Your Views for April 20
Speak up, speak out
Where are today’s Christians and people of faith?
After centuries of crucifying Christians, the Roman Empire learned the art of co-opting people. It made Christianity the official religion of the empire, put the cross on imperial shields, and got Christians marching off to fight imperial wars.
Today, instead of standing in nonviolent resistance to the crimes of the empire, many Christians and other people of faith again have been co-opted, or compromised, and made accommodation to the imperial order.
Where are the voices speaking out and standing up for peace, justice and the Earth? How many churches, temples, etc. are speaking out publicly to cut funding of the national security state and redirect spending to education, the environment, health care and other human needs, including military clean up, instead of build up, in Hawaii? And what about the ongoing illegal U.S. occupation of the nation of Hawaii?
Eyes wide shut
Regarding, “Is the property of the homeless a nuisance?” (April 12, Tribune-Herald): Ours is a great nation — the rich man and poor man alike are arrested for sleeping under the bridge.
I was formerly involved in services to adults with serious mental illness, and it is my observation a great percentage have been homeless, often chronically.
These individuals, in the absence of prescribed medication, often self-medicate, and many have addiction problems in addition to a myriad of other hardships.
It is true the sum total of their possessions carted or stacked in public places make many of us uncomfortable. However, while keeping these belongings on private property already is illegal, what are these people to do with their treasures, humble though they might be, if it becomes illegal to do so in public places as well?
These belongings might offer the only sense of security the “offenders” possess. Is it not more logical to develop other solutions, perhaps some sort of locker system in areas to which these, our fellow citizens, are so often relegated?
Better yet, ask them for solutions. Intelligence levels I encountered are often well above average. Maybe some form of coalition of nonprofit, government agencies, faith-based and fraternal organizations might address this in conjunction with those most affected. They are people, however unfortunate, and thus deserving of our respect, as are all people.
Not all problems can be legislated away. Shall we increase our already overcrowded jail population?
I have seen near miraculous achievement by these very individuals when alternatives are offered. This includes independent living (very cost effective) and sometimes even employment. Voila! Some of “those people” become taxpayers rather than consumers. They live and work among you.
Effective programs for these folks have been axed to an alarming degree. Is legislation against our brothers and sisters the only solution we can come up with? Can we do no more than avert our eyes?
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