Gated communities are all around us. Most of them are for protection, to keep vulnerable people safe, although prisons are gated communities for quite another reason. When I was a kid, we had a gate at the end of the driveway of our farm, to keep our animals in and discourage larger wild animals. They also set boundaries, and good boundaries are important. Healthy boundaries are important.
A story broke recently about a 90 year old man and two local pastors who were arrested in Fort Lauderdale for trying to feed the poor in a public place. They intend to sue the city. Of all the reasons to be arrested, this is one I would accept: feeding the poor is the command of Christ, and making it illegal anywhere is public persecution of religious belief. It isn’t as much of an atrocity as ISIS slaughtering Middle Eastern Christians who refuse to convert, but it’s the worst abuse of Christians in this country I’ve seen in my lifetime. When did Jesus ever say: “The poor deserve to starve if they can’t leave your town and can’t get to your charitable enterprise.”
There are over 30 cities in the U.S. that put restrictions and/or bans on feeding the homeless in public. With the results of the recent election, I imagine there will be more. The sight of the homeless being fed outside rather than an out of sight food kitchen brings the issue into public view. Perhaps it’s more important to hide the homeless rather than eliminate homelessness. After all, if you can’t see it, it’s not a problem, right?
Towns like Fort Lauderdale should dig a moat, put up walls, regulate entry, and let the people they want live there by permit if this is their attitude. Any other town or city or state who feels likewise should do the same. If you’ve got the ability to enforce this, go for it. These places can’t be called Christian, and any minister of the Gospel should see them as hostile territory. Perhaps we should give the Statue of Liberty with the plaque spouting such balderdash as “give me your tired, poor huddled masses” back to the socialist mecca of France, who probably sent it to undermine our hard working American values anyway.