I feel like this might be a scene from the new Atlas Shrugged movie:
Paul Ryan visited a soup kitchen in Youngstown, Ohio Saturday on his way to the airport, but by the time the GOP vice presidential nominee and his family had arrived shortly before noon, the grits, sausage and doughnuts had been served, the hall was empty of patrons and the volunteers appeared to have already cleaned up.
Ryan stood at the sink and took some large metal pans that did not appear to be dirty, soaped them up and rinsed them, remarking as the cameras clicked and the TV cameras rolled that he had spent a summer washing dishes when he was younger.
Spokesman Michael Steel said that the visit by the Ryans to the soup kitchen “emphasized the importance of charities and volunteerism to civil society.”
can i just say that this is full of shit? that first of all, ryan scrubbing clean dishes makes my heart weep for his precious delicate fingers, but more importantly, this idea that churches and charities will be able to take care of the entirety of the poor population in the US is just fucking *traitorous* in it’s utter ignorance?
first: most non-profits that are dealing with any type of social welfare (i.e. homelessness, hunger, spousal abuse, etc) today are struggling. like—MAJORLY struggling. Funding is drying up like a bitch, and even if you DO get funding, it’s never enough to cover everything that needs to be covered.
second: churches are suffering just as badly as non-profits are. this is more complicated than the non-profit stuff—but suffice it to say, there’s a REASON that the catholic church is packing up and pulling out of detroit (as an example), and it’s NOT because detroit is “scary” or a “wasteland” or whatever—if you need reminding, *that’s what churches DO* is service the ‘scary’ among us. so shut ur mouth with that none sense.
what is happening to churches is more appropriately called: enrollment is down. churches are no longer THE gathering place of the community—in fact, with the way that many communities don’t have local schools, parks or libraries—many communities don’t even *have* gathering places any more. it’s not that people are “godless” and by forcing the churches to pick up the poor people, we’d be forcing a much needed return to god (as i’ve seen argued)—it’s that massive megachurches have “stolen” flock from local churches—and local churches have subsequently dried up. I mean—i’m simplifying this MASSIVELY. cuz the decline in enrollment must also be looked at by denomination, geographic region, history of religion in the area, etc—
but the fact that churches are leaving detroit suggests that churches are an industry just as much as the auto industry is or the media industry is. it takes money, it takes enrollment, and it takes genuine local commitment from communities to keep churches up and running—and in far too many places in the US—communities *just don’t have those things*. which means that there simply isn’t the infrastructure in place for churches to handle the level of poverty that the US sits at.
(a side note: i was talking to an elder in detroit the other day and she was telling me about how every weekend when she was young, the local community in her area of detroit would pitch in and hold a fish fry for the entire community. anybody who was hungry could come and they would feed all until the fish ran out. there used to be the infrastructure in place, esp in communities of color who were existing through segregation OUTSIDE of the system, to address at least on some level, hunger, homelessness, abuse, etc. but as heavy industry has come in and destroyed the different communities in detroit (in this case, it was the 48217 community), that infrastructure has also been destroyed. there is no fish fries in the neighborhood—and the biggest commonality they have these days is that everybody in the area has somebody who has died from pollution/heavy industry poisoning.)