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City Government's Heartless Crackdown on Pastor's Homeless Ministry Revealed
This is why Americans should be focused on local politics.
One of the reasons why I preach about focusing on local government over national politics is because of stories like this. Pastor Moses Colbert, a dedicated church leader in Gastonia, North Carolina, has been providing food and support to the homeless population for two decades.
Unfortunately, in late 2019, the city government began cracking down on Colbert’s ministry to prevent him from continuing to feed and clothe the needy in his community. If you want the full details, check out my report on RedState.
The conflict with the city government began when Pastor Colbert opened a shelter called "Uptown Shelter" in late 2019. However, due to building code violations and lack of proper permits, the shelter was forced to shut down, resulting in the tragic death of a homeless individual and others who succumbed to the city’s harsh weather conditions.
The city of Gastonia has also imposed hefty fines on Pastor Colbert's ministry for various reasons, including the use of trailers to provide education and rehabilitation for the homeless. Despite the organization's efforts to comply with the city's demands, the local government continues to add more obstacles and fines.
After speaking with Pastor Colbert and Spike Cohen, founder of You Are the Power, it seems clear that city officials want to create a homeless crisis to further their political agendas and gain taxpayer funding. While Pastor Colbert awaits a hearing in August, he and his supporters hope that the judge will dismiss the zoning fines and allow his ministry to continue its vital work in the community.
Despite these setbacks, Pastor Colbert's ministry continues to persevere, and community members have rallied behind him, including members of the Libertarian Party who are advocating for his cause.
I’m fond of pointing out that typically, if you are going to be abused by the government, it’s more likely that it’s going to be your local officials meteing out the abuse. For instance, most people who are mistreated by law enforcement are dealing with local police, not the FBI.
Yet, local government is supposed to be the most accountable because it is the government that is closest to the people. The federal, and to a lesser degree, state government harm you from afar while mayors, city council members, sheriffs, and others hit you up close.
Unfortunately, most of these corrupt city officials get away with their malfeasance.
The reason why is easy to discern: Most people are hyperfocused on national politics. People are far more interested in the president than they are the mayor of their town or city. With so few people watching them, local officials can engage in all kinds of misconduct without ever being held accountable.
Sure, there are instances in which local politicians see punishment for their malfeasance. But, by and large, they need not worry about dealing with the consequences of their actions.
In Pastor Colbert’s case, the city has imposed laws and rules that should have never been enacted in the first place. Now, they are exploiting these measures to keep people like Colbert from helping people in need. What is truly galling about this story is that the city has not even bothered to come up with an alternative method to help these homeless individuals.
If we want to see more liberty in our society, we have to stop favoring national politics over local. We should know more about what is happening in our cities than in the federal government. This isn’t to say we should ignore federal politics completely — they are still important. But making a difference has to start on the ground at the grassroots level.
This is why I have been dedicating a significant part of my platform to highlighting local abuses. I want everyone to know how important it is to be aware of what your local government is up to.
Yes, there are many good people serving in these positions — but there are also many corrupt officials abusing their authority. They will only succeed as long as they know you’re not paying attention.
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