San Francisco’s Unwashed “Masses”: Better Safe Than Soggy

Water drips
José Manuel Suárez [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
Is there anyone else out there who is troubled by all the finger-wagging over the San Francisco Cathedral’s sprinkler system?

I mean, we LOVE the poor.  We should reach out and help them.  The social doctrine of the Catholic Church, as I mentioned in my post earlier this week, speaks often about the Preferential Option for the Poor.   Jesus loved the poor, fed them (like the crowds gathered on the hillside near Bethsaida in Galilee), healed them (like the ten lepers), urged his followers to help them.  In the Sermon on the Mount, he called them blessed.

But there has been an explosion in the media this week over the Catholic Church’s treatment of certain poor persons in San Francisco.  News reporters and bloggers, both Catholic and secular, have told the story of the evil sprinkler system installed by the terrible, manipulative, unwelcoming people at the Cathedral of San Francisco to deter hungry and disadvantaged homeless people from getting a good night’s sleep.

One of the most politically manipulative reports comes from an on-line petition demanding that the Archdiocese of San Francisco stop the practice:

A Catholic church is blasting people with insane amounts of water because they want homeless people to stay away from their property. This action is extremely cruel… Water automatically sprays from above the person in a fierce manner, and it is not known when these powerful water blasts will take place. Homeless people who get hit with a substantial amount of water are at great risk of getting sick, especially since—in many cases—they are not able to take hot showers and change out of the clothes they are wearing.

But is that what’s going on here?

Catholic blogger Domenico Bettinelli of Boston thinks the media has an ulterior motive for reporting the story now (emphasis mine):

It’s important to note that in the background of this story is a fight between Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone and Catholic school teachers in his diocese over a change in wording in their contracts that requires them to abide by Catholic moral teaching in their public and personal lives. The archbishop’s stand has pulled in the city’s infamously liberal politicians and various advocacy groups, including a famously mud-slinging PR expert, in efforts to stop him, including proposals to pass laws that would undermine the Church’s authority.

It cannot be a coincidence that this came out now. That the sprinklers were installed two years ago, but only came to light now is too convenient.

Well, yeah.

Dom makes some good points in his article about how the Archdiocese should have been pro-active:  explaining in advance why the sprinkler system was being installed; perhaps showing the media the debris and dangerous drug paraphernalia being left behind on the church steps, then leading the same media through to see the clean, shiny alcoves after the sprinklers were installed.  And showing them all the good stuff the Church is doing for the homeless right there in the Archdiocese of San Francisco, even there on the Cathedral grounds.

But Just Not There, At the Doorways, Where Children and Others Must Pass.

*     *     *     *     *

Let’s stop to consider another part of the story, the Rights (and yes, the Responsibilities) of the Poor.  Why in the world would homeless people feel entitled to sleep wherever they want, and be damned anyone who tried to stop them?

My local Target store has nice, wide doors through which shoppers can easily push their carts laden with groceries and goods.

But imagine this:  Some local families, unable to afford housing any longer, move to the doorway of Target.  They bring sleeping bags, a change of clothing, snacks in paper bags.  There’s no outhouse or lavatory available, and when you gotta go, you gotta go!–so they defecate in the doorway before heading out to beg on the street later in the day.

Would Target permit them to stay, in the interest of helping the poor?  NO WAY!  And if they did, customers would be right to be seriously concerned, and would take their business elsewhere.

Because doorways are not for sleeping.  Doorways are for passing through.

*     *     *     *     *

The Archdiocese didn’t say they wouldn’t help them.  In fact, they said, go on over to that lighter, safer section of the Cathedral’s grounds and sleep over there!

The archdiocese of San Francisco, like the rest of the Church, is in the business of caring for the poor.  

BUT (and this is important) they are also in the business of worshipping God.  The people of God come together for worship in the Cathedral.  And those people need to pass (safely) through the doors.  It is not only proper, it is the responsible thing for the Cathedral staff to make certain that can happen.

In the Archdiocese of San Francisco, Catholic Charities lists at least thirteen centers which it operates to provide shelter for the homeless and the poor:

The Archdiocese of San Francisco also offers extensive programs to help Refugees and Displaced Immigrants.

There are other options–MANY other options–available.

*     *     *     *     *

And back to the self-righteous media, smacking their lips at the opportunity to expose the Archdiocese’s “cruelty”:  

Imagine just for a moment, if you will, that the Archdiocese had done nothing to resolve this problem.  One day a ten-year-old altar server had stopped on his way in to Mass and picked up one of those syringes, and had inadvertently poked himself.  Imagine that he’d become ill as a result.  Those self-same highly-incensed reporters would be there lickety-split, screaming “Bad, bad archdiocese doesn’t take care of its property, endangers children!”

That the Archdiocese should be pilloried in the press for preserving its worship space for worshippers is pure and simple leftist politics.  Don’t fall for it.

 

 

 

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What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • Will

    Expect to be open to scrutiny if you are a Church and you do things like have sprinklers to “wash away” the homeless.

    • kathyschiffer

      I guess you didn’t read the article, Will.

      • Will

        “That the Archdiocese should be pilloried in the press for preserving its worship space for worshippers is pure and simple leftist politics.  Don’t fall for it.”

        I read an article that indicated this was a media problem. This was a PR problem waiting for the media to discover.

        • David Brandt

          You should go over to ‘the Anchoress’ and praise her for stubbornly refusing to read, much less spent five minutes considering the implications of, the Archdiocese’s letter. See if she has any “I Judge You Based On Headlines” t-shirts you can sport with pride.

  • http://ashesfromburntroses.blogspot.com/ Manny

    Bless you Kathy. This is why I say I agree with you more than any other Patheos Catholic (I almost never read the other religions at Patheos) blogger. I said all I needed to say on Anchoress’s two posts on this subject. Needless to say, like yours here, I was the contrarian position. There is a time and place for charity and evangelizing. The middle of the night in dark alleyways is not one of them, and people who are there then are up to no good. I do think the sprinkler idea is too elaborate and costly. Bright lights everywhere is probably a good start to shooing off the druggies and dealers.

    • gapaul

      Shooing off the “druggies” and the “dealers” — the crowd Jesus would be most likely to hang with? Not to mention that is quite a way to reduce a human being to a single definition.

      I know, you’ll say you want to be able to “help people,” but you’d like to keep your nice carpeting, your safety, your reputation as a good person. (Though Jesus was willing to be called a drunkard and a glutton, because of who he hung out with). See, some of us just think you are missing the point. Maybe once the church became an institution and worried about its buildings, the point was lost. I don’t think he subscribed to the “charity and evangelizing, time and place for everything” idea either. As if it were possible to split these things.

      I’m left wondering what the Catholic Worker does when it encounters similar problems. I suspect they manage without dehumanizing the people they are trying to help.

      I’ll add: here is how the Vatican is treating the homeless these days. Seems they are welcoming people — with all their problems.
      http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2015/03/04/pope-francis-s-homeless-guests-are-all-moving-to-st-peter-s-square.html

      • http://ashesfromburntroses.blogspot.com/ Manny

        I know Jesus hung out with sinners, I don’t know if he hung out with dangerous people, or people who defiled the temple. All I can you is that children and elderly and women who go to church should be where it’s safe from harm. Next time you’re at mass, look around and see how many of these elderly and children are capable of dealing with drug addicts, dealers, ruffians, and mentally ill? Even the men at church, are they trained in any way to handle the situations the present themselves with these people? Is you pastor trained, or his deacons? What makes you think that anyone at that church knows how to deal with them? I am not going to bring my five year old child to church if he had to be exposed to that, nor my eighty-one year old mother. As I mentioned above, there is a time and place to help these people, but the middle of the night outside the church building is not one of them.
        Frankly what you and those that support your position lack is prudence. Prudence is a “Cardinal Virtue.” Look it up. It runs deep in the faith. In fact, the model of prudence is St. Joseph, who confronted with similar dangerous people had the prudence to whisk his family away from them and flee to Egypt.

        • gapaul

          I could hear something about prudence if I also heard something like this.

          “I would like to make an appeal to those in possession of greater resources, to public authorities and to all people of good will who are working for social justice: never tire of working for a more just world, marked by greater solidarity! No one can remain insensitive to the inequalities that persist in the world! The culture of selfishness and individualism that often prevails in our society is not, I repeat, not what builds up and leads to a more habitable world: rather, it is the culture of solidarity that does so; the culture of solidarity means seeing others not as rivals or statistics, but brothers and sisters. And we are all brothers and sisters!”- Pope Francis

          • http://ashesfromburntroses.blogspot.com/ Manny

            Absolutely. I hope everyone gives to charity. But that’s not the subject of this post.

          • gapaul

            “Give to charity.” See, there it is. When the pope asks us to understand ourselves as brothers and sisters, I think he means we need to quit distancing ourselves with words like “druggies” and “ruffians.” If you want to hold people at a distance, to stiffen your arm and hold yourself apart — that’s the problem. This doesn’t mean I don’t think there are conversations to be had about how to do this best, but the utter tone-deafness of setting sprinklers on “these people,” — a term you used several times, — that’s the problem.

            I’m done. Call your local Catholic Worker and ask them to explain what was wrong with this action, and what they would have done instead.

          • http://ashesfromburntroses.blogspot.com/ Manny

            If you want me to me to say that there is nothing wrong with these people, then forget it. They are dysfunctional, which is bad for soceity and more importantly bad for them. And frankly don’t wave your metaphorical finger at me and moralize. It makes you look like a supercilious fool.

          • Elizabeth K.

            It’s also worth noting that the Cathedral tried numerous other avenues before this, and they all failed. That there are four doorways–so we’re talking a few people, who (by the *umbrella* one of them was using) have chosen this as the preferred hangout in spite of the drenching received. Not by any count the majority of the people served by this Cathedral–did the reporter bother to interview any the homeless folks who were elsewhere on the grounds and have received help? Huh.

          • http://ashesfromburntroses.blogspot.com/ Manny

            Thank you Elizabeth.

  • Ben

    Many are leaving out of their reports the fact that there are spent condoms in the area of the cathedral doorways along with needles and human waste. Forget the example of Target or any other place of business. Instead ask: is it reasonable for anyone to tolerate on the porch of their home, or even on the sidewalk in front of the home, people shooting intravenous drugs, defecating, and fornicating or committing sodomy? It’s pure insanity–but more like wicked propaganda–to suggest that cathedral community should tolerate this. Care for the poor in all the ways that Catholic Charities does, yes! but chasing these people (and may God bless them) away from the doorways is perfectly reasonable.

    • kathyschiffer

      Thanks for adding that additional reason for the archdiocese to exercise its responsibility to the community and its worshippers, and keep them safe. Remember: Jesus overturned the tables in the Temple. “My Father’s house is a house of prayer,” he said, “and you’ve made it a den of iniquity.”

      • gapaul

        But I read your piece and think Jesus would say, “My father’s house is house of prayer, but you have made it a place of welcome not for those who sin, but for those who already believe they are righteous. I gave my life for the world, and you talk about safety for those who enter the temple. I was quite happy to pray with John the Baptist in the desert, what tidy, pristine places are you protecting for my sake?”

        • Elizabeth K.

          So inviting the homeless onto the Cathedral grounds, into safer areas, taking care of them, is not what Jesus would do? Jesus would leave them to lie in their own filth, instead? I don’t think so.

          • gapaul

            First, I think Jesus would avoid the snark and defensiveness and attempt to meet needs without dehumanizing the people he was trying to help. A sprinkler system while efficient, I’m sure, is exactly wrong.
            I note that the Catholc Worker House in Orange County made mention of this situation on its facebook page, calling it immoral (not to mention illegal. It was installed without a permit.) Are there issues to be addressed, of course. But a good part of the country was appalled (including the Catholic Worker.) This would mean our issue isn’t offering help. Its the sprinklers.

          • Elizabeth K.

            A good part of the country is a group of undereducated nitwits who get worked up about every news story shaped for the latest two minute hate and believe it’s the most important issue *ever*, until two minutes later. Being a member of the Catholic Worker House doesn’t make one immune from this, unfortunately. The sprinklers have been there two years. Gee, let me put on my thinking cap, and think really, really, really hard about why this suddenly came up now and who’s being manipulated.. . .wait. . .so very hard to think. with all the media noise. . ..

          • gapaul

            I don’t have a reason to be worked up about something I don’t know anything about. “The media” only succeeded in getting traction because people were appalled by the story at hand. Disagree, but you can’t claim that everyone disturbed by the sprinklers was working another agenda. We just see the difference between this:

            “Pope Francis, through the Office of Papal Charities, has arranged for a group of 150 homeless people to spend some private time in the Sistine Chapel, and be served dinner afterwards. It reminds me of the story of St. Lawrence, who, before his execution by the Roman emperor Valerian in the third century, was ordered to deliver the “riches of the church” to the emperor. Lawrence quickly sold all the objects he could find, distributed the money to the poor, and then brought the poor to the emperor and said, “Here are the true riches of the church.” So here the “true riches of the church” visit the riches of the church.” (James Martin’s facebook page today)
            . . . and sprinklers. And dismissing people as ruffians — and all the other language in these comments.. And once again, the sarcasm doesn’t help. Its an easy way to dismiss someone else without trying to understand what they are saying. Its defensive. It says you are annoyed and perturbed that someone is disagreeing with you, you don’t just disagree. I don’t like it when people I agree with resort to it either. “Gee let me put my thinking cap on,” is not an answer.

          • Elizabeth K.

            I’m not annoyed that someone disagrees with me. I’m annoyed that people who have access to the richest intellectual tradition in the world fail to avail themselves of it, and instead join the clamoring crowd of useful idiots. We all make our choices. Some of us choose to think critically, some of us enjoy sentimentality and truth finely edited for Maximum Outrage Production. And yes, I can see that puttin’ on a thinking cap, or any other type of thinking, is not an answer for many commenters here. Why was this sprinkler system was a-ok for two years? Why is it suddenly oh-so-evil at the same time that the Archbishop is under fire for trying to keep Catholic schools Catholic (by our elected officials, no less)? Why no commentary on the many very effective alternatives offered at this very venue in the past two years, including the five weeks of shelter they offer over the holidays? Why do I see one repeated image–of a guy with an umbrella, no less-when I google this, and what might that image suggest? Yeah, too many questions. Better to just say, “I’m appalled! Everyone’s appalled! emotion=Truth!”

          • gapaul

            I think this conversation has come to the end of its usefulness. It doesn’t matter that I haven’t seen a picture of an umbrella — at least I don’t think I did — it certainly doesn’t register. I’m still appalled by the sprinklers. (I wasn’t two years ago because I didn’t know about them then.)

            I live in a different part of the country and don’t have any clue what’s going on with Catholic schools in California. I’m still appalled by the sprinklers.

            If these easy ways of dismissing me won’t work, then I’m just — a Useful Idiot. Or “raca,” as Jesus would say it. (Matthew 5:22) I’m still appalled by the sprinklers.

            Meanwhile, the diocese has written that the sprinkler system was “ill-conceived,” — do you think that is sincere and truthful, –or do you think they simply don’t have the courage of their convictions and should continue, as you have, to defend the arrangement?

            I am quite happy to take them at their word.

          • Elizabeth K.

            No, it was ill-conceived because in retrospect, someone was bound to turn it into what it’s become. And because, perhaps, they thought that people would move, to safe, dry locations offered to them, rather than bring umbrellas to the doorways.

            As for Catholic schools in Cali, Archbishop Cordileone is receiving legal threats for having the audacity to ask teachers at Catholic schools to uphold Catholic teaching. California lawmakers are ordering him to reverse his position. This is very serious, and very indicative of where my state is in relationship to religious freedom right now. This “story” is awfully convenient as a tool for controlling public opinion, especially of those who can’t bother to inform themselves about who the real wolves are. I imagine the term “useful idiot” is unfamiliar to you as well-I didn’t coin it. Someone else did–someone who knew a lot about propaganda, language, and suppression.

          • gapaul

            I am familiar with the term. As are most adults.

            Why do you feel the need to say something snide in every response? If you are trying to demonstrate that you are both thoughtful and compassionate — this is not helping your case. I’m a useful idiot or a person with a limited vocabulary. Does this approach ever work for you?

            Anyway, whether those who first published the story did it to shame the diocese or not, thousands of respondents from across the country and around the world weren’t disturbed because we were already gunning for the archbishop — I wasn’t following that story and wouldn’t have imagined the archbishop would be making decisions at this level anyway.

          • Elizabeth K.

            You mistake my purpose here. I feel no need whatsoever to demonstrate to you my thoughtful, compassionate nature (which I have, though I would never make the mistake of claiming I’m Christlike; like Pope Francis, I am a sinner, saved by grace) in a combox, as your definition of thoughtfulness and compassion are clearly very different from my own, as demonstrated by our responses to this story. I imagine were we to delve deeper, you prefer a certain amount of “niceness” as proof of Christian charity; niceness means very little to me in this kind of conversation.

            Nor am I trying to persuade you to think differently; comboxes are a place where often people come to think through an issue by reading varying responses. In this conversation, an observant reader would note that you and I present different interpretations of this event; one might also note, if one is not a slave to pathos, that while I may be snide, I present better evidence a more contextualized representation of the events here than you do.

            As for your final point–you demonstrate exactly my central assertion and complaint. You were not aware of the context, the context does not interest you, you are not going to try to find more information or weigh the bad optics here against the reality of whom is actually served and helped and saved. Instead, you and “thousands of others” are going to indulge in a meaningless emotional catharsis that makes you feel better, and allows for a bit of smugness before moving on. The article has done its work, and when Archbishop Cordileone is eventually brought before whatever tribunal the politicians cook up, the public will remember one thing–he soaked the homeless! the Catholic Church pretends to be moral, but they hate the poor!

            Hmmm, now THAT does remind me of something from the gospels. . .

            Thank you–that is precisely the point I was making. You couldn’t have proven it better if you tried.

          • gapaul

            I thought you wanted to argue the Cathedral was both compassionate and pragmatic. (Wise.) If by context you mean I should care about the political winds relative to another topic to determine whether in fact showering people is a dehumanizing way to deal with the problem, you are correct, I believe that is a diversion.
            I don’t doubt my own capacity for smugness. Perhaps that is why I was extra sensitive to what I believed about your piece– it was a rant which didn’t attempt to grapple with the subject — how a shower might be received by the doused. It attributed to critics all manner of things — naivete, political posturing, catharsis–which, whether part of the picture or not, seemed to be your only defense. Critics just want to see some archbishop go down.
            So we never got to the substance — how do other churches manage, since homelessness is prevalent, and the accomanying problems — drug paraphenelia, etc, dealt with across the country and around the world — in different ways. Happily, as it happens, the cathedral will soon find another method. Perhaps adopting the methods of those other churches.

          • Elizabeth K.

            Re: the substance,” how a shower might be received by the doused.” Apparently, with an umbrella. Hardly a gesture of helpless surprise.

            What is going to “happen” is these folks will sleep in the doorways, but will do so without being sprinklered, because they have previously elected not to avail themselves of the services that are, literally, a few feet away and which others partake of. Previous methods of helping them, which I’m sure other churches use to some effect, have already failed here. People won’t be able to get in through the doorways, which will be a bummer for them, but why should they matter? In a few years, someone will complain about how heartless the cathedral is to let them sleep dry in the doorways. C’est la guerre.

          • gapaul

            I’ll hate myself in the morning. . . .
            The poor — they’re such a pain, aren’t they? I mean, they have umbrellas! — well, one does. So they’re competent and capable, they’re just taking advantage of a situation that lets them sleep outside on expensive real estate–for free, right? And sometimes when we offer them more, they don’t have the courtesy to take it — they’re mentally ill, addicts, or in some other way so damaged they make lousy choices. (If they had any sense they’d check themselves into one of those expensive long term rehab centers! Get over their PTSD. Shake themselves out of their bi-polar mania, and remember to take their meds! ) They’d have enough self-respect not to live in a doorway or copulate on porches! I mean, I do. But really, its like they have no self-respect, no self-love, so why should we bend over backwards to treat them with dignity? Some people want to live on the streets, and they want you and me to make it easy for them.
            And no matter what you do, people are going to complain. The real victims here, the ones to really feel for are the beleaguered Christians, –no matter what they do, its never enough, its like Jesus said about the prostitutes and the poor, “they’re all such takers.” But he also warned there would be persecutors, and that’s what we have here, the persecuted able-bodied, sane, middle class — who just want to step into church without breaking a crack vial under their shoe. People with homes and families and a sense of God’s grace in their lives — the nerve of the homeless to leave garbage in the doorway for them to encounter as they’re headed into church.
            Now somebody might say that there are other options. Barrier-possibilities. Fences, shrubs — that don’t scream, “you’re dirty, get out, or we’ll douse you!” Some people might say that signage can be a little more “nice,” –(dont’ you hate that), — and rather than read “no trespassing” in places where others are clearly welcome, they could read, ” for the health and safety of all, we ask that the following entrances be clear between such and such a time.” (And then take steps to clean those spaces for the arrival of crowds. Maybe even appoint volunteers who make human to human connections, even if they must ask for some cooperation.) Some people might suggest some port-o-potties, even showers — that crazy Vatican!
            But really, what we have here in this discussion about the homeless and churches and busybody outsiders is — a war. I guess Jesus did promise, “not peace, but a sword.” Its no privilege to help these people and share the world with them, they’re just a royal you know what. The pope declared it a year of mercy — well, we don’t shoot them!

          • Elizabeth K.

            Do you hate yourself for all the red herrings in there, or for the strawman attacks? Or for the over the top emotionalism to things that were neither said nor implied? Or is it the way folks like you always seem to turn to the language of “you’re a hater” when outwitted in an argument, as a diversionary tactic, that will eat at you in the wee hours?

          • gapaul

            Mostly I don’t like to resort to sarcasm.

          • Elizabeth K.

            I can see why.

    • A J MacDonald Jr

      How about installing a porta-potty instead of sprinklers?

      • Ben

        Yes, porta-potties will clearly solve the problem of people sleeping, fornicating, sodomizing, and shooting heroine at the door of the cathedral. What part of “they have no right”–no legal right, no evangelic right, no natural moral right–do you not understand???

        • A J MacDonald Jr

          I hope you don’t call yourself a follower of Jesus.

        • gapaul

          I’ll try to put this more diplomatically. The church is supposed to represent Jesus, and shouting “you have no right” just doesn’t sound like the words of the man who ate with tax collectors and prostitutes and other sinners. And presumably, they wanted to eat with him. I don’t read sympathy, understanding, or even real grappling with the horrific conditions some people find themselves in here. Addiction, abuse, mental illness, ptsd (often these things are cause and effect) — runaways who never had anyone in their corner- who do you think these people are who are “fornicating” (and who uses that word?)

  • jenny

    Well said…

  • James

    My archconservative bishop, right or wrong. That’s the basis of this apologetic – and it is as hypocritically unchristian as it gets.

    He didn’t even have the moral backbone to attend the PR event and admit he authorized the “sprinklers”.

  • gapaul

    Sorry, you still don’t get it.
    The reason the entire nation has piled onto this story has nothing to do with whatever is going on locally in SF. Its the fact that the credibility of institutional religion is in a hole it will take this Pope and several more like him –and better– to climb out of.
    Americans know the Catholic church “does charity.” But they also know how immaculate St. Patricks is, and they have seen the princes of the church march around in ermine. They are no longer willing to see this picture as a coherent whole. They read the snark here and see the lovely script and shaft of wheat — lovely, lovely, — and they sense that whatever is going on here is a far cry from St. Francis, to say nothing of Jesus. Like it or not you’ll have to pull in other stories besides the one about the labor issues in SF, like sex abuse, money, mafia, role of women, treatment of lgbt people — to understand the collective reaction. You’ll have to understand that most of us think Jesus wouldn’t wince over used condoms or human feces. The defensive tone of this piece — defensive of an institution — isn’t a voice we admire. Sure, children should be kept away from needles. We get that. We could hear that from St. Francis or Jesus, we’re just not inclined to cut the institution much slack. Not anymore.

    • Korou

      Thank you, Tanyam, for taking the trouble to fight the good fight. I agree with every word you’ve written.
      It’s very sad to see a church that so regularly boasts its kindness and charity trying so hard to spin itself as being the kind and charitable people who kick homeless people out.
      Although it is quite funny seeing them trying to twist facts so that they can still be the Christ-like people in this situation, rather than the Pharisees.

  • Merwyn Haskett

    This Patheos blog is called Seasons of Grace yet I find nothing gracious whatsoever written in this article. It’s that kind of hypocrisy that’s driving people away from religion, and guaranteeing those already outside won’t want to come in.

  • A J MacDonald Jr

    Wow. You’re actually defending the anti-homeless sprinkler system? It must be hard being a “Catholic” apologist these days. Jesus would never defend the anti-homeless sprinkler system. But what would you care about Jesus, right? Just spill ink defending your Church — right or wrong — instead.

  • Elizabeth K.

    What I see in the hysterical reaction to this, as well as the really bizarre reaction of some of commenters here, if the absolute success of arguments based on emotion and a complete failure of education in rhetoric. Americans are fatastically stupid right now. A bunch of people who would never, ever, allow a homeless person to defecate on their lawn for even a day without calling the police are having vapors because. . .Jesus. . .or something. Jesus didn’t like hypocrites, as I recall.

  • Liz

    Grant Gallicho of Commonweal, mocking you: https://twitter.com/gallicho/status/580712078496960512