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A recent study performed by the Kaiser Foundation and the Washington Post found that religion was a significant factor in how Americans perceive poverty. The study asked 1,686 different adults in the US the answer to answer a simple question:

“Which is generally more often to blame if a person is poor: lack of effort on their own part, or difficult circumstances beyond their control?”

The results showed that Christians (and white evangelical Christians especially), were far more likely than non-Christians to blame poverty on the failings of the individual, and not their circumstances.

46 percent of Christians surveyed said that poverty stems from a lack of effort. For white evangelicals, that number rose to 53 percent. In contrast, over 65 percent of atheists said that circumstances were to blame. Just 31 percent thought it was a lack of effort.

Are Poor People Really Just Lazy?

It’s certainly a convenient explanation. Far easier to write off poor and struggling people as lazy bums than it is to accept that larger forces might be at work – issues that might require tough solutions. Seeing poverty as an individual problem allows us to ignore it outright: “Why should I do anything to help? It’s that person’s own fault, anyway.”

But just because it’s the easy road, doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the right one. Whatever happened to “love thy neighbor”?  After all, Jesus said “blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God.” Jesus dedicated himself to helping the poor escape their miserable circumstances. Apparently, today’s Christians don’t share that same compassionate energy.

Why Do Christians See It This Way?

It’s hard to say for sure, but Biblical interpretation provides a possible answer. Albert Mohler, president of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, explains:

“There’s a strong Christian impulse to understand poverty as deeply rooted in morality — often, as the Bible makes clear, in unwillingness to work, in bad financial decisions or in broken family structures.”

Mohler continues: “The Christian worldview is saying that all poverty is due to sin, though that doesn’t necessarily mean the sin of the person in poverty. In the Garden of Eden, there would have been no poverty. In a fallen world, there is poverty.”

Could Wealth Be to Blame?

But that’s just one interpretation. Another potential explanation revolves around socio-economic structures.

A study in 2015 found that 55% of the total world wealth is held by Christians, as compared to 34% by atheists and agnostics, with the next richest religious group being Muslims at 6%.

This stark difference in terms of relative wealth could contribute to a large subset of Christians having never had to deal with many of the circumstances that could contribute to poverty. As a result, this might lead them to assume being poor is the result of individuals failings.

What are your thoughts? Why do Christians tend to conflate poverty with laziness?

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Hunger is such an evil feeling.  It strips people of hope and courage and leaves them with a total and unflinching despair.  Hunger knows no boundaries nor does it recognize race, culture, age or gender.  In our own country of America, we see this. We see the homeless, we hear comments from teachers speaking of their students and we know that it exists.   These American cities have restricted publicly feeding homeless people.

In 2013, there were 45.3 million people in poverty. This is up from 37.3 million in 2007.  The number of poor people is near the largest number in the 52 years for which poverty statistics have been published.

  1. 1 in 6 people in America face hunger.
  2. 49 million Americans struggle to put food on the table.
  1. In the US, hunger isn’t caused by a lack of food, but rather the continued prevalence of poverty.
  1. 40% of food is thrown out in the US every year, or about $165 billion worth. All of this uneaten food could feed 25 million Americans.
  2. These 8 states have statistically higher food insecurity rates than the US national average (14.6%): Arkansas (21.2%), Mississippi (21.1%), Texas (18.0%), Tennessee (17.4%), North Carolina (17.3%), Missouri (16.9%), Georgia (16.6%), Ohio (16.0%).

 

 

Michael Stoops, director of community organizing at NCH, told Vice News. ““We published the report in the hope that it would embarrass the cities,” But they just keep doing it.”

In 2012, Houston, Texas passed a law that would impose a fine to anyone who is giving out food to more than five people in public, without prior written permission from the city.

In 2011, more than 20 members of an Orlando Food Not Bombs chapter were arrested for sharing food. Houston, so far, has been lucky.

A Daytona Beach couple made news recently when they were fined more than $2,000 for operating a food sharing ministry called “Spreading The Word Without Saying a Word.”

List of Cities with Homeless Feeding Bans or Restrictions

The following is a list of cities that have passed ordinances to limit or regulate the feeding of homeless persons. Each city is linked to the source of the information.

 

 

 

 

Not only are those cities unashamed, they seem to be setting something of a national precedent.

Vice News obtained NCH’s third and latest report, which is set to be published later this month. The outlet reports that, incredibly, at least 33 municipal bans on publicly handing out free food have been enacted across the U.S. between January 2013 and April 2014, reflecting a sharp increase in communities with such restrictions.

That troubling number is likely less surprising to anyone whose been following the issue of food sharing at a national level. Many cities have been actively stepping up their fights — not against homelessness, but against homeless people.

This past February, Columbia, S.C., began requiring groups of 25 people or more to purchase permits allowing them to utilize the city’s parks, making it considerably more difficult for a local chapter of Food Not Bombs to pass out meals to the hungry. Last month, a retired Florida couple was fined $700 and threatened with jail time for feeding hot meals to the homeless in Daytona Beach. After the news gained national attention and outrage, police dropped all charges.

But why have local governments become increasingly committed to stopping what many would consider an act of basic compassion?

Houston Mayor Annise Parker said on KUHF radio’s “Houston Matters” that “making it easier for someone to stay on the streets is not humane” after her city began penalizing anyone who gives out food to more than five people in public without prior permission. Violating the ordinance, which passed the Houston City Council in 2012, could result in a fine of up to $2,000.

Stoops said implementing these types of laws acts as a deterrent to organizations wanting to help those who need it most.

“We’ve had a number of church groups say, we don’t want to go against the law,” he told VICE News. “And it has resulted in a number of groups quitting the ministry.”

More American cities are blocking individuals and ministries from feeding homeless people in parks and public squares, and several Americans have been ticketed for offering such charity, according to a forthcoming report by the National Coalition for the Homeless.

To date, 33 cities have adopted or are considering such food–sharing restrictions, according to the coalition, which shared with NBC News a draft of its soon-to-be published study.

Police in at least four municipalities – Raleigh, N.C.; Myrtle Beach, S.C.; Birmingham, Ala.; and Daytona Beach, Fla. – have recently fined, removed or threatened to jail private groups that offered meals to the homeless instead of letting government-run service agencies care for those in need, the advocacy group reports.

“Homeless people are visible in downtown America. And cities think by cutting off the food source it will make the homeless go away. It doesn’t, of course,” said Michael Stoops, director of community organizing for the National Coalition for the Homeless, based in Washington, D.C.

“We want to get cities to quit doing this,” Stoops said. “We support the right of all people to share food.”

NBC News has chronicled the legal battle waged by a Florida couple, Debbie and Chico Jimenez, who had cooked and served hot meals to homeless people each Wednesday for the past year at a Daytona Beach park. The couple and four friends were cited by police and collectively fined by more than $2,000 for violating a local ordinance that prohibits such public feedings. The ticketed six refused to pay. On Wednesday, Daytona Beach police opted to dismiss the fines.

As the number of homeless people in Los Angeles County continues to rise, the City Council is weighing a ban on feeding homeless people in public areas.

City Council members Tom LaBonge and Mitch O’Farrell, both Democrats, introduced the resolution after complaints from Los Angeles residents. Arguing that meal lines should be moved indoors, the legislators said the proposal would benefit both the homeless and residential neighborhoods.

Actor Alexander Polinsky is one Los Angeles resident who complained about the number of homeless people crowding his neighborhood.

“If you give out free food on the street with no other services to deal with the collateral damage, you get hundreds of people beginning to squat,” Polinsky told The New York Times. “They are living in my bushes and they are living in my next door neighbor’s crawl spaces. We have a neighborhood which now seems like a mental ward.”

“This has overwhelmed what is a residential neighborhood,” Council member LaBonge said. “When dinner is served, everybody comes and it’s kind of a free-for-all.”

But advocates for the homeless say public officials are attempting to legislate the poor into invisibility instead of helping those in need.

“It’s a common but misguided tactic to drive homeless people out of downtown areas,” Jerry Jones, the executive director of the National Coalition of the Homeless, said to The New York Times.

“This is an attempt to make difficult problems disappear,” said Jones. “It’s both callous and ineffective.”

While homelessness in the U.S. has dropped for the fourth straight year, falling 4% in the past year, some cities, including Los Angeles, have seen a spike in homelessness. The homeless population in Los Angeles is the second highest in the country, following New York City. Los Angeles County’s homeless population rose 15% from 2011 to 2013, to nearly 53,800 individuals, according to a report from the Department of Housing and Urban Development released last week.

Los Angeles would join “dozens of cities in recent years” including Philadelphia, Raleigh, N.C., and Orlando, Fla. that have either enacted or at least debated legislation aimed at regulating the public feeding of the homeless. Over 50 cities have previously adopted some kind of anti-camping or anti-food-sharing laws, according to the National Law Center on Homelessness & Poverty.

In March of 2011, Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter announced the ban on serving food in public parks, he said moving such services indoors was part of an effort to raise standards for the homeless. The ban was temporarily blocked by a federal court in July 2012 after homeless advocacy groups sued the city.

“It hardly needs to be said that plaintiffs’ food-sharing programs benefit the public interest,” Federal Judge William Yohn Jr. wrote in his opinion. “Despite [the city’s] considerable efforts, many Philadelphians remain homeless and hungry.”

In Orlando, Fla. a federal appeals court unanimously ruled in 2011 that the city can restrict the feeding of the homeless in order to protect the parks. A spokesperson for the city said that residents and business owners originally complained about trash left after the food distribution, public urination and concerns about crime.

The court decision states, “The City of Orlando enacted the ordinance to spread the burden that feedings of large groups have on parks and their surrounding neighborhoods.”

City officials were then allowed to enforce an ordinance restricting weekly feeding of the homeless in downtown parks.

 

If you don’t have a place to live, getting enough to eat clearly may be a struggle. And since homelessness in the U.S. isn’t going away and is even rising in some cities, more charitable groups and individuals have been stepping up the past few years to share food with these vulnerable folks in their communities.

But just as more people reach out to help, cities are biting back at those hands feeding the homeless.

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According to Michael Stoops, a supporter named Tem Feavel submitted this image to the National Coalition for the Homeless in 2007, but there is no record of where it was taken.

Courtesy of National Coalition for the Homeless

According to a report released Monday by the National Coalition for the Homeless, 21 cities have passed measures aimed at restricting the people who feed the homeless since January 2013. In that same time, similar legislation was introduced in more than 10 cities. Combined, these measures represent a 47 percent increase in the number of cities that have passed or introduced legislation to restrict food sharing since the coalition last counted in 2010.

The latest city to crack down is Fort Lauderdale, Fla. According to the Sun Sentinel, the city’s commissioners passed a measure early Wednesday that will require feeding sites to be more than 500 feet away from each other, with only one allowed per city block. They’ll also have to be at least 500 feet from residential properties.

Michael Stoops, director of community organizing for the coalition and the editor of the report, says that as cities have felt more pressure to prioritize economic development and tourism, they’ve decided that food sharing programs — especially those that happen in public spaces and draw dozens, if not hundreds of people — are problematic.

“We consider measures like the one in Fort Lauderdale to be criminalizing being homeless or helping the homeless,” says Stoops.

Cities like Fort Lauderdale aren’t throwing people in jail for feeding the homeless or being homeless. But often, they’re creating more ways to impose fines.

And yet, Stoops argues that the measures will ultimately be ineffective in addressing the real problem: homelessness itself.

“Cities’ hope is that restricting sharing of food will somehow make [the] homeless disappear and go away,” Stoops tells The Salt. “But I can promise you that even if these ordinances are adopted, it’s not going to get rid of homelessness.”

Millions Struggle To Get Enough To Eat Despite Jobs Returning

The measures that restrict food distribution tend to take one of two forms: new rules on the use of public property and new food-safety regulations. Salt Lake City, for example, now requires that anyone preparing and serving food to the homeless get a food handler’s permit.

In some cities, like Charlotte, N.C., it’s not the local government that pressures the food groups to relocate or limit their programs — it’s community groups practicing “not in my backyard” politics, or NIMBYism, according to the coalition’s report. (The coalition notes that its report focuses on cities it has been able to track, but that many more cities may have anti-homeless-feeding legislation that the coalition may not be aware of.)

Robert Marbut, a consultant based in San Antonio, helps cities and counties deal with the problem of homelessness. He says he falls somewhere in the middle in this debate. While he’s opposed to criminalization, he thinks “street feeding” programs that distribute food in parks and under bridges can do more harm than good.

“Street feeding is one of the worst things to do, because it keeps people in homeless status,” he says. “I think it’s very unproductive, very enabling, and it keeps people out of recovery programs.”

Instead, he thinks food sharing programs should only be located near what he calls the “core areas of recovery”: mental health, substance abuse and job readiness services. Otherwise, he says, homeless people may spend more time pursuing food than the services that will help them get back on their feet.

Stoops says that he agrees there should be options for the homeless to eat meals indoors — with heat and air conditioning at shelters, churches and other sites. But he points out that those programs can’t meet the full scope of needs.

“Not everyone wants to go to a shelter or a meal program. In the best of all worlds, the homeless agencies get out of the office and go with ministry programs to bring services to where people are,” he says.

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“I cannot be part of a world where men dress their wives as prostitutes by showing everything that should be cherished. Where there is no concept of honor and dignity, and one can only rely on those when they say “I promise” .

 
Where women do not want children, and men don’t want a family.

 
Where the suckers believe themselves to be successful behind the wheel of their fathers` cars, and a father who has a little bit of power is trying to prove to you that you’re a nobody.

 
Where people falsely declare that they believe in God with a shot of alcohol in their hand, and the lack of any understanding of their religion.

 
Where the concept of jealousy is considered shameful, and modesty is a disadvantage.

 

 

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Where people forgot about love, but simply looking for the best partner.

 
Where people repair every rustle of their car, not sparing any money nor time, and themselves , they look so poor that only an expensive car can hide it.

 
Where the boys waste their parents money in nightclubs, aping under the primitive sounds, and girls fall in love with them for this.

 
Where men and women are no longer ago identifiable and where all this together is called freedom of choice, but for those who choose a different path-get branded as retarded despots.

 
I choose my path, but it’s a pity that I did not find similar understanding in the people among whom I wished to find it most of all …  K. Reeves

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As a person I am always DELIGHTED when people take the time to wrap up their thoughts, feeling and reasons in an accessible package, to be shared and understood by anyone. These illustrations come to us from the Quiet Revolution, a site geared towards empowering and explaining any typecast behavior.

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Introverted individuals have a different neural path carved out. In the introverted brain there are longer neural pathways that pass through the areas associated with planning and long term memory. The study also found that people that classified as introverted have twice as much blood being pumped into their brains. This examination takes them longer to process but they get more out of the event witnessed.

 

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The baseline for stimulation keeping people awake and alert is much lower in introverts opposed to extroverts. This lowered baseline means that they get over stimulated easier and with less.

 

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A staple in introverted personalities is a comparably more quiet life. From the extroverted opinion this is ‘boring’ or ‘fulfilling’. That low base line we talked about earlier, comes into play here as well. That lower baseline translates chemically in a couple of ways, one of these ways is that they also need less dopamine. An introvert makes use of this feel good chemical more efficiently, so a night at home has great rewards.

 

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Extroverts are rewarded more strongly rewarded for gambling, taking risks or surprises than introverts. Introverts did not respond as strongly as extroverts in this study.

The introverted brain reacts to stimulus with few degrees of change. Whether an introvert is reading a book, talking to a person, sitting on a bench or whatever the case may be their brain treats the interaction the SAME. This explains a lot.6

While this person isn’t chatting up a storm, they are having a dialogue, just not with you. Don’t get offended, there’s a lot of experience comparing, decision making, and planning going on in that skull. While you may not need to spend this amount of time on the internal mechanizations, please be considerate and let other’s do what they are comfortable with. Jeff Wilson

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Personality refers to individual differences in characteristic patterns of thinking, feeling and behaving. The study of personality focuses on two broad areas: One is understanding individual differences in particular personality characteristics, such as sociability or irritability.

 
Questions of personality have vexed mankind from the dawn of personhood: can people change? How do others perceive me? What is the difference between normal and pathological behavior? One’s personality is so pervasive and all-important that it presents a clinical paradox of sorts: it is hard to assess our own personality, and impossible to overlook that of others.

 
According to the Myers-Briggs personality test, there are four terms we need to understand in order to understand personality.

 
There is introversion and extroversion, determining how outgoing of a personality you are.

 
There is sensing or intuition, how you process information.

 
There is thinking or feeling, how you make decisions, logic and facts or subjectivity.

 
And lastly, there is judging and perceiving, how you react to the outside world and adapt to change.

 

 

TAKE THE M/B TEST

 

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The Zhangjiajie National Forest Park is a unique national forest park located in Zhangjiajie City in northern Hunan Province in the People’s Republic of China

 

 

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In ancient times, Zhangjiajie was regarded as remote and inaccessible. The history of Zhangjiajie can be traced back to the Neolithic Age when it was still named “Dayong”. The first human traces in this area have been registered about 100,000 years ago.

 

 

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The entire area is covered with towering cliffs of sandstone of quartz and dense unspoiled forests that conceal fantastic caves full of stalactites and stalagmites. The quartzite sandstone hills in Wulingyuan are unique for their large number and fairly pure composition (being 75-95% quartz).

 

 

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Zhangjiajie National Park, covering over 50 square miles, is the first national forest park of China and the highlight of the gorgeous Wulingyuan Scenic Area. The park was originally a state-run tree farm, which was founded in 1958, and then was officially approved to be a national-level forest park in 1982. Featuring the vast forest of peculiar sandstone peaks, the park was added to the World Natural Heritage list in December of 1992 and became a member of the first World Geoparks promulgated by the UNESCO in 2004. It covers three natural reserves, and contains over 500 tree species, including the Dawn Redwood, believed extinct until it was re-identified in 1948. There are also giant salamanders, rhesus monkeys, and many bird types.

 

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zhangjiajietourism.us

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We know nothing of hatred, intolerance, racism, sexism, bigotry and prejudice.

We don’t understand things like love, compassion, integrity, tolerance, human decency and truth.

All we will learn is what you teach us.

Choose well.

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