Christina Forrester | 11-14-14, 12:05pm
Let me call your attention to this sentence from the article below (you may be like me and need to read it twice to actually believe it): “90-year-old World War II veteran Arnold Abbott made national headlines when he got busted by cops in Fort Lauderdale, Florida twice in one week—for giving out food to homeless people.” Abbott has vowed to continue the practice of feeding the homeless until the day he dies. We as a Christian community should be completely outraged at this, with a righteous anger – I know I am! God bless this servant of the Lord in his work, and I ask that you all as a community join us in prayer for him and his ministry to the least of these.
THIS…not gay rights, abortion rights, rap music, Halloween, atheists, Muslims, birth control, Kim Kardashian or any other hot-button “religious issue”…is a very serious warning sign of a degradation of the values of Jesus Christ in our society. Matthew 25 is a warning to the people and the nations – we are judged by how we treat the poor, homeless… Who is proposing and voting in these ordinances? We need to pay attention and hold them accountable in a very public way. Taking away our ability to give to the homeless (when the government surely isn’t helping them) is taking away our right to the only social action Christ commanded of us. For all the false claims about religious liberty and freedoms, all the lawsuits and propaganda, this is something that is real…and it effects our greatest religious call to action as Christians. Civil disobedience is in order – “War on the Poor” is right.
From Mother Jones:
Last week, 90-year-old World War II veteran Arnold Abbott made national headlines when he got busted by cops in Fort Lauderdale, Florida twice in one week—for giving out food to homeless people. While serving a public meal on November 2, Abbott told the Sun-Sentinel, “a policeman pulled my arm and said, ‘Drop that plate right now,’ like it was a gun.” Abbott runs a nonprofit group that regularly distributes food in city parks. Because of an ordinance the city passed this October that restricts feeding the homeless in public, his charity work is now potentially illegal.
Abbott was cited again three days later in a different city park. Now the retired jewelry salesman is facing up to 60 days in jail or a $500 fine. And he’s not the only one risking jail time for generosity: 71 cities across the country have passed or tried to pass ordinances that criminalize feeding the homeless, according to Michael Stoops, director of community organizing at the National Coalition for the Homeless.
The number of cities trying to pass these so-called “feeding bans” is on the rise, says Stoops. An October report by the National Coalition for the Homeless found that since January of 2013, 22 cities have successfully passed restrictions on food-sharing, and the legislation is pending in nine other cities. (Fort Lauderdale’s measure passed a few days after the Coalition’s report published.)