I’ve told this story before on this bloggy thing, but I’m reminded of it once again in light of this disgusting story out of Columbia, South Carolina.
When we first moved to Smallville seven years ago, we met some very nice people; we also met some of those religious types who smiled at the gay couple but then rarely spoke to us—thankfully those folks are in the minority.
I remember being asked by several people the usual questions when you meet someone: Where are you from? But I was ill-prepared for the ones that asked: Where do you worship?
Sarcastic me almost said, Satan? But then I realized they were serious. I explained my religious or spiritual beliefs and that I didn’t need to be a part of an organized religion to, for lack of better phrasing, ‘talk to God.’ I said I could talk to God, or Goddess, or whatever, anywhere and everywhere and any time.
And people would say that the church provides a way to help your neighbors in times of need, and help those less fortunate, to which I also replied that I didn’t need a church membership to do that. If you wanna help, and you can, you help; but then think about this story, about the less fortunate, and how the city of Columbia is “helping.”
See, last August, the city of Columbia approved a new plan to give its homeless population a choice: they could either leave the downtown area or be arrested, because, you know, the good people of Columbia don’t wanna see all them homeless people around. It makes them feel uncomfortable.
But, as if that wasn’t bad enough, Columbia has decided to go further. This month the city began to strictly enforce an old and rarely-used ordinance that would require groups of 25 or more to obtain a special permit and pay a hefty fee before congregating in a public park.
You know, where the homeless gather because they’re, you know, homeless.
Think of how many people they can feed on $120. Also know that Food Not Bombs organizes the meals, serves the meals, and fully cleans up the area where the meals are served, a tall order for a group that’s not even an official 501(c)(3) organization but just serves out of the goodness of its heart.
The goodness of its heart.
Well, if that’s the idea, why not round up all the homeless folks and put ‘em in a camp. Maybe we can give them cool uniforms and tattooed ID numbers and then weed out the ones who seem especially weak or feeble or sick.
I mean, that’s kind of the next step. Right Columbia?