It doesn’t pay to be a Good Samaritan

From time to time in this space we take special note of the people who stop to help others. But sometimes, it’s better just to keep on walking or driving.

We’re looking at you, Minneapolis, where a man stopped at a McDonald’s when a person asked him for a ride to the bus stop and $5 for the fare.

Big mistake, according to the account in the Star Tribune.

When the Samaritan pulled out his wallet the man produced a gun, stuck it into the Samaritan’s side and attempted to take all of his money, said Sgt. Catherine Michal of the Minneapolis Police Department.

The Samaritan got out of his car, walked to the passenger’s side and attempted to pull the gunman out of the car. That’s when the crook slid over to the driver’s side and took off, a police report said.

The Samaritan attempted to stop the crook and jumped onto the hood of the car. The crook swerved the vehicle back and forth as he drove out of the parking lot until the Samaritan fell off, Michal said.

That’s a guy who’s going to keep going the next time someone needs help.

  • Postal Customer

    I think we’re bending the definition of “good samaritan” a little. To me it’s a person who comes to the aid of another who is in danger, like physical danger.

    • Luke 10:33

      “But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was: and when he saw him, he had compassion on him.”

      Luke 10:36,37

      “Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?”
      The expert in the law replied, “The one who had mercy on him.”

      Jesus told him, “Go and do likewise.”

      • Mike

        In the parable the Samaritan helped a person who had been beaten and left half dead, so Dave makes a good point. But I also agree with you, Bob, from the standpoint that Jesus is using the parable to encourage people to help others who may be in any form of need. To go into it further I feel the story is encouraging people to be more charitable, in general.
        With that said, in this situation, I would kindly decline the request to give a ride. From the story, the person making the request didn’t seem do be in any danger.

    • emersonpie

      Assisting a person in need is half of the story. The other half is understanding that in those times Samaritans, who thought of themselves as the only chosen people, and Judeans, who thought likewise, did not get along at all. To the people hearing this parable, a good Samaritan was an oxymoron.

      The parable is as much about not pre-judging people as it is about charity – probably more so.

      This atheist takes lessons from any interesting text.

    • jon

      Definitely a stretch, unless he was from sumeria… Which hasn’t existed as a collection of city states for 3,000-4,000 years (which makes it interesting that jesus referenced them 2,000 years ago, need to ask a biblical scholar about that) so it seems unlikely.

  • Guest

    The thugs ruin life for those who are merely down and out. Folks suspect panhandlers MAY be a risk to themselves……sometimes rightfully so.

  • Rob

    A good – but not necessarily smart – Samaritan. I’m not sure that, once someone had pulled a gun on me, I would then attempt to pull that person out of the car, and then try to impede the armed dude once more by hopping onto the hood of the car. But that’s just me.

  • Another reason to drive a stick shift car with bucket seats…