Thursday, December 13, 2007

Laces 4 Love

I have never understood the whole Christian foot washing fetish. Even when I was a Christian I would shy away from my friends "going down" on my grubby nasty feet.  When I read that schools in South Caroline are participating is a program that allows Christians to wash the feet of poor children in exchange for shoes - I shuttered in revulsion. Why would people allow this to happen?

COLUMBIA, SC (AP) - A church-state separation group has asked schools in Aiken and Edgefield counties to stop a church-run program that gives needy students new shoes and socks because the youths engage in ritual foot-washing.

On its Web site, Laces4Love says children who need shoes are brought to the lunchroom where volunteers remove their old shoes and socks and wash their feet with warm towelettes before putting the on the new socks and shoes.

Aiken County school officials say children decide whether they want to have their feet washed before getting new shoes. Americans United for Separation of Church and State says regardless of the nature of the foot washing, the fact the shoes come from a church group carries with it some level of religious influence.

Source: Columbia, SC: SC district: No religious ritual involved in church shoe giveaway

There have been times in my life when I was poor enough to gladly sit through a foot washing in exchange for a pair of shoes. The thing is, when a child needs something this desperately, it feels like giving them shoes in exchange for an opportunity to proselytize is subjecting them to exploitation.  Why not just donate the shoes? And I hate to say this, but think about the pervert factor here. How many of these good (Baptists) Christians do this because the like touching kid's feet? What are these people thinking?

Americans United are on it. This program is doomed.


Salad Is Slaughter said...

I, Salad Is Slaughter, tag you with the "Seven Random and Weird Things Meme"

Carolyn Ann said...

Unfortunately, I don't think that program is doomed. Not unless the parents of the kids step in and demand answers!

The current Supreme Court will, if it gets to them, rule that the foot-washing is voluntary, etc. They've already dismissed the idea that religious activities can't take place on government property, and they've discarded the idea that children are unique
(or at least different) when it comes coercion and peer-pressure. (Children can't resist it as well as "many" adults.)

So, I'd guess that this ritual would be allowed. Unless the premise for the foot washing wasn't put as religious, but as interfering with parental rights, etc.

What is this foot washing, anyway? I've never heard of it, before! Sounds rather perverted, actually.

Carolyn Ann

Jersey said...

Foot cleansing comes from the ancient Jewish dudes. Wouldn't you like to wipe your guests' feet off before they came into your house to minimize the amount of dirt and dust they tracked in?! This was pretty much because parts of ancient Israel were sometimes semi-arid and because most Jews were farmers, and they wore sandals, not boots like us, so they tracked dirt everywhere on both their footwear and their sandals.

These poor kids have dirty feet too...they don't shower as frequently as you and I do. I'd probably like to have my dirty feet washed before getting new socks and shoes to wear.

(This is purely from a more secular, and hopefully more reasonable, POV. Don't ask me the religious background, I've only been reading the NT for 7 years, the OT for 2.)

Soitgoes said...

google foot washing baptist. It's been around for a long time.

Anonymous said...

Looks like they are back at it again!