By Nathan Barton
Fortunately, the Christmas season always brings stories of good things that people do for each other, and here are a couple.
On Sunday the 17th of December, when Atlanta Airport had a massive power outage that shut the place down and left thousands of stranded travelers (apparently thanks to government ineptitude: no surprise, eh?), a highly-vilified group stepped in to help, as reported by KSAT San Antonio.
Chick Fil A, known (and condemned) for its strong stand on not being open for business on Sundays and its opposition to homosexuality and same-sex “marriage,” supplied thousands of chicken sandwiches to feed stranded travelers. The food was given and delivered, at no charge to either the airport, the city (or other government) or the stranded travelers. The company’s owners and employees understand their priorities, voluntarily giving up a day to worship and have family time to help people, even at considerable personal cost.
A second event in Dallas Texas, also involved giving and sharing, despite the condemnation of government. City government in Dallas, Texas, was supposedly responding to public worries and to protect the public safety by making it illegal to feed the homeless in the large Texas city. They passed a law in December 2014 to ban such give-aways. Since the law was passed, police have conducted numerous raids to shut down “illegal” food distribution.
The Free Thought Project reported the results of the latest volunteer effort to provide food (and other items) to the homeless in Dallas without government approval (and, of course, payment of fees and the usual bureaucratic garbage, training, and notices).
This year, the group (delightfully named “Don’t Comply”) decided to do things better. They openly carried sidearms and rifles, including AR-15s, stating in various media and press releases that the carrying of weapons was not to intimidate anyone but to assert and protect their rights and the volunteers helping distribute food, clothing, sleeping bags and other items.
The police observed but did not attempt even once to interfere or demand obedience of the law. A Don’t Comply spokesman stated it plainly: “We are not complying with a bad law today.” TFTP described them accurately as “Good people breaking bad laws.”
To me, they were exhibiting the love God wants us to show to others. That love is not supposed to be limited to Christmas time or any other special event. And there is nothing in the Bible which tells us that obedience to human rulers is EVER to prevent us from doing good, even if the very thing we are doing is “illegal.” Nor can I find any command to jump through government hoops, just to do good for people. (Especially not useing valuable resources to do so.)
(I contrast this to the “Stuff-the-Bus” promotion on Veterans Day, which seems to always have a prominent place for government agencies (including the educrats) and big and influential business.)
By arming themselves and making it clear that they are ready to resist the immoral acts of government AND disobeying immoral laws, let us hail them as an example of self-defense AND a rejection of the pacifism too many claim is essential to following Christ Jesus. Because they were willing to defend themselves, they did not need to. No shots were fired, no police were “resisted” and there was no need to “turn the other cheek.” It is an important lesson to remember.
The “public safety” excuse for such prohibitions is thin and watery. The reality is that government cannot tolerate the competition, and demands to be in control of everything possible. The TFTP article provides other examples (from across the country) of how local government (obviously supported by state and federal government) does all kinds of stupid things which result strangling initiative, personal responsibility, and opportunity for a large majority of people. But especially the poor.
It is more than just bans on feeding the hungry, showing up government for its fraud. It includes licensing and permitting laws and requirements that make it nearly impossible to make a living in any way not approved and recommended by the government – especially if it involves selling anything or providing a service they don’t approve. Government is not just failing to deal with homelessness and poverty, it is a major cause of both.
Indeed, while it is “against the law” to feed the homeless in many places (unless you jump through their hoops and pay for the privilege), more and more jurisdictions are therefore encouraging begging and creating opportunities for theft and illicit sales. While it seems like these local efforts are cutting their nose off to spite their face, they really boil down to more control and enforcing more and more dependence on government.
The faith and works shown by people like Don’t Comply and Chick Fil A is a direct affront to government, while at the same time they are demonstrating love of God and their fellow humans by their actions. It also shows an admirable rejection of institutional ideas; the old “just pay us and we’ll do it for you” attitude that big religion and big charities share with big government (and big business). When it is one-on-one, you can see if that person really needs (and deserves) the help and is not someone gaming the system.
These things are not only suitable for the season, they are showing the evil of government in direct contrast to godly love.