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Last year when The City Of Toronto forced me to tell many of the people who came to me in trouble to find another place to live I reached out to many people to help.

I found none. Not one.

Among those I reached out to were many religious professionals. Like the pharisee and the scribe on Jesus’s parable of THE GOOD SAMARITAN they passed me by.

I am not faulting them for this. As Jesus said, “We don’t get grapes from thistles.”

I bring it up because so many confuse organized religion with the way of life taught by Lao Tze, The Buddha, Moses, the Prophets and Jesus.

The problem is that not one of these people understands that when they pass us by, as The Last Judgment makes abundantly clear, it is Jesus they pass by.

Doubt me?

Read it for yourself:

“When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on his glorious throne. Before him will be gathered all the nations, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. And he will place the sheep on his right, but the goats on the left. Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’  Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’

“Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink, I was a stranger and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not clothe me, sick and in prison and you did not visit me.’ Then they also will answer, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to you?’ Then he will answer them, saying, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me.’ And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”– Matthew 25:31-46

Martin Luther King Jr. reached out to many people. He said, “Worse than the words of our enemies is the silence of our friends.”

Albert Einstein reached out to many people. He said, “All that is required for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing.”

A lot of people who see themselves as good pride themselves on doing nothing.

So here’s the deal.

You find yourself as I have found and find myself under attack from someone determined to do you as much harm as possible. If you are like me you have stood by others when they were attacked. Now you find that very few (including many you stood up for) are standing with you.

My dad was a stand up guy. It broke his heart when he found those he’d stood up for refused to stand up for him.

One of the people I reached out to was Christian Domenic Elia of the Catholic League For Civil And Religious Rights.

I did not ask him for money.

I asked him to stand with me in declaring the people I live with my family in Christ.

Why?

Because under the City Of Toronto zoning Bylaws the number of unrelated people who can live with me is three including myself.

That meant that a transgender person who called me in a panic had to leave. Another man whom the police threw out of his home because the man he lived with who owned the property had killed himself called me reeling from the grief a suicide always brings on. He had to go. He’s now living in a shelter.

Meanwhile The City has taken my landlord to court.

“We want him to admit what he did was wrong,” say the city authorities.

Wrong my ass.

If the people living with me are related by blood they can be stacked up like cord wood here.

I reached out to the Cardinal. I reached out to Greta Vosper. I reached out to…

Like the pharisee and the scribe they passed me by.

They will pass you by as well.

The Catholic Civil Rights League takes people to court for abuses.

Sounds good does it not?

Well, it isn’t. It is completely contrary to what Jesus taught, what Paul taught, what the Apostles taught, what the gospels teach.

In fact, if you know THE NEW TESTAMENT you know that many who would beat us to death with it do not.

So why am I saying this?

I am saying this so that you may know when push comes to shove and the world turns against you that you are not the first person who has found them-self alone and you won’t be the last.

Why?

Well, Katharine Hepburn was one of the greatest actresses of her time. When she began her career she was invited to join new York’s prestigious GROUP THEATRE.

She told them, “I want no part of the group dynamic. The group by nature is second rate.”

There you have it.

Don’t expect the first rate from those who by nature are second rate.

Look at the history of the world. How often has one man or women who knew they were right not only been told by the majority they were wrong but also been murdered by that majority?

Too often to count.

That Samaritan in Jesus’ story in the eyes of the man he told the story too was a walking piece of filth. Yet it was the man he held in contempt who acted when the Pharisee and the Scribe did not.

So it is in life right now.

Henry Miller in AN OPEN LETTER TO SURREALISTS EVERYWHERE wrote, “One man operating alone on faith can accomplish what trained armies can not do.”

I was brought up as a Roman Catholic. For decades I have been the focus of an undiluted campaign of pure hate.

For Christ’s sake the country paper of record, THE GLOBE AND MAIL, testifies of it: https://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/toronto/toronto-alternative-theatre-founder-stands-up-to-bullying-threats/article549053/ 

Does this make me angry?

No, it does not.

It makes me sad. It makes me deeply sad.

I can think of no moment worse than the final moment when we face the great Judge and he looks us square in the eye and states, “Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink, I was a stranger and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not clothe me, sick and in prison and you did not visit me.”

Then the city bureaucrats, councillors, MPs, MPPS, journalists, professional religious people and all will say, “When did we not help you?”

They will hear, “Truly, I say to you, as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me.”

Like the guards at the Concentration camps they will say, “I was only doing my job, my duty.”

That judge will say, “I called you to a higher duty. Now get out of here.”

Martin Luther King Jr. said, “I do believe unmerited suffering is redemptive.”

It is.

If I can’t welcome the homeless into my home in Toronto than it is time to turn my back on Toronto.

One city official asked what makes what I do different from what others do said, “He’s inviting strangers–people he does not know–into his home.”

Another said in a letter to my landlord, “I think his statement that he sees strangers who come to his door as friends is at best ingenuous.”

Well, it ain’t ingenuous.

It is what we are called in Christ to do.

I seem to be the only person in Toronto doing it.

Well, one person with GOD is a majority.

Remember Socrates died because the majority of Athens decreed his death. The group dynamic is always second rate. The second rate always hate that which they recognize as better than themselves.

The day I took my six year old sister to school was the most important day of my life.

The principal’s niece lived across the street from us. They were a rich Protestant family. We were poor and Roman Catholic.

In short, we were trash in the eyes of a lot folk. We did not know that then. We were just kids filled with the love kids have for everything.

As we approached the school we saw the principal going in. I said to my sister, “Say hello.”

At noon when I picked her up to bring her home her face was red with tears. She had been taken from her first grade classroom to the office where she was given the strap. When I asked her why she did not say, “My brother said to say hello” she said, “Then you would have gotten the strap.”

She was and is a far, far better person than are those who judged and condemned her.

There’s not much an eight year old boy an do but there is one thing he can do. That one thing is to remember.

Ellis Marsalis said  to his sons Branford, Delfeayo and Wynton, “Most teachers say you should go to school to get your degree to have something to fall back on. Aside from being a huge lie, that also creates a very high level of mediocrity, because nobody who really believes that is going to take the leap of faith required to be a serious artist. Stay out of school.”

Yes, our education system does lead to a very high level of mediocrity. Stay out of school.

–Reg Hartt 2019–06–12.

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