Staying On The King’s Highway

Ever since the first century church, there has been times when church practices and doctrine don’t match what Jesus taught. Even people who start out on the King’s Highway (a reference to John Bunyan’s The Pilgrim’s Progress) start going down the wrong road. 

The Salvation Army Levittown PA Community Center is an example of getting off track.  

After having fallen financially and spiritually early 2014, I entered the Salvation Army Community Center to get food from the food pantry. I was puzzled at the brusque manner in which the woman who ran the pantry treated the customers.  Her demeanor didn’t seem to reflect the image I had of Salvation Army people.   

Despite this experience, shortly thereafter I started worshipping at this center.  The church seemed to be theologically sound, putting the emphasis on scripture. I was going through a rough time. Broken, the church helped me put the pieces back together.   

But in time, I found the behavior of some of the folks there were not Christian, and the one in charge, whom I nicknamed Caspar Milquetoast, didn’t resolve problems when I was victimized when I volunteered in the food pantry.  The employee who ran the food pantry, whom one of my fellow volunteers called Queen Latifah, bullied me and other volunteers. On one occasion, when a young camp counselor spoke briefly on his way to get with the camp kids, the queen got in the kid’s face, saying something like “where you supposed to be; you best get their now!”, making street-like motions. She treated us three volunteers as if we were mannequins. But when it came to a counselor of her race, the youth helper had free run of the pantry; she didn’t inform us that the camp counselor had permission to go into a restricted area. 

Interesting, at a recent meal for the homeless and needy (not the homeless and greedy), one of the guests at my table said the food pantry head, who also hosts the meals, is “racist.” Many of the guests who attend the meals won’t go to the Salvation Army meals. Some poor, desperate souls have to go to the Salvation Army meal, and occasionally have to put up with abuse, condescension.  

On one occasion the queen told me that I wouldn’t listen to her because she is black. I responded “People have a problem with you because you talk down to people!” 

Another Salvation Army official, who is in charge of community relations and development, whom I’ve nicknamed The Countess of Carlisle, used her position to block an offer from someone I met at the center from regional to write for the Salvation Army.  During a conversation I had with another volunteer, where I said that I had a problem with the way the local library constructively aims to keep the homeless out of the library just because they are homeless, the Countess said the library should keep the homeless out of the library, simply because there are people who don’t like them there.  

This is not the historic Salvation Army that went to bat for the down and out and were attacked by those who didn’t agree with them helping drunks but they stood their ground for what is right. In contrast, today’s Salvation Army tends to kowtow to the politically correct! 

Recently, there was another church that hosted the shared meals that I found a big, conspicuous problem with. As my girlfriend and I were waiting to be let into the shared meal, she noticed different flags flying, but not the American flag. I noticed a “Black Lives Matter” sign, and then the homo promo rainbow flag. All lives matter! And scripture is clearly against homosexuality. We are all sinners but the church needs to set people on the right road, and preach what is right! As the preacher said at my father’s memorial service, God comes to us sinners and makes us saints! Evidently, this church is not Biblical. The hosts, however, were very gracious. 

Churches, like the people who visit them, need to act like Jesus, and should listen to their brothers and sisters when they (it is hoped), point out gently their error. I’ve been reading about this in the Recovery Devotional, which not only applies to addicts but to the rest of us, including me! 

We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God. 2 Corinthians 5:20 

We need to remember this, and hold one another accountable to this standard!

To learn more about the homeless, focusing on Bucks County, PA, read: https://www.amazon.com/There-Are-Homeless-Buck-County/dp/172865209X/ref=sr_1_fkmrnull_1?keywords=there%20are%20homeless%20in%20bucks%20county&qid=1555953133&s=gateway&sr=8-1-fkmrnull&fbclid=IwAR2qT8c-IdV5tS_lDCYj3RGXcKvtvKBLfS2dJbPw857-W2fURTjVivU5UW8

Behind The Curtain

In Bucks County, PA, people don’t like to pay attention to the man behind the curtain. Like the Wizard of Oz, who is hiding his real self behind the curtain, there are people want their real self and motives to be hidden, and there are those who don’t want to see what’s behind the curtain to avoid having their pre-conceived notions, particularly of the homeless, overturned.

https://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=Don%27t+look+at+the+man+behind+the+curtain+wizard+of+oz&view=detail&mid=8F32D636D0473DE73D468F32D636D0473DE73D46&FORM=VIRE

When you get past the smoke and mirrors created by organizations in Bucks County who are believed to help the homeless, you see they are not what you think they are.

As was the case with the Wizard after the little dog Toto opened Oz’s curtain, people are wising up to the august institutions in Bucks.  And it’s more about making a buck and do-gooder image than helping people.

There’s a reason that Saint Mary Medical Center stopped funding the Advocates for the Homeless and Those in Need (AHTN). I for one wonder what AHTN does with the $100,000 plus it takes in each year. I’m not an accountant and don’t know the micro details, but, as Bob Dylan sang “you don’t have to be a weatherman to know which way the wind blows.”

Update:

$100,000 is what AHTN has lost. That being such a large sum, I had that figure in my mind. Before Saint Mary cut funding, AHTN’s budget, according to the article in the Bucks County Courier Times, was $220,000/year! Wow!  Where does all that money go? Occasionally they put homeless people up in a motel, occasionally transport people to doctors and such, support a rejuvenation station, and take the homeless and those in need to community meals and code blues (winter). Is there a lot of overhead? Maybe lots of it going to those on salary? I’ve seen reports on the various charitable organizations that show how much of each dollar taken in goes to the recipients – those who are being helped. Some organizations give a greater percentage of money taken in that goes to the needy than others. Wonder what this ratio of funds coming in to AHTN go to the homeless and needy and how much is “pocketed.”

I wonder now that AHTN now expects to take in more that $100,000/year if it will slight the homeless and needy as if so, how much. From the AHTN website: “ALERTS: Beginning Monday July 24th through Monday Sept. 4th, Wheels to Meals will be operating with just ONE BUS.  Please be patient as it will take longer for the bus to cover the entire route, including all 4 bus stops. If guests can carpool with a friend, please do. The bus will only make 2 trips maximum each way.”

A few observations over about the past three years: Awhile back, AHTN spent money to have a handicapped assisted bus. One handicapped woman used the handicapped access. It was trumpeted in the media. A reporter came on ATHN’s bus and went to a community meal to interview the woman. Soon after the hype was over, to my knowledge she stopped using the service nor did any other handicapped people. Symbolism over substance.

Speaking of the bus, AHTN labels the transportation to homeless meals “wheels to meals.” Until recently, I thought the service was connected to Meals on Wheels, a program that delivers meals to seniors who have trouble getting out. I could better understand where all the money goes if AHTN was doing Meals on Wheels. Of course, we know that non-profits are not about slick Madison Avenue advertising. Not unless we look behind the curtain.

The curtain was opened in the aftermath of innocent people having their bike locks cut when they were legally parked at the Levittown public library. Because it was believed that some people abandoned their bikes there, all the locks were arbitrarily cut. In this matter AHTN was smoke and mirrors. An “advocate” met with the librarian, who said she made an announcement about the cutting of the bike locks, and that was the end of AHTN involvement in the matter.

It speaks well of the homeless that after this ordeal they didn’t vandalize the library. Behind the curtain you didn’t see the homeless stereotypes! Today in Bucks County, the homeless are treated much like blacks were in the Jim Crow south. Martin Luther King urged his followers not to return wrong for wrong but to engage in passive resistance.

The problem in Bucks County is the caste system, where the distasteful attitude exists where once one is homeless, he can’t become a self-reliant, productive member of society but a ward of the state. Dr. King argued against this mentality: http://www.thecommentator.com/article/4104/martin_luther_king_did_not_argue_for_welfare_dependency

Whereas advocates in other areas have gone to bat when the homeless were wronged, even going to district court and winning, AHTN did nothing when the authorities hustled the homeless from the Veterans memorial only because they were homeless. The district court is right next to the memorial.

Another Bucks institution that doesn’t live up to its reputation is the Levittown Salvation Army Community Center. Back in the day, The Salvation Army ministered to the down and out, largely drunks. They met them where they were, both in location and status in society, as Jesus did with the woman at the well. The booze industry didn’t like the Salvation Army reforming drunks; it cared more about making money than about people. People involved in the booze business attacked The Salvation Army.

Today in Levittown, the Salvation Army does not genuinely care about the homeless. Queen Latifah, who usually hosts the homeless meals, talks down to them, as if they are children or criminals. A volunteer at the center Salvation Army gave her the nick name because she tries to be real hip. He said “she works hard to be black.” Queen Latifah on steroids talks street English (bad English) and makes street gestures. To have the position at the Salvation Army, she had to have at least some education. Author Tom Wolfe called educated, middle to upper class folks who purposely talk and act like the uneducated, lower class as having “a nostalgia for the mud.” But even people in lower stations haven’t always talked that way.  Professor of Economics Walter E Williams, who grew up in a Philadelphia project said that his fellow blacks spoke standard English in the projects.

The attitude back then is why Dr. Williams made something of himself.

In Bucks County, the homeless are hustled in a different way. The recently defunded Homeless Outreach Support Transition Program (HOST), is a hustle. To look at the man behind the curtain, AHTN should bring disco lights to Code Blues and play “Do The Hustle” and introduce a mental health hustler. This may no longer be possible, as HOST, the first stop to put the homeless on the taxpayer funded Disoriented Express, was defunded.

https://youtu.be/V3kE0rvAJhM

I think “Do The Hustle” should be Bucks County’s theme song!

One Size Fits All?

The one size fits all mentality is what I’ve been fighting against, particularly when it applies to the homeless community. Judging by the content of one’s character, I look at the homeless as individuals who happen to have the common need for a home.

But it seems that in some cases, when you judge particular individuals in the homeless and needy community, people circle the wagons and act as if you are attacking all of them.  In one case, at a community meal in Bucks County, PA,  a drunken homeless guy loudly cursed out another guest and physically threatened him. It was an unprovoked attack; T-Rex was drunk and disorderly. Yet, the Advocates for The Homeless and Those in Need (AHTN) gave him a free pass and punished the guy he attacked, as did the host. Although I was told the decision came “from the top”, I believe it was a result of an AHTN member on the scene lying about and demonizing the victim.

T-Rex finally met his Waterloo. After he ambushed the same guy at a homeless meal, someone called the police, but, aided and abetted by “friends”, he eluded police for weeks until he was arrested at the free laundry. When someone called the police about the attack, a homeless guy told the caller not to call the police. After T-Rex was arrested and in jail, as I was waiting in line at a community luncheon, a homeless guy ranted that someone calling the police to apprehend the fugitive was “terrible, terrible!”

One thing I’m sure of. The one armed man did not do it!

On another occasion, two AHTN volunteers said nothing when guests walked away with an inordinate amount of take homes when they were sitting right next to them. Although they had homes, I think they became honorary homeless people and became members of a clique. Members of their small exclusive group defended their indefensible behavior.

Two members of the clique confronted me in the parking lot last night after the community meal about calling  out two individuals on my blog. One was very hostile and tried to intimidate me into not calling out particular individuals from the clique. Yet The Adams Family was held up to public scrutiny for doing the same thing. Consequently, they changed their evil ways, baby. And people in the wagon circle don’t have a problem with me calling out Birdman for his anti-social, predatory behavior.

We all need to be held to the same standards.

What people may not realize, is that by circling the wagons to protect someone in their clique reinforces the one size fits all mentality that the Bucks County establishment subscribes to. This mentality was evident at the public library in Levittown, at the Veterans’ memorial near the library, and at the Salvation Army Levittown Community Center. What’s terrible is that some individuals are not held accountable for their behavior and, consequently, everyone in the group is punished.

There’s been a campaign at the library to constructively keep the homeless out of the library. It’s not because of their behavior, but just because they are homeless. The Bucks County officer stationed at the municipal  building, pressured by some of the government hacks in the WIC building, told homeless people who were just hanging out at the memorial, not breaking any rules, that some people are afraid to come to the memorial because they feel uncomfortable when the homeless people are there. Consequently, he tried to shoo them from the memorial. With my egging them on and my remarks to the officer, they did not comply and he eased off. The same rules need to apply to everyone.

The Countess of Carlisle, public relations gal at the Levittown Salvation Army, agreed with the campaign to keep the homeless out of the library, arguing that some people who visit the library don’t like them there.  The Salvation Army official is so named because, like her namesake, she claims to help the disadvantaged, but doesn’t really want to know or understand them: “In 1838, Lady Carlisle articulated a negative opinion of Charles Dickens, who was then emerging as a successful author. ‘I know there are such unfortunate beings as pickpockets and streetwalkers. I am very sorry for it and am very much shocked at their mode of life, but I own I do not much wish to hear what they say to one another’, she said.” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Georgiana_Howard,_Countess_of_Carlisle

Freedom of Speech is a wonderful right Americans have. It doesn’t just protect popular speech, but speech some people don’t like. It should not be abridged. “Sit down and shut up,” was a phrase the last resident of the White House has been known to say about people with whom he disagrees. Well, I refuse to sit down and shut up even though some people don’t approve of my calling out people whom they believe have immunity or the way I do it.

“Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” -John 8:32

 

Loving Others

In a recent case on the People’s Court, a young woman was charged with damaging a man’s car when she recklessly flung her shopping cart and hit it, after loading groceries into her car.  Judge Milian explained to the defendant that in that situation she has “a social contract”, where certain behavior is expected.

What’s expected is that after you are done with your shopping cart, you return it to a corral or at least put it in a place that is out of the way, the judge said and added that this was a selfish act; the defendant had no concern about how she affects other people.

Not every rule is posted. There are certain ways we behave because it’s part of our internalized code of conduct. In a neighborhood, if you subscribe to the old school of thought, you respect your neighbor’s property and don’t trespass, even if there are no “no trespassing” signs. Today in Levittown, PA, which is infested with Democrats, many neighbors just let their kids use other people’s property as if it’s their own. No borders.

People have different codes of conduct. In many cases there are no codes and people just, like programming a computer, use codes to fit situations as they come along. No absolutes, no restraints of a civilized society. At the community meals for the homeless and needy in Bucks County, PA, after watching a character known as “Birdman” going from table to table to carry off food and drink as well as preying on beverage and food tables, I told another guest that he was “the quintessential Noble Savage.” I would use that term to describe a couple of other guests who attend the meals.

Read about the consequences of the Noble Savage and the Counter Culture: https://wigtunes.wordpress.com/tag/francis-schaeffer/

At some community meals, the hosts have specific rules about how many desserts and items of clothing the guests may take. Others don’t. Unfortunately, not everybody is able to exercise self restraint.

Because of a few miscreants, Queen Latifah, the host at the Salvation Army Levittown Community Center community meals treats the guests like criminals and children.

People need to have a moral compass, the right code of conduct, absolutes. You won’t get that by turning inward or by contemplating your navel, or by worshipping the sun.

Back in the 70’s, evangelical Christian theologian, philosopher and pastor Francis Schaeffer said that freedom is misused and, to keep order in society, two things will happen. We will either have a police state, where people will be controlled by outside forces, or there will be a revival and we’ll have a Reformed Christian consensus. The former society, ushered in during the late 60’s and was prevalent particularly during the past eight years and manifested in political correctness, is bondage. The 2nd choice brings true freedom. http://www.theopedia.com/francis-schaeffer

Image result for bible verses about love for fellow man

Homeless Gone Wild

In my last blog I wrote about Bucks County feeding the homeless to the alligators in Florida and using the Stand Down site, where each year homeless and needy veterans get free care and referrals, as a Soylent Green factory, where the homeless are churned into green wafers. This, for those of you in Doylestown, is satire, so don’t take it literally.

Why satire?

Satire defined: the use of humor, irony, exaggeration, or ridicule to expose and criticize people’s stupidity or vices, particularly in the context of contemporary politics and other topical issues.

synonyms: mockery · ridicule · derision · scorn · caricature · irony · sarcasm

  • a play, novel, film, or other work that uses satire:
  • “a stinging satire on American politics”
  • synonyms: parody · burlesque · caricature · lampoon · skit · spoof · takeoff ·
  • sendup
  • a genre of literature characterized by the use of satire.
  • (in Latin literature) a literary miscellany, especially a poem ridiculing prevalent vices or follies.
  • a way of using humor to show that someone or something is foolish, weak, bad, etc. : humor that shows the…

I use satire to ridicule the attitude and policy towards the homeless, as I’ve witnessed in Bucks County, PA.

Examples:

  • A campaign to constructively remove the homeless from the Levittown public library because, as The Countess of Carlisle, public relations gal from the Salvation Army Levittown Community Center told me, people who visit the library don’t like the homeless being there.
  • The homeless are chased off the Veterans’ Memorial near the Levittown library because government hacks from the nearby WIC office don’t feel comfortable visiting the memorial when the homeless are there.
  • No longer allowing Stand Down, where homeless and needy vets get help, to set up each year for a few days on Bucks County public land behind the library, with no explanation why from the county.
  • The Advocates for The Homeless and Those in Need (AHTN) and some churches that host community meals for the homeless and needy not holding individual homeless people accountable for their behavior but instead treating the individual homeless as representing the whole group, and acting not for what’s best for them, but for their own self interests.

Warning – Satire!

So as not to hinder stereotypes of the homeless – that they are irresponsible, violent, lack self-control, are drunks, mental cases…  AHTN and churches who have joined the initiative have created HOMELESS GONE WILD.

The plan:

Instead of putting juice or ice tea in the coolers where the homeless get their drinks at the meals, fill them with booze. Once intoxicated, the homeless will start jumping up and down and dancing on tables, curse each other and the hosts out, and generally behave badly.

One special feature one of the hosts, The Redeemer Lutheran Church in Penndel, PA, has added is the game “fine a scapegoat”, where a member of AHTN makes something up about someone they want to use as a scapegoat to see if the host will believe it. After an innocent party is accused of wrongdoing, AHTN and Redeemer plays “See if we can get the court to rig the proceedings in our favor when a victim of our lies sues us.”

AHTN will have a film crew at the meals and will record it. They will sell the tapes for entertainment and will hold a viewing for the Bucks County Commissioners and Penndel Mental Health Center, to build a case to commit the homeless and to secure more tax dollars.

A Parody:

Don’t Think Freely (parody of Buck Owen’s Act Naturally)

Well, they’re going to put me in the nuthouse

They want to make a monkey out of me

They’re going to put me in the nuthouse

And all they have to do

Is round up me

 

Well, they are going have to chase me real far

They’re going to hunt me and they can’t really tell

If I really need to be in the nuthouse

They expect me to play the part for them real well

 

I hope you’ll come and see me in the nuthouse

Maybe you can slip me a file in some cake

I hope you’ll come and see me in the nuthouse

Where I’m all doped up and can’t think freely

 

They want to put me in the nuthouse

That’s because they don’t think I am OK

Well, the only reason that I’m in the nuthouse

Is that  I’m homeless in Bucks County PA

 

Well, they are going have to chase me real far

They’re going to hunt me and they can’t really tell

If I really need to be in the nuthouse

They expect me to play the part for them real well

 

I’ll be a homeless collection in the nuthouse

From the state they want to collect their precious bounty

I’ll be a monkey caged there in the nuthouse

Where I’m all doped up and can’t think freely

 

Well, the only reason that I’m in the nuthouse

Is that  I’m homeless in Bucks County PA

The only reason that I’m in the nuthouse

Is that  I’m homeless in Bucks County PA

 

Dupe-dupe a looney Dupe-dup a looney Dupe-dupe a looney…

They’re coming to take me away ah-hah he-he ah-hah ah-hah he-he ah-hah he-he…

 

Here’s another parody hit by the They’re Coming to Take Me Away! Band:

Upcoming Funding Time (parody of Fats Domino’s Finger Popping Time)

It’s upcoming

Funding Time

It’s upcoming

Funding Ty-ime

I feel so good

I’m on the public dime

Hey now Hey now Hey now Hey now

 

They lost Alan but here come Keith

Here comes Chris and he’s talking sweet

But Alan’s still with the county

And helps get the bounty

It’s upcoming

Funding Time

It’s upcoming

Funding Ty-ime

I feel so good

I’m on the public dime

Hey now Hey now Hey now Hey now…

Pierce The Veil

It takes an honest effort to establish a good name, but just as easily, it can go bad. At least with some people. There are some who just blindly put their trust in an organization, or even the government, based on its good origins or intentions.

Suppose someone gives you a stick of gum. You open it, and there’s nothing inside. Even worse, it could have rat poison. With some institutions, once you go past the surface of the brand, you find fraud.

When I worked as a shipping clerk at a plant in Morrisville, PA, in a conversation I mentioned that I think that coupons are a hassle, and that it gives the impression that one is getting something for nothing, and compared it to the progressive tax code. I said that tax deductions are just a matter of getting your own money back, and by fiat, the government is telling you what you can do with your own money. Someone overhearing our conversation sternly told me I was un-American.

Really? When I reminded this Bucks County lib that we have free speech in this country, she stammered that this is realized in the voting booth.

During the progressive era of the late 20s through the early 40s, word was out that people were patriotic only if they supported high taxes and an interventionist government. Sound familiar?

The Salvation Army originally ministered to the not so beautiful people – the druggies, drunks, prostitutes and other undesirables that society shunned – just as Jesus did with the woman at the well, for example.  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Salvation_Army

Today at the community center in Levittown, PA, instead of going against the grain, at a price as the original army did, they conform to the world. The homeless are looked down on by the Levittown center.

The Countess of Carlisle, who is in charge of public relations at the center, butted into a conversation I was having about the homeless being hassled at the public library in Levittown in an attempt to constructively keep them out of the library. The countess said that some library visitors don’t like the homeless there and the librarian has a right to keep the homeless out. I disagreed. Consequently, the countess used her position to block an offer to write for the Salvation Army that an official from regional headquarters gave me.

The Salvation Army Levittown Corps puts up a good facade. They welcome the homeless into the community meals, but not a nanosecond before 6 p.m., when the meal officially starts, and they can’t wait to get rid of them. On one occasion, as we were finishing up our meal about 6:30 p.m., one of the hosts started cleaning up and hustled us out. He said [sic] “you have to finish up; we have to clean up.”

Queen Latifah, the grand marshal of the community meals, not only tries to be cool (unsuccessfully), but talks down to the homeless, as if they are criminals or children, telling them not to run around the building, etc.

At a Thanksgiving dinner, the queen, in her usual hip fashion, asked who has a problem with her. She also would not let the DJ eat. I suspect she did so because he, a baby boomer, played music from the late 50s, early 60s and some later, which was not the kind of music she wanted – wild, modern, cacophonous, exclusively black.  The problem, as Mic Jagger of The Rolling Stones sang “It’s not easy facin’ up when your whole world is black.” A homeless advocate gently confronted the queen about not feeding the DJ. The queen went ballistic. The advocate then asked me the queen’s full name and position so that she can make a complaint with the corps captain.

A visiting Salvation Army officer, who outranked the community center boss, Captain Casper Milquetoast, ordered the queen to feed the DJ. This is something the center’s captain should have done, but being Casper Milquetoast, wimped out, as usual with his dealings with the queen and other dysfunctional phonies at the center.

On another occasion a man who had been wandering a few days after becoming homeless, flushed and disoriented, wandered into the Levittown Salvation Army. After we got him some food and drink, he sat waiting in the lobby for me to take him to the library, where he could get a bus to the community meal and have an advocate help him. It was very hot and humid that day. As he sat in the lobby, a staffer snapped that he can’t just hang around the lobby. After I explained that he was waiting for me to give him a ride, the staffer reluctantly agreed to allow whom the corps considered a persona non grata to wait in the lobby.

I was pleased that most Americans were able to Pierce the Veil this election, seeing the (wo)man behind the curtain and taking a sober look at the false promises the wizard made. People are fallible; you have to go beyond the surface and find the truth for yourself, guided by Biblical principles.

The Red Kettle drive, where the Salvation Army sends people to various businesses to collect donations in a red kettle, is going to start soon for this season. The Levittown community center employs many homeless people.  Although it’s good that homeless people are getting work, I would think twice about donating money to an institution, as evidenced by the Levittown Salvation Army Community Center, that claims to help the homeless but in reality distains them. Use the same discretion with your discretionary income that you did with the recent election.

Run Away! Run Away!

Run away! Run  away! This is what the Knights of The Round Table said in the movie Monty Python and The Holy Grail when the guardians of a French castle in England hurled cows, chickens, geese and even the Trojan Rabbit the knights forgot to get into over the wall at them. This was after the French insulted the knights after they demanded the French help them with their quest to find the Holy Grail.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tS_JBDRk8o0

Likewise, after the Salvation Army Levittown PA Community Center hurled its slings and arrows at me, I ran away. It was not only an insult to me, but to the church at large (although it is a quasi-church).  The Salvation Army scoffed at noble attempts to minister to the homeless, spewing insults at them, demeaning and disrespecting them.

At the community meals for the homeless, the host, Queen Latifah, talked to them like they were criminals or children. They are not allowed in until the dot of 6 p.m. and the Salvation Army can’t wait to get rid of them. Queen Latifah told me not to hang around the homeless because they are a bunch of cutthroats who would take advantage of me.

On one occasion, a guy who had been homeless for a few days came to the Salvation Army food pantry. He was disoriented and flushed. He didn’t know where to go. It was very hot outside. After we helped him, I offered him a ride to the Levittown public library after I went off duty. As he sat waiting for me in the air conditioned lobby, cooling off, a staff member snapped that he is not allowed to hang around in the lobby. I explained that I was going to take him to the library, where he can get the homeless bus to a community meal and talk to someone about getting help. The staffer reluctantly agreed to let him wait for me.

The Levittown public library is also a place where a homeless person is considered a persona non grata. The Countess of Carlisle of the Levittown Salvation Army Community Center told me that people who visit the library don’t like the homeless, so the librarian has a right to keep them out by making them feel uncomfortable there. Because I disagreed with the Countess on this matter, she used her position to thwart an offer I had to write for the Salvation Army.

There have always been churches that forget that they are representing God and need to follow his ways. As it says in 2nd Corinthians 5:20: “We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God.”

On his tour of the early churches, the apostle Paul and company found the church at Corinth to be a rogue church. They started becoming like the pagan world around them. Teachers in this church were not teaching scripture, but their own distorted versions of Christ’s teachings. Before long, sinful behavior cropped up.

Just as Captain Casper Milquetoast, the Levittown Salvation Army boss didn’t lay down the law to the rogue members at the community center, the church at Corinth didn’t do anything about the ungodly behavior of some of its members.

Not only did people in the church know about the sins of professing Christians in the Corinthian church who refused to mend their ways, but those outside the church knew about the hypocrisy. As a result, God told the rest of the church to separate themselves from these hypocrites. .

This is why I disassociated myself with the Salvation Army. It was “hit the road Jack, and don’t you come back no more no more no more no more…”

The church today is divided between loyalty to scripture and contamination by the world.

About 1929, the Theological Seminary of the Presbyterian Church in Princeton, New Jersey, once a scripturally sound institution, polluted it’s teachings with worldly modernists influences.

Shortly thereafter, four facility members ran away from Princeton and formed Westminster Seminary in Philadelphia. http://www.wts.edu/about/history.html

On definition of Modernism Merriam-Webster gives: often capitalized: a tendency in theology to accommodate traditional religious teaching to contemporary thought and especially to devalue supernatural elements.”

In literature, modernism breaks with tradition and ushers in a Brave New World.

Modernists are nut cases, as exemplified by novelist Virginia Woolf. She was anti-Christian and stereotyped Jews, although she married one. She was an elitist, a femi-Nazi.

“Though happily married to a Jewish man, Woolf often wrote of Jewish characters in stereotypical archetypes and generalizations, including describing some of her Jewish characters as physically repulsive and dirty.  For example, while traveling on a cruise to Portugal she protests at finding ‘a great many Portuguese Jews on board, and other repulsive objects, but we keep clear of them’.  Furthermore, she wrote in her diary: ‘I do not like the Jewish voice; I do not like the Jewish laugh.’ In a 1930 letter to the composer Ethel Smyth, quoted in Nigel Nicolson’s biography Virginia Woolf, she recollects her boasts of Leonard’s Jewishness confirming her snobbish tendencies, ‘How I hated marrying a Jew—What a snob I was, for they have immense vitality.’

In another letter to Smyth, Woolf gives a scathing denunciation of Christianity, seeing it as self-righteous ‘egotism’ and stating ‘my Jew has more religion in one toenail—more human love, in one hair.’

Woolf and her husband Leonard hated and feared 1930s fascism with its anti-semitism. Her 1938 book Three Guineas was an indictment of fascism.” -wikipedia

In college, Woolf’s To The Lighthouse was required reading. It was an incoherent, nihilistic rant, something one would hear while visiting folks in a nuthouse.

Modernism, or any non-Christian, worldly view has no place in the church. This is why you should find a church that teaches the true Word, and hold people accountable by reading the Bible yourself.

And, as found in the book of James, God requires us not only to be hearers of the Word, but doers.

“What good is it, my brothers, if a man claims to have faith but has no deeds. Can such faith save him? Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to him, ‘Go, I wish you well; keep warm and well fed’ but does nothing about his physical needs, what good is it? In the same way, faith by itself, if not accompanied by action, is dead.” -James 2: 14-17

We All Have Baggage

“We all have baggage,” a former homeless man used to say. In my last blog, I analyzed people who engage in bizarre, anti-social behavior and explored the role of the mental health industry.

Today I’ll look into the problems of everyday people, focusing on the homeless.

Swiss psychiatrist and psychotherapist Carl Jung related a story about visiting an insane asylum with an “intelligent layman” who remarked that the people there were like everyday people, except their problems were greatly magnified.

People in today’s society have different degrees of issues. Just being homeless is an issue. Within this group, some individuals have more serious problems, such a drug and alcohol abuse.

Except when a substance abuse or other problem gets too extreme, when people need to be put in a treatment facility, they can go to meetings. Churches in lower Bucks County, PA have increasingly hosted programs, such as AA. There’s a unique program in Bucks County that combines alcohol and drug abuse counselling  with other problems, such as anger management, anxiety and depression, using the 12 steps program. There is even a 12 steps Bible, which matches Bible verses with the steps.

The program is actually a peer-to-peer, brother/sister to brother/sister program, where participants counsel one another.

“Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend.”  – Proverbs 27:17

http://www.12stepjourney.com/

Even people who seem to have it made have problems, although they may be hidden. Some of them have positions of respectability. It’s usually through their actions that others see their issues, especially when it’s affecting them. For example, The Countess of Carlisle at the Salvation Army  Community Center in Levittown, PA.

The Countess contradicted the Salvation Army’s mission, which was established to reach out to those not so beautiful people – the poor, the down and out, drunks, druggies, prostitutes – and give them hope through Jesus.

On one occasion, the Countess joined a conversation about the homeless I was having with another volunteer. I expressed my problem with how the homeless are treated at the public library in Levittown, PA. She stated that the librarian is trying to keep them out because people who visit the library don’t like them there. When I told her how I challenged this discrimination – that the homeless were singled out as a group only because they are homeless – she Augustly quipped “what good’s that going to do?”  The Countess said that the librarian has total sovereignty over the library, as if it is her own property.

A Salvation Army worker from the regional office had offered me a job opportunity writing for the Salvation Army. The first step was to go to the center’s Captain, who told me I needed to go through the Countess. My assignment was to write a blog about the community meals. The Countess practically wrote it herself, injecting her ideas, mostly not relating to the meal.

I didn’t hear anything about the job for months until I saw the regional public relations person  taking photos at the center while I was working in the food bank. She asked me if I was still interested in writing for the Salvation Army. “Yes”, I said. Again, I went to Captain Casper Milquetoast, who directed me to the Countess.

“I don’t have time for that,” the Countess snapped. Hummm… Did her stonewalling me have anything to do with me expressing my opinion about the homeless? Probably a coincidence. If you believe that, you probably believe in the Tooth Fairy, Santa Claus, and the Easter Bunny.

We humans are not perfect. We are all fallen creatures. Christians are sinners saved by grace. God designed us to live in a certain way. When we don’t, we become dysfunctional. We all mess up from time to time, in different degrees and various ways.

Even when we are, as Curly of The Three Stooges, a victim of circumstances, as I was with the Countess of Carlisle, we can still fall into sinful ways. My sinful self wanted to get even and harbored resentment. This isn’t the first time I felt this way.

Although I’ve come a long way after nearly having a mental breakdown about 2 ½ years ago, I still wrestle with problems resulting from character flaws, my sinful nature. To have victory over this character flaw, I remember that I cannot overcome the problem on my own, but need a higher power – God. I pray, read the Bible, go to Bible studies, get informal counsel from Christian brothers and sisters, etc. Consequently, I am starting to overcome my resentment, or at least have it under control.

We all need help, even with little problems. Little problems can become big. Unchecked, we can fall into a downward spiral, as I did. I wish I had nipped it in the bud!

Just being homeless is a problem, whether one is homeless because of one’s own folly, or as a result of economics, which was the main reason for homelessness during The Great Depression. No matter what the case, the homeless need to be shown Christian concern, accepted unconditionally and shown God’s love and mercy. In Bucks County, PA, Christians have been stepping up to the plate to do this. They have been offering them help with material, emotional, and spiritual needs. The homeless need to know that people care.

No matter what your problems or situation, even if you are one who thinks he has it made, you need the Lord.

As the apostle Paul writes in Romans:

” I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it.”  -Romans 7:15-20

Romans 7:18 accompanies the 1st step in the 12 Steps Journey Program.

What is an Advocate? What is “is”?

Words mean something.  Although the Advocates for The Homeless and Those in Need (AHTN) in Bucks County, PA  transports the homeless to meals and helps them with various services, they are not advocates.

Merriam-Webster defines “advocate”:

  • A person who argues for or supports a cause or policy
  • A person who works for a cause or group
  • A person who argues for the cause of another person in a court of law

Back in April, when Bucks County conducted a search and destroy mission to completely evict the homeless from the whole government center complex and surrounding woods in Levittown, there was a chance meeting between veterans, homeless residents, and volunteers at the Veterans Memorial in the complex. http://levittownnow.com/2016/04/30/county-officials-begin-to-clear-homeless-camps/

The only ones who spoke up for the homeless were the homeless themselves, volunteers, and Morris Derry, President of No More Pain Inc. AHTN had nothing to say during the homeless evictions there, or anywhere. Awhile ago, I asked the president of AHTN to help a friend and I with our quest to provide more shelter for the homeless, but she blew it off, saying that 24/7 security would be needed.

Getting past the demagoguery of the homeless, one of the veterans suggested finding a building to help those without permanent homes.  There is a lack of shelter for the homeless; there’s nowhere to go, nowhere to hide, baby!

Speaking as an advocate for the homeless, Morris said “I understand what their (the county) concerns are, but I really don’t think their dealing with it the right way.” A notice was posted for the homeless to vacate the area with an alleged solution to the homeless housing problem, a phone number promising, like the promise to the Okies in John Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath of a better life in California, for housing assistance.

“I called the phone number on the signs and there is no more room in the shelters,” Morris said.

Leaders in the homeless community, have been exploring options for shelter, as has been individual homeless people, who have limited resources.

With all its resources, Bucks County wastes its efforts by striving to get the homeless out of site, out of mind, instead of working on adequate solutions.

One solution, perhaps the final one, is to get the homeless off the streets by signing them up with taxpayer funded Bucks County mental health services. Like manure, Bucks County nuthouse representatives are all over the place, at code blues, tent city evictions, the library… As the Sword of Damocles was hanging over the heads of the homeless before the memorial eviction, predators from the Bucks County health industry flocked to the memorial, clipboards in hand and badges hung around their necks, trying to shanghai the homeless into their programs by baiting them with housing opportunities.

In concert with Bucks County’s view of the homeless, the mental health hustlers scheme to put them into a program, where the homeless become wards of they state, where they not only don’t get better – they get worse. They don’t strive to give the homeless a hand up so they can be productive members of society, but just want to sedate them with drugs and psychobabble. They have written the homeless off.

One ploy these charlatans use is to con homeless people to go on social security disability by saying they are mentally disabled. Bucks County official Alan Johnson, who has made frequent appearances wherever he can find his homeless prey, offered me housing in exchange for me submitting to being labeled as being so mentally messed up that I could never work.

In contrast to the Bucks County establishment’s view of the homeless, local churches have been accepting the homeless unconditionally, as created in the image of God. The status as being homeless does not define them.

Instead, like Evangelist in John Bunyan’s The Pilgrim’s Progress, they point the homeless to Jesus, who is the ultimate advocate for everyone.

“My little children, these things write I unto you, that you sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous:” -1st John 2:1.

Here on earth, the homeless need an advocate. This is where Christians come in. They need to advocate for the homeless. Instead of sucking up to the Bucks County establishment, like some officials from the  Salvation Army Levittown Community center do, for example The Countess of Carlisle who thinks it’s OK to rid the library of the homeless just because people don’t like them, Christians need to stand up for the homeless.

“We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God.” –2nd Corinthians 5:20.

Why Not Help The Homeless?

At a recent meal for the homeless and needy in Bucks County PA, talk at our table was about all the vacant property available that could be used for much needed shelter for the homeless. For years, people have proposed putting these two things together, but nothing came to fruition.

Why?

Hobophobia. For those of you in Doylestown, hobophobia is “an unreasonable fear of the homeless”, according to the Urban Dictionary. Some time ago, I asked the president of The Advocates for the Homeless and Those in Need (AHTN) in Bucks County if AHTN would help the nascent non profit I’m associated with create more shelter for the homeless. Her response was that this was impossible because security would be needed 24/7.

In a piece in the NYU Review of Law and Social Change, Joanna Laine explains why there are misconceptions of the homeless, which has resulted in arbitrary law enforcement against them. https://socialchangenyu.com/the-harbinger/from-criminalization-to-humanization-ending-discrimination-against-the-homeless/

The homeless are treated like criminals. “To truly address the criminalization of homelessness, however, it is necessary to challenge not only laws but also biases that pervade our society. Fear and discomfort around homeless people is the driving force behind anti-homeless laws, and such fears are irrational and unnecessary,”Ms. Laine wrote.

The Salvation Army Levittown Community Center is another example of hobophobia in Bucks County. As I’ve mentioned in previous blogs, at this center the homeless are treated like criminals and children.

As is the case in any population, there are problem people. At a recent community meal, a homeless guy bullied another guest and had to be restrained. The cops were called. An officer went into the AHTN bus and made the bully get off the bus.

This problem was influenced by false witness that was initiated by someone formerly in the homeless community. This individual has been out of the neighborhood for awhile but the poison is still effective.

“If anyone considers himself religious and yet does not keep a tight rein on his tongue, he deceives himself and his religion is worthless.” –James 1:26

There was an incident the involved what appeared to be a homeless guy (he had no listed address) at a WaWa in Bristol, PA.  He went ballistic when the manager told him he could not charge his phone on the outside charger, and threatened violence. He also got into an altercation with a woman who was pumping gas after she told him to watch his language. Two men intervened and he scratched them with his knife.

http://levittownnow.com/2016/06/08/two-stabbed-at-wawa/

Unfortunately, people stereotype the homeless based on a few isolated incidents.

Some homeless people are getting their acts together. Tonight, a homeless guy I’ve known  for about two years told me he’s becoming more self sufficient – that he is starting to support himself. He said he came to grips with the source of his problem and is “moving forward” after putting the blame on himself. He said he doesn’t want handouts but a hand up, which he appreciates.

The man also said he turned to God for help.

I saw another homeless friend who was excited about a recent part time job he and his daughter just got. We agreed that it’s a good start. He’ll be doing that, he said, instead of working as a red kettle for the local Salvation Army.

The community meals for the homeless and needy continue to be drama free. I’m glad that individuals, rather than the whole homeless group, were held accountable for bad behavior.

Man does not live by bread alone. Many of the churches that host the community meals are not the equivalent of Jeff Dunham’s Walter as a Walmart greeter: “Welcome to Walmart; get your sh** and get out.”   Instead, the hosts mingle with their guests and develop relationships with them, showing Christian concern.

Going to the community meals at the meals is a get together with friends who engage in interesting, edifying conversation. People in the same boat, whether homeless or needy, need to help one another. I found this to be the case among the homeless in lower Bucks County, PA; they have helped one another with physical and emotional needs.

There is hope for the homeless. They, like all of us, are made in the image of God and should at least be shown respect and given a hand up – the opportunity to move forward.

Although it’s tough to create more shelter in Bucks County for the homeless, for now, one thing, besides their physical needs, we can give them is encouragement.

“For I know the thoughts I have for you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call on Me, and you will go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. And you will seek Me, and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.”
—Jeremiah 29:11-13