Just Like Jesus Would Do

After a homeless man dipped into the church’s cookie jar, First Baptist Church of Royal Palm Beach in Florida had him arrested–for his own good, church officials say. The unnamed man, seeking assistance from the church, entered the church through an unlocked door. Once he entered the building, he saw a cookie jar and helped himself to the cookies inside.

A cleaning person happened upon the man and called 911. After a church employee showed up, it was decided that the First Baptist Church would demonstrate Christian charity by having the homeless man locked up for the theft of the cookies, which are valued at $2.25.

The church claims that the decision to press charges was done with the homeless man’s best interests at heart because it was decided on the scene that the man was under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

The church officials and the police officer who pushed for the arrest decided that bringing the troubled young man –  who was thrown out by his family onto the streets because of an alleged “destructive and disruptive lifestyle”  is best helped by being incarcerated and pulled “into the system” because, as we all know, the best way to help an (emotionally) troubled person possibly struggling with substance abuse is by locking him up behind bars in our our gracious for-profit prison system, giving him a criminal record so he will definitely have a hard time finding employment later with a tarnished record like that and throwing away the key.

The church admitted (see below) that it has contacts with rehabilitation programs that could have helped this person instead of having him incarcerated for stealing a cookie when he was hungry, but alas, the church claims, in very Christ-like fashion, that having the man arrested still “seemed reasonable.”

Yeah, just like Jesus would have done.

Well, it is a good thing that Atheists are the least trusted entity in this country, just a notch under rapists, because they do not believe in a higher power and therefore are the ones without morals.  Unlike this church and its followers who clearly get their morality directly from god.






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  1. #1 by Roger Wilco | humanisthuman on August 4, 2014 - 3:23 PM

    Religion and it’s outlets operate very much like for-profit businesses. I say “like” due to the tax exempt status. Would not Wal-Mart do the same?

  2. #2 by bluntbelief on August 4, 2014 - 2:49 PM

    Yeah…I don’t think you actually read what I wrote. Or you saw a few words here and there and jumped to some conclusion about what you THINK that I myself THINK and then went off on a rant from there.

    However, there is certainly precedent of Christians basically getting others in trouble “for their own good”. Not that I necessarily agree with that, and frankly, I’m a little stumped by it myself. I just wrote about this the other day on my own blog (http://bluntbelief.wordpress.com/2014/08/02/kicking-sinners-out-of-church/)

    Have a good one.

    • #3 by popreflection on August 4, 2014 - 4:45 PM

      I read everything you wrote and understood it as well. Especially the “it’s pretty harsh to judge the church” part and how those people were not equipped and hence could not have done the right and just had to call the cops and press charges. You were making excuses for their behavior instead of calling it out for what it is. I would expect more of a church claiming to teach the values of Christ than to have a man thrown in jail for eating a few lousy cookies. He wasn’t hurting anyone, he want threatening anyone, so why do that?

  3. #4 by bluntbelief on August 4, 2014 - 2:06 PM

    The story makes the church sound really bad, but I think it’s pretty harsh to judge the churc. I agree that throwing such a person in jail with no type of detox/rehab/etc., is likely not going to help them. Even though the church said it had contacts with rehab centers, many people have a pretty poor understanding of drug and alcohol addiction. Frankly, if the man appeared incoherent and high, I would likely call the police as well–not because he stole from the church, regardless of the amount, but because I would not feel equipped to physically or verbally deal with such a person. I don’t think it’s fair to expect people who probably have NO training in dealing with such people to put them in a car and drive them to a rehab. Instead, calling the police, who deal with such situations frequently, and taking their advice, and letting the chips fall where they may (which just MIGHT include a stint in rehab on the taxpayers’ dime) via the justice system seems reasonable. And who knows. Maybe the church will follow up on this man. Just my two cents. 🙂

    • #5 by bluntbelief on August 4, 2014 - 2:07 PM

      Arg. “Church” not “churc”. 😉

    • #6 by popreflection on August 4, 2014 - 2:33 PM

      They had contacts with rehabilitation programs so they could certainly have called one of those entities to help out. Sending him to jail and creating a police record for him, possibly a criminal record and pressing charges is not helping him. Do you understand that? The police are law enforcement, they don;t help with rehab. They book you and throw you in jail until you are arraigned and someone posts bail. They are not in the business of providing such help or assistance. That is why this god damn church is there. The man did not pose a danger, he just a couple of cookies, we don’t know he was high and if he was doing anything out of emotional torment, you lend a helping hand, not call the cops and have him arrested. It is not like the guy barged into someone’s private residence. This IS A CHURCH FOR FUCK’S SAKE. They are supposed to help people, set an example, take the moral high ground, not make more problem for the person. How can you think throwing someone in a jail cell was for their own good?

      So frankly, shame on the church and anyone who thinks this is the fair and Christ-like thing to do.


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