Veteran’s Day: Our Heroes, Our Homeless

November 11, 2007

Who are homeless veterans?

The U. S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) says the nation’s homeless veterans are mostly males. The majority are single, most come from poor, disadvantaged communities, 45% suffer from mental illness, and half have substance abuse problems. They have served in every war from the second World War to Iraq.

How many homeless veterans are there?

The VA estimates that nearly 200,000 veterans are homeless on any given night. And nearly 400,000 experience homelessness over the course of a year. Conservatively, one out of every three homeless men who is sleeping in a doorway, alley or box in our cities and rural communities has put on a uniform and served this country.

Why are veterans homeless?

In addition to the complex set of factors affecting all homelessness — extreme shortage of affordable housing, livable income, and access to health care — a large number of displaced and at-risk veterans live with lingering effects of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and substance abuse, compounded by a lack of family and social support networks.

Doesn’t the Department of Veterans Affairs take care of homeless veterans?

With an estimated 400,000 veterans homeless at some time during the year, the VA reaches 25% of those in need. For more information about VA homeless veteran programs, go to www.va.gov/homeless/.

What services do veterans need?

Veterans need a coordinated effort that provides secure housing and nutritional meals; essential physical health care, substance abuse aftercare and mental health counseling; and personal development and empowerment. Veterans also need job assessment, training and placement assistance.

The solution?

I don’t know. More government money, more private charity, and more awareness would be a start. But on a personal level, I think the first step is just keeping in mind when you see the homeless on our streets that many of them fought for our country.  I also think this is a cause that organized religion really can and often does step up for.  I know personally, my church and the Catholic church in general does a lot to help the plight of the homeless.

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First the Gays, now the Jews?

October 12, 2007

Ann Coulter, the Anti-Christ

WASHINGTON (CNN) – Conservative commentator and best-selling author Ann Coulter may find herself in the midst of a controversy for comments Monday suggesting America would be better if everyone was Christian.

When CNBC host Donny Deutsch responded, “It would be better if we were all Christian?” Coulter said “Yeah.”

Deutsch, himself Jewish, continued to press Coulter on her remarks, asking, “We should just throw Judaism away and we should all be Christians then?”

“Yeah,” Coulter responded, adding “Well, it’s a lot easier. It’s kind of a fast track.”

“You can’t possibly believe that,” Deutsch responded. “You can’t possibly. You’re too educated.”

Later in the interview Deutsch asked Coulter if she doesn’t want any Jews in the world, Coulter responded, “No, we think — we just want Jews to be perfected, as they say.”

“Wow, you didn’t really say that, did you,” Deutsch said. Deutsch said he was personally offended. Deutsch continued to call Coulter’s comments anti-semetic.

“No. I’m sorry. It is not intended to be,” she said. “I don’t think you should take it that way, but that is what Christians consider themselves: perfected Jews. We believe the Old Testament. As you know from the Old Testament, God was constantly getting fed up with humans for not being able to live up to all the laws. What Christians believe — this is just a statement of what the New Testament is — is that that’s why Christ came and died for our sins. Christians believe the Old Testament. You don’t believe our testament.”

Sometimes being controversial just to be controversial blows up in your face. Earlier this year she drew fierce criticism from both sides of the aisle after calling Edwards a faggot. Now she is in hot water over these anti-semetic remarks. But the funny thing is I don’t believe she has any problems with gays or with Jews, she is just really really needy.

I’m what I’d like to call a rough around the edges Christian, I believe somethings and I don’t believe others.  I have my balance between faith and doubt.  I don’t ascribe to all of the church’s rules, it would be hard to without hating myself.  Some would say that makes me a supermarket Christian (I pick and choose what to buy), but I think it makes me realistic.  Whether God or evolution, I had no say in being gay and as such I don’t expect to be punished for it.  And while I am in no way a good representative of Christians in general, I do think I can speak for a lot of Christians and say I don’t view Christians as “Perfected Jews”.  I don’t view any people as perfected anythings.

Ann Coulter you are Tool Bag of the Day (she gets this title several times a year in my opinion)