Public forum: Keep 'them' out of neighborhood
On July 16, the Willmar City Council turned its back on a proposal to build 51 homes for families with low incomes to be located in the southwest part of Willmar. An overflow crowd at the council meeting was outspoken in its opposition to the pro...
On July 16, the Willmar City Council turned its back on a proposal to build 51 homes for families with low incomes to be located in the southwest part of Willmar. An overflow crowd at the council meeting was outspoken in its opposition to the proposed homes. The head of the group that proposed to develop the homes stated that this level of opposition to low-income housing is unusual in other communities.
Judging by the five or so letters that have appeared in this space in the past month, the opposition is all about zoning, property values and the government doing what the people (at least the noisy ones) want. Those are respectable reasons, but they are not the real reasons.
The real reasons have to do with "them" and with keeping them out of our fair neighborhood. If they have to live somewhere, let it be in another part of town. They are not wanted here. It's enough to make me nostalgic for the days before political correctness when bigots could be more open about their bigotry and didn't have to rely on euphemisms and coded language.
Willmar has more than its fair share of folks who will be happy to tell you, although you didn't ask, that they are Christian and heaven bound. In the gospel of Matthew 25:31-46, Jesus describes judgment day, when all are gathered before the King, the sheep on one side are separated from the goats on the other.
The sheep will hear, "Come, you blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world."
The goats will hear, "Depart from Me, you cursed, into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels."
Jesus explained that the sheep are those who provide food, clothing, shelter and care for the poor, the sick, the stranger and the prisoner. The goats turn away from the poor, the sick, the stranger and the prisoner, and in doing so, from Jesus. Why do we hear so many goats bleating and so few sheep?
John H. Burns