When you spend so much time in a pulpit and in front of the cameras, do you stop hearing anyone but yourself? We're wondering that about the Rev. Larry Rice after his latest visit Thursday in Belleville.
Rice does wonderful work with the homeless in St. Louis. He could be such an asset and resource as St. Clair County's homeless advocates try to figure out how to create a shelter that does more than warehouse people.
But Rice has no time to help. He said he didn't have time to go to a bunch of meetings about the needy because he's too busy trying to help the needy.
Hmmmm. Some interesting logic there.
Mayor Mark Eckert called Rice's multiple appearances and marches in Belleville publicity stunts. Rice called Eckert's comment a "cheap shot."
We'd call it accurate.
The latest idea is to force the city to allow the old YMCA to become a homeless shelter. Rice wants a referendum on the ballot.
We don't need a referendum to figure out that few would approve of Rice's idea. Two candidates in the coming mayoral election think it's a bad idea, no business leader is going to like it, the history buffs trying to save the old Y would never want that to be its fate and it just doesn't seem practical when you consider the renovation costs, lack of handicapped accessibility, high utility costs and poor layout of the building for housing.
Rev. Rice's credibility is suffering with each appearance in Belleville. He'd better serve the homeless in our midst by playing the humble servant rather than rending his garments before the cameras.