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Reader: If you don't like a person asking for help, don't donate 

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Non-panhandlers let us please stop believing we have a superseding right, obligation or privilege to demand or dictate that people be banned from requesting money, coffee, a slice of pizza or whatever assistance people ask for on the street. Instead, let's begin by thinking that the people signing, asking for alms, do have a right to civilly make such requests.

It's in the First Amendment to the United States Constitution: freedom of speech. The voice is of poverty and the message raises awareness of an issue regarding our economic system (among other things). "Get a job" is too simplistic and doesn't work for everyone all the time. Where does it say in the United States Constitution, the Colorado Constitution, the municipal laws of Colorado Springs or any legal doctrine that some people have the right to judge other people to the point of denying their rights when no harm is being committed?

Believe what we may, complain if we must, that is our right. If we don't like a person asking for help, don't donate. If we don't like the message or appearance of the messenger, well, that is part of the cost of freedom.

Oh, if religion has somehow led to these harsh judgments, anger and distaste directed toward those who are poor and different, and super jets and "prosperity" are God's love, then I'm reading some very different religious texts.

— m t hazard, Colorado Springs

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