the law as “a good first step,” despite the fact that she had just personally conducted a Faith Initiative focus group in which every single participant opposed mandatory requirements for those sharing food in public.  Any council member considering voting for the law had to ignore the opinions of the hundreds of homeless and others who came to speak against the law over three sessions of City Council.

The public pressure forced the Mayor to change the law, stripping it of the important details.  It no longer explicitly criminalized things like the sharing of home made food, but since the process for obtaining permission was never disclosed, it was anyone’s guess what the criteria she or subsequent Mayors might choose to use for granting permission.  Home made food might be illegal, it might not, it just depended on the unwritten criteria of whatever agency has the job of granting permission.  The new version of the law temporarily hid the most egregious details, and the Mayor falsely and unilaterally declared that a compromise had been struck.

Some of the most important voices against the law were those of the homeless themselves who arrived to speak to City Council on April 3, the day before the vote.  The Mayor and the majority of City Council instead favored a small group of downtown business representatives, bumping them to the front of the queue to speak.  A few Council Members lobbed soft-ball questions to their powerful friends, filibustering until the news cameras and many City Council members had left the room.  One homeless man waiting for his turn to speak was so frustrated that he yelled out and was escorted from the chambers.

When it was finally their turn to speak, the homeless opened up their hearts to a City Council that had probably already made up their minds.

“If it weren’t for these truly gracious people, I would not eat,” 58 year old James Lira told City Council.

“I’ve been homeless 15 years due to my mental illness… If they make it more difficult for me to get food, then I would be starving,” were the words sent to City Council via the Voice of the Homeless Awareness Project from Alfred White, 51.

“I would like to see you in our shoes for one week and not have anything,” said Michael Horn.

“When has America stopped being the land of the free and the home of the brave, and become the land of the oppressed, and the home of the economic slave?” asked Maurice Samuel O’Neal, who identified as being on and off the streets for the last 40 years.  Many in the audience were affected, hearing the comparison to slavery by an older Southern African American man.

The most devastating critiques of the Mayor’s proposed law came from the kids.

“If I see one, or five, or twenty people in need, I should be able to help them without fearing punishment,” said an 11 year old girl, Makota Ashé.

Next, the Mayor’s entire argument was deflated in two short questions by 13 year old Dylan Cash.

“Mayor Parker, did you eat breakfast this morning?” he asked.  “Did you have to get permission from the City?”

    Why Don’t you Just Shut Up and Get a Permit, It’s Easy!

    Requiring permission for groups to serve has precedent. In San Francisco in 1988, the permit requirement was used to criminalize and arrest hundreds of food sharing volunteers. The Mayor then, like Annise Parker now, described the process as easy, but that was not the experience of volunteers in San Francisco.

“It was clear that the purpose of the permit process was to make it impossible for Food Not Bombs to share food and information in public,” said Keith McHenry, the co-founder of the Food Not Bombs movement.

In November of 2011, a U.S. District Judge denied the city of Dallas’ motion for summary judgment and ruled that a lawsuit can proceed against a similar law there.  On the basis that spontaneous and unregulated feeding is part of their religious freedom, a church has a good chance to demonstrate that these permitting laws violate the Texas Religious Freedom Act.

“There are also Constitutional concerns about not requiring property owners to give notice by posting “no-trespassing” signs,” said Daphne Silverman with National Lawyers Guild.   “It’s my position that this law also violates other first amendment rights of expression, religion, and assembly.”

   Cashing In

    On April 4, the amendment passed 11 – 6.  Council Member Bradford joined the five Republican-leaning Council Members (Brown, Pennington, Sullivan, Christie, and Hoang) to oppose the hastily written, vague, punitive, and repressive law.  Not only did the ‘progressive’ Council Members vote with the Mayor, but even Wanda Adams joined in.  Though Adams repeats often that homelessness is an extremely personal issue for her, she is in need of support for her candidacy in the race for Texas House District 131.

“Mayor Parker is very well connected and supported in the local Democratic party scene,” explains local political activist and Democratic state delegate Benjamin Franklin.  “Wanda Adams’ chances of advancing to the State House require many of the same institutional supporters, and thus she needs to demonstrate that she’s a team player.  She can work to mitigate or soften the impact of a policy she disagrees with, but can’t openly defy and vote ‘no’ to what’s apparently a core priority for the Mayor.”

Adams was taken aside for several arm-twisting sessions to vote for the anti-homeless law.  Though unable to stop the law from passing, and apparently incapable of standing up to even vote against it herself, she was able to pass an amendment to give volunteers a three month reprieve before the law went into effect.

Council Members need money to be re-elected, and non-profits need grants.  Star of Hope wasn’t the only agency to benefit from new funding, and wasn’t the only organization whose leader signed onto the Houston Chronicle commentary to support the original extremely draconian version of the law.  The Coalition for the Homeless is at the center of an influx of cash to Houston that is so big that it makes the millions involved in the Sobering Center look like chump change.

The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) channels 1.5 billion dollars a year into programs and non-profits.  This month, Houston and eight other cities with large homeless populations begin getting big Obama dollars for the express purpose of “ending homelessness” in a few years through “Rapid Rehousing.”

Sam Tsemberis, CEO and Founder to Pathways to Housing, who helped to create the Housing First model, which is similar to Rapid Rehousing, points out that “Housing First is not really about housing.  It’s about listening to the person who is homeless.  The way we invented HF was by listening to people in the street.  When you ask what do you want most urgently, people say ‘housing first.’  It’s not about buildings or structures, it’s about listening to people.”

Nick Flynn, U of H professor, and author of the book which inspired the film “Being Flynn” starring Robert De Niro, has been a long time supporter of the Housing First model, but questions the nature of the program coming to Houston, asking, “is it driven by listening to the homeless, or listening to the powerful interests downtown?”

To kick off this program, the Coalition for the Homeless, launched a series of breakfasts for Houston’s homeless providers.  Titled “Take Your Seat at the Table,” the participants were welcomed to carve their pieces of the pie of all this funding coming to Houston.  Participants in the breakfasts were told that along with the money comes an entirely new system.  Houston’s homeless services are being rapidly transformed into a system with centralized intake for all homeless, a new authority that links funding with performance evaluations, and a constantly expanding database called the Homeless Management Information Systems (HMIS).

    Just Follow the Bacon and Eggs

    “The Coalition for the Homeless has friendly political ties to the agencies who will end up with the HUD money,” said Jeff Lyons from Houston Solutions for Housing.  “It’s all political. The City founded Coalition for the Homeless, and appoints the people to the Board.  As the designated agent for the national programs like HMIS, they decide where HUD money goes when it comes to Houston.”

Shockingly, the underwriter for the first of the two Coalition for the Homeless breakfasts was Brookfield Office Properties, which, owns twelve skyscrapers downtown.  Paul Layne, the regional head for Brookfield Properties’ Houston operations also sits on the Board of Directors of the Coalition for the Homeless.  As the largest commercial real estate owner in Houston’s downtown, Brookfield is notorious for its central role in perpetuating the below poverty wages among downtown custodial workers, who make an average of $8,600 a year.

“It’s ironic,” said Laura Perez-Boston, director of the Houston Interfaith Worker Justice Center.  “Instead of investing their money in promoting a breakfast, they should be investing in ensuring that human rights are upheld for the janitors in their buildings…”

Brookfield also happens to own Zuccotti Park, where Occupy Wall Street activists were encamped for months (the park is named for Brookfield co-chairman John E. Zuccotti).  In October, Brookfield wrote to New York Police Commissioner Kelly demanding the eviction of the activists.  This connection seemed to confirm the suspicions of many involved with Occupy Houston that the law was intended to target them.

“This whole issue may have never been about ‘feeding the homeless’,” said longtime community activist and Democratic State Rep. candidate Ray Hill.  “It may have been about shutting down the Occupy movement that has done more than anything else to put a light on the injustice and excesses of big business greed.”

Many Houston activists who assume that Brookfield doesn’t value the needs of the homeless any more than the custodians working in their own buildings, are outraged to discover their participation in Coalition for the Homeless programs.

“Now it comes to light that there are big bucks in the pipeline from the federal government around homelessness,” Hill continued.  “The poor and the powerless are not players in the passing out of public funds into the private hands of the real players.”

    And Meanwhile… What About the Volunteers About to Be Criminalized?

    Food sharing volunteers like myself sit in these meetings a bit baffled.  On July 1, the volunteer work of dozens of organizations in the streets of Houston will become a crime.  We don’t have salaries, budgets, or pieces of the pie.  We don’t need money, bureaucracy, and we certainly don’t need to be permitted.  We do want to see homelessness eliminated, but not by punitive measures.

We found ourselves sitting at the Coalition for the Homeless breakfast table with others who were urging us to get iPads so that we could log all of the homeless, every time we serve, into the HMIS database in order to increase funding for the groups that need it.  Long time friends and allies within the homeless services sector seem to have been convinced by the power structure of absurd scenarios — people we had trusted explained to us their sincere belief that the homeless downtown are practically drowning in healthy food and need less not more.

My group, Food Not Bombs was the first group sharing food with the homeless after Ike, Rita, and Katrina.  FEMA referred people to us.  If this law is enacted in July, and by late August a hurricane comes through, even under emergency conditions, it will still be a crime for us to go out and share food.  Even if police were willing to look the other way during a hurricane aftermath, we might no longer have the intact relationships, food supply, and internal structure to resume our operations after months of being criminalized.  We rely on an influx of new high school volunteers, and parents might think twice about having their children participate in a group that might be illegal.  Making volunteerism a crime will damage Houston’s infrastructure.  Volunteers are a vital part of a system that helps nourish a vulnerable population, that without our efforts, would turn to increasingly to shoplifting, dumpster diving, and panhandling.

There are over sixty local groups speaking out against these laws. From the conservative Houston Area Pastors Council to the Catholic Worker Movement, from Occupy Houston to the Tea Party, from the Harris County Republican Party to the Green Party, from the Nation of Islam to the Hare Krishnas, the diversity of this loose coalition may well be unprecedented.

… how to make a ‘buck’ – or #CapitalismKills ….

… i read a book a few years ago called “Confessions of an Economic Hitman” by John Perkins, about a man who worked for a private finance company, under direction from the US Government, who worked to get other nations into debt over various schemes- mostly building power plants financed in the USA by US Corporations built with US labor (so no ‘money’ stays in the country) and then enslaving the country to pay for it.  in this short video he explains a lot.

… so the whole world is paying interest to these private citizens.  i imagine they are the 62 that own half the world. or, are these the people that already own more than the billionaires?

… why do we put up with it?

… but so many people are already in the trap.  the unending search for money to pay the bills including interest and usury charges, and as we fight for every dollar, they live like kings.

… how many billions of dollars does a man need?  if you die with billions in the bank, did you ‘win at life?’

.. in March of 2016 Citizens for Tax Justice put out a report titled Fortune 500 Companies Hold a Record $2.4 Trillion Offshore that shows how companies like Levi Strauss, Nike, Safeway, Bank of America and Wells Fargo have kept from paying $695Billion in taxes for 2015 alone. that is roughly 18.3% of the entire US annual budget.

monopoly

.. Monopoly – is life just a game?

… we grew up playing the board game Monopoly.  in the game you move around the board and acquire properties based on the roll of the dice and your available paper funds.  when someone lands on a property you own, they must pay you rent.  everyone starts out with the same amount of money, but there are various fines and fees that you can land on which deplete funds, and other opportunities that you can land on which can increase available funds.  when you have purchased a block of properties of the same color (usually 3 together), then you can develop your properties by purchasing different types of housing which increase the rents on the properties when someone lands on it.  the ultimate goal of the game is to create a monopoly forcing everyone else into bankruptcy.

… but it’s just a game.

… this game has it’s origins in 1903 when an anti-monopolist created a game to show how bad private monopolies are.  she developed the game into the 1904 The Landlord’s Game.  in 1933 a man named Charles Darrow basically stole the entire game concept and came out with his version called Monopoly.  in 1935 Parker Brothers started selling the game in the US and by 1936 they had licensed the game for international sale.

… since 1936 there have been hundreds of versions of the game that is played around the world.  in the official rules of the game, the banker is allowed to print money on paper if he was to run out of money in the bank – because it’s just a game.

Bloomberg posted an interview with Texas Representative Ron Paul where he explains how the Federal Reserve creates money “out of thin air.” (1:07)  they then charge us interest for the money they create.

… you must remember that the Federal Reserve is a PRIVATE Corporation.  it is NOT a part of the Federal Government, but they DO charge the US Government interest.  annually, the Federal Reserve makes around $80Billion in net profit on interest that we pay on the money that they ‘create out of thin air.’

“If we just compare the profits of the Fed’s net interest income after expenses to the rest of the banking sector, we see that it is equal to the profits of the ten largest financial institutions put together! The most recent annual profits of JPMorgan, Bank of America, Wells Fargo, Citigroup, Goldman Sachs, American Express, Capital One Financial, US Bancorp, PNC and Bank of New York Melon total up to $78.3 billion, just shy of the Federal Reserve’s vig.” article

… and these people who own the Fed then use their money to buy up the world, just like in the game, but in the game there aren’t 21,000+ people who die DAILY from starvation.

… the goals of a capitalist is to keep as much capital goods/real capital/capital assets as possible while investing for profit to gain more capital.  in other words – the goal of a true die-hard capitalist is monopoly which, just like the game, causes all the other players to go bankrupt.

… that is what’s going on now.  a year ago, 85 people owned half the world, and now 62 people own half the world.  and just like the game, more and more people ‘go bankrupt’ to the tune of 819,240 a year in the US, and over 100,000 a year in the UK alone.

… when you don’t use their money they don’t make a profit.  you can plant a garden and share the food with your neighbors and keep the profits from sitting in a tax shelter in a foreign country.  you can help your neighbor build his fence, without charging money.  you don’t owe them if you don’t use their money.

… and when you have extra money, pay off the debts of someone else who is struggling.

family familythankyou

… thanks to a generous donation, we were able to pay off the $408 debt of another family of third generation slaves in Pakistan.

… we have to realize that at least 80% of the world is in the same or worse situation as you, and we need to take care of each other.  we need to #Learn2ShareMore with others..

… human farming – are you a farmer? or are you just stock?

… i just finished a blog about the hypocrisy of mob rule in a land proclaiming to be “The Land of the Free” while requiring people to pledge their allegiance to the country flag and allegiance to what that country stands for.  so the people who claim to be free are requiring other people to pledge their lives to the ‘freedom’ country.

… is the irony not completely obvious?

… although it appears to be an ongoing story, there is an elementary school in Florida that added an “opt out” line in their student hand books for parents to sign to permit their child to ‘opt out of saying the Pledge of Allegiance.  the school district followed new legislation that went into effect in February 2016 that changed how notification would be given about the 1942 Florida Statue that allowed children to opt out, has decided that mob rules now apply and they have ripped the notification from their Student handbooks.

eat_the_rich

.. the bigger picture …

71% of the world’s population lives on less than $10 a day, $70 a week, $3,640 a year.

… don’t you get it?

… if you lived in my country and you make minimum wage on a full time job, your GROSS income per year is $15,080 of which they take 20% for taxes, leaving you $12,064 per year to rent a little box and feed yourself.  very cheap rent would run $600 a month, or $7,200 per year, leaving you $4,864 to pay for health insurance ($900 per year min.); and just like that, you have $3,964 a year or less than $331 a month, left over to pay for groceries, pay for transportation to the minimum wage job, buy necessities like soap and shampoo, etc.    ….

… but look on the bright side …

… your minimum wage job that barely allows you to live here, is still better than 71% of the population of the world..

… that’s better than 5,216,69,895 people …

… reality is that roughly 21,000 people die daily from hunger and hunger related issues.  daily …

… and the people that we all work for are the same people who are making all the profits off of our labor.

… and that’s the bright side?

… in January 2016 a report came out on CNN Money™ about how 62 people own half the earth.  i wrote a blog back in 2015 when it was 85 people who owned half the earth – a year later 62 and they are gaining fast ….

… and most of those 62 live here in the country of my birth…

… most of those 62 would claim ‘good christian morals‘ …

… or are you just stock in a rich man’s farmyard?

sheep

… who owns your mortgage?

… who do you pay to keep warm and dry?  what corporations do you support on monthly basis to keep up a certain standard of living?

.. are you just a sheep trying to make enough money to survive in the rich man’s world?

… or are you a farmer making $32,067 per hour like a Ralph Lauren owner of Ralph Lauren™ who makes money selling clothes.  or like George Paz of Express Scripts who makes $24,759 an hour to sell you pharmaceuticals or Stephen Hemsley of UnitedHealth Group who makes $23,461 an hour to sell you health insurance that you are now required by law to purchase in this country, the ‘land of the free.’

… and that is just their salaries that the corporations they work for are required to disclose.

… in October of 2015, CNBC told us that 776 people make between $20,000,000 and $50,000,000 per year in a country where the average income is $51,759 a year, while 134 of those people who were above the $50,000,000 mark, made an average of $86,000,000 for the year, or $41,346 an hour.

… do you know that the very second you are given a Social Security Number and card that you become a business for the purposes of assuming your portion of the $19,439,202,200,000 and climbing US National Debt.

… have you taken the time to do a little research and try to see what is happening?

… or are you just stock – pushing and shoving the other sheep trying to ‘get yours’?

poverty weapon

… you don’t have to support it.

… you don’t have to believe that the 71% are your enemies.  that is a lie that the 1% tell you to keep you in fear.

… fear that the 71% of the world wants to steal from you.  so these same greedy rich people sell you insurance to fight off the fear.

 

… you can work to free your fellow man.

 

… any of our links on the right will get money to the people who really need it.  we do this as a service, and all money goes to the need.  in fact, through a donation of $400 last week, we have made arrangements to pay off the debt of another slave family, made slaves when India and Pakistan split in 1948.

… the needs are great around the world.  if we would all just #learntosharemore it would make it easier on so many….

… born to be ‘blessed’ … or the ‘other Jesus’ …

… my friend from Columbia heard that ‘Food not Bombs’ was doing a vegetarian meal at the Monroe Park.  Monroe Park is a park on the west side of downtown Richmond, VA., surrounded by the buildings of VCU.

… the weekends are busy in the park feeding and clothing the homeless of our city.  it is my understanding that the city has sold the rights to the park to a corporation, and the feedings must stop in the fall.

IMG_0279… i got into a conversation with one of the ladies who were feeding at one of the tables in the park.  we were discussing the homeless situation in general, and Richmond specifically.

… i mentioned the fact that 85 people own half of everything own-able in the world.

… this ‘good christian woman’ proceeded to tell me that her god wants her to enjoy all the good things in the earth and be ‘prosperous’, and for some that includes Mercedes Benzes and jet airplanes ..

… i reminded her that the Jesus of the Bible died naked on a tree with no possessions to leave behind.  He borrowed a donkey to ride into Jerusalem because He did not own a donkey.  He borrowed an ‘upper room’.

“… they divided his clothes … “

When the soldiers had crucified Jesus, they divided his clothes among the four of them. They also took his robe, but it was seamless, woven in one piece from top to bottom. So they said, “Rather than tearing it apart, let’s throw dice for it.” This fulfilled the Scripture that says, “They divided my garments among themselves and threw dice for my clothing.” So that is what they did.” (John 19:23–24, NLT)

 

“…untie them and bring them to me … “

Go into the village over there,” he said. “As soon as you enter it, you will see a donkey tied there, with its colt beside it. Untie them and bring them to me. If anyone asks what you are doing, just say, ‘The Lord needs them,’ and he will immediately let you take them.” This took place to fulfill the prophecy that said, “Tell the people of Jerusalem, ‘Look, your King is coming to you. He is humble, riding on a donkey— riding on a donkey’s colt.’ ”” (Matthew 21:2–5, NLT)

“… where is the guest room where I can eat …”

He replied, “As soon as you enter Jerusalem, a man carrying a pitcher of water will meet you. Follow him. At the house he enters, say to the owner, ‘The Teacher asks: Where is the guest room where I can eat the Passover meal with my disciples?’ He will take you upstairs to a large room that is already set up. That is where you should prepare our meal.”” (Luke 22:10–12, NLT)

… then she told me that ‘even Jesus said that the poor would always be with you.’

You will always have the poor among you, and you can help them whenever you want to. But you will not always have me.” (Mark 14:7, NLT)

… i asked her if she knew the rest of the passage that Jesus had started to recite.  she said ‘no’, so i told her :

For the poor will never cease from the land; therefore I command you, saying, ‘You shall open your hand wide to your brother, to your poor and your needy, in your land.’” (Deuteronomy 15:11, NKJV)

… i explained to her that 15,000 children die daily of starvation on this planet.

… she insisted that it ‘wasn’t her problem‘ …..

whose problem is it?

… whose problem are the 156 orphans, scores of widows and AIDS victims are going hungry?

Then He will also say to those on the left hand, ‘Depart from Me, you cursed, into the everlasting 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; I was a stranger and you did not take Me in, naked and you did not clothe Me, sick and in prison and you did not visit Me.’ “Then they also will answer Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to You?’ Then He will answer them, saying, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.’ And these will go away into everlasting punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.” (Matthew 25:41–46, NKJV)

or34… what about the hundreds of thousands of slaves in the world?

work… if it’s not the problem of the ‘people who claim to know the God Who is Love’, who follow the ‘Prince of Peace’, the homeless man from Nazareth … then …

whose problem is it ?

But I fear, lest somehow, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, so your minds may be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. For if he who comes preaches another Jesus whom we have not preached, or if you receive a different spirit which you have not received, or a different gospel which you have not accepted—you may well put up with it!” (2 Corinthians 11:3–4, NKJV)

… the world we live in …

.. we have a house guest. our guest came in on the ‘noon’ train last Friday.IMG_0032

… as with any guest in your house, there is an original awkward unfamiliarity with environments, personalities, schedules, and routines.  with some guests, that  awkwardness lasts for the entire visit.  with close friends and some family members, that discomfort leaves as soon as they find out that there is an ample supply of their favorite snack item.

… we once had a man who stayed with us who was from India.  prior to his visit with us, we had stayed with his family a number of times in their home in one of the many slums of Chennai.  when our friend from Chennai stayed with us, we needed to provide things to make him feel comfortable.  for instance, in Chennai, it seemed everyone made their coffee with hot milk and instant coffee.  to someone used to coffee made that way, our drip coffee maker just ‘would not do’.   lol.  😉

… our friend from Columbia, (South Carolina that is), was a bit nervous for his first weekend with us.  i mean, after all, we had only actually met on Friday afternoon, but by Monday, our guest had fit comfortably into our routine.

… as we are in America, our routines revolve around the need to gain barter points, exchanged primarily in the form of ‘green backs’ or ‘money’, which we need to give to billionaires for the privilege of living with a roof over our heads.  this routine, in our household, revolves around a typical 9:00 to 5:00 Mon thru Fri ‘situation’.

… on Tuesday, we rode our bikes to a park not far from the house.  near the back entrance to the park, there is a bridge that a homeless man lives under.  i don’t usually see this man, and when i do it’s from a distance, but his camp is a familiar sight.  on this day he was standing down on the road so i stopped to talk.

IMG_0015… “the buttercups are beautiful today.  the fields are full of them.  you gotta see the buttercups,” said the man who lives under the bridge.

… i found out that the man’s name is Scott and that he has been on the streets on and off for 30 yrs.  as we chatted, he noticed that my guest had a shirt on that says ‘Homeless Helping Homeless’, and he asks, ‘is he homeless?’

… i told him that our guest was, in fact, homeless, and that he was visiting from out of town to let his body heal, and to work on ways to end the homeless situation in his area.

 

… Scott then says something that caused me to write this little piece.  Scott says, “he can’t be homeless, he has a camera.”

… i explained to him that it was our camera and that he was using it to take pictures of our area, for inspiration and ideas, as well as for memories sake; but it made me think of all the things my homeless friends don’t have anymore.

… and then i think of the judgmental people who make comments about a homeless person with a phone, or a person using an EBT card to get a piece of candy for their child that just brought home a good report card ….   and i start to cry .

Blessed are you who weep now, For you shall laugh.” (Luke 6:21, NKJV)

… back when i was a child, one of my favorite bible stories about Jesus was His most esteemed ‘Sermon on the Mount‘™©® 30AD, Matthew 5:3-7:27.  a lot less talked about or even know about, is His ‘Sermon on the Plain’™©®, Luke 6:17-49.  although the sermons are very similar, it is in the Sermon on the Plain that it is recorded that Jesus said things like : “Blessed are you poor, For yours is the kingdom of God.” (not ‘poor in spirit’ like the Sermon on the Mount, just plain poor) and “Blessed are you who weep now, For you shall laugh.”

… it took me a long, long time to understand those words – blessed are you who weep now.  i mean, how contrary a statement is that?

… but now i understand.

… how can you be aware of the condition of the world and not cry?

… “Foreign workers, lured by false promises of good jobs in America, soon find themselves enslaved in plain sight as victims of labor trafficking, according to a new report published by the nonpartisan Urban Institute and Northeastern University.” Slave labor in America.

…””Millions of workers in Pakistan are held in contemporary forms of slavery. Throughout the country employers forcibly extract labor from adults and children, restrict their freedom of movement, and deny them the right to negotiate the terms of their employment. Employers coerce such workers into servitude through physical abuse, forced confinement, and debt-bondage. The state offers these workers no effective protection from this exploitation. Although slavery is unconstitutional in Pakistan and violates various national and international laws, state practices support its existence. The state rarely prosecutes or punishes employers who hold workers in servitude. Moreover, workers who contest their exploitation are invariably confronted with police harassment, often leading to imprisonment under false charges.” – child slavery in Pakistan.

…”We think of slavery as a practice of the past, an image from Roman colonies or 18th-century American plantations, but the practice of enslaving human beings as property still exists. There are 29.8 million people living as slaves right now, according to a comprehensive new report  issued by the Australia-based Walk Free Foundation.” – 30,000,000 slaves in the world – 60,000 in usa alone ..

 

…”It’s been a week of goodbyes at the Homeless Voice in Hollywood, Fla. For nearly 13 years, this rundown, 22-room hotel operated as a homeless shelter.  On most nights, hotel manager Christine Jordan says, more than 200 homeless men and women stayed here, some sleeping on mats in the cafeteria.  “We called this the emergency level … almost 40 people in here every night,” she says. Some stayed for free and others paid on a sliding scale. “[Now], everything’s gone. I can’t cry anymore.” – illegal to be homeless.

… “In its annual Trafficking in Persons Report, released Friday, the State Department acknowledged that trafficking and forced labor still exist in America.”  –  article

Britain sees a hike in the number of its citizens in need of food banks. UK’s biggest provider of food banks, the Trussell Trust, says the number of people relying on food banks is expected to soon pass the one million mark. It reveals that delays in receiving state benefits have caused citizens’ reliance on food banks, adding Britons hold Prime Minister David Cameron’s Conservative Party responsible. Trussell Trust says families on low incomes are not sharing in the benefits of economic recovery. The opposition Labour Party is expected to use the figures published by the Trussell Trust in the run up to general elections next month.” Youtube

 

Make sure that the light you think you have is not actually darkness.” (Luke 11:35, NLT)

…and i think, ‘where is the ‘church’?’

… it’s not that i can’t hear ‘the church’ – as they have thousands of watts of power around the globe broadcasting their messages.  now they even have ‘reality tv-shows‘.

“So guard yourselves and God’s people. Feed and shepherd God’s flock—his church, purchased with his own blood—over which the Holy Spirit has appointed you as elders. I know that false teachers, like vicious wolves, will come in among you after I leave, not sparing the flock. Even some men from your own group will rise up and distort the truth in order to draw a following. Watch out! Remember the three years I was with you—my constant watch and care over you night and day, and my many tears for you.” (Acts 20:28–31, NLT)

But there were also false prophets in Israel, just as there will be false teachers among you. They will cleverly teach destructive heresies and even deny the Master who bought them. In this way, they will bring sudden destruction on themselves. Many will follow their evil teaching and shameful immorality. And because of these teachers, the way of truth will be slandered. In their greed they will make up clever lies to get hold of your money. But God condemned them long ago, and their destruction will not be delayed.” (2 Peter 2:1–3, NLT)

… we live in a world where millionaires and billionaires who own huge corporations that make their money off of exploited labor in the worlds poorest nations, are called “christians”.  as people seem to forget what words actually mean, let’s look up the word “Christian”:

  Chris•tian \ˈkris-chən, ˈkrish-\ noun
[Latin christianus, adjective & noun, from Greek christianos, from Christos] 1526
1      a: one who professes belief in the teachings of Jesus Christ

Frederick C. Mish, “Preface,” Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary. (Springfield, MA: Merriam-Webster, Inc., 2003).

… so, if a ‘christian’ believes in what Jesus taught, they would do what He said to do.  right?

Give to anyone who asks; and when things are taken away from you, don’t try to get them back.” – Jesus (Luke 6:30, NLT)

… “Worldwide 600 million children are living in extreme poverty. The cost of eradicating world poverty is estimated at 1 percent of global income. Almost half the world — over 3 billion people — live on less than $2.50 a day. The poorest 40 percent of the world’s population accounts for 5 percent of global income.” – article

… with all the needs of the world,  people believe that ‘christians’ are building a $800,000,000 Bible Museum.  a billionaire who claims to follow the homeless man, Jesus, the Christ, actually has people who believe he is a ‘christian’.

… the apostate church of the world serves money.  they worship it, and those who have it.

..

IMG_0060

… Scott was right, the buttercups were beautiful.

.. and i thought of the promise :

For there shall be a new heaven and a new earth: and they shall not at all remember the former, neither shall they at all come into their mind. But they shall find in her joy and exultation; for, behold, I make Jerusalem a rejoicing, and my people a joy. And I will rejoice in Jerusalem, and will be glad in my people: and there shall no more be heard in her the voice of weeping, or the voice of crying.” (Isaiah 65:17–19, Brenton LXX En)

 

… if bums can’t feed, bums can’t breed …

… another example of how broken this country is …

homelessrodants

… and the self-righteous ‘religious right’ continues to fight for the ‘right’ to discriminate and treat others like garbage.

Lon_homeless_hungry… along time ago, in the ancient nation of Israel, the ‘religious right’ had taken control of the nation.  the LORD sent the prophet Ezekiel to warn them.  it is written that he said:

““Your older sister was Samaria, who lived with her daughters in the north. Your younger sister was Sodom, who lived with her daughters in the south.

But you have not merely sinned as they did. You quickly surpassed them in corruption. As surely as I live, says the Sovereign Lord, Sodom and her daughters were never as wicked as you and your daughters.

Sodom’s sins were pride, gluttony, and laziness, while the poor and needy suffered outside her door.” (Ezekiel 16:46–49, NLT)

… did you catch that?  “while the poor and needy suffered outside her door.”  “proud to be an American” – we are Sodom ….

… as the filthy rich make boatloads of money, and our stock market is breaking records on a regular basis, and the ‘religious right’ continues it’s assault on the poor and marginalized people of this country, you can see that ‘history is repeating itself’, as the scriptures said it would.
homelessrodants
… in the book of Ecclesiastes, it is written :

History merely repeats itself. It has all been done before. Nothing under the sun is truly new. Sometimes people say, “Here is something new!” But actually it is old; nothing is ever truly new. We don’t remember what happened in the past, and in future generations, no one will remember what we are doing now.” (Ecclesiastes 1:9–11, NLT)

 

… the ‘religious right’ is correct on one thing – this country is headed towards a cliff.  the problem is, they don’t even see that they are the ones pushing it over….

Homeless_man_2

… what would the homeless man Jesus, called the Christ, say about this situation?

Not everyone who calls out to me, ‘Lord! Lord!’ will enter thj2he Kingdom of Heaven. Only those who actually do the will of my Father in heaven will enter. On judgment day many will say to me, ‘Lord! Lord! We prophesied in your name and cast out demons in your name and performed many miracles in your name.’ But I will reply, ‘I never knew you. Get away from me, you who break God’s laws.” (Matthew 7:21–23, NLT)

… which of ‘God’s laws’ are being broken by this outrageous persecution of the poor?

For there will never cease to be poor in the land. Therefore I command you, ‘You shall open wide your hand to your brother, to the needy and to the poor, in your land.’” (Deuteronomy 15:11, ESV)

… for any of you who claim to believe and follow the bible, i would remind you of another thing that it is recorded that Jesus, called the Christ, said :

Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you cursed, 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, I was a stranger and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not clothe me, sick and in prison and you did not visit me.’ Then they also will answer, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to you?’ Then he will answer them, saying, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me.’ And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.” (Matthew 25:41–46, ESV)

… any questions of what Jesus would want us to do ?

WAKE UP

“Yes, and everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution. But evil people and impostors will flourish. They will deceive others and will themselves be deceived. But you must remain faithful to the things you have been taught. You know they are true, for you know you can trust those who taught you. You have been taught the holy Scriptures from childhood, and they have given you the wisdom to receive the salvation that comes by trusting in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right. God uses it to prepare and equip his people to do every good work.” (2 Timothy 3:12–17, NLT)

http://www.cbsnews.com/news/chicago-signs-compare-homeless-to-rodents/

 

… religious freedom and the Bible …

The Bill of Rights
Amendment I

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.  (The Constitution of the United States of America, The Bill of Rights, electronic ed. (Oak Harbor WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc., 1998).

religiousfreedom

… it seems you can’t turn on a radio or tv without hearing someone talking about ‘religious freedom’.  the majority of the people who support these religious freedom laws claim to be Christians.   for going on 38 yrs, i have been a Christ follower.  i have read the bible through – cover to cover – in many different translations over the years, and i still can’t find anything that says that someone who follows Jesus, the Christ has a right to refuse service to anyone because of their piety.

… but, because i have not memorized the entire bible, i thought i would look and see if there was something i was missing.  and so i start with a concordance search for the word “religion”.  that word is used only 6 times in the New Testament.  in the book of James it is written:

“If anyone among you thinks he is religious, and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his own heart, this one’s religion is useless. Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their trouble, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world.” (James 1:26–27, NKJV)

… according to the Bible, ‘pure and undefiled religion’ is literally taking care of widows and orphans.

… interesting.

… ‘but the Bible says that homosexuals are bad and should die.’ – “If a man practices homosexuality, having sex with another man as with a woman, both men have committed a detestable act. They must both be put to death, for they are guilty of a capital offense.” (Leviticus 20:13, NLT)

… you can’t argue that. that is true.  the Bible also says that adulterers must die too.  –  ““If a man is discovered committing adultery, both he and the woman must die. In this way, you will purge Israel of such evil. “Suppose a man meets a young woman, a virgin who is engaged to be married, and he has sexual intercourse with her. If this happens within a town, you must take both of them to the gates of that town and stone them to death. The woman is guilty because she did not scream for help. The man must die because he violated another man’s wife. In this way, you will purge this evil from among you. “But if the man meets the engaged woman out in the country, and he rapes her, then only the man must die.” (Deuteronomy 22:22–25, NLT)

… and what did Jesus say about adultery? – “And I tell you this, whoever divorces his wife and marries someone else commits adultery—unless his wife has been unfaithful.” (Matthew 19:9, NLT)

jesusandthewoman

… i have not heard of anyone refusing to take pictures at a ‘second marriage’ or bake a cake for a ‘second marriage’.  not saying that there aren’t some self-righteous people who do refuse them service, but i have never heard of that.

… and what about disobedient children?  ““Suppose a man has a stubborn and rebellious son who will not obey his father or mother, even though they discipline him. In such a case, the father and mother must take the son to the elders as they hold court at the town gate. The parents must say to the elders, ‘This son of ours is stubborn and rebellious and refuses to obey. He is a glutton and a drunkard.’ Then all the men of his town must stone him to death. In this way, you will purge this evil from among you, and all Israel will hear about it and be afraid.” (Deuteronomy 21:18–21, NLT)

“Cursed is every man that continues not in all the words of this law to do them: and all the people shall say, So be it.” (Deuteronomy 27:26, Brenton LXX En)

… back in the time of Paul the Apostle, there were people of the religious right who claimed to be Christians but insisted on the following of the Law of Moses – especially circumcision.  in his letter to the Galatians, he wrote : “Now it is evident that no one is justified before God by the law, for “The righteous shall live by faith.” But the law is not of faith, rather “The one who does them shall live by them.”” (Galatians 3:11–12, ESV)

for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus,” (Romans 3:23–24, ESV)

… so, what is a Christian to do?

But to you who are willing to listen, I say, love your enemies! Do good to those who hate you. Bless those who curse you. Pray for those who hurt you. If someone slaps you on one cheek, offer the other cheek also. If someone demands your coat, offer your shirt also. Give to anyone who asks; and when things are taken away from you, don’t try to get them back. Do to others as you would like them to do to you. “If you love only those who love you, why should you get credit for that? Even sinners love those The Sermon on the Mount Carl Bloch, 1890who love them! And if you do good only to those who do good to you, why should you get credit? Even sinners do that much! And if you lend money only to those who can repay you, why should you get credit? Even sinners will lend to other sinners for a full return. “Love your enemies! Do good to them. Lend to them without expecting to be repaid. Then your reward from heaven will be very great, and you will truly be acting as children of the Most High, for he is kind to those who are unthankful and wicked. You must be compassionate, just as your Father is compassionate. “Do not judge others, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn others, or it will all come back against you. Forgive others, and you will be forgiven.” (Luke 6:27–37, NLT)

… and then there is a letter that Paul the Apostle wrote to the church at Corinth.  he clarified what he had written earlier about not keeping company with “sexually immoral people”.  he wrote :

I wrote to you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral people— not at all meaning the sexually immoral of this world, or the greedy and swindlers, or idolaters, since then you would need to go out of the world. But now I am writing to you not to associate with anyone who bears the name of brother if he is guilty of sexual immorality or greed, or is an idolater, reviler, drunkard, or swindler—not even to eat with such a one. For what have I to do with judging outsiders? Is it not those inside the church whom you are to judge? God judges those outside. “Purge the evil person from among you.”” (1 Corinthians 5:9–13, ESV)

.. so Paul tells us that the only people we are to discriminate against are those in the church who are guilty of “sexual immorality or greed, or is an idolater, reviler, drunkard, or swindler.”

… i think we need to look at ‘greed’ for a minute.  the word translated as ‘greed’ or ‘covetousness’ is πλεονεξία [pleonexia /pleh·on·ex·ee·ah/].  Louw Nida defines it like this :  “a strong desire to acquire more and more material possessions or to possess more things than other people have, all irrespective of need—‘greed, avarice, covetousness.’ καὶ τὴν πλεονεξίαν ἥτις ἐστὶν εἰδωλολατρία ‘and greed, which is idolatry’ Col 3:5; καρδίαν γεγυμνασμένην πλεονεξίας ἔχοντες ‘they are experts in greed’ 2 Pe 2:14.” *

… ” to possess more things than other people have, all irrespective of need”

… people who call themselves Christians who drive luxury autos, live in mansions, and adorn themselves with gold, diamonds and jewels  – in a world where 21,000 people die of starvation DAILY are the definition of the word ‘greed’.  these are the ‘good christian businesses‘ that should be avoided like the plague – according to the Bible.

… on the night before Jesus died, there is a story about a woman with an ‘alabaster flask’ of ‘pure nard, very costly’.  basically, a very expensive perfumed oil was poured over Jesus head.  His disciples kinda freaked out that something so expensive would be ‘wasted’ and not sold for ‘more than 300 denarii’ to take care of the poor with.  it is my understanding that a ‘denarius’ was a Roman silver coin, equivalent to a laborer’s daily wage.  in this country, the minimum wage is $7.25/hr or $58/full day of labor.  this ‘nard’ was the modern equivalent of $17,400+.  even today that is very, very expensive.

… Jesus, who has spent the last 3 years with these disciples, teaching them what the law really says, showing them how to live it out, responds like this:  “But Jesus said, “Leave her alone. Why do you trouble her? She has done a beautiful thing to me. For you always have the poor with you, and whenever you want, you can do good for them. But you will not always have me. She has done what she could; she has anointed my body beforehand for burial. And truly, I say to you, wherever the gospel is proclaimed in the whole world, what she has done will be told in memory of her.” (Mark 14:6–9, ESV)

… Jesus was referring to a law that the disciples knew very well.  it is written :

“For there will never cease to be poor in the land. Therefore I command you, ‘You shall open wide your hand to your brother, to the needy and to the poor, in your land.” (Deuteronomy 15:11, ESV)

… many of the people who claim they are fighting for ‘religious freedom’ are the same impostor christians who are fighting against food programs for the poor, fighting against expanding health care to the poor, and passing laws that make homelessness illegal.  yes, in many cities in this country, Jesus would be thrown in jail for being homeless.

… it shouldn’t come as too big a surprise though.  Paul wrote in a letter to the pastor Timothy :  “Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted, while evil people and impostors will go on from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived.” (2 Timothy 3:12–13, ESV)

… so you want your religion to be ‘pure and undefiled’? i would ask you to consider some friends of mine who can help you.

Since they thought it foolish to acknowledge God, he abandoned them to their foolish thinking and let them do things that should never be done. Their lives became full of every kind of wickedness, sin, greed, hate, envy, murder, quarreling, deception, malicious behavior, and gossip. They are backstabbers, haters of God, insolent, proud, and boastful. They invent new ways of sinning, and they disobey their parents. They refuse to understand, break their promises, are heartless, and have no mercy. They know God’s justice requires that those who do these things deserve to die, yet they do them anyway. Worse yet, they encourage others to do them, too.
You may think you can condemn such people, but you are just as bad, and you have no excuse! When you say they are wicked and should be punished, you are condemning yourself, for you who judge others do these very same things.
” (Romans 1:28–2:1, NLT)

actual examples of persecution of people doing what Christ said :

90 yr old vet arrested for feeding homeless
33 Cities ban feeding homeless
$2,000 fine for feeding homeless without a permit

* Johannes P. Louw and Eugene Albert Nida, Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament: Based on Semantic Domains (New York: United Bible Societies, 1996), 290–291.

Formerly Homeless Man Threatens Lawsuit Over St. Louis NFL Stadium Financing Plan | ThinkProgress

… what about ‘the least of these’?

 

“Then they will reply, ‘Lord, when did we ever see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and not help you?’ “And he will answer, ‘I tell you the truth, when you refused to help the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were refusing to help me.’ “And they will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous will go into eternal life.””  – Jesus

(Matthew 25:44–46, NLT)

 

Formerly Homeless Man Threatens Lawsuit Over St. Louis NFL Stadium Financing Plan | ThinkProgress.