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Rockford Charges Church With Crime for Exercising 1st Amendment Rights (UPDATED)

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"Get a job, you homeless bum. There ain't no room in Rockford for you!"

“Get a job, you homeless bum. There ain’t no room in Rockford for you!”

Yes, sports fans, in lovely scenic Rockford (home of Illinois’ premier indoor car show!) the city council has declared that zoning laws trump the Bill of Rights. Rockford’s Apostolic Pentecostal Church, which had taken it upon itself to open its doors to the homeless during this winter’s record breaking cold, has been ordered to stop because it’s not zoned for caring for those in need. Apparently the “separation of church and state” means that local government has the final say in how churches carry out their missions. Sadly, this being America, they will likely have no problems finding judges to agree with them. American judges have a remarkable power to find “penumbrae” in the very clearly written text of the bill of rights when it will lead to fewer liberties for we “mundanes”.

How many of these Rockfordian buttmongrels, I wonder, can be found in a church on Sunday mouthing pieties, all the while betraying the gospel for the sake of a few pieces of silver. How many of these dunderbusses can be found at your average team blue gathering decrying “cuts to the poor” without once thinking that maybe, just maybe, a church should be allowed to fulfill its gospel duty? I’m willing to bet that almost the entire city council finds its way to one place or the other. And likely both.

But this is nothing new, all around “compassionate America” Republicans and Democrats have been busy passing laws against homelessness and poverty. As if we could eliminate poverty by telling the poor “You better make money or else you shiftless bums!”. Worse still, these polititards have begun cracking down on the very groups that have been working to alleviate suffering. In Orlando a mayor went so far as to call one group dedicated to feeding the poor & homeless (Food not Bombs) food terrorists. No, really.

Food terrorists? Do they serve tofu of mass destruction? Quinoa weapons? Tempeh gas? OK, I will admit that tempeh gas can clear a room pretty quickly, but I’m unaware that it’s ever killed anyone. America’s political culture has turned into Ebenezer Scrooge’s evil twin even more evil brother. Government has been criminalizing poverty and homelessness, and groups that aid them (as shown earlier).

And this can’t be dismissed as “heartless republicans” because these sorts of laws are common in the San Francisco

Clearly the problem in the Bay Area is those damned republicans forcing through their anti-poverty agenda!

Clearly the problem in the Bay Area is those damned republicans forcing through their anti-poverty agenda!

Bay Area, a region so saturated with blue that it’s unprintable.

“Oh yeah, smart guy, what’s your answer?”

If you had asked me 20 years ago what the best approach to the homeless situation was I would have admitted that the problem is partially intractable, and would have said that a good portion of the solution in dealing with the worst cases would be for more churches, civic organisations, etc. to start acting like Rockford’s Apostolic Pentecostal Church. But, of course, increasingly that’s impossible. All across America governments are erecting barriers to civic groups that want to help the homeless. And not just in evil red states, because in New York City former Mayor Bloomberg was the Torquemada of social democratic oppression of the poor. From preventing stores, restaurants, and bakeries from giving food away to cracking down on soup kitchens for putting too much salt in their food. Democrats, Republicans, it doesn’t matter. They’re all evil SOBs.

Some of the homeless can be helped the Habitat for Humanity way. And it’s a lot cheaper to deal with those cases that way than via legal punishment. But even that doesn’t cover all the homeless, because a good number of them are just mendicants that need our compassion and our help. Instead we call the police to have them executed.

Updates

Instead of writing a new article and padding my post count I’m electing to update this piece. In Daytona a couple has been arrested for exercising their 1st amendment rights (specifically the freedom of religious conscience and the freedom to peaceably assemble). Interestingly enough these efforts are actually federal crimes, they specifically violate Title 18, Section 242, U.S.C (to wit, deprivation of rights under color of law). Not that the federal government enforces the law against local governments where the war on <insert social problem here> is concerned.

So the war on poverty continues to be weaponised. And that may be the real takeaway here. If we keep referring to these social programs as wars the armed psychopaths in blue are liable to take the language literally and add firearms and things that go boom to the efforts. And no one needs that.

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