It’s amazing how many people simply don’t understand how absurd an overreaching government becomes. It’s inevitable. Once a government gains power, which often comes with freedom from accountability to the people, that government begins to think of itself as God with the rights to determine what is right and wrong, good and bad, what should or should not be done. Individual citizens do not have any right to freedom to do good as they see fit.
Think that I’m overreacting in this line of thinking? Well, then, take a look at what the State of California does to people who simply want to feed the homeless so that other people don’t go hungry. Jayson Veley writes,
This past weekend, El Cajon [California] police officers placed roughly a dozen people under arrestfor the horrible, unspeakable act of feeding homeless people at a city park – because God forbid citizens of California act generously and give food to people in need.
The event being held in the park was organized by a group called Break the Ban, which was formed in response to the passage of an emergency ordinance back in October prohibiting residents from distributing food while on city-owned property. Although city officials claim that the food-sharing ban was originally implemented as a way to stop the spread of hepatitis A, critics claim that it is nothing more than a punitive measure that dehumanizes the homeless and paints them as criminals.
Now, you may be thinking that preventing hepatitis A is a good idea, but maybe we should consider how hepatitis A spreads. Is is spread through food distribution to the homeless? The World Health Organization (WHO) notes:
The virus is primarily spread when an uninfected (and unvaccinated) person ingests food or water that is contaminated with the faeces of an infected person. The disease is closely associated with unsafe water or food, inadequate sanitation and poor personal hygiene.
In other words, it’s a sanitation issue. So, is the solution to not feed the homeless? No. Withholding kindness from other people is not a justification. Maybe the solution is to offer hand sanitizer. Maybe the solution is provide ways to wash hands. But the people who are handing out the food are almost certainly people who already have a home and the ability to wash hands regularly for sanitation purposes.
Which means that this city ordinance, no matter what the government says, can’t really be about health concerns. Veley has this take on it:
This is about government dependency. If California allows people to act charitably and give food to the homeless, that means that the homeless will be less dependent on the government. Some may consider it to be a cynical way of looking at things, but if you understand the way in which the progressive left operates, then you know it is the absolute truth. They want the government to be the providers. They want the government to feed the people. And once the people become reliant on the government for everything from food to shelter to clothing, then the government ultimately has a clear path forward towards tyranny.
Whatever your opinion of the “progressive left,” government regulation of basic human kindness is tyranny, and good intentions do not make for good government. People need to be free to be kind to other human beings as they see fit. California overstepped the boundaries (again) in this situation.