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Kentucky: State Threatens Church With Fines & Jail For Providing Free Eyeglasses To Homeless

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Published on: October 28, 2019

Jesus taught His followers to care for those in need and promised to reward them for doing so (Matthew 25).  However, since the Church has failed to do that for so many years, it has relinquished that over to the beast state and their agents have determined to tell the Church what it can and cannot do.  The latest example of this comes out of the state of Kentucky where a Church has been threatened with fines and jail time for simply providing the poor and homeless with free eyeglasses.

You heard right, the Church was simply being charitable (which means loving), something the government is not charged to do, but continuously robs Peter to pay Paul to maintain its power.

However, civil rights attorney John Whitehead of The Rutherford Institute is having none of it and TRI is representing the Church in the matter.

“Instead of commending this eyeglass ministry for its notable efforts to improve the lives of the homeless so they can get a job, get off the streets and become productive citizens who are no longer dependent on taxpayer subsidies, the government has opted to turn a blind eye to its beneficial impact on the community,” said constitutional attorney John W. Whitehead, president of The Rutherford Institute and author of Battlefield America: The War on the American People. “Make no mistake: this is yet another instance of bureaucratic overregulation, government criminalization of those who work to alleviate the plight of the homeless, and a general disregard for religious freedom.”

The Rutherford Institute has more:

Kendall Optometry Ministry—whose mission is to spread the gospel of Jesus Christ by providing eyeglasses to the poor and homeless throughout the world—hosts free eye clinics for the poor and homeless where it distributes used and new glasses, all of which have been carefully measured for their corrective properties and catalogued.

The Kentucky Boards of Optometric Examiners and Ophthalmic Dispensers have warned the Ministry that its charity work violates state licensing laws that could result in fines and jail time.

In coming to the defense of the Optometry Ministry, Rutherford Institute attorneys contend that attempts to shut down the Ministry violate a state law protecting religious freedom.

Kendall Optometry Ministry, Inc., was founded in 2003 by Holland Kendall, a retired electrical engineer and devout Christian who started the Ministry after hearing from many homeless people that they could not see well enough to get a job.

The Ministry— a nonprofit that strives to lift people out of homelessness and poverty by helping to improve their ability to see clearly and, in turn, be productive members of society, raise their standard of living and eliminate their need for public assistance—is guided and inspired by passages from the Bible about Jesus giving sight to the blind. With the help of social services agencies, the Ministry goes to the poor and homeless to evaluate their need for corrective lenses and provide them with glasses that will improve their vision.

It first determines a person’s prescription using sophisticated equipment that accurately determines the corrective needs for each eye.

Based on the measurements taken, the Ministry searches its inventory of glasses to determine what pair would be the best optical match for each person seeking help.

The glasses inventory consists of both used and unused glasses, all of which have been carefully scanned with a lensometer to determine the correction properties of each lens.

The Ministry has also consulted with a licensed optometrist to determine the best principles to follow in selecting glasses for each individual.

However, in April 2019, the Ministry received a cease-and-desist letter from the Kentucky Boards of Optometry and Ophthalmic Dispensing asserting that the Ministry had violated state laws and regulations by holding free eye clinics and by providing eyeglasses that are not made to order.

In coming to the defense of the Ministry, Rutherford Institute attorneys argue that the Boards’ warnings prevent the Ministry from pursuing its religious mission and violate Kentucky’s religious freedom statute because there is no compelling interest served by applying the licensing laws and regulations to the Ministry.

This is biblical Christianity.  It is where the individuals care for the needs of the people around them while Socialists read the Bible and ignore the commands to love your neighbor and take care of them with what God has given you.  Instead, these statists read into every command to be charitable the state stealing from one person to give to another so that they can appease their conscience that the person given to is OK.

God bless this ministry and those like it who take Jesus seriously when He said in Matthew 25:

31 When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory:

32 And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats:

33 And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left.

34 Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:

35 For I was an hungered, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in:

36 Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.

37 Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungered, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink?

38 When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee?

39 Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee?

40 And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.

Read the documents concerning the case:

The Rutherford Institute’s response to the Kentucky Boards of Optometric Examiners and Ophthalmic Dispensers 

The Rutherford Institute’s letter to the Kentucky Boards of Optometric Examiners and Ophthalmic Dispensers

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