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Mike Lee, the religiousantagonist, is back with a new video. This time, he’s not reshelving books in a library.

Instead, he’s trying to cut a deal with a homeless person: Will he remove the word “God” from his sign in exchange for $20?

YouTube video

My initial reaction was: Dammit, Mike, why are you being a jerk? How dare you exploit a homeless family like this? If you want to help them, just give them the money. You know what? From now on, I’m just gonna call you Dammit Mike.

After the encounter, Dammit Mike readily admits to all of that. But he asks us to keep in mind the real point here:

Is the homeless person’s faith clouding his judgment and common sense? If he needs the money so badly, and he’s not against asking for it, is the string Mike has attached to it really that big of a deal?

Remember: he’s not trying to convert them to atheism, he’s not disparaging their personal faith, and he ends up giving them the $20 regardless of their decision.

When I shared some of my concerns with Dammit Mike, he added this in his response:

I won’t knock what it must be like to live in the Miracle Bus. These people don’t deserve to be criticized for their situation… but their homelessness is almost irrelevant to the meat of what this video is about: when you’ve hit rock bottom, do you climb your way out? — or do you wait, faithful that someone (God) will save you?

Your thoughts on the video?

Side note: Part of me wonders whether the homeless man in question would have acted any differently if there wasn’t a camera in his face.

Maybe he felt the need to look especially pious so he didn’t come off as a hypocrite to the camera, regardless of how strong his actual beliefs are. Hell, if I were in his position, I’d probably get more sympathy (and money) with a sign that included the word “God” than one without, so I’d want to play that up.