It seems to me that sanctuaries are akin to monasticism in the dark ages. The world was so wicked it was better to have islands of decency than none at all. Hence decent citizens retired to monasteries and convents. Once established these islands became an alibi for lack of private reform. People said: "We pay the bills for all this virtue. Let goodness stay where it belongs and not pester practical folks who have to run the world." ...The more monasteries or sanctuaries the grimmer the incongruity between inside and outside.

From "Land Use and Democracy"
By Aldo Leopold