… for giving free meals to homeless people:
FORT LAUDERDALE, FL — Three charitable volunteers, including a 90-year-old man and two Christian ministers, were dragged away in handcuffs after illegally feeding the homeless in Fort Lauderdale.
The ringleader of the criminal charity work is Arnold Abbott, 90, who runs a non-profit organization called “Love Thy Neighbor.” Since 1991, the Christian man has been making hundreds of meals per week in the kitchen of his church and distributing them to the sizable homeless population.
The organization is “based on two very simple concepts,” his website states. “We believe that ‘We are our brother’s keeper’ and we should ‘Love thy neighbor as thyself.’”
Mr. Abbott was arrested on Sunday, November 2nd, 2014, along with Sanctuary Church’s Pastor Wayne Black and another minister. The three outlaws now face hundreds of dollars in fines or up to 60 days in jail.
“One of police officers came over and said ‘Drop that plate right now,’ as if I was carrying a weapon,” Mr. Abbott told WPTV.
The volunteers were arrested because of Fort Lauderdale’s new ordinance, which restricts acts of charity committed within 500 feet away from residential properties — effectively prohibiting feeding the homeless throughout the entire city.
Mayor Jack Seiler callously defended the ordinance, saying, “We enforce the laws here in Fort Lauderdale.” He claims that the strict rules “reduce the public safety hazards” and “ensure the health, safety and welfare of our community.”
But Mr. Abbott says he is unwilling to turn a blind eye to the homeless, drawing his inspiration from The Bible.
“As a Christian, it’s pretty clear,” Mr. Abbott said to NBC News. “Feed thy sheep. Take care of them.”
“I know that I will be arrested again, and I am prepared for that,” said Abbott. “I am my brother’s keeper, and what they are doing is just heartless.”
Fort Lauderdale isn’t alone in its absurd prohibition of charity work. Daytona Beach recently banned feeding the homeless because it undercuts need for government agencies.