Homeless Atheist

71


Discussion by: bumphilosopher
As a homeless atheist, the Christian Shelters and Kitchens barred and banned me after objecting to hour long sermons in order to receive a meal or bed. There really is no help other than the kindness of individuals besides Christian Organizations if you are a street person. In case you didn’t know.

71 COMMENTS

  1. I wouldn’t want to listen to you preach for an hour either, and what are you doing withholding their suppers!?

    Leave those poor Christians alone you big atheist bully. ;-)

    —//—

    I’ve seen similar in New Orleans. But you also had the option of paying some ridiculously cheap fee. You could stay up to, I don’t remember now 2-3 nights first, get a good shower, meal, sleep in etc. But if you wanted anything more you either had to pay (reasonable) or join the Christian rehab program. -meh, I guess

  2. You’ve made a great couple of points here in one succinct paragraph.

    One is that christian charity for those who find themselves on the wrong side of a power imbalance comes with a hefty price.

    The other is that there are no alternatives that you are aware of.

    No one should have to sell their soul to get something to eat or a place to sleep.

    Where are you?

  3. As a homeless atheist, the Christian Shelters and Kitchens barred and banned me after objecting to hour long >>sermons in order to receive a meal or bed.

    You know…

    okay, the behaviour of those in charge of the shelters is disgusting. That much is granted.

    However, there are millions of people that have to break their backs working 16 hours, often in humiliating and degrading job posts, to receive a meal or bed.

    All you had to do was sit silently through a 1-hour sermon and pay no attention while fantasising about Jessica Alba or another gorgeous female of your choosing. It’s not like they asked you to be baptized.

    While I can’t say I understand in the least the terrible situation you’re in, and what I say might seem pretty shitty from someone writing from the comfort of his home, it’s pretty hard to take seriously someone who has problems of survival but rejects immediate help because he just can’t stand a tiny meaningless ordeal “staining” his principles. I had to sit through hour-long sessions of Orthodox Christianity through highschool, and not only that, but memorize that nonsense to get a grade. I don’t know, am I worse than you? Should I just fail the course, not graduate, and not continue my studies to University?

    Just my thoughts. I really hope things are resolved for you.

  4. This is awful

    the term “Rice Christian” springs to mind. I would also object and point out I’m all good for an afterlife thanks but currently more interested in sustaining this one

    what pisses me off is the way (those of us who were) we were brought up as christians with stories like the good samaritan that, as was explained to me, was a parable about the importance of taking care of other people regardless of where they’re from or what they believe.

    stories like this need to be brought to light, especially every time someone tries to use charity as an example of religion doing good. in any other situation this is called preying on the vulnerable.

    Do let us know where you’re from and the details of this exclusive organisation (which presumibly gets some sort of tax incentive to do charitable work)

  5. I sympathize. I spent 3 years in the Philippines watching the missionaries on a jungle island off the coast of Mindanao.

    Many times I have pointed out that these missionaries only help those with food if they accept the bible proffered in the other hand. The Christians here, however, fail to believe it saying the missionaries from THEIR church would do no such thing.

    This speaks volumes.

  6. I am currently in TN, although I have traveled across the US from Maryland to Oregon. This has been a 9 year adventure.In reply to #1 by Kim Probable:

    What city are you in? Maybe we can help you find something.

    Reddit created a group called Atheist Havens, though they’re geared at young adults. Maybe someone there can help you, though.

  7. The readership here are not all from your country. In case you didn’t know.

    Where are you writing about?
    Is the “Christian Shelters and Kitchens” the name of an organisation?

    The situation in the UK is different. A few pointers.

    ** Don’t go homeless in the UK without I.D. ~ very difficult to get a bed if you don’t have proof of your N.I. [National Insurance] number. This is because the hostel needs your N.I. number to claim money from the state for your stay. This is true everywhere I know of [not sure if it applies to the temples below].

    ** Hindu & Sikh temples are very helpful with food, clothing & even accommodation at some of the bigger places. You will NEVER be ignored & you will never go hungry

    ** I don’t know about mosques

    ** Don’t bother knocking on the doors of Christian priests’ homes. Mostly they have a 9-to-5 attitude to charity & don’t appreciate being priestly while football is on the TV

    ** Don’t bother with Christian churches either ~ they’ll give you directions to the benefits office or a list of hostels

    ** I stayed in A Salvation Army Hostel in Birmingham for nearly a year & there was absolutely no proselytizing & the food/accommodation was superb

    ** Within 3 miles of there were four or five other hostels of which two were Christian ~ again no propaganda

    ** The one to watch here is the Bethel Christians who have projects & hostels all over the country. They use all sorts of nefarious tactics to convert including depriving residents of benefit [welfare] monies, taking all their personal belongings & excess clothing, sleep deprivation, locating hostels in rural areas away from transport routes. Sort of like the Moonies.

    ** Tough to find a hostel bed if you’re female or under 18

    ** Don’t try getting a bed if you’re drunk! You’ll be told to go away until you’re sober.

    ** Never a borrower or lender be while in a hostel

    ** No resident in a hostel wants to hear your sob story. They have their own stories ~ if you’re miserable put a brave face on & don’t be annoyingly needy if possible.

  8. I just wonder what the Almighty is doing allowing a world where there is even a need for homeless shelters, and where some 30,000 kids die every day of poverty related issues.

    Oh silly me! The Almighty never does anything !

  9. Not sure how I can help but I do hope your persistence in finding a solution pays off. In my town, we have an event called “Project Homeless Connect” which helps focus all available social services under one roof from haircuts to healthcare to housing.

    Perhaps you can be instrumental in developing a similar project in your own location? You likely are familiar with the relevant, though perhaps non-united, agencies in your locale. Just a suggestion off the top of my head which may open doors for you.

    Good luck and welcome to this forum,

    Mike

  10. Wow! and most charities don’t just get non-profit tax breaks, but also public funding. There should be rules against proselytizing with public money in a country where the constitution prohibits the government from promoting religion.

  11. In my hometown the religious organization that was running the shelter had to relinquish control because of accounting irregularities. While the humor in that story is somewhat epic in detail it pales to the furor that boiled over in the community when the organization that took over management of the shelter discontinued all services and converted the space used for clerical interests into more housing, including dividing up a house that had been used for the residence of in-house clergy. All requirements for attending any kind of faith service were eliminated and all ties to area faith based organizations were severed, allowing for relationships sans any religious ties. None of the homeless were forbidden from seeking religious accommodation of their own choosing but it wasn’t present in any of the activities of the shelter. The community at large was flabbergasted beyond the pains of childbirth to contemplate the homeless being served without being forced to show any allegiance to a deity of any kind. Many threatened to protest if enforced religiosity were not restored, it was their right to know that the homeless were being shown the error of their godless ways I expect. That was some years ago now and there were threats of lawsuit voiced by many but nothing ever came of them. As a curious sort of side note, there has been less law enforcement visits to the shelter in the intervening time. That particular address would show up multiple times a week on the blotter when the parties of god were running it(though the biggest criminals were those said parties) and at least one visit resulted in arrest. As of today the last time I read about the cops going there was when 2 of the residents detained an escapee from another jurisdiction. Apparently he felt safe in talking openly about his exploits and the residents took exception to his attitude so they turned him in.

  12. In reply to #11 by Michael Fisher:

    The readership here are not all from your country. In case you didn’t know.

    Where are you writing about?
    Is the “Christian Shelters and Kitchens” the name of an organisation?

    The situation in the UK is different. A few pointers.

    ** Don’t go homeless in the UK without I.D. ~ very difficult to get a bed if you don’t have proof of your N.I. [National Insurance] number. This is because the hostel needs your N.I. number to claim money from the state for your stay. This is true everywhere I know of [not sure if it applies to the temples below].

    ** Hindu & Sikh temples are very helpful with food, clothing & even accommodation at some of the bigger places. You will NEVER be ignored & you will never go hungry

    ** I don’t know about mosques

    ** Don’t bother knocking on the doors of Christian priests’ homes. Mostly they have a 9-to-5 attitude to charity & don’t appreciate being priestly while football is on the TV

    ** Don’t bother with Christian churches either ~ they’ll give you directions to the benefits office or a list of hostels

    ** I stayed in A Salvation Army Hostel in Birmingham for nearly a year & there was absolutely no proselytizing & the food/accommodation was superb

    ** Within 3 miles of there were four or five other hostels of which two were Christian ~ again no propaganda

    ** The one to watch here is the Bethel Christians who have projects & hostels all over the country. They use all sorts of nefarious tactics to convert including depriving residents of benefit [welfare] monies, taking all their personal belongings & excess clothing, sleep deprivation, locating hostels in rural areas away from transport routes. Sort of like the Moonies.

    ** Tough to find a hostel bed if you’re female or under 18

    ** Don’t try getting a bed if you’re drunk! You’ll be told to go away until you’re sober.

    ** Never a borrower or lender be while in a hostel

    ** No resident in a hostel wants to hear your sob story. They have their own stories ~ if you’re miserable put a brave face on & don’t be annoyingly needy if possible.

    ** I don’t know about mosques**

    Islam dictates that charity is for Muslims, not kuffar so it’s unlikely– but not impossible

  13. In the city where I live there are 3 major places where the homeless can get help and a place to sleep during our vicious winters. Two are Christian (including the SallyAnn) and one secular. Some of the homeless are addicts, often due to horrendous experiences in childhood, and if they turn up “under the influence” at either of the Christian places, they are turned away, no matter the weather. The secular place NEVER turns anyone away.

    So here you have a secular organisation that is more charitable than the so-called Christian places.

  14. In reply to #5 by JoxerTheMighty:

    As a homeless atheist, the Christian Shelters and Kitchens barred and banned me after objecting to hour long >>sermons in order to receive a meal or bed.

    You know…

    okay, the behaviour of those in charge of the shelters is disgusting. That much is granted.

    However, there are millions of people that have to break their backs working 16 hours, often in humiliating and degrading job posts, to receive a meal or bed.

    All you had to do was sit silently through a 1-hour sermon and pay no attention while fantasising about Jessica Alba or another gorgeous female of your choosing. It’s not like they asked you to be baptized.

    While I can’t say I understand in the least the terrible situation you’re in, and what I say might seem pretty shitty from someone writing from the comfort of his home, it’s pretty hard to take seriously someone who has problems of survival but rejects immediate help because he just can’t stand a tiny meaningless ordeal “staining” his principles. I had to sit through hour-long sessions of Orthodox Christianity through highschool, and not only that, but memorize that nonsense to get a grade. I don’t know, am I worse than you? Should I just fail the course, not graduate, and not continue my studies to University?

    Just my thoughts. I really hope things are resolved for you.

    Agreed. For starters, best wishes.

    However, is this organization taking public funding, or is it supported solely by a church congregation? In the latter case, I don’t believe that it’s appropriate for a government to dictate how private individuals and organizations should spend their money (I understand that as a religious institution they pay no taxes, but that would be true even if they were building some opulent edifice somewhere). Was a one hour sermon really too much to bear?

  15. So, you as many others believe a homeless person is lazy. If you indeed have comforts of a home, why don’t you adopt a child in State Custody because I had to quit being an RN getting paid to torture them. As a single divorced mom, I couldn’t afford to adopt the 60 kids forced to listen exclusively to Negro Spirituals, and give them an adult hypertensive medication Clonidine.In reply to #5 by JoxerTheMighty:

    As a homeless atheist, the Christian Shelters and Kitchens barred and banned me after objecting to hour long >>sermons in order to receive a meal or bed.

    You know…

    okay, the behaviour of those in charge of the shelters is disgusting. That much is granted.

    However, there are millions of people that have to break their backs working 16 hours, often in humiliating and degrading job posts, to receive a meal or bed.

    All you had to do was sit silently through a 1-hour sermon and pay no attention while fantasising about Jessica Alba or another gorgeous female of your choosing. It’s not like they asked you to be baptized.

    While I can’t say I understand in the least the terrible situation you’re in, and what I say might seem pretty shitty from someone writing from the comfort of his home, it’s pretty hard to take seriously someone who has problems of survival but rejects immediate help because he just can’t stand a tiny meaningless ordeal “staining” his principles. I had to sit through hour-long sessions of Orthodox Christianity through highschool, and not only that, but memorize that nonsense to get a grade. I don’t know, am I worse than you? Should I just fail the course, not graduate, and not continue my studies to University?

    Just my thoughts. I really hope things are resolved for you.

  16. In reply to #11 by Michael Fisher:

    The readership here are not all from your country. In case you didn’t know.

    Where are you writing about?
    Is the “Christian Shelters and Kitchens” the name of an organisation?
    I have stayed in Christian run shelters in America from Maryland to California and even snuck into a Florida Christian Retreat that was vacant. I recently inquired to the shelters and soup-kitchens in the US as to where the funding is from and haven’t found government supported ones yet.
    The situation in the UK is different. A few pointers.

    ** Don’t go homeless in the UK without I.D. ~ very difficult to get a bedI if you don’t have proof of your N.I. [National Insurance] number. This is because the hostel needs your N.I. number to claim money from the state for your stay. This is true everywhere I know of [not sure if it applies to the temples below].

    ** Hindu & Sikh temples are very helpful with food, clothing & even accommodation at some of the bigger places. You will NEVER be ignored & you will never go hungry

    ** I don’t know about mosques

    ** Don’t bother knocking on the doors of Christian priests’ homes. Mostly they have a 9-to-5 attitude to charity & don’t appreciate being priestly while football is on the TV

    ** Don’t bother with Christian churches either ~ they’ll give you directions to the benefits office or a list of hostels

    ** I stayed in A Salvation Army Hostel in Birmingham for nearly a year & there was absolutely no proselytizing & the food/accommodation was superb

    ** Within 3 miles of there were four or five other hostels of which two were Christian ~ again no propaganda

    ** The one to watch here is the Bethel Christians who have projects & hostels all over the country. They use all sorts of nefarious tactics to convert including depriving residents of benefit [welfare] monies, taking all their personal belongings & excess clothing, sleep deprivation, locating hostels in rural areas away from transport routes. Sort of like the Moonies.

    ** Tough to find a hostel bed if you’re female or under 18

    ** Don’t try getting a bed if you’re drunk! You’ll be told to go away until you’re sober.

    ** Never a borrower or lender be while in a hostel

    ** No resident in a hostel wants to hear your sob story. They have their own stories ~ if you’re miserable put a brave face on & don’t be annoyingly needy if possible.

  17. In reply to #12 by Mr DArcy:

    I just wonder what the Almighty is doing allowing a world where there is even a need for homeless shelters, and where some 30,000 kids die every day of poverty related issues.

    Oh silly me! The Almighty never does anything !
    Oh, yeah. I would count the number of actual church buildings in a town and there was usually one for every single homeless person of their town. I have often slept outside churches, it seemed safe, but I longed for the indoor loo/can/powder room that was a key away.

  18. In reply to #18 by GospelofJudas:As an atheist wouldn’t I be a hypocrite for staying in an hour long sermon just to meet obvious human needs?

    In reply to #5 by JoxerTheMighty:

    As a homeless atheist, the Christian Shelters and Kitchens barred and banned me after objecting to hour long >>sermons in order to receive a meal or bed.

    You know…

    okay, the behaviour of those in charge of the shelters is disgusting. That much is granted.

    However, there are millions of people that have to break their backs working 16 hours, often in humiliating and degrading job posts, to receive a meal or bed.

    All you had to do was sit silently through a 1-hour sermon and pay no attention while fantasising about Jessica Alba or another gorgeous female of your choosing. It’s not like they asked you to be baptized.

    While I can’t say I understand in the least the terrible situation you’re in, and what I say might seem pretty shitty from someone writing from the comfort of his home, it’s pretty hard to take seriously someone who has problems of survival but rejects immediate help because he just can’t stand a tiny meaningless ordeal “staining” his principles. I had to sit through hour-long sessions of Orthodox Christianity through highschool, and not only that, but memorize that nonsense to get a grade. I don’t know, am I worse than you? Should I just fail the course, not graduate, and not continue my studies to University?

    Just my thoughts. I really hope things are resolved for you.

    Agreed. For starters, best wishes.

    However, is this organization taking public funding, or is it supported solely by a church congregation? In the latter case, I don’t believe that it’s appropriate for a government to dictate how private individuals and organizations should spend their money (I understand that as a religious institution they pay no taxes, but that would be true even if they were building some opulent edifice somewhere). Was a one hour sermon really too much to bear?

  19. I was in NMexico/Arizona after fleeing rape at homeless Tennessee “camps”. NMexico denied me a bed at the “Domestic Rape and Violence center. Arizona gave me a tresspassing charge at a church.

    In the past I was an RN who quie after the agency sent me to “care” for Children of State Custody who were being tortured by exclusive Negro Spiritual radio, fatty food, the adult hypertensive medication, Clonidine and a “No Hug or Touch Ever” policy.

    I returned to TN to enter Cosmetology School and found out they had a devotion every morning. I’m currently trying to write a book on a single woman’s 9 year homeless experience across the US where, please free, when you are starving NOT to grab fruit from a tree growing in the “Land of the Free”

  20. Best wishes. This is exactly why only a church’s charity should be tax free, and the charity should be secular.

    Then there might be some money around for secular shelters where there are no churches.

  21. Along with some friends we promote “godless giving”, charity towards homeless people in the name of the John Frum Cargo cult (a touch of levity). I wrote a bit about it here.

    I’ve been homeless myself for periods of time. I never accessed church resources because life was already hard enough to not have to suffer that indignity. I admire your decision and though I would never want anyone to suffer for a cause I believe in, you have my gratitude.

    So much for the whole Book of Matthew and not seeking converts by taking advantage of people’s hunger (stones turned to bread). They are complete hypocrites who don’t even read their own book.

  22. You can try going to a hospital and asking for a list of homeless shelters. They have social workers that have to discharge medicaid patients and it is often to shelters. Also police stations might be able to help you. TN won’t be the best state for secular shelters but if you are willing to move a little I am sure you can find a place.

  23. I guess that’s the problem when you live in a country where the social support system has been outsourced to private organizations, like religious ones. These organizations can offer their social service product in any form they want, and the customer gets to pick which one he wants. But there’s no requirement for organizations to offer a one-product-that-fits-all service.

    In countries where the government sets up a proper social support structure, it is required to give service to everyone, regardless of religious affiliation. Since I’m not familiar with the possibilities in your country, it’s difficult to offer any advice. Either you do find an organization without religious affiliation (is that possible?), or then you have to be intellectually dishonest and sit silently through the indoctrination sermons so that you’ll receive help from the organization.

    Best wishes.

  24. I guess that’s the problem when you live in a country where the social support system has been outsourced to private organizations, like religious ones. These organizations can offer their social service product in any form they want, and the customer gets to pick which one he wants. But there’s no requirement for organizations to offer a one-product-that-fits-all service.

    In countries where the government sets up a proper social support structure, it is required to give service to everyone, regardless of religious affiliation. Since I’m not familiar with the possibilities in your country, it’s difficult to offer any advice. Either you do find an organization without religious affiliation (is that possible?), or then you have to be intellectually dishonest and sit silently through the indoctrination sermons so that you’ll receive help from the organization.

    Best wishes.

  25. My father studied at technical university. As comunists ruled in our country at that time, all the students had to take an exam in atheism, Marxism – Leninsm, Materialism etc.

    He told me it was a torture for technicians to study such stupid things but he had to do it and does not keep comlaining now.

    My girlfriend is abused by her atheistic relatives but she does need to talk about it to make an impression how bad the atheists are.

    Some people just enjoy telling how persecuted they by people of different confession and exaggerate.

  26. In reply to #29 by Robert Kubik:

    My father studied at technical university. As comunists ruled in our country at that time, all the students had to take an exam in atheism, Marxism – Leninsm, Materialism etc.

    He told me it was a torture for technicians to study such stupid things but he had to do it and does not keep comlaining no

    My girlfriend is abused by her atheistic relatives but she does need to talk about it to make an impression how bad the atheists are.

    Some people just enjoy telling how persecuted they by people of different confession and exaggerate.

    You’ll love my non-exaggerate story of being known as an atheist in a US county jail and them painting crosses with oil on my windows, putting me in solitary and piping a sermon in at 3am and the newly elected sheriff leading prayer and bible study. It is almost unbelievable that this happened to me in the US. In America government is not suppose cross over into religion. Some courts still have you swear to God, placing your hand on a bible that you are telling the truth. Social norms here that are just accepted traditionally.

  27. In reply to #29 by Robert Kubik:

    My father studied at technical university. As comunists ruled in our country at that time, all the students had to take an exam in atheism, Marxism – Leninsm, Materialism etc.

    He told me it was a torture for technicians to study such stupid things but he had to do it and does not keep comlaining now.

    I would be interested in what anyone could put in a course on “atheism” (lack of a belief in gods) .

    It would be like running a course on “not-stamp collecting” or on ” not playing golf”!

    Scientific “Materialism” is fundamental physics and engineering, so I would have thought that it was basic knowledge for technicians.

  28. In reply to #22 by bumphilosopher:

    In reply to #18 by GospelofJudas:As an atheist wouldn’t I be a hypocrite for staying in an hour long sermon just to meet obvious human needs?

    No. From the sound of it, there are far worse things to have to endure for food and a warm bed. I don’t think that listening to someone go on and on for an hour about something that you don’t believe makes you a hypocrite. I also think that while this should not go unheard as a plea for secular charity (not government endorsed redistribution, mind you), that if this particular charity were privately funded, that having an individual merely state that in order for one to receive their charity they need to spend one hour listening to a sermon, that it’s far from the worst example of religious tempering with good works; many of the other examples cited in this thread were far worse.

  29. In reply to #19 by bumphilosopher:

    So, you as many others believe a homeless person is lazy. If you indeed have comforts of a home, why don’t you adopt a child in State Custody because I had to quit being an RN getting paid to torture them. As a single divorced mom, I couldn’t afford to adopt the 60 kids forced to listen exclusively to Negro Spirituals, and give them an adult hypertensive medication Clonidine.In reply to #5 by JoxerTheMighty:

    Yes, I thought the comment by Joxer was amazingly condescending and lacking in empathy.

  30. In reply to #10 by bumphilosopher:

    I am currently in TN, although I have traveled across the US from Maryland to Oregon. This has been a 9 year adventure.In reply to #1 by Kim Probable:

    What city are you in? Maybe we can help you find something.

    Reddit created a group called Atheist Havens, though they’re geared at young adults. Maybe someone there can help you, though.

    I imagine you may have thought of this already but if you can still travel you should head somewhere like my home San Francisco. I’m sure its possible to find support here for homeless people without getting a lecture, well you might get one about how we should all be tolerant and groovy to one another.

  31. In reply to #35 by Red Dog:

    In reply to #10 by bumphilosopher:

    I am currently in TN, although I have traveled across the US from Maryland to Oregon. This has been a 9 year adventure.In reply to #1 by Kim Probable:

    What city are you in? Maybe we can help you find something.

    Reddit created a group called Atheist Havens, though they’re geared at young adults. Maybe someone there can help you, though.

    I imagine you may have thought of this already but if you can still travel you should head somewhere like my home San Francisco. I’m sure its possible to find support here for homeless people without getting a lecture, well you might get one about how we should all be tolerant and groovy to one another.

    Actually I am at mom’s and safe for now. My parents had difficulty accepting my atheism 9 years ago. I was raised and schooled in the 7th Day Adventist religion. They actually had me institutionalized during my “coming out” of the God delusion. Mom has always supported Separation of Church and State as Adventist do. She is a “noner” now yet believes in a god and heaven. It was just another part of my religious trauma to be labeled “crazy” when I was the one who didn’t want to talk to imaginary friend, .Jesus

  32. You do not need to reveal your world-outlook in cases like these. Simply walk into a church that provides food and shelter to the people in your plight, and follow the rules. If you have to attend a religious sermon, just do it. In your mind, however, keep questioning everything they are saying, and ridicule them as possible as you can.

    Another option is to become a Sasquatch. Atheists are intelligent bros…You can do and make it all yourself, and you don’t even need to prove anything to anyone!!!

  33. In reply to #37 by Lequanke:

    You do not need to reveal your world-outlook in cases like these. Simply walk into a church that provides food and shelter to the people in your plight, and follow the rules. If you have to attend a religious sermon, just do it. In your mind, however, keep questioning everything they are saying, and ridicule them as possible as you can.

    Another option is to become a Sasquatch. Atheists are intelligent bros…You can do and make it all yourself, and you don’t even need to prove anything to anyone!!!

    I do not need to reveal my world view? Then what the hell am I here for? To just be a bubble, blonde, bobble? No, I will not just “suck it up” and keep quiet. I want the world to change even if I have to suffer until the next kind individual helps.

  34. I wouldn’t agree that these organisation show kindness at all if your description of their behaviour is accurate. When I was on the street I just stole and took what I needed to survive and I encourage anyone who is in that situation to do the same, I challenage any person to argue the morals of doing so. Just don’t get caught the Law has little to do with Jusitice.

  35. …I had to quit being an RN getting paid to torture them. As a single divorced mom, …

    I wonder how many people here assumed bumphilosopher was a male.

    I’m not sure of your mental or physical health and your ability to work, but there should be RN positions available in most major cities. I assume your children are with their grandmother and are not traveling with you. If this is an option, you may need to head north when it warms up if you can’t find something locally. Consider areas with strong medical communities and a low cost of living.

  36. Sorry, but I have no sympathy for you. It isn’t too much to expect some simple courtesy if you want charity. To be expected to sit quietly through a sermon is not a crime. There are tens of thousands of children working 12 hours days to get just enough food to survive. I think you can manage to sit in a warm room and ignore a sermon.

  37. In reply to #39 by BornAfterTV: I have been arrested some 30 times. A home owner has the US right to refuse search and I have been searched 100s of times.

    I wouldn’t agree that these organisation show kindness at all if your description of their behaviour is accurate. When I was on the street I just stole and took what I needed to survive and I encourage anyone who is in that situation to do the same, I challenage any person to argue the morals of doing so. Just don’t get caught the Law has little to do with Jusitice.

  38. In reply to #42 by canadian_right: I hope you are helping the kids with what sympathy/empathy you have.

    Sorry, but I have no sympathy for you. It isn’t too much to expect some simple courtesy if you want charity. To be expected to sit quietly through a sermon is not a crime. There are tens of thousands of children working 12 hours days to get just enough food to survive. I think you can manage to sit in a warm room and ignore a sermon.

  39. In reply to #38 by bumphilosopher:

    In reply to #37 by Lequanke:

    You do not need to reveal your world-outlook in cases like these. Simply walk into a church that provides food and shelter to the people in your plight, and follow the rules. If you have to attend a religious sermon, just do it. In your mind, however, keep questioning everything they are saying, and ridicule them as possible as you can.

    Another option is to become a Sasquatch. Atheists are intelligent bros…You can do and make it all yourself, and you don’t even need to prove anything to anyone!!!

    I do not need to reveal my world view? Then what the hell am I here for? To just be a bubble, blonde, bobble? No, I will not just “suck it up” and keep quiet. I want the world to change even if I have to suffer until the next kind individual helps.

    Sorry, but you seem to be giving people way too much credit. You have to realize that they are nothing but a bunch of douche-bags, and changing them is a huge waste of time. Your expectations of people are way too high considering that they are nothing but dumb animals. The only thing they respond to is when you start maiming them. Then they finally start cooperating.

    By keeping your insides inside of you, you actually gain power over potential abusers. They can’t get inside your head anyway, and you know it.

  40. In reply to #44 by bumphilosopher:

    In reply to #39 by BornAfterTV: I have been arrested some 30 times. A home owner has the US right to refuse search and I have been searched 100s of times.I wouldn’t agree that these organisation show kindness at all if your description of their behaviour is accurate. When I was on the street I just stole and took what I needed to survive and I encourage anyone who is in that situation to do the same, I challenage any person to argue the morals of doing so. Just don’t get caught the Law has little to do with Jusitice.

    I can’t comment on the US as I’ve never been there, but from what I’ve heard it’s not the place one wants to find themselves if they are down and out or god forbid(pun intended) you are sick.

  41. In reply to #12 by Mr DArcy:

    I just wonder what the Almighty is doing allowing a world where there is even a need for homeless shelters, and where some 30,000 kids die every day of poverty related issues.

    Oh silly me! The Almighty never does anything !

    It would be great, if people in the US were allowed to live the way of the post-Columbus immigrants. You just take a piece of land, without owing your life to someone else, and just do it all yourself – build a shelter anyway you can, as it is encoded in your DNA, grow your own food, or gather and hunt. I don’t understand why US population prefers to watch people suffer like this rather than letting go of them, and allowing them to live, as this earth belongs to them as well…You can even do this with mental illness.

  42. In reply to #4 by HenMie:

    Sorry to hear about your plight, and outraged at the practices you describe. Are you still homeless or was this in the past? Where are you?

    Homelessness in the US can be considered a brutal practice comparable to a crime against humanity. You can actually boldly define it that way. What’s really dangerous about homeless shelters is that people living there might easily pick you up for harassment since you’re so vulnerable, and it’s usually you, who will be eventually kicked out. So the best thing to do is not to give them any reason to harass you, since they’ll be looking for it, once you walk in there. It’s the prisoner mentality. They even recommend that you refrain from engaging in any kind of conversations with anyone there, particularly of religious or political nature, and disclosing any kind of personal information prone to be used as the reason for harassment, such as mental illness, and such. Another danger is that, if you actually end up ousted from the shelter for being the harassment target, other shelters might be full at the time, and you’ll simply have to stay on the streets where you realize that nothing else belongs to you, and neither does your house/United States. The homeless shelter personal can be very ruthless, and compassion is the last thing you should expect from them. The police might help you with placing you somewhere else, though I’m not sure how they deal with the people involved in harassment.

  43. Of course if your eye is only set on the negative then it will seem that the Almighty does nothing, however consider the fact that you are alive. Also consider, what have you personally done to help the 30,000 children who die each day of the poverty related issues? In reply to #12 by Mr DArcy:

    I just wonder what the Almighty is doing allowing a world where there is even a need for homeless shelters, and where some 30,000 kids die every day of poverty related issues.

    Oh silly me! The Almighty never does anything !

  44. In reply to #42 by canadian_right:

    Sorry, but I have no sympathy for you. It isn’t too much to expect some simple courtesy if you want charity. To be expected to sit quietly through a sermon is not a crime. There are tens of thousands of children working 12 hours days to get just enough food to survive. I think you can manage to sit in a warm room and ignore a sermon.

    I’m assuming that as a Canadian, you may not be aware of what is going on in places like the UK. Cameron decided that as a part of the ‘big society’, religious organizations would be funded to distribute aid rather than maintaining secular services. That means public funds are being used to blackmail people into sitting through these services.

  45. As a lifetime member of the disability community, it is always good advice to run away when a do gooder or disability services administrator approaches, and if you can do not allow your children to assoicate with them. I am a liberal Democrat too. In the US our prison and homeless problems are contributed to a large exstent by not having a disability policy on people who have aquired brain injuries and or at the transition age of 21 from school to community supports were too independent for continued eligibility for things like supported living and employment. Many get to the point of real fear of institutionalization or joining our farming people instead of helping people programs which are as bad nothing. I became more than agnositic because I got so mad about being used by the superstitious to get to heaven by using my life to fulfill their spirital needs. Chritianity, Islam, and the rest have had hundreds of years to work out anti poverty programs and failed miserably, secualar programs work more often.

  46. I want to respond to a comment I saw earlier that must have been removed, or I’m just not seeing it. Anyways the person posting made some baseless assumptions followed by the assertion that this ‘bum philosopher’ could not write a book. I am always amazed at the nonchalance with which people will shit on another persons’ dreams. You have no idea what this woman may or may not be able to accomplish. Think of Helen Keller. One of my favorite authors has a debilitating brain disease and yet in his writing you would never know. People are capable of persevering against incredible odds, but one negative remark can destroy a persons confidence and doom them to failure before they have even began.

    Good luck with your book and with everything else B.P, I hope you would not be so easily swayed from following your dreams.

  47. I am confused, you wanted a completely “free” ride, dinner and a bed, maybe shower…but if it cost one hour of your time, that was unreasonable? This isn’t a religious issue, this is an entitlement issue, needing a serious attitude adjustment for better mental health if nothing else.

  48. In reply to #3 by susanlatimer:

    You’ve made a great couple of points here in one succinct paragraph.

    One is that christian charity for those who find themselves on the wrong side of a power imbalance comes with a hefty price.

    The other is that there are no alternatives that you are aware of.

    No one should have to sell their soul to get something to eat or a place to sleep.

    Where are you?

    I already commented on this circumstance, my question to you though, is how can an atheist sell their “soul”?….scratching my head in puzzlement. Also, 1 hour of labor (just sitting) doesn’t seem all that hefty for dinner and a bed.

  49. In reply to #53 by TheAllKnowingAgnostic:

    I want to respond to a comment I saw earlier that must have been removed, or I’m just not seeing it. Anyways the person posting made some baseless assumptions followed by the assertion that this ‘bum philosopher’ could not write a book.

    Good luck with your book and with everything else B.P, I hope you would not be so easily swayed from following your dreams.

    I was hurt by that comment but it may be true. I am trying to get PETA to support my gun violence bumper stickers …. {( EVOLVE >> – – – – – – guns are to kill animals )}

  50. In reply to #48 by Lequanke:

    In reply to #12 by Mr DArcy:

    I just wonder what the Almighty is doing allowing a world where there is even a need for homeless shelters, and where some 30,000 kids die every day of poverty related issues.

    Oh silly me! The Almighty never does anything !

    ..You can even do this with mental illness.

    In America it is considered “crazy” to talk to any imaginary “friend” . As an atheist I see god , jesus , satan, mother mary as imaginary friends a “sane” person should not talk/pray to.

  51. In reply to #54 by TSUF:

    I am confused, you wanted a completely “free” ride, dinner and a bed, maybe shower…but if it cost one hour of your time, that was unreasonable? This isn’t a religious issue, this is an entitlement issue, needing a serious attitude adjustment for better mental health if nothing else.

    Sometimes I whore for 15 minutes to get hotel money. I’m really, honestly not sure if whoring or listening to sermons is worse.

  52. In reply to #55 by TSUF:

    In reply to #3 by susanlatimer:

    You’ve made a great couple of points here in one succinct paragraph.

    One is that christian charity for those who find themselves on the wrong side of a power imbalance comes with a hefty price.

    The other is that there are no alternatives that you are aware of.

    No one should have to sell their soul to get something to eat or a place to sleep.

    Where are you?

    I already commented on this circumstance, my question to you though, is how can an atheist sell their “soul”?….scratching my head in puzzlement. Also, 1 hour of labor (just sitting) doesn’t seem all that hefty for dinner and a bed.

    I sometimes sell my body for 15 minutes to get hotel money. You decide.

  53. The Catholic Homeless shelter in Columbus, Nebraska 1hr sermon each night, Mission in Chat,TN same, Unitarian Church and Mt Zion church Chat, tn Sermon for meal, Ashville, NC and Nashville church bussed to sleep inside different churches every night, arrested inside an Az church for sleeping there, I tried to stay at Salvation Army or Rape centers that were not for Domestic Violence only.

  54. In reply to #58 by bumphilosopher:

    In reply to #54 by TSUF:

    I am confused, you wanted a completely “free” ride, dinner and a bed, maybe shower…but if it cost one hour of your time, that was unreasonable? This isn’t a religious issue, this is an entitlement issue, needing a serious attitude adjustment for better mental health if nothing else.

    Sometimes I whore for 15 minutes to get hotel money. I’m really, honestly not sure if whoring or listening to sermons is worse.

    I would happily , gladly give 1 hour of my time to plant food, wash linens or something that actually pertains to human needs. I don’t need any more preaching in my life ever!

  55. I already commented on this circumstance, my question to you though, is how can an atheist sell their “soul”?….scratching my head in puzzlement.

    Of course I didn’t mean “soul” in the literal sense (although, I have no idea what “soul” in the literal sense could possibly mean).

    I took bumphilosopher’s opening post at face value. She was hungry and tired. She needed something to eat and a bed.

    It’s not about the hour. I would clean toilets for an hour if I were hungry and needed a place to sleep. I would do all kinds of unsavory things for an hour but I would not watch dog fights for an hour or listen to a white supremacist rattle on for an hour. I might sit in on an Amway meeting for an hour but I would have to be extremely hungry and tired. Actually, I would do the Amway or the white supremacists for an hour if I knew that I were allowed to respond honestly without being denied the food and the bed if I did.

    Keep in mind that I am a member of a species that will violate huge food taboos (eating cockroaches for suburban North Americans, for instance) or even each other (plenty of tragic evidence for that) when hunger shuts down our political beliefs. I don’t know what I’d do if I was hungry and exhausted most of the time or what I’d do if I hadn’t eaten for a week and had barely slept.

    Cults have to get hold of you and create those circumstances. But any organization can avail themselves of them. Half of the recruiting’s done if you show up tired and hungry already.

    This is not charity. This is opportunism. It should be taxed and regulated if it’s not charity. It’s a business transaction and not a very pretty one. At the very least, it should identify itself as such.

    We need to provide beds and food for people who need it without self-serving conditions.

  56. In reply to #57 by bumphilosopher:

    In reply to #48 by Lequanke:

    In reply to #12 by Mr DArcy:

    I just wonder what the Almighty is doing allowing a world where there is even a need for homeless shelters, and where some 30,000 kids die every day of poverty related issues.

    Oh silly me! The Almighty never does anything !

    ..You can even do this with mental illness.

    In America it is considered “crazy” to talk to any imaginary “friend” . As an atheist I see god , jesus , satan, mother mary as imaginary friends a “sane” person should not talk/pray to.

    In America…if it was allowed to become the reality by the people, who live on the territory of the US….:) Keep that in mind!!!!!!…………..

  57. In reply to #62 by susanlatimer:

    I already commented on this circumstance, my question to you though, is how can an atheist sell their “soul”?….scratching my head in puzzlement.

    Of course I didn’t mean “soul” in the literal sense (although, I have no idea what “soul” in the literal sense could possibly mean).

    I took bumphilosopher’s opening post at face value. She was hungry and tired. She needed something to eat and a bed.

    It’s not about the hour. I would clean toilets for an hour if I were hungry and needed a place to sleep. I would do all kinds of unsavory things for an hour but I would not watch dog fights for an hour or listen to a white supremacist rattle on for an hour. I might sit in on an Amway meeting for an hour but I would have to be extremely hungry and tired. Actually, I would do the Amway or the white supremacists for an hour if I knew that I were allowed to respond honestly without being denied the food and the bed if I did.

    Keep in mind that I am a member of a species that will violate huge food taboos (eating cockroaches for suburban North Americans, for instance) or even each other (plenty of tragic evidence for that) when hunger shuts down our political beliefs. I don’t know what I’d do if I was hungry and exhausted most of the time or what I’d do if I hadn’t eaten for a week and had barely slept.

    Cults have to get hold of you and create those circumstances. But any organization can avail themselves of them. Half of the recruiting’s done if you show up tired and hungry already.

    This is not charity. This is opportunism. It should be taxed and regulated if it’s not charity. It’s a business transaction and not a very pretty one. At the very least, it should identify itself as such.

    We need to provide beds and food for people who need it without self-serving conditions.

    Ok, the soul comment was just to make your point, no problem. I can agree with you there is a limit to an acceptable “price” ie dog-fighting. However I think you are being unreasonable to equate a church service with hate-mongering or animal cruelty. Listening to a presentation democratic politics might “offend” my republican sensibilities, but I could hardly object to doing so for a free meal and bed. It seems also a bit patronizing to suggest an adult, even if hungry and tired, is going to succumb to an hour of voluntary brainwashing and completely change their world view. Further in most cases, individuals are welcomed, even encouraged, to voice disagreement or doubts in such settings. There is certainly no atmosphere of danger or consequence for doing so.

    Your suggestion this is cult like is frankly… ridiculous. Cults are about charismatic individuals seeking power over you to do their bidding. A presentation of religious doctrine by an otherwise unremarkable individual is not cult like. But I can see your point that technically this is not 100% charity. On the other hand I am thinking almost all charitable behaviour requires or implies some kind of response or it will be withdrawn. Would you give food money to a street person if you knew they would use it for drugs instead? Probably not. We can argue over the “cost” of a charitable action, but I don’t think you can make a case listening to a bit of religious rhetoric falls out of reasonable bounds.

  58. In reply to #59 by bumphilosopher:

    In reply to #55 by TSUF:

    In reply to #3 by susanlatimer:

    You’ve made a great couple of points here in one succinct paragraph.

    One is that christian charity for those who find themselves on the wrong side of a power imbalance comes with a hefty price.

    The other is that there are no alternatives that you are aware of.

    No one should have to sell their soul to get something to eat or a place to sleep.

    Where are you?

    I already commented on this circumstance, my question to you though, is how can an atheist sell their “soul”?….scratching my head in puzzlement. Also, 1 hour of labor (just sitting) doesn’t seem all that hefty for dinner and a bed.

    I sometimes sell my body for 15 minutes to get hotel money. You decide.

    No one makes you do so. I can (and do) sympathize with your apparent plight (given this is the internet and who knows what is real or not). However, you somehow have the time, skills, and access, to post on the internet. That suggests to me you have the ability and knowhow to improve your circumstances, rather than choose to sell your body…. why don’t you?

  59. @TSUF comment 64

    I used a couple of extreme examples as well as the Amway example. My point was what would you or should you be asked to do to get a meal and a place to sleep from a “charity”? Where would you draw your personal line? We all have one. I used Amway because I’m not sure what’s different about that and a religious lecture. Amway should not have tax-free charity status to recruit people and neither should churches.

    I’ve known a few people who were down on their luck who had to listen to the Jesus talks. Two of them (both of whom would have been happy to clean gutters or contribute something of themselves back to the charity but who had to sit through Jesus loves you and wants to save you from hell lectures instead) endured it, and moved on but found it frustrating and humiliating.

    Another (wonderful, astonishing person I knew) grew up in an oppressive christian church where the father was the “head of the household” and he brutally physically and emotionally abused her mother, her and her siblings. She’d also been molested over a long period by an elder in the church and was shunned and chastised by her community for finally telling. She escaped and went through hell to rebuild her life. For part of that, she ended up homeless (in the U.S) and had to endure christian proselytizing for too many meals and beds. She said that that was the worst part about it, even from the well-meaning christians and there were some. In many cases, talking back or asking to be excused from that part meant not participating which meant they might ask you to leave.

    Listening to a presentation democratic politics might “offend” my republican sensibilities, but I could hardly object to doing so for a free meal and bed.

    You shouldn’t have to do so once. No political party should call themselves a charity with all the status and benefits that go with it and be able to make people sit through a propaganda campaign. Nor should any religion, nor Amway, nor white supremacists nor anyone from the apparently benign to the obviously insane.

    It seems also a bit patronizing to suggest an adult, even if hungry and tired, is going to succumb to an hour of voluntary brainwashing and completely change their world view.

    Being homeless isn’t about one hour ’cause you’re hungry one day of your life. It’s about being trapped in a loop that is very difficult to escape, being tired, hungry and vulnerable and ending up in those places time and again with not very many places in between.

    Imagine if you were homeless, hungry, tired and chronically vulnerable (it even happens to good republicans) and all that was available were democrat charities with tax-free status. Not for a day. Not for a week, but for months and even years. Imagine that your government overwhelmingly gave them tax-free status and even if you held your ground, you saw people less able to defend themselves than you are, less clear on the facts being pulled into their ranks by attrition.

    There are a huge number of people who are not homeless because they refuse to make something of themselves. In some cases, they might just be hard-headed or lazy or both but the evidence suggests that homelessness can happen to many people who are trying very hard to make something of themselves. The longer you are homeless, the more it becomes about just surviving. It’s a different world.

    My first response was about that. Sermons are not charity. Not if Amway does it or the democrats or christians.

    Sorry to go on. Your orignal question was about selling one’s “soul”. I could have just left it at, “Of course I didn’t mean that in the literal sense”. :-)

    But I was trying to figure out (as this is a complicated question) why it rankles me so much. Sometimes in my case, that means a little bit of blathering.

    Sorry about that. :-)

  60. I think you have a fair point, homeless shelters in the sense of what they are are places where vunerable people are, they should not be forced into any religious ceremony. I think perhaps the People at the homeless shelter are trying to be helpfully in their own way, they don’t see it from your side.
    I think the hospital is a good place to go to get in touch with a social worker, they can hopefully get you in touch with some help.
    I don’t think it’s right that you should have to listen to the 1 hour sermons.. It’s not like you have been sentenced for a crime, so you shouldn’t be treated like a criminal! BUT… In practical terms I think your options may be limited? What other options have you got?

  61. Your posts reminded me very much of a song by one of my heroes, who refused to be converted, despite making use of the piano in the seamen’s mission in San Pedro, where he stayed (nor did he waver in the face of a Utah firing squad)…

    Long-haired preachers come out every night,
    Try to tell you what's wrong and what's right;
    But when asked how 'bout something to eat
    They will answer with voices so sweet:
    
    CHORUS:
    You will eat, bye and bye,
    In that glorious land above the sky;
    Work and pray, live on hay,
    You'll get pie in the sky when you die.
    
    The starvation army they play,
    They sing and they clap and they pray
    'Till they get all your coin on the drum
    Then they'll tell you when you're on the bum:
    
    Holy Rollers and jumpers come out,
    They holler, they jump and they shout.
    Give your money to Jesus they say,
    He will cure all diseases today.
    
    If you fight hard for children and wife --
    Try to get something good in this life --
    You're a sinner and bad man, they tell,
    When you die you will sure go to hell.
    
    Workingmen of all countries, unite,
    Side by side we for freedom will fight;
    When the world and its wealth we have gained
    To the grafters we'll sing this refrain:
    
    FINAL CHORUS:
    You will eat, bye and bye,
    When you've learned how to cook and to fry.
    Chop some wood, 'twill do you good,
    And you'll eat in the sweet bye and bye.
    

    It may be worth seeing if there are any IWW contacts in your area. It also organises in the jobs you’ve worked in.

    http://iww.org

  62. It’s like this almost everywhere but at least there is shelter and food– the problem I see is despite funding even available it is hard to find people who wish to stand and broadcast being non-religious– if anyone does show up to help they stick around long. It’ll take time I am sure, but the bulk of atheists are not loud about what they do and there just isn’t enough drive to get people to help– I’ve donated buildings, land and I cannot take care of a homeless shelter and even with grants it still requires volunteers and no one is showing up– maybe in a decade or so, until then, you either pretend to listen or go cold… either way these grants require you to attend some time of session so it’s going to be a 1 hour for this and that anyway… give it 10 or 20 years I imagine.

  63. Let me get this straight. You went to them begging for food and shelter and you refused to give them an hour of your time. Your atheism gives fills you with so much prejudice that even when cold and starving you cannot stand to hear them speak for an hour. I’m Catholic and I go Atheist seminars freely.

    Why didn’t you just go to an athiest homeless shelter?

    This is fascinating. I mean, I don’t know many people that make enough in a hour at their jobs to pay for dinner and a hotel accommodation.

    • David Jan 30, 2015 at 2:02 pm

      Let me get this straight. You went to them begging for food and shelter and you refused to give them an hour of your time.

      He would probably give an hour helping in the establishment, but that is not the same as being preached at.

      Your atheism gives fills you with so much prejudice that even when cold and starving you cannot stand to hear them speak for an hour. I’m Catholic and I go Atheist seminars freely.

      I think the word “freely” is the key here. When people seek help because of desperation, “freely” is not one of their choices.

      Why didn’t you just go to an athiest homeless shelter?

      Atheists usually don’t make a feature of atheism when giving charity.
      It is religions which feel the urge to bundle charity with preaching and conspicuous badge wearing public displays.

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