Evidently setting aside their stated goal of "advancing human dignity" to ponder the abstruse question, "Who would Jesus soak?" San Francisco's stately Saint Mary’s Cathedral, home to the Archdiocese and Archbishop, has been dousing homeless people who sleep in its doorways with a sprinkler system as "a safety, security and cleanliness measure" to "encourage them to relocate to other areas" - with, obviously, God's blessing. They stopped the practice this week after critics ripped the practice as "inhumane," city officials said it's illegal, and oh yeah, about that drought?
For I Was Hungry and You Gave Me Food, I Was Thirsty and You Gave Me Drink, I Was Homeless and WTF You Drenched Me With Sprinklers To Drive Me Away
Religious hypocrisy is humanities Achilles heal. And has become a human cancer. Humanities history is filled with philosophers who have spoken of love and dignity and peace. Human selfishness and hate have so far been impermeable to all of them and their words. Is what you seek an immediate need or manic need? Does fullfiling your needs harm others? Food, medicine, and shelter from a storm are basic needs. Manic needs are destroying humanity and the planet.
Providing for the homeless in St Peter's Square is at least a bit easier than in SF, since the average winter low temp in Rome is close to 40F. Unlike SF.
Of course there's quite a difference between providing sleeping bags and providing inescapable cold-water showers. But maybe the archdiocese functionaries, not used to anything but sleeping indoors and having enough to eat, didn't notice that.
Not a great month for the archbishop
On the other hand the problem of human feces being deposited all over San Francisco is a problem that is growing much much worse. So the church is not alone in grasping for any solution they can find.
So the drought complicates THAT whole thing.
Christopher Hitchens was more succint:
Religion poisons everything.
In McMinnville, Oregon, McMinnville Cooperative Ministries is facing a $500. a day fine for allowing the homeless to camp on the church property. The city set a deadline of March 31st for the church to evict the homeless. After that the fines, which the church cannot afford, begin.
There's a petition at change.org protesting the city's action.
A city that does nothing to help their homeless shouldn't be penalizing a church for doing what the city will not.
The petition is at:
I think our major problem is not religion it is bad government. We need a government to organize our society so that all of us may live a decent life.
The funds of our government should be used to meet the needs of our people and not be squandered on endless wars to enrich the members of the military industrial complex that Eisenhower warned us about.
I think we must allow people their religion as long as their practices do not violate the rights of others. I don't think religious organizations should be allowed to avoid paying taxes.
When St. Mary's massive cathedral in San Francisco was built, at a cost of millions, overlooking one of the poorest parts of town, I was horrified. The Catholic Church has always been known for this: building expensive monuments to itself instead of taking care of the poor. The new Pope may be an exception, but he has a lot of work to do to convince the archbishops around the world to follow his example. And letting the homeless sleep in Vatican Square is not exactly a solution to poverty.
In a liberal democracy, it is the responsibility of the state to provide solutions to poverty (at least it should be). Relying on charities and religious institutions for solutions to a problem (poverty) created by the state, actually (or at least passively) supports privatization and the increasingn militarization of the state.
That map shows where the city needs to provide public toilets.
"some of them are, you know, icky. Said a spokesman " If that church spokesman were without a place to live, a shower, and a toilet they may become a little icky them selves. Catholics are suppose to believe in a god that loves all of his children, even the icky ones. Some people give up all hope, and stop caring for themselves..These are the people who are in the most need of love and kindness.
The Church is a business and the homeless get in the way of the prophets.