Wednesday, December 15, 2010

The Ogden Lodge and Christian Compassion

One story that's been in the news lately concerns the Ogden Lodge in Ogden, Utah. It's a motel where a number of rather impoverished individuals and families have been living. And now, shortly before Christmas and on unreasonably short notice, they're finding themselves suddenly without a home there any more. The lodge has been sold to another party who wishes to tear it down, although that other party admits that they haven't yet decided what to do with the land. Rather than allow the motel to stand until they make such a decision, they're evicting all who right now need that motel in order to have shelter, a basic human necessity.

It seems to me that in such an instance, the proper Christian thing to do would be to put the needs of these people first and delay eviction and demolition so that these people have ample time to find affordable new housing and so that they don't have to scramble for their basic human needs so shortly before Christmas, a holiday marking the birth of a man who, among many other things, had compassion for the poor and insisted that humans need to love one another and go out of our way to meet each other's needs.

And it's with a heavy heart that I contemplate that the party responsible for evicting these people and demolishing the Ogden Lodge is The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which last year around the same time was stressing the need to care for the poor and the needy. (But, see also here where a blogger - who happens to be in the real estate business in Ogden - explains why the tenants are really lowlifes and the Church is doing the right thing in evicting them.)

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