feed the soul or feed the body?

Bonnie Briggs (s248_1132@hotmail.com)
Fri, 27 Nov 1998 05:48:34 PST

Drums in the park
Hi gang,
  No, I don't think it's fair to force people to pray before they get 
served their meal. This is coercion. This ignores the many beliefs of 
homeless people and does not respect the fact that some homeless people 
do not believe. It's also a trivializing of people's physical needs. 
When you're homeless, you're more concerned with feeding yourself and 
staying alive for another day, not saving your soul.  Two or three years 
ago, there was a Salvation Army near where our drop-in used to be that 
gave out free lunches every day. Everyone in the drop-in used to go 
there for lunch, myself included. Suddenly, one day they decided to have 
a church service during the time they usually gave out lunch and stopped 
the lunch completely. Everyone, including me, was pissed off. I've 
always felt that they got their priorities mixed up. A church service 
isn't going to fill an empty stomach when a person is starving. A church 
where I eat now does it right. They get everyone in and sitting down. 
They start serving the meal and let the homeless people start eating. 
Then, about halfway through the meal, they just have a quick prayer, 
then they let the people continue eating. At least this way, the 
people's physical needs are taken care of first. It's still forcing 
religion on people, but at least it's not a full service, it's just a 
quick prayer. I think people can live with that. No, let's take care of 
people's need for food first, then if people want it, and only if they 
want it, then look after spiritual needs. 

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