Today’s post is about panhandling. In that spirit, consider subscribing to my SubscribeStar page. $1 a month gets you exclusive access to posts every Saturday, as well as special posts throughout the year.
As a Christian, I struggle with how to deal with the homeless. On the one hand, Jesus makes it pretty clear in Matthew 25:40 that whatever we do to the least, we likewise do to Him. There’s also that verse—more scripturally-literate readers can assist with the exact verse in a comment—about some poor people being Jesus in disguise.
On the other hand, homeless people are (often) mentally ill (see below), (potentially) dangerous nuisances that extort you for cash. The economy of it is simple: the homeless person will leave you in peace if you just toss a few quarters into his cup. Some have more elaborate cons—the guy who perennially needs $10 to buy gas to get home—but it all amounts to an impromptu shakedown.