How much do panhandlers really make? Can you possibly make a living at this? How much of a difference does a funny sign make? Will people give to a guy in a banana suit? Does every sign have to say "God Bless?" Important questions. I aim to find the answers. Give me a dollar. God Bless.

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Darned Christians

Panhandling Pictures soon)
I've long hated Capital Christian Center. Why? Well, because, um, you see, they're big and they're part of the power structure, which is to say their congregation is made up of a bunch of well to do folks in nice SUVs, and their super visible, being right off the freeway and they have a big giant gold cross as a symbol.

I wanted to do the "Atheist. Please help, God Bless" sign for a long time, and I mentioned doing it there, at Capital Christian to Jonathon Morken. Morken, who films me, thought it was a great idea and with his prodding it happened. I was somewhat reluctant because I don't like to engage people in a confronational manner. Panhandling with a sign is pretty passive but taking it to them, on Sunday felt intentionaly abrassive, and it probably was. I was wondering if I should just go back to my freeway offramp. But now, we got up early, well early for Jonathon anyway, and we went to church.

Well, those Capital Christian jerks, they let me down. They didn't harrass us or even make us leave their property. THEY BROUGHT ME COFFEE! A few of 'em gave me money, eleven bucks total. This of course pisses me off, it's not what I went there for.

Morken and John put a mic on me and then hid in the bushes across from the church. They were spotted right away by the security truck. I was skating and waiting for church to let out, not flying my sign. Morken told the security guy that they were doing a documentary on grafitti, and were getting shots of the graffiti on the freeway signs.

People started exiting the church so I got in place and flew my sign. "Atheist. Please Help. God Bless" on one side, and "Atheist, Will convert for food. God Bless?" on the other. The security came to talk to me. They asked what I was doing and then they told me that they might have to direct people to a different entrance if traffic was being impeded by folks responding to me. I told them to let me know if it got to be a problem. I told them I was an artist trying to make a living panhandling so I could work on my writing and other art without having to work every day. They seemed to find this reasonable.

I lied to them about how%2


Blogger Coexist said...

I enjoyed the morning. Thanks for stopping by. Bummer you left without coffee money. Let's connect to finish with what we started chatting about. Coffee's on me. :)

SoulPatch Pastor

3:50 PM

Blogger thepanhandler said...

Yeah, it was nice talking with you, even if I did want to be left alone. You'd have definately been my second choice. :)
Coffee? Sure, anytime. Hit the contact button and write me, and I'll give you my phone number.
Thanks for letting the panhandling continue only slightly abated.

4:45 PM

Blogger thepanhandler said...

So I went and had coffee with Jason, the SoulPatch Pastor. He was really nice and really smart. We talked music, burning man, theology, ethics. I shall enjoy being his pal. The panhandling atheist and the pastor of the big corporate church.

6:56 PM

Blogger JesusLuVsYoU said...

Hello, I am a friend of Pastor Jason (aka SoulPatch Pastor), He told me all about you hows life treating you?

11:43 PM

Blogger thepanhandler said...

Jason said he'd be sending friends by, but I thought he said something about you all giving me oodles of money?

8:20 AM

Anonymous johnnie o. said...

Hey Keith, Jason told me about you. I hope everything is going good. Well, I could give you oodles of money, but wouldn't you want a nice cup of coffee instead? :0) I will keep an eye out for you on the road. Also, if you are into rock music, let me know. I am the manager for a band called Thin December ( You should really come check them out.

10:13 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Keith, Jason said that he had a great time chatting with you over coffee. You sound fun and he's great too. Anyways, hope everything is going great.

8:16 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Keith
Wow, i find what you do quite interesting..It's fun seeing what poeple are REALLY like. Well pastor J told me about you and he's pretty fond of his new friend. Well, it'd be nice to meet you. take care

3:55 PM

Anonymous jesusluvsyou said...

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving

3:59 PM

Blogger Headline Blankets said...

I have mixed feelings on this post. On one hand, I'm glad that people are kind and gentle, like the pastor,on the other hand,I'm kinda bummed that the people in the big, corporate church are the ones that turned out nice, since it feels good to sit around and mock them. Guess I can't anymore.

8:49 PM

Blogger Coexist said...

Sir Cowman.
We're making progress in the possibilities of coexistence. I stand along side keith and his ability to speak free; even if it's against me (or what I believe)
But, he was one of the best people to sit and share a tea/coffee chat with.

Maybe we'll do it again soon.

Soulpatch Pastor

12:04 PM

Blogger thepanhandler said...

Dude, we can totally still mock them, only now it's to their face, which is infinately more fun yes.

1:57 PM

Blogger Coexist said...

It's all good.
Just be gentle

10:18 PM


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