Foundations of Truth hereby waive all claim of copyright (economic and moral) in this work and immediately places it in the public domain; it may be used, published, edited, and distributed in any manner whatsoever without any attribution or notice to Foundations of Truth. 

  • Foundations of Truth

I Left My Poop In San Francisco

Updated: Jan 2

The Bible offers practical advice on an unbelievably wide number of topics. You can take nearly anything happening in the world today and find guidance about it in the Bible.


Take, for instance, the public health crisis currently happening in San Francisco. Since 2011, at least 118,352 instances of public human defecation have been reported (not to mention all the unreported ones).[i] The watchdog organization, Open the Books, took the public records and mapped out every single known public instance in that time, resulting in the following graph.[ii]





The problem is so out of control that it has become known as the “Brownout.”[iii]


So what does the Bible say about this problem? It actually offers clear and direct guidance:

You must have a place outside the camp to go and relieve yourself. And you must have a digging tool in your equipment so that when you relieve yourself, you can dig a hole and cover up your excrement. For the Lord your God walks throughout your camp to protect you and deliver your enemies to you. Your camp must be holy, lest He see anything unclean among you and turn away from you. (Deuteronomy 23:12-14)


It’s a simple problem, and the Bible gives a simple solution. But San Francisco has refused to enforce any such public standard. So what have the results been? Very negative.


The economic drain has been immense. In just one year alone, the total budget for cleaning up the streets from this “brownout” was a jaw-dropping $72.5 million.[iv] (This included $12 million for homeless encampment housekeeping services, $3.1 million for portable toilets, and nearly $1 million for a “Poop Patrol.”[v]) Yet despite this extensive expenditure, the issue has worsened: over the past seven years the instances of public defecation have increased 500%.[vi]


In addition to the economic costs, this “brownout” has led to the re-emergence of several devastating diseases that have broken out in the city, including typhoid,[vii] tuberculosis,[viii] and even signs of a return of the medieval bubonic plague.[ix]


If only San Francisco would apply Biblical solutions to the “brownout.” Simply to avoid the devastating effects of the public health crisis, the citizens of San Francisco ought to make their city “holy, lest [God] see anything unclean among you and turn away.”


Foundations of Truth hereby waives all claim of copyright (economic and moral) in this work and immediately places it in the public domain; it may be used, published, edited, and distributed in any manner whatsoever without any attribution or notice to Foundations of Truth.


[i] Adam Andrezejewski, “Mapping San Francisco’s Human Waste Challenge – 132,562 Cases Reported In The Public Way Since 2008,” Forbes (April 15, 2019), here


[ii] “2011-2019 San Francisco Human Waste Reportings,” Open the Books (accessed May


[iii] Stephen Sorace, “San Francisco Sees ‘Brownout’ Amid Spike in Public Pooping, Reports Say,” Fox News (April 19, 2019), here


[iv] Matier and Ross, “Street Housekeeping Keeps SF Mayor Breed—And Everyone Else—Hopping,” San Francisco Chronicle (August 22, 2018), here


[v] Matier and Ross, “Street Housekeeping Keeps SF Mayor Breed—And Everyone Else—Hopping,” San Francisco Chronicle (August 22, 2018), here


[vi] Adam Andrezejewski, “Mapping San Francisco’s Human Waste Challenge – 132,562 Cases Reported In The Public Way Since 2008,” Forbes (April 15, 2019), here


[vii] Emily Zanotti, “LAPD Officers Treated For Typhoid Fever, ‘Typhus-Like’ Symptoms After Working Near Homeless Encampments,” The Daily Wire (June 2, 2019), here


[viii] Bradford Betz, “Dr. Drew Says LA Public Health in ‘Complete Breakdown:’ ‘No City on Earth Tolerates This,’” Fox News (June 1, 2019), here


[ix] Emily Zanotti, “LAPD Officers Treated For Typhoid Fever, ‘Typhus-Like’ Symptoms After Working Near Homeless Encampments,” The Daily Wire (June 2, 2019), here