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Christians: More Like Jesus or Pharisees?

“The law says I can’t help you. THE LORD says I must. What do I do?”

The man who said that to me in Los Angeles in 1970 thought I really wanted the job he had offered in a newspaper ad.

I didn’t.

I had walked at least twenty miles on an empty stomach to arrive at the address I had been given only to find it was a Christian mission.

Like many I had no desire to get involved in that.

As I started to walk away I reflected that they had to have coffee and doughnuts. I turned, went inside, filled out their forms with the truth that I was Canadian and did not have a working permit. Then I filled myself with coffee and doughnuts.

“You are Canadian are you not,” said the man into whose office I had walked.

As rudely as I could so that he would throw me out I said, “Yes.”

He said, “Do you have a working permit?”

Again as rudely as I could I replied, “No.”

He said, “The law says I can’t help you. THE LORD says I must. What do I do?”

I replied, “That is your question.”

He said, “Then I guess I have to hire you.”

In that moment I understood for the first time that there are two laws.

There is the law of the land. There is the law of God. We can’t keep one without breaking the other.

That man had broken the law of his country to help an absolute stranger who, unknown to him, did not want to be helped.

I also realized that from that moment on there was only one law I could keep.

As the link above makes clear most folk who say they are Christians are clueless about what it actually means to be a Christian.

Journalists have told me they were raised as Catholic or Anglican, Born Again, whatever.

That may well be but that does not make them Christians.

What it does do is to rob them of whatever excuse they may think they have in the final hour. They won’t be able to say, “I did not know.”

A City Inspector who told me I had too many people here said he had been brought up a Christian. He said, “I was taught all men are sinners.”

Yes, we are. However the word “sin” is an archery term. It means to miss the mark.

Lack of understanding causes us to miss the mark just as, unless we are born a prodigy, the first time we shoot an arrow at a target we will miss the mark. With practice however we can hit the mark. We are called to practice, to become perfect.


The above picture was created by Bruce Simpson.

Bruce lived with me in the 1980s. A friend of his who was living in my house said, “My friend Bruce is homeless. Can you find room for him.”

I did. One day Bruce said, “What’s the best way to develop a career in animation?”

I said, “Stay as far away as you can from animation schools. Find a studio that is hiring and will train you on the job. Earn while you learn.”

Bruce went out and came home with a job at one of the best studios in Toronto.

Two weeks later I met his boss. I said, “I have a fellow living with me who asked what was the best course to take in developing a career in animation. I told him to stay away from animation schools, find a studio that would train him on the job and earn while he learned.”

His boss said, “That was excellent advice.”

I said, “He took it. He got a job at the best place in town.”

“Where’s that?” said his boss. “Your place,” I replied. “Who was it?” he said. “That kid’s great,” he replied when I told him.

Bruce has built a wonderful life for himself.

Bruce is one of the many who came to me homeless.

Why do I help people like that?

Because I have no choice but to help them.

They are Jesus. They are Christ.

Hanging here is a full-sized authorized replica of THE SHROUD OF TURIN which I purchased for just under $3,000.00 from Barrie Schwartz.

Who is Barrie Schwartz? Barrie was one of a team of over thirty American scientists who went to Turin, Italy in 1978 with tons of scientific equipment to study the shroud.

Why mention the Shroud.

Because one of the many scientific tests done on the Shroud involve the dust found on the feet of the man on the shroud. Scientific analysis shows that that dust comes from the streets of Jerusalem.

Because another of the many scientific tests done on the Shroud involve the pollen samples found on it. Those pollen samples give us a 100% accurate picture of the travels of the Shroud going from its current location in Turin, Italy right back to just outside Jerusalem.

Because on the shroud along with the image of the man on the Shroud there are images of flowers and those flowers come from the area around Jerusalem. Those flowers blossom in March and April which is Easter.

And finally because anyone who takes the time to get the information soon learns how much mainstream journalism misses the mark.

In fact most journalism is yellow journalism because lies sell.

Most journalists, like most human beings, are lazy. Most journalists, actually, are gossips. Nothing kills gossip better than information for gossip is only speculation. Most journalists will tell us carbon dating proved the Shroud a fake. Carbon dating did not. The Shroud is not.

And most journalists come the Judgment whatever faith they were brought in will find themselves on the left hand of God facing the man whose image is on the Shroud. Especially journalists. Note, I said most. I did not say all.

For the best always answer to the voice that calls us to be better.

One of the best Journalists in Canada was Pierre Berton who gave his last public reading here. When a critic reviewing one of Berton’s books asked, “How could Pierre Berton possibly write what the man was thinking Berton replied, “I read his diaries.”

Berton did his research. I do mine.

City Inspectors want me to admit I did wrong in having more people living with me than the law allows. If I do they can sleep at night.

I did not do wrong. They do wrong enforcing a law that forces us to turn our back on those who need help. They should not be able to sleep at night.

Now not everyone in this city will give a homeless person or a person fresh out of jail a home. Perhaps, though I hope not and think not, I am the only one.

One, however, is all it takes to start something.

In the beginning was ONE.

I often hear from people who don’t like what I do, “But you are the only person who does this?” Another variant is, “No one does this but you.”

As if that is a reason not to do what we are doing.Why do I help the helpless?

Because, as that man said to me in 1970, “THE LORD says I must.”

I don’t give a damn whether you are the King, the Queen, the President, the Prime Minister, a City Inspector, a Judge, a lawyer, I don’t care who you are.

THE LORD says we must to all of us.

In this Province now when in the name of popular approval and votes much of what was out in place to help the helpless has been and is being removed I know that those making that happen are going to be facing a wrath unlike anything they ever imagined.

The popular idea of Christianity is that God hates queers.

God does not hate queers.

God does hate those who turn their backs on the hungry, the thirsty, the naked, the sick, the jailbirds, the stranger.

One day as I was sitting on my front porch I saw a fellow go by who looked like he was dying of thirst.

“You look like you need a drink,” I said.

“Do I,” he replied.

“Go in and get one,” I said.

He stayed here three months.

I do that a lot.

Yes, no one else does what I do.

That’s a pity.

Right now and for the last twenty years the City of Toronto has been doing everything in its power to bring to a halt what I’ve been doing here.

That’s a pity, too.

However there is one thing that is even worse. That is that so few people give a damn.

The sin of Sodom was not as many think Sodomy.

The sin of Sodom was that the city turned its back on the hungry, the thirsty, the homeless, the sick, the jail birds and the stranger.

That sin is the sin of Toronto in 2019. Oh, there’s all sorts of official things the city does. It has shelters. It has subsidized housing. It has all the things that pay lip service to the idea of helping. But the people who turn to the official agencies must stay poor to remain in them.

The people I have helped walked out whole, renewed and strong.

I am doing what everyone of us is called to do.

The law that says I can’t is a lousy law.

I will keep it because if I don’t my landlord has been warned he will be responsible.

In THE JUDGMENT the persons who now hold the gun to our heads will have to confess they broke the law.

They will hear what the men and women on trial at Nuremberg heard when they said, “We were just following orders.” They heard, “That is no excuse.”

Yes, it isn’t.

I am here to light the way.

I am not here to force anyone to walk it.

Right now I have a lawyer to pay.

He told me it would be two years before my case comes to trial.

It won’t be.

The trial dates are looming soon, September 11, 12, 13.

He needs to have his money in full before that date.

Otherwise I will find myself in court with no one but GOD.

GOD, if it comes to that, will be more than enough.

My crime? I saw a child naked and wondered what had happened to him.

I learned that his mother, a prostitute on an Army Base in Germany, had put her son to work.

The man who most helped me get my feet on the ground when I arrived in Toronto underage in 1965 in the dead of winter only to learn the friend I thought I had here wasn’t had a mother just like that. She put her son to work at ten.

There are a lot of children in the world who come from families like that. Tomorrow, thanks to the dismantling being done by our current government there will be more of them.

There will be Hell to pay.

In 1968 I discovered THE I CHING. It teaches that learning and doing must be one otherwise the result is death.

In 1968 I became part of Rochdale College in Toronto where each of us was called to be our own teacher.

Since 1968 I have been learning by doing.

With or without a lawyer I will be doing that in the courtroom.

When the law condemns the poor to no choice but to defend themselves then the poor must defend themselves.

It has always been thus.

Bruce drew that picture because when he was lost I was his Christ. You will note he put the wound on the hand in the right place.

God’s grace I have been Christ to an awful lot of people.

That is what this place and my life is about.

It ought to be what everyone’s life is about.

No one who hates Jews can be a Christian.

No one who says God hates queers is a Christian.

No one who hates can be a a Christian.

A Christian can’t even hate those who hate him or her.

These people see the dust in our eyes but miss the log in their own eye.

No one who turns their back on the hungry, the thirsty, the homeless, the naked, the sick, the jailbirds, the stranger can be a Christian.

If your work won’t allow you clearly you are doing the wrong work.

Today’s the birthday of Ed Keenan of THE TORONTO STAR.

Coming in here to write this piece:    Ed said right off, “Reg, you are the only person in Toronto who stands up.”

The word always translated as effeminate/homosexual in the letters of St. Paul actually means spineless, lacking a backbone.

Nor can I complain about the shit I’m passing through.

Jesus said, “If you walk with me your father, your mother, your brothers, your sisters, everyone you know will turn against you.”

He adds, “If you continue with me you will possess your self.”

The only thing we can possess is our self.

Until we possess our self we possess nothing.

Once we possess our self we are rich beyond the wildest dreams of avarice.

To possess our self is to whistle on our way up Calvary’s Hill. We are going to work.

We live in a war based economy. The Great Depression never ended. “It went underground covered up by the false economy created by World War Two and maintained since then by a pipe dream sold to use by advertising,” writes Jerry Mander in FOUR REASONS FOR THE ELIMINATION OF TELEVISION. Yes, and aided by the War on Terror in our time. Wars create jobs. It was the false economy created by World War I that led to The Roaring Twenties and the collapse of that economy that brought on The Great Depression.

–Reg Hartt 2019–05–31.

I brought Shamus Culhane, the man who animated “WHISTLE WHILE YOU WORK” for Walt Disney to Toronto.  We made a private side trip to SICK KIDS HOSPITAL. There is nothing slimier than sending a celebrity there for a photo-op. This video was filmed by SICK KIDS:  . They sent it to me a while back. Here is Shamus at Sheridan College:  , and at one of my nights with him at The Bathurst Street United Church:  .

The flyers for my programs are routinely destroyed. And not mine alone. Everyone else’s as well. THE SUPREME COURT OF CANADA defended street postering as Freedom Speech for people without access to mainstream media. People who promote in mainstream media have no right to street poster. It is not for them. Jane Jacobs saw street posters as the newspaper of the streets.

The water of Christianity has washed over the world for centuries without penetrating to the hearts of humanity


Harry Gove, father of the carbon dating system used on the Shroud of Turin,

Greta Vosper is a United Church Minister and an atheist. At least she is honest about it but honestly, if you do not have faith then leave.

The Shroud of Turin in a place where strangers are welcome

Toronto Has No Hartt (Song By Petunia and The Vipers)

Who leaves anonymous death threats on phones?

Reg Hartt’s Cineforum is everything Jane Jacobs wrote about:

Why the governments of the world want us to fear: Building a global police state

Barrie Schwartz, from whom I obtained my authorized Shroud replica. Raised as an Orthodox Jew Barrie became an agnostic. When asked to accompany the scientific team of whom only 3 were Christians to Turin Barrie said, “I’m a Jew.” The man who invited him said, “So is the man on the Shroud. So am I. Think of the science.” Barrie went. The science of the Shroud is astounding.

This is Marc Sleep. He cooked the WONDERFUL SALVADOR DALI DINNER. I met him by chance in a bar. He’d been drunk three days. He was from Australia. I gave him a room. Welcoming the stranger into our lives is what Christianity is about.

These are some of the many strangers I have welcomed into my life. The man and woman at the back had come the night before. I invited them to THE WONDERFUL SALVADOR DALI DINNER. They took these pictures.

This is “Dirty Dan” from Rochdale College. He left us too soon.

Here I am looking slightly dazed. Next to me is Judith Merril, the mother of modern Speculative/Science Fiction. Of Judy J. G. Ballard (author of Crash and Empire of the Sun) in 1992:
“Science fiction, I suspect, is now dead, and probably died about the time that Judy closed her anthology and left to found her memorial library to the genre in Toronto. I remember my last sight of her, surrounded by her friends and all the books she loved, shouting me down whenever I tried to argue with her, the strongest woman in a genre for the most part created by timid and weak men.”

This is the awesome Jodie Drake a stranger I welcomed into my life. Jody knew the great Billie Holiday. She was the grandmother of Toronto’s jazz and blues scene.

These two ladies were from the Argentine and the Spanish Embassy.

The man with his face obscured by the camera is Douglas Eliuk. Doug was one of the head honchos at The National Film Board of Canada. He also served as Canada’s Cultural Attache to America. He acted as sous chef to Marc Sleep. For days they brewed up authentic broths from a sheep’s head and a cow’s head for THE WONDERFUL SALVADOR DALI DINNER. Doug was but one of the thousands of strangers I have welcomed into my life as long lost friends.



Mark, my dad and my wonderful dog, Spike whom I loved more than any person I have met.


The Salvador Dali Cookbook

The historical Jesus being from Galilee dropped his aitches when he spoke. He was dirt poor, built like a lumberjack and strong as an ox. Damn few who say, “I have Jesus in my heart” have this Jesus in their heart nor would they give him 5 seconds of their time.

Avinoam Danin traces the flowers and the pollen on the Shroud back to Jerusalem.

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