To The Editor:
It was an interesting contrast in the June 13 edition between the article about the Franklin County Homeless Task Force and Marty Riggs’ letter to the editor.
While the task force searches for ways to help people get back on their feet and collaborates to solve the complex issues of homelessness, Mr. Riggs calls them “vagrants” and without knowing their circumstances, makes a sweeping judgment that people who stand in line at a soup kitchen are “perfectly healthy and capable of work,” all while offering no solutions. Also, as far as I know, it is not a crime to walk down Fifth Street while appearing to be poor.
I guess I am one of those “folks of the liberal mentality” because over and over during my Christian upbringing, I was instructed that we are indeed to love one another. In fact, unlike the quote “God helps them who help themselves,” which is not found in the Bible, there are many verses throughout the Old and New Testaments in which we are commanded to help those in need.
Here are just a few:
“If among you, one of your brothers should become poor, in any of your towns within your land that the Lord your God is giving you, you shall not harden your heart or shut your hand against your poor brother, but you shall open your hand to him and lend him sufficient for his need, whatever it may be,” Deuteronomy 15:7-8.
“Whoever mocks the poor insults his Maker,” Proverbs 17:5.
“For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me,” Matthew 25:35.
“If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person? Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth,” 1 John 3:17.
But what good does it do anyone for us to argue? I will say one thing, you will say another and meanwhile, the poor still suffer. Instead, I am making a donation to the Franklin County Homeless Task Force in your name, Mr. Riggs, because they are providing a much needed service in our community and doing so with compassion.