Friday, November 22, 2013

Christian ministry says county violated their rights by threatening arrest, preventing feeding of homeless

Feeding the homeless in downtown
Harrisburg, PA
credit: Isaiah 61 Ministries/Flickr
Madison Ruppert
Activist Post

A Christian ministry in Pennsylvania has claimed that officials in Dauphin County are violating their rights by preventing them from feeding the homeless and threatening them with arrest, according to reports.

The non-profit Isaiah 61 Ministries has offered food and scripture to homeless people on county property for five years, according to local ABC affiliate WHTM. Yet the county has now kicked them off of courthouse property.

“The county’s basically come up to them and said they’re not welcome in any area any longer and threatened them with loitering,” said Randall Wenger, an attorney who is representing the Christian group.

Jeremy Dys, an attorney with Liberty Institute, said that the county is hindering the group’s ability to minister to people and is blocking a program that benefits the community.

“The reality though is that serving the homeless and the elderly is a central tenet of the Christian faith, and those who exercise their faith by caring for the poor on the streets of Harrisburg ought to be applauded for their kindness, not threatened with jail time,” Dys said to OneNewsNow.

However, officials in Dauphin County say that they have been working with the ministry to find a new location.

Their work on county property has created a health and safety issue for county workers and others who work in the complex, officials said.

“We’ve had escalating events of urination and defecation on the county property,” Dauphin County Deputy Chief Clerk Scott Burford said.

Dys said that the county has “invented a lot of excuses for why this can’t happen, but the reality is that they just want to hide the homeless.”

Texas-based Liberty Institute sent a letter to Dauphin County Commissioners informing them that their actions are violating the First Amendment, according to OneNewsNow.

However, Dys told PennLive that a potential agreement between the county and Isaiah 61 could solve the problem.

Burford said that the county hopes to soon present an agreement that would allow the ministry to use the parking lot for the administration building during certain evening hours if they provide clean up and assume some other responsibilities.

“They are entitled to put limitations on the use of the property,” Dys said. “We’d certainly entertain any suggestions they have.”

While Isaiah 61 has moved to another location, other ministries continue to use the county parking lot, according to PennLive.

The ministry believes the county is attempting to pressure them into partnering with a brick-and-mortar homeless operation, which the group is opposed to based on their philosophy of street ministry.

Dys contends that the restriction on Isaiah 61 substantially burdens their religious exercise without “a compelling government interest.”

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This article first appeared at End the Lie.

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Anonymous said...

Fire these fools, and hire all new people.
Next election, do not reelect any one!

Anonymous said...

All across the West they are genociding out the poor and disabled. Homeless are left to die on the streets and the disabled get their benefits cut or taken away in thousands of instances by draconian new measures to exclude them. All of this is at the whim/wish of the elite who absolutely resent the right to life of the masses. Their place is the lake of fire with Satan their master - watchout, don't forget your asbestos suit dick brain.

Anonymous said...

would not it be wonderful if a private company or individual with a large piece of land nearby could allow this to happen. I'm sure a porti potty company could donate their services as goodwill and advertisement. a small wash station would be a luxury. When you have nothing a morsel of food is a luxury.

Anonymous said...

FREE STUFF is the most dangerous weapon against their profit based system - that's why the satanists can not allow us to gift each other.
GIFTING & GIVING = all for FREE to all = GIFT ECONOMY = abundance to people = no abuse (no profit)

Hide Behind said...

Their Rights ? They are claiming God Given Right not State or Fed Constitution then push it to max for only by being forcibly restrained can they claim violation.
I other words an actual assault must take place upon the person expressing that Right.
Ya took the chickrn shit easy route now you play by their riles not yoir Gods.
Go cry elsewhere, the cock has long ago thrice crowed.

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