The lost youth in coastal cities – Recently I attended a gathering of conservative leaders at a conference held on the edge of the French Quarter in New Orleans. I have been in New Orleans numerous times both before and after I accepted the Lord. I actually arranged the deal between my atheist mother, Madalyn Murray O’Hair and Bob Harrington, the “Chaplain of Bourbon Street” for their famous “debates” which were actually nothing more than profitable road shows. (Note: Rev. Harrington fell hard and lost his ministry after these debates. He later recanted much and restarted his ministry in a small town in Oklahoma where he now lives.)
I was also the operations manager of a small commuter airline that operated flights into the oil patch before accepting Jesus as my Lord and Savior. All of our flights ended or went through New Orleans, and it was one of the stations I managed. Before becoming a Christian in 1980, I visited many of the bars on Bourbon Street. I haven’t been in a bar in the French Quarter for over 35 years, but I still manage to go back to the Café Du Monde to eat the beignets (French donuts) that are probably the best in the world.
Café Du Monde sits next to the mighty Mississippi River, but the levee there spared it from the flooding of Hurricane Katrina. The coffee and donut shop has operated continuously since 1862, closing only on Christmas Day. Across the street from Café Du Monde is Jackson Park which sits in front of the Cathedral-Basilica of St. Louis King of France, which is the oldest Catholic cathedral in continual use in the United States.
Walking back from Café Du Monde with my wife Nancy, we encountered a young man in a group wearing a T-Shirt that inspired me to write a column that has appeared at WND.COM and in some newspapers. Below is the column which I believe you will find of interest:
Free and Feral Human Beings?
by William J. Murray
“Free and feral” read the white letters on the black T-shirt of the young man who crossed my path in Jackson Square in the New Orleans French Quarter. He was with several male companions and from their appearance it was evident that they were indeed feral human beings, living in the streets and coming upon their sustenance as would a feral cat or dog. What I was encountering was indeed a small group of feral human beings.
His was not the only group of feral human beings in Jackson Square and none of these groups were unique to the French Quarter. The several groups of feral human beings can be broken down into two categories by age. One category was the older, mostly alcoholic or mentally ill homeless; the other group was made up of younger feral adults who very much resembled those who participated in Occupy Wall Street in New York City in 2011.
I could not help but stop and observe members of the two groups who seemed not to interact at all. I had the sense that the younger individuals were in a kind of state of denial, believing that the older people did not represent their own future. In fact, the only observable difference between the two groups was age. Both groups had separated themselves from society and their principle income seemed to be panhandling in one form or the other.
The young feral adults, a couple of whom had faded Obama campaign T-shirts, were all Caucasians, the males outnumbering the females about four to one. There was no mistake that unlike the older homeless who had burned out their lives, the younger group had chosen this existence as a lifestyle. Apparently neither group is aware that urinating and defecating in public parks or in pedestrian tunnels is offensive to those who have not chosen to live in the manner they do. Many of these public parks and squares in New Orleans – and every other major city in the United States – smell of human waste to some degree or another.
Both groups for the most part have become a part of the ambience of warmer cities, particularly near the coasts, as their status has actually risen. These feral human beings have reached a protected status, particularly in cities run by liberal politicians, a status that allows them to violate laws and to invade the space of working men and women with their general foulness. In cities such as Seattle, San Francisco, New Orleans and many other Democrat controlled cities, loitering, panhandling, public intoxication and drug use laws are ignored. Indeed in colder climates, cities pass out blankets and even tents for homeless “communities.”
As a result, the homeless and feral have become so empowered that a group I was with in Seattle was actually asked to move out of the way by a homeless man, because our discussion was taking up his panhandling spot for too long. Entire parks in the nation’s capital cannot be used by tax paying citizens to walk dogs or take children to play because they are the bedrooms and bathrooms of the feral. The lobby of the large, historic post office just blocks from the Capitol Building in Washington, DC smells of urine. Rather than attempt to enforce the law, a postal employee posted a hand written note on a trash can asking the homeless to please not urinate on the floor.
While some cities, like Las Vegas for example, crack down on public prostitution, public fornication among the feral is often ignored because there is simply no room in the jails for them. Cities do not have the space in jails or the financial means to house feral adults with mental and substance abuse issues who are breaking laws such as public intoxication and lewdness. Our financially and morally bankrupt society has collectively made the decision that camps of substance abusers and mentally ill are an acceptable alternative to enforcing laws and rehabilitating feral human beings.
Rather than deal with the actual problem, liberals in control use their attitudes of superiority to sooth their consciences by feeding and clothing the feral. Sadly the solution offered by churches and Christian ministries tracks a similar pattern. Church groups and Christian ministries that once made an attempt to preach the Gospel of salvation and rehabilitation to the downtrodden have now accepted the cultural standards and instead merely feed and clothe them, with little or no effort to win them to Christ.
The only real salvation, both physically and mentally, for the older homeless and the younger feral adults is spiritual change. As has been true for nearly 2,000 years, Jesus Christ is the answer, but church ministry to the feral and homeless has for the most part become one of sustaining rather than saving. Many in the church follow the path of the liberal elite, casting their bread crumbs to those they view as unsalvageable, on the way to pick up their lattes at Starbucks. (END COLUMN)
Ten Commandment Memorial Vandalized – On September 21st the monument of the Ten Commandments in front of Faith and Action ministry center directly behind the Supreme Court was attacked by vandals and toppled to the ground on its face. The 850-pound granite sculpture had stood for a dozen years as a silent witness to biblical truth. It is virtually impossible for a Justice to enter the Supreme Court underground parking lot without seeing the Ten Commandments monument. Members of Congress, many of whom travel in front of the ministry center on their way to and from their offices at each end of the street, often comment on the Decalogue.
The Faith and Action ministry is headed by my good friend Rev. Rob Schenk. Over the years he and I have been involved in many projects together and my previous Chief-of-Staff now works in that position for Rev. Schenk. Since the small townhome our office was once located in on 2nd Street was torn down to build a huge condo, I have used Rob’s location for many events because of its size and easy access for Members of Congress.
When I heard that vandals had knocked down the 850 pound monument I was shocked because of the location. The East side of the Supreme Court Building is literally across the street and is covered by cameras from all angles. In fact there are very clear videos of the vandals knocking down the monument but they have not as yet been captured.
Just a little over a month after the Ten Commandments monument was toppled, it was reinforced and put back in place. This is not the easy task that it may seem, as the 850 pound granite monument can’t just sit on the ground; it must have a firm, attached foundation. I was one of several speakers at the rededication service for the monument held on October 29th.
Congressman Joe Wilson (R-SC), who is a member of the Congressional Prayer Caucus, spoke at the event highlighting the fact that we are indeed in a culture war and that the toppling of the Ten Commandments across the street from the Supreme Court was indeed symbolic. Congressman Wilson told the press covering the rededication that “we must never give up and if the Ten Commandments are toppled we must put them right back up.”
Finally, please keep abreast of all that the Religious Freedom Coalition is involved in at www.ReligiousFreedomCoaltion.org, and at the two Facebook pages we manage. Links to all of our stories are also tweeted from @RFCNET.
William J. Murray, Chairman
Religious Freedom Coalition, 601 Pennsylvania Ave. NW #900, Washington, DC 20004 * (202) 742-8990