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SUNDAY REVELATIONS

This is a story about a Lutheran minister in Seattle. The guy signed his name to documents saying that he was leasing some unused land in downtown Seattle for the purpose of putting a temporary homeless camp there. This conveniently saved the land owner – a millionaire real estate developer – about $87,000 in property taxes over two years, since there’s a law in Washington that says you don’t have to pay taxes on your land if there’s a homeless camp on it.
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Problem: There wasn’t a homeless camp or much of anything else on 2/3 of the land, and on that unused land, the owner saved about $50,000 for doing absolutely nothing.
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Bigger Problem: In his application for the tax exemption, the minister said he’d be coming around weekly to offer the homeless campers “counseling” if they wanted it. But according to the campers, all he ever did was drop off some supplies, make a quick circuit around the camp, and leave. He rarely counseled anyone, and it appears that he couldn’t have done that even if he wanted to, since he had an agreement with the camp boss that he wouldn’t talk with people about anything related to the camp. If the campers went to the minister with complaints and the camp boss found out about it, they’d get evicted.
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Nice, huh. With shepherds like this, who needs wolves?
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