Twelve Angry Men

In the movie Twelve Angry Men, 11 of the jurors want to convict a man of murder in what they thought was an open-and-shut case and they are anxious to go home.  But one man, played by Henry Fonda, has doubts and wants to further discuss the case.  The 11 are angry with the man who is more concerned with not convicting an innocent man than wanting to be done with the trial and hear a baseball game.

Eventually, the one holdout seeking justice wins over the other jurors, one by one, and the defendant is acquitted.

Recently,  at the Redeemer Lutheran Church in Penndel, PA, a drunk at a community meal for the homeless and those in need verbally harassed and physically threatened another guest at the dinner.  He was out of control and had to be physically restrained.  The police came.

“The Pope” accosted the victim because the guy sits in on court cases in order to learn first hand what’s going on in the law locally.  The Pope had a problem with this and went ballistic.  He was drunk and very disorderly.

The victim showed great self control, not even verbally arguing with this maniac.  Yet, when the police interviewed the victim, the officer told him he had to leave because the Redeemer Lutheran church wanted this.  This same drunk did the same thing to me some time ago at another community meal.  Instead of the victim remaining seated, as in this case, the drunk threatened me and followed me as I walked towards the bathroom.

I spun around and went into a defensive position.  Then one of the hosts got between us and we separated.  The host thanked me for remaining calm and preventing a problem.

Nobody at the Redeemer Lutheran Church thanked the victim for exercising self control– they even blamed him!   One of the bus drivers from the Advocates for the Homeless and Those in Need told him he could not ride the bus.

Fast forward 12 days.  Last night, when the victim rode the AHTN bus to a meal one homeless individual snidely remarked that he wasn’t supposed to be on the bus.  At the meal, an AHTN volunteer told him he wasn’t supposed to ride the bus, for his protection.

When I challenged the AHTN volunteer about this, she was defensive, gave me spin, and said the decision was made by the head of AHTN.  When she remarked that two people who may fight shouldn’t ride the bus together, I argued that The Pope shouldn’t be allowed to ride the bus.  He’d been riding the bus for 12 days after the  problem at the church he created occurred.

The AHTN volunteer uttered some nonsense about taking care of people who are out in the cold.  That’s noble, but they need to abide by the rules.  When I was living at my parent’s house when I was over 18, my language slipped when I was taking a shower.  My mother overheard it and said that if this bad language continues, I’d be kicked out of the house, and she meant it.

Unlike my mother, AHTN does not hold the homeless accountable for their behavior.  In fact, by fiat, they encourage it.  AHTN’s name should be changed to APHCB (Advocates to Promote Homeless Criminal Behavior).

The Pope even threatened me at the meal, but later apologized.  He keeps apologizing for his behavior but continues being drunk and disorderly.  Interesting that this happened in a Lutheran church.  Founder Martin Luther said that the best way to apologize is to stop doing the wrong.

What entered into APHCB’s, aka AHTN, decision is the false witness that one or two people in the community has been spreading about the victim.

Proverbs 6:16-19

There are six things that the Lord hates, seven that are an abomination to him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked plans, feet that make haste to run to evil, a false witness who breathes out lies, and one who sows discord among brothers.

And the Kool-aid drinkers just summarily believe the lies.

As was the case in Twelve Angry Men, the truth will come out.  It has for me, and like the Henry Fonda character, I will go against the tyranny of the majority and will not shut up and sit down on this matter.

APHCB (AHTN) does not genuinely care about the homeless.  One reason they favor the drunk is that he conforms to the stereotype they have of the homeless.  Like the liberals they are, they want homeless to be rudderless and use them for their pet project, much like President LBJ did to blacks (see my blog What’s so Great about the Great Society).

APHCB showed its true colors at the Homeless Video Shoot a short while back.  The film crew, which AHTN sponsored, walked past the homeless like they were fixtures, and AHTN left the pizza at a place where they knew the homeless would not be.  They didn’t want to portray the actual lives of the homeless but just made the video to tell their own version of the story, like the Fractured Fairly Tales on the old Bullwinkle and Rocky Show.

The so called Advocates for the Homeless and Those in Need is an interfaith organization.  I have lost faith in them.  Evidently, there are like the many churches that have lost their fidelity to scriptures.  Based on their fruits, AHTN and the Redeemer Lutheran Church fit into this category.

Matthew 7:15-20

A Tree and Its Fruit

15 “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves. 16 You will recognize them by their fruits. Are grapes gathered from thorn bushes, or figs from thistles? 17 So, every healthy tree bears good fruit, but the diseased tree bears bad fruit. 18 A healthy tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a diseased tree bear good fruit. 19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 Thus you will recognize them by their fruits.


To Serve Man

There are two basic attitudes one can take when helping people such as the homeless and needy.

  • Become detached and help people so you can show people how caring you are and for your own self aggrandizement.  You don’t really care and robotically serve people the way Jeff Dunham’s Walter would be a Walmart Greeter: “Welcome to Walmart; get your sh** and get out!”  Of course, you would be more subtle.
  • Out of compassion, you genuinely care for people and make sacrifices to help the needy.  Like Christ, you show agape love — love which expects nothing in return.  Develop relationships with the people you serve and focus on what’s best for them.

In one episode of The Twilight Zone, To Serve Man, a Kanamit lands on earth and promises hope and change. The nine foot plus giant says he’s going to serve humanity by ending hunger by transforming deserts into booming fields, end energy shortages, and stop war.  There is no need for the military.  This virtual Santa Claus came to earth just to serve man.

Earthlings are initially skeptical of the nine foot plus Santa Claus,  but soon, like Captain Hook and the Crocodile,  they are taken in.  Only, instead of a welcome grin, the Kanamit looks and talks stoically, robotically like some of the hosts on MSNBC.

The government found a book, written in code, left by the Kanamit.  After a decoder cracks the book’s title, To Serve Man, society believes the Kanamits are there to help them.  People then line up to book flights to the alien planet, which they are told is a paradise.

As the head decoder is waiting to board the spaceship bound for Paradise, his assistant, who decoded more than the title of the book, frantically runs towards her boss yelling “TO SERVE MAN IS A COOKBOOK!”

Some people serve the needy the way the Kanamits do — for their own desires.

Serving others is a mission, not a job.  It is not about politics or your ego.  Unfortunately, it has become that way in some instances.

Even the Salvation Army has become self serving.  The social services director, part of the hired help,  at the Army’s Community Center in Levittown, PA  has a judgmental, unloving, unChristian attitude towards the homeless and needy.  At the community meals, she talks to them like they are rudderless criminals — like they are children.  She tells them not to run around the building and actual has told them they need to behave themselves!  These are adults!

If it were up to me, this street thug, this member of a spurious aristocracy, who is known to bully volunteers,  would have been dismissed long ago.  Instead, the last time I came to volunteer in the food pantry she left word with the staff that I wasn’t allowed to volunteer in the food pantry.  This is the first time I heard this.

Likewise, the Advocates for the Homeless and Those in Need (AHTN) is self serving.  The most recent example of this attitude is that, instead of judging what is right, they seemed to side with a drunk who verbally assaulted and physically threatened one of the guests at a community meal.  One of the two drivers said he wouldn’t let the victim on the bus.  Leading up to that is that some gossip on a power trip has been spreading false witness about the guy, who is trying to learn more about the homeless and try to help resolve the problem.

The gossip spread like wildfire, so instead of like the Henry Fonda character in 12 Angry Men, who was the one hold out who went against the other jurors because he wanted to find the truth (and later won the rest of the jurors over), for expediency AHTN sides with the gossipers.  This is what John Stuart Mill called “Tyranny of the Majority”.

I suspect the motivation for spreading lies about the man is the ego of the person doing it.  This person wants to be top dog, or queen bee, and by putting others down, it makes this person look good.  It’s a gangster mentality.

Homelessness is a struggle, so instead of fighting one another to see who can be the top gangster, people in the homeless community need to care for and respect one another, and focus on ways to overcome the problem.  It begins with everyone involved developing the right attitude, including myself. It’s not about ego; it’s about serving one another.

The organization that we just launched is trying to acquire property and have the homeless play a large part to develop and maintain it in order to become self sufficient.  But first, all the Bovine Scatology has to stop!  We need understanding, civil discussion, and sometimes tough love in order to be able to work together.  We are in this together.

We should be on the same team!  This is the only way we shall overcome!