Re: Are mandatory prayer meetings fair at free church meals?

Francisco Lopez (
Fri, 27 Nov 1998 12:14:45 -0500 (EST)

Dear list members,

I've been lurking in the list for a while and is time to contribute with
my two cents. 

Before addressing the issue on his message, I want to briefly introduce
myself.  I was homeless 7 years ago, and for some circumstances related to
some failed business and needed time for a sabattical, I went back to the
streets, now for three months, although in my way out, thanks God.
Curiously, I am an economist, with successful experience as an investment
banker, and made rich lots of people.  Now I'm devoting my time and
energies to do what I was trained for: correct economic disequilibriums
and their consequences, homelessness among them. May be some day I will
send an example or two to the list, in a version more amiable for the
layperson, derived from the models I designed. 

Now to the issue of basically forced praying before meals. I found very
immoral to basically force a person to engage in acts he or she may or not
believe in, just to get the satisfaction of a primary need, like food and
shelter.  This is not the excercise of the free will embeded in the
deepest principles of the world's religions and philosophical systems. 
This is just to choice between listening to whatever is needed to be
listened to and have a meal or shelter. 

>From the judeochristian standpoint, this can be traced to the Job
experience and the question from the Devil to God "Take from him [Job]
everything he have and see if he will not damn you in your face." The
Devil was questioning the love of Job for his God. In other words, Job
loved God because of the good things God provided Job and not because what
God represented, in terms of the ultimate form of goodness and love. 

Will a homeless person in need will love the teachings of a Church because
of the things embeded in them or because of the food and shelter? In the
ansence of these, will the homeless person in need wil still go to the

May be, if the teachings appeal to him or her, otherwise, the feeling of
prostituing the soul for food and shelter may remain deep in their
conscience as a very immoral period of their lives. 

If God exists and it is in the form the judeochristian bible says it is,
God will see better those who give their love unselfishly and respecting
the most valuable tie to God and nature: our intelligence and free will. 

There is nothing bad to take advantage of those who prey in our needs for 
their ideological and religious purposes. Just keep your free will.

May be is true that freedom is when one had nothing else to lose...but 
your free will.

The best luck to all sharing this pain. You can count that if I get my 
act put toghether, the homeless will have a a strong advocate for the 
ending of their situation.