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Thursday, August 30, 2007

Soup Kitchens Aren't My Style

M.D. responds to D.T. - (See Oohs and Wahs Tuesday, August 28, 2007) saying, “Unlike you, I know the author of this blog. I know that he and other individuals, as well as businesses offer financial support [to the homeless] and they help provide one full meal to at least 100 homeless people every day … He also organizes a group of volunteers that help feed the marginalized homeless, those that are not reached by the downtown mission system. For his own reasons, he has not presented this information on the blog site. Since your comment, at least on its face, embraces the goal of initiating "a project/plan to house these non-working, drug-addicted, un- or under-educated/unhealthy," and since you appear to be an articulate and, hence, intelligent person, can you help us? Your help would certainly be appreciated, even if it only meant finding "the nearest soup kitchen" and volunteering your time.”
08-28-07 3:50p

D.T. responds back (short version), “I know, it comes across rather harsh but I'm tired of being shown or told about problems that aren't coupled with genuine action or real solutions. Plus the Jesus-Was-Homeless-Too movement takes the story/ideal/dogma/inspiration of the man [Jesus] (turned idol) on a personal quest to teach people to find God within a SHAM by likening it to the plight of people that live in the streets by choice or by misfortune. Is the blogger suggesting that Jesus and these people have a lot in common? I mean, what exactly is this blogger trying to say? Or better yet what is he trying to do? When I read it - especially the defacto mission statement at the top it seems that all he's promoting is that homelessness in America is a low-down, dirty shame. Agreed. So what? Then Jesus is waved around like some rallying flag. I could respect the message if it pointed to Jesus' compassion and message of brotherly love and then showed how he personally is serving the homeless people he plucks our heartstrings about and puts on display - like a dog and pony show. [the blogger is obviously a lazy person trying to get the rest of us motivated to take action] It's exploitive… M.D., it sounds like you're suggesting that I do something to assist the homeless... Soup kitchens aren't my style." 08.29.07 5:46p

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Is compassion out of style? Why are you pushing the blogger to come out with an agenda? Read the mission statemenet again.

Imagine! Imagine no one has said your name in years, no one has hugged you in decades, no one knows you have died

. Imagine it in America!

JF said...

DT, though I don't feel the blogger needs to be defended, I do believe that if you are going to call someone exploitive or lazy, you should do so with a real understanding of the facts.

I also know the author and his actions are far greater than his talk. Shortly after we first met him I mentioned I wanted to go downtown to feed the homeless during Easter week. I didn't know at the time how much he had already done and was planning to do. What was just a one shot deal for me to make me feel good about myself, only expanded his efforts and he stayed with that program long after I ran out of time to continue. The majority of his time and money is spent on the care and feeding of the homeless and this website is but just one of his efforts to publicize their plight and inspire others to do take action. He works in the trenches, donates most of his money and time, operates this website, and offers up his life for the service of others. If this isn't genuine action, I don't know what is. Problem is, he can't do it all by himself.

I find it odd that you complain about others lack of action but when invited to join a soup kitchen you beg out with "Soup kitchens aren't my style."

My question to you is if you really have the interest of the homeless in mind, are you willing to do something positive and constructive about it or just sit behind your computer screen in judgment without all the facts?

You are obviously articulate, if you don't like what is written, spend some time downtown, come up with your own solutions and use your God given talent to write some thing better. True Christianity is about “we” not “me.”

JF

Gufbal1981 said...

D.T., let me ask you something...are you even Christian? The attacks that you give out to this blogger are definately not Christianlike at all, and if you were, you'd truely know that during Jesus' ministry, he was homeless. He didn't have a home to call his own. He relied on the generousity of strangers for him as his disciples. When someone is called to this type of Ministry, it's amazing. However, we can't be Jesus. There's not enough room on that cross for him and someone else...however, there is room for His followers to continue in his ministry. If you've ever read the bible, you'll remember a passage where Jesus says "Whatever you do to the least of my people, you've done unto me," or better yet "Do unto others as you would have done unto you." Remember those passages? I do. You know what? If I were out in the streets, I'd want some help to get back on my feet. I bet you would too.

Homelessness is a genuine problem here, and the blogger is at least giving a real action to the problem. I know this blogger personally and it seems like you don't. You're saying this blogger is lazy...well, all you're doing is being negative and really not doing anything to help with the problem. So, who is really the negative one here? Do you even know about the Parish that this person is doing outreach out of? No? I do. I've grown up at this parish, and let me tell you something. There is a great bunch of people there that at least want to help solve the problem of homeless people being hungry. I don't see you getting out and doing anything.

No one is telling you to go to a Soup Kitchen. Maybe you would benefit more from going to a place like Covenant House or Good Shepherd and volunteering at one of those places. You can see battered women, young ladies that have no where to go.

Anonymous said...

Dear D.T.,

Your comment to me seems to initially imply that direct interaction with the homeless is not a "genuine action" to address their plight or a "real solution" to the social problem they constitute. What, then, would be a "genuine action" or a "real solution?"

Perhaps I'm mistaken, but I suspect that you're implying progressive legislation and government social programs. If I'm correct in this assessment of your position, please note that such "top-down" governmental approaches to dealing with social problems have had very mixed results, both in our own socio-political economic system and those of Western socialistic nations with heterogeneous populations, such as the United
Kingdom. Genuine solutions, if any exist, are more likely to be "bottom-up," coming from families, friends, and local communities addressing their own immediate social problems. Such solutions would mimic the kind of emergent order that scientists have been and are now studying in the physical and life sciences, as well as in economics and political science. Such a solution, I believe, is being at least suggested and encouraged by the blogger in the symbols and language of Christianity, albeit in a less than systematic fashion.

In this regard, I agree with you that the blog and its mission statement are not perfect exemplars of clarity of purpose. But, to use your own words, so what? The blog is raising consciousness and among those of us that are in weekly contact with the blogger, it is inspiring us to provide more direct assistance to the homeless in the downtown area.

Finally, your parting comments are truly puzzling, in light of the totality of what you've written to me. If your critique of the blogger is grounded in authentic concern that he is not providing any real solutions, but only exploiting the homeless in order proselytize people like me, then why not engage me (and the rest of us) with ideas on how to really help the homeless? If on the other hand, your critique is merely philosophical and not grounded in authentic concern ["...it sounds like you're suggesting that I do something to assist the homeless... Soup kitchens aren't my style."] then why do you express such moral outrage over what the blogger is doing? Your comments are as devoid of clarity of purpose as you claim the blog is. In friendly disagreement, M.D.