Reason’s Nanny of the Month
posted at 11:36 am on November 30, 2009 by Ed Morrissey
I’m not sure I’d call this one a Nanny of the Month. I’d be more inclined to award Sal DiCiccio and the Phoenix City Council the Scrooge of the Year Award instead. What kind of people pass a zoning decision that makes food kitchens at churches illegal — at Thanksgiving? Reason.tv gives us the answer:
Unless the churches charged for their pancake breakfasts, I don’t see how this is anyone’s business but the church. It’s their property, and their food, for that matter. If they want to feed the hungry, which seems even more of an imperative this year, then the city should applaud those efforts. After all, a voluntary work of charity for the community should be encouraged, not zoned out of existence.
This is the kind of story that should unite property-rights advocates on the Right and community activists on the Left. Let’s hope the December 14th hearing clears the way for Phoenix churches to feed the hungry on Christmas — and that Santa has an extra helping of sticks and lumps of coal for Sal and his friends on the city council this year.
Update: I’m not unsympathetic to the security issues of having homeless people wandering through residential neighborhoods looking for a meal. I lived in Phoenix for a couple of years, and it’s not an insubstantial issue. However, the proper way to stop that is to have the police enforce the law, not decide that a free meal service to the poor amounts to a restaurant.
I’ll share a story with you. I lived in Phoenix for a couple of years, and worked at a nice office park — or at least it was until a strip club opened in it. We would have our parking lot littered with syringes, broken liquor bottles, used condoms, and more than occasionally passed-out drunks. The city refused to do anything about that situation for as long as I lived there, even after a tiger in one of the strip acts attacked and seriously injured someone in the audience (don’t ask what a tiger was doing in a strip act; I’ve never figured that one out). Their sudden concern over a free meal service at a church doesn’t impress me much.