Sunday, April 13, 2014

The Crime of Feeding Homeless People

Make no mistake; this is precisely what the repugs want: poor people dead from starvation, and those who want to help them in jail.

A pastor determined to live out the Bible’s dictate that we feed the poor was shut down by local police because he didn’t have a permit to serve food.

Twice a month, Rick Wood, a pastor at The Lord’s House of Prayer in Oneonta, Alabama, gets in his truck and drives around Birmingham with more than a hundred hot dogs and bottles of water, handing them out to the homeless. Wood has been serving those in need for the past six years because he wants to put Matthew 25:35-40 — “For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink,” a scripture verse he has plastered on the side of his truck — into action.

But last month, Wood was stopped from handing out food by local police because he was in violation of a new city ordinance, passed in December, that regulates food trucks. The new regulation requires food trucks to get a permit, which can cost as much as $500. Though the ordinance is specifically targeted at retail food vendors, rather than charities, the city nevertheless used it to block Wood.

He was livid. “That makes me so mad,” Wood said in an interview with ABC 33/40 News. “These people are hungry. They’re starving. They need help from people. They can’t afford to buy something from a food truck.”

The pastor accused Birmingham of wanting “to chase them out of the city.”

ABC 33/40 News’ video has more:
If you read this blog, you know I cut religious people not a micrometer of slack for any reason whatsoever. But when their humanitarian and Democratic actions speak louder than their freakazoid beliefs, they will find me beside them in the trenches every time.

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