A federal judge has ruled that a southern Oregon city can’t limit a local church’s homeless meal services.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Mark Clarke found that an ordinance passed by the small city of Brookings, on the southern Oregon coast, violated the religious freedom rights of St. Timothy’s Episcopal Church, KGW reported. He issued his opinion on Wednesday.

The 2021 ordinance limited the church’s homeless meal services to two days a week, and required a permit to serve free food in residential areas. It was passed in response to resident complaints.

The church sued the city in 2022, saying the ordinance violated its right to freely practice religion.

    • anon6789@lemmy.world
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      4 months ago

      If only they had a role model that would have taught them that!

      Maybe they could have written it down in a book they could turn to for guidance.

      Or if they would hold weekly meetings to discuss it.

      🤣

    • Ogmios@sh.itjust.works
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      4 months ago

      Plenty do. You just don’t associate with that segment of society and it doesn’t make headlines.

      • anon6789@lemmy.world
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        4 months ago

        I took it as picking on the hypocritical people, not all churchgoers.

        I’m actually surprised how pro-church this thread has been compared to most posts. Even some apparent church-haters have given the church credit in this thead.

        • IonAddis@lemmy.world
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          There’s a number of people who might have stayed religious if their religion actually focused on helping people and wasn’t full of hypocrites.

          • anon6789@lemmy.world
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            4 months ago

            My 2 best friends are really heartbroken lately and have greatly reduced their participation at their church due to much of the money going to a few select families of higher ups for things not even remotely mission related.

            They’ve donated 10% of their income for years and worked on many projects and events, but it makes them feel like crap to see things run inappropriately.

            I’m not religious and would generally refer to myself as agnostic, but it sucks to see them get hurt spiritually by their church, as that’s kinda the opposite reason as to why it exists.

            • stoly@lemmy.world
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              4 months ago

              They finally woke up, which is great for them. Now they will experience a period of trauma as they re-evaluate their lives and identities. It’s a hard process but they will be happier on the other end than before starting this journey.

              • girlfreddy@lemmy.ca
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                4 months ago

                It’s a hard process but they will be happier on the other end than before starting this journey.

                Not necessarily. I’ve been through this and it’s a lot … a loss of community, loss of friends, nevermind the exhaustion from having your mind in conflict for months/years before you actually leave. And then having to develop new community and new friends without the history you had with the old.

                • stoly@lemmy.world
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                  4 months ago

                  I had the extreme misfortune to be born a gay person in the late 1970s to future Trump voters. I have extreme personal experience on this subject. It is traumatic, it is hard. But you come out of it with a far stronger sense of identity than most people develop and those you surround yourself with are by choice rather than by default.

        • stoly@lemmy.world
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          4 months ago

          It’s because people like seeing people do good things, especially when the bad people get it stuck to them.

        • grue@lemmy.world
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          I’m actually surprised how pro-church this thread has been compared to most posts. Even some apparent church-haters have given the church credit in this thead.

          Huh, it’s almost as if people not indoctrinated to tribalism judge people by their actions instead of their group affiliation.

  • anon6789@lemmy.world
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    4 months ago

    I looked up where this ordinance came from.

    From AP

    The ordinance against serving more than two free meals a week came in response to a petition from people living near the church, who said the church’s programs were creating public safety problems, Jefferson Public Radio reported.

    The petition, which refers to the people around St. Timothy’s Episcopal Church as “vagrants” and “undesirables,” was signed by 30 people.

    The town has about 7000 residents if you want to get an idea about what I’m percentage of the residents seem to find this to be a problem.

    The church website claims they serve 210+ meals a week. Even if we assume everyone comes back for every meal, that’s 35 people.

    So if we look to serve the greatest good, it seems helping the homeless helps more people than if they were to help the judgemental NIMBYs.

    From the in OPs post:

    The city is currently asking the church to stop shower and advocacy services also bringing in homeless people into the neighborhood.

    A church not bathing and protecting the poor really does seem to go against what I feel what most would say a church should stand for. I’m going to side with the church here.

      • anon6789@lemmy.world
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        4 months ago

        I find things like this to be a fun exercise of Google Fu.

        They’re usually so thinly veiled attempts at prejudice or racism you can let the facts do all the talking just by following back article links a few steps to get great quotes and numbers to show these people for who they are.

    • ShepherdPie@midwest.social
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      4 months ago

      For reference, Brookings is a little podunk town along the coast way down in the corner of Oregon near the California border. It’s highly unlikely that these homeless people are coming in from out of town since it’s far from any large city, so the people that are being attracted to this church already live in Brookings.

      • anon6789@lemmy.world
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        4 months ago

        My thought as well when looking at the photo in the wiki when I grabbed the population count.

        You never know though, those mountains could be full of phantom homeless!

        • catloaf@lemm.ee
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          4 months ago

          It looks like a nice enough place.

          It also looks pretty rich.

      • anon6789@lemmy.world
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        4 months ago

        I try not to be tooooo judgemental in my reporting.

        I’d love to see an AITA post from one of these people though!

        • girlfreddy@lemmy.ca
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          I used to love reading that on reddit, but when I subscribed to it here my feed was immediately swamped with AITA … so I unsubscribed.

          An occasional read is fine, but too much makes it seem like we’re all myopic selfish ijits that, although it may be true, does not give me hope for our survival.

          • anon6789@lemmy.world
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            4 months ago

            I normal don’t read that type of thing, but if just be curious to see how these people justify wanted to back homeless people getting fed and cleaned up by the church.

            Most of the Reddit ones I felt were fake to begin with, and there’s enough real negative stuff I need to read to stay informed that I didn’t need the negativity for “fun.”

    • bluGill@kbin.social
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      4 months ago

      A church should stand for whatever the tenants of the religion is. Christian is common in the us and generally holds help the poor as a tenant (as do several others) but tht doesn’t mean they all do.

      • anon6789@lemmy.world
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        4 months ago

        I agree. I was just saying that it does indeed sound like what a church should be doing and the town is wrong for trying to make them stop doing these things. If the homeless were indeed doing bad things, I’m sure there were existing laws that could have stopped them, but since there were no violations, I presume, they had to invent new laws they would be in violation of.

        (Polite correction for you also: a tenant is someone who rents or occupies someone else’s tenements (a house/dwelling/residence), while a tenet is a principle or belief)

  • Flying Squid@lemmy.world
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    4 months ago

    On the one hand, I’m happy for this ruling.

    On the other hand, the church shouldn’t have to do it in the first place because a government that actually cared about its citizens wouldn’t let any of them go hungry.

    • dogslayeggs@lemmy.world
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      This government actively worked to prevent it.

      I could give them the benefit of the doubt and say that the government was trying to get religion out of the job of taking care of citizens while setting up a city food bank… but I won’t because it was in response to a petition signed by 30 people (out of 7000).

    • lilsolar@sh.itjust.works
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      4 months ago

      When will ppl understand…

      A government will never care significantly abt jts citizens unless it’s small snd localized. That’s why a smaller government is better.

      • Flying Squid@lemmy.world
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        4 months ago

        Weird, because Sweden’s big government seems to do quite well caring significantly about its citizens. Along with the other Scandinavian countries.

        • lilsolar@sh.itjust.works
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          Lol no? Have u seen their crime rate increase significantly. It’s acc dangerous mow + expensive.

  • stoly@lemmy.world
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    4 months ago

    What’s amazing here is that some Karen/Chad had to complain about it to other Karens and Chads who then enacted this hateful law.

    • Dkarma@lemmy.world
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      What’s amazing here is that a judge thinks feeding people is a religious belief.

      • stoly@lemmy.world
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        I don’t see that as a stretch. Religions throughout history have held that we must act altruistically and help others, though adherents often don’t respect that part of it all. For reference, I am a strict atheist.

      • The Quuuuuill@slrpnk.net
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        But when you give a feast, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, and you will be blessed, because they cannot repay you. For you will be repaid at the resurrection of the just.”

        Luke 14:13-14

        Jesus replied, “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and he fell among robbers, who stripped him and beat him and departed, leaving him half dead. Now by chance a priest was going down that road, and when he saw him he passed by on the other side. So likewise a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. But a Samaritan, as he journeyed, came to where he was, and when he saw him, he had compassion. He went to him and bound up his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he set him on his own animal and brought him to an inn and took care of him.

        Luke 10:30-37

        Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal.

        Matthew 6:19-20

        But if anyone has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him? Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth

        John 3:17-18

        I would argue NOTHING is more central to Christianity than helping the homeless. And that’s before we start getting into comparative religion and finding that almost every religion emphasizes enlightenment coming from giving compassion to those that have nothing

      • BreakDecks@lemmy.ml
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        4 months ago

        It absolutely is if you follow the word of Christ. Unfortunately, most self-proclaimed Christians reject the word of Christ.

  • Jaysyn@kbin.social
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    4 months ago

    Get fucked Brookings, I hope none of you hate-filled shitheads considered yourself a Christian.

    Cause you ain’t

  • GreenAlex@kbin.social
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    4 months ago

    The fact that this went to court in the first place is just insane. This was an attempt at the removal of freedom for cruelty’s sake.