Saturday, December 22, 2012

random thoughts on hysteria, miracles and stuff

*Whenever Americans freak out and say something must be done....things get worse. In the 1970s there was a mass emptying of insane asylums. Nobody seemed to connect this to the homeless media frenzy of the 80s. On Fr Z'S blog he posted a story about a mayor who's threatening a homeless shelter. One commenter wrote in that church's should pitch in and let homeless people sleep there. That's a nice thought but it also leaves the parish open to lawsuits when some woman goes into the church to pray and gets raped or murdered. I've twice had incidents with homeless men in church. The first was in St. Jospeh's on Capital Hill in DC and it  ended well becuase I and the other woman who was also frightned fled in time. The second, which happened in a wealthy suburb turned out okay because a male parish employee yelled at the guy to leave. Most folks have no idea of how dangerous some of the poor souls living on the streets can be until they volunteer to help out at the homeless ministry and have to sign a legal waiver saying the parish is not liable if they get hurt.


*One Spring day when I was 15, I was walking home from school when I realized that I was being hunted. Two guys in a car were driving very slowly down the street and they were looking at me. I remained calm and pretended I didn't see them. I reached into my bottomless pit of a purse and found my keys. I kept walking until I got to the front steps of my apartment building and then used the element of surprise and got a speed boost from my guardian angel. I ran up the steps got the front door open and slammed it behind me. As I pulled the glass and steel door closed I saw that one of the guys in the car had gotten out and was on the steps. He snapped his fingers and probably cursed in frustration then went back to his accomplice. I let myself inside my apartment, dropped my purse and books on the floor and went straight to my mothers room and lay down on her bed until she came home from work. The experience was so shocking that I never said a word about it for 20 years and to this day I've never mentioned it to my mother. I'm 4 foot eleven inches tall. I'm no speedster. I could never have fought my way to safety and it's a miracle I noticed those guys, ran fast enough and had my keys in my hand.  God saved me that day.


*I'm reading Father Luigi Villa's book on Venerable Paul VI. It's not enjoyable at all. The feelings I get while reading it are painful and  I keep walking away from it but I've never had any use for willful ignorance so I'll keep at it.




*I just received this  handmade holy card made by a delightful mother and daughter in Pennslyvania. They have an Etsy shop and the card is just gorgeous. It's on archival, thick, creamy paper and the colors are stunning. The funny thing is that I have a crocheted veil made  that looks just like the one Our Lady is wearing in the picture.

5 comments:

Anita Moore said...

I had a similar scary incident once when I was 9 or 10 or so, where a couple of guys in a car accosted me while I was out roller-skating in front of my house. I was very frightened. God protected me, too. There are some truly evil people in the world. God save us from their predations.

Lola said...

I don't know why the angels can't protect every girl. But, I give thanks that he protected you and Anita!

I've often wondered about our Angels.

One lady I worked with had told me a story about being dragged by her purse strap into an abandoned construction site. A little old Asian man appeared and started screaming at her attacker in his language, dropping his sack of onions. The fiend dropped her and ran off. She got up and ran away.

I often thought maybe she saw a little old man and her attacker saw the Angel in God's Glory. She wasn't religious at ALL.

Steve Dalton said...

Dymphna, you're correct about some of the mentally ill being dangerous and violent. These poor souls need to be behind four walls twenty four hours a day, but thanks to the wrongheaded liberalism of the 1960's that taught everyone ought to be free, people who were incapable of handling freedom were set loose on the streets. Thankfully, people are starting to understand the problem and are reversing the foolishness of the last five decades.

Hans Georg Lundahl said...

" In the 1970s there was a mass emptying of insane asylums. Nobody seemed to connect this to the homeless media frenzy of the 80s."

One good thing for seventies!

Homelessness may be bad, but some prices for avoiding it are too high.

And probably the guys who rightly cried out about asylums were not the ones who wrongly cried out about homeless.

The poor ye have always among you ... except that ghastly time between late 19th/early 20th and 70's, when they were shut up instead.

As to Major Schmitt and that shelter ...

1) in general over capacity of a shelter does not hurt, it's the normal capacity I try to avoid by staying away - back in Berlin where it was colder and I was less allergic to it, the Stadtmission was regularly overcrowded;
2) nevertheless, in a boat, the capacity is not just about room in beds or on floor, also about floating;
3) the most logical ways to decide who can't and who can come in are:

* "yes, we still have room" or "no, too late, we are full"
* "your turn a few nights" or "no longer your turn, you had your two weeks"

And the most immediate thing to do if homeless shelters either don't suffice or don't appeal is to offer either your home or your staircase, not the Church.

"One commenter wrote in that church's should pitch in and let homeless people sleep there. That's a nice thought but it also leaves the parish open to lawsuits when some woman goes into the church to pray and gets raped or murdered. I've twice had incidents with homeless men in church. The first was in St. Jospeh's on Capital Hill in DC and it ended well becuase I and the other woman who was also frightned fled in time. The second, which happened in a wealthy suburb turned out okay because a male parish employee yelled at the guy to leave. Most folks have no idea of how dangerous some of the poor souls living on the streets can be until they volunteer to help out at the homeless ministry and have to sign a legal waiver saying the parish is not liable if they get hurt."

My experience of other homeless - limited, because I tend to avoid to be too much about them - is that the worst proposition is what "Pope Francis" made of asking every parish to let homeless take showers.

Not for that reason, I think you might - with all due respect - have been somewhat hysterical, but because some homeless have scabies and a lot of homeless taking showers are a burden to the quiet of the parish priest.

Hans Georg Lundahl said...

I have hit two people after duly leaving their stair cases. One of them had wanted me to tell him who had allowed me to enter, and really counted on my betraying my benefactor. The other had woken me up after 2 hours of sleep and refused to hear my appeal to let me stay just that night.

If you are woken up after a long day and then only two hours of sleep (ask Rocky, he's known it in the army) you are NOT in your best mood.

"I'm 4 foot eleven inches tall. I'm no speedster. I could never have fought my way to safety and it's a miracle I noticed those guys, ran fast enough and had my keys in my hand."

Oh, did not know.

I have the impression some things which scare shorties are not really so scary. This example - a girl chased by two boys in a car - of course IS. Other things, at least to me, are not. But then I am what's 1 m 86,5 cm? 6 foot 2?

@Lola:

"I don't know why the angels can't protect every girl."

They could - if all girls followed their promptings and if no anger of God led to punishments for previous sins showing in particularly nasty sins.

@Steve Dalton:

The guys who should be locked up are usually the guys who deserve to be locked up elsewhere.

I am not saying ALL should be free. I am saying all INNOCENT should be free.

The guilty ones, there are prisons for them.

My assessment of mental hospitals' inmates, after being there:

* 1 / 10 is mad
* 3-5 / 10 are deserving prison
* 3-5 / 10 have attitude problems, but are neither mad or deserving prison
* 1 / 10 is sane.

As to violence BY people considered "mentally ill", have you considered the amount of provocations done TO them by people considering them so?

If someone you considered mentally ill hits you on the head because you added like the drop or the straw, don't ask me to feel sorry for you, unless you were very badly hurt!