The Reality of Condemnation


It has been two months now since the house was condemned. It has been that long since the Bishop from my ward at church said that there would be members there to help out. That, of course, gave us some level of hope.

The hope was short-lived.

The next week, three members of the Bishop’s family worked in the house. They worked for thirty minutes and left. My dad worked by himself, with the exception of the couple of times that Mom and I went with him, almost every day until the ninth of June. That day about ten of the members of the ward showed up and helped out for a few hours. They did a lot of work.

Today, only one member, and not one from the Bishop’s family. And that member said that most of the people who were going to help didn’t want to because the house was condemned. I was floored.

This coming from a church that organized crews to help after hurricanes (including Katrina) and that helped out in houses severely damaged or even destroyed after the tornadoes of April 27, 2011. They won’t come in our house because it has been condemned? That seems ridiculous to me, and makes me wonder if they haven’t really been helping out those in need or if they are just hesitant because it is my family in need.

Thinking it is personal might seem paranoid or ridiculous, but I can promise you that it isn’t. Before the Bishop helped back in April, he and my dad talked on the phone. He claimed that the members of the Relief Society of our ward had been told by my mother that we didn’t want or need their help. That never happened! Apparently, that was the reason that the house got into such a state while we waited for their (promised) help. They had told us in 2009 or 2010 that there would be members of the Relief Society coming by to help us with the cleaning and with, at the time, minor repairs. They never showed up then. They also never showed up to mow the grass, which was another promised act. I guess we didn’t need them during all those times when I was threatened with jail-time and had to pay extraordinary fines. I guess we just told them to go away and we just didn’t remember doing it. Yeah, that sounds like us. We’re just so stubborn that we would rather go to jail and pay money that we don’t have than accept willing help. That makes a lot of sense.

On the other hand, according to the guy who helped today, church members are apparently very skittish when it comes to the conditions of the places that they work in. They had one Stake President that refused to help clean up a house in Georgia that had a roach problem after a flood had occurred in the area. There are always bug infestations (and other unhealthy situations) after disasters. Shouldn’t he have realized that a long time ago? Another case of the Church not wanting to assist someone included a house about a block away from ours that had 124 rats running around in it. The Church refused to assist those folks, and they ended up having to sell their house for $20,000. (The new owners had to clean up the mess.)

Not helping those in need sounds really Christian. Actually, it just sounds like how most Sunday Christians tend to act. You know the type, the folks who claim to be godly but only act so during church services.

I would be pissed, even if this weren’t my family involved. I was getting pissed at them back in 2008 when they were being ignorant about various issues. I guess some of the folks are just ignorant all around. And I guess that feeling that I didn’t really have friends within the church wasn’t just my typical over-dramatic feeling of being rejected. I guess we really were rejected. I guess we just weren’t good enough for them. How fucked up is that?


About Janet Morris

I'm from Huntsville, Alabama. I've got as many college credits as a doctorate candidate, and the GPA of some of them, too. I have a boss by the name of Amy Pond. She's a dachshund. My parents both grew up in Alabama.