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Bush calls for faith-based initiative law


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Bush calls for faith-based initiative law

Tuesday, March 1, 2005 Posted: 12:29 PM EST (1729 GMT)

WASHINGTON (AP) -- President Bush, brushing off critics who say he has pushed his faith-based initiative for political gains, reaffirmed his commitment to letting religious groups compete for government money so long as they help anybody in need.

" We ought to judge faith-based groups by results, not by their religion," Bush said Tuesday to more than 250 religious leaders gathered for a speech here to push his initiative, which has stalled in Congress.

Undeterred by congressional inaction, Bush sidestepped lawmakers with executive orders and regulations to give religious organizations equal footing with nonsectarian ones in competing for federal contracts.........

Read more...........

http://www.cnn.com/2005/ALLPOLITICS/03/01/...d.ap/index.html

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Bush defended himself, saying, "I'm firmly committed to making sure every American can realize the promise of our country."

To achieve that, he'll have to resign and take his cabinet with him....

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It is said that faith can move mountains," Bush said. "Here in Washington, D.C., those helping the poor and needy often run against a big mountain called bureaucracy. I'm here to talk about how to move that mountain so that we can reach out and partner with programs which reach out to people who hurt."

like he really gives a fuck. somebody please stop him (oh wait--i said the quiet part out loud again).

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I have a faith-based initiative - I pray he will leave the White House asap every night...

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OK, can someone explain to me in stupid person terms what the positives and negatives are for this "faith-based initiative" law. I'm having trouble grasping what it is about.

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OK, can someone explain to me in stupid person terms what the positives and negatives are for this "faith-based initiative" law. I'm having trouble grasping what it is about.

Bush believes that religious groups should be able to receive government funding if 'they help people in need.' While this sounds ok on the service, critics believe that the proposal is in part payback to the religious right who helped elect him. Last but not least, the country was founded upon the principle that 'church and state' should be separate for politial reasons - the founders did not want religious zealots in the position of running the country and pushing their believes on the populace at large - this was due in part to what happened in England when the church did rule...to disastrous effect

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I have a faith-based initiative - I pray he will leave the White House asap every night...

That's not faith. That's a delusional fantasy. :lol:

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Bush believes that religious groups should be able to receive government funding if 'they help people in need.' While this sounds ok on the service, critics believe that the proposal is in part payback to the religious right who helped elect him. Last but not least, the country was founded upon the principle that 'church and state' should be separate for politial reasons - the founders did not want religious zealots in the position of running the country and pushing their believes on the populace at large - this was due in part to what happened in England when the church did rule...to disastrous effect

That was perfect dude. I get it now. :)

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Why the White House Faith-Based Initiative?

The White House has been saying that faith-based organizations do social services better than government. But you can be sure that the Bush administration is not turning to the religious community in order to improve the quality of social services being provided to poor people in America. Not only are there no studies showing that faith-based organizations (FBOs) perform social services better than the government, there is at least one study showing the opposite. Nina Bernstein's new book The Lost Children of Wilder documents the negative effect of sectarian ideology on the delivery of social services.

Can the faith community possibly be as comprehensive in the social work as the US government, reaching into the hollows of Kentucky, the frozen wastelands of Alaska, the underpopulated prairie and mountain states of the West?

And what of discrimination? Can a sectarian agency that condemns homosexuality serve gay people without prejudice? A religious organization that does not receive federal funds is legally able to discriminate in hiring. But what happens when public funds are supporting that organization? That's the issue currently in the courts in Kentucky. When it was discovered that Alicia Pedreira was gay, the Kentucky Baptist Homes for Children, which receives three quarters of its funds from the government, fired her because her life style was contrary to Baptist Homes' "core beliefs." Will the White House initiative result in rolling back the hiring protections of Title VII of the 1994 Civil Rights Act?

If the Bush administration were serious about turning to the FBOs to improve social services delivery, it might have developed the policy in partnership with Jewish Family and Children's Services, the Salvation Army, Catholic Charities, Lutheran Community Services, and many others, with their vast network of social services, their thousands of volunteers, and their considerable experience. Evidently, however, the policy has not been based on good social service research and consultation.

The Bush initiative is primarily a political strategy. It is being pitched as an opportunity for black and Hispanic churches to get funds for their important work. The Charitable Choice provision, which first was included in the 1996 Welfare Reform legislation, allows local houses of worship to bid for government social service contracts on the same footing as not-for-profits. For decades inner city churches have been providing services in their needy and often neglected neighborhoods. Many black and Hispanic congregations are stretched to the limit with their emergency food programs, housing initiatives, drug rehabilitation and job training programs. They do good work. The possibility of millions of dollars pouring into these neighborhoods to help with this work is very tempting and it makes the administration look good. However, the black community is already divided over the initiative.

But remember, the Bush initiative does not include new money for human services. Charitable Choice simply allows local congregations to participate in the bidding process to fulfill the work of the Department of Health and Human Services, HUD, the Department of Justice, and other administration departments. Since the 2005 Bush budget proposes cutting funds to many of these departments, the FBOs are being asked in effect to help Uncle Sam do more with less.

Government grants often come with strings attached. Decisions about distributing the funds to the faith community will not be made on the basis of need or the effectiveness of the service that a charity provides. Many of the small local congregations, often with less than 100 members, are simply not organized to fulfill demanding government contracts. While they do good work in their neighborhoods, they may not have the organizational capacity to manage the usual large government grants. It is largely mega-churches that will be favored--churches that have the resources and the infrastructure to implement the terms of contracts that may not be reimbursed by the government for months. Small organizations just don't have the up-front money to be able to wait. In addition, payments are sometimes contingent on successful results. If a job-training program does not result in permanent jobs for the clients there may be no reimbursements at all.

The larger grant recipients may in turn subcontract some responsibilities to smaller churches, but this complicates the monitoring and accountability process. Are the contracting religious organizations ready for the kind of scrutiny of their financial records that may accompany government contracts?

Charitable Choice appears to be a political strategy to move government money from the more liberal social service agencies that traditionally have had Democratic leanings to new conservative church agencies that are Republican. It is a policy that has been written by the Center for Public Justice, a Christian think-tank in Washington committed to more religion in the public square, and others who believe that Christianity should be the established religion of the US and who have said so in their writings. Note that the first six employees of the White House Office were all born-again Christians. Several of the 32 religious leaders appointed to the House Senate Republican Faith-Based Leadership Summit, gathered to advise the Congress, are notorious for their anti-Semitism and homophobia. Only two of the thirty two are women and there is only one non-Christian in the group.

Churches, synagogues and mosques need to take a long look at the goals and purposes of the 1996 "Welfare Reform" bill, which includes the first Charitable Choice provision, before they bid for government funds to participate in its implementation. They need to be clear that they want to participate in the dismantling of the nation's safety net. They need to be clear about the bill's moral agenda. The 1996 legislation blames poor people themselves for their poverty. The explicit goal spelled out at the beginning of that bill is to change moral behavior--reducing out-of-wedlock births and promoting two-parent families. The agenda is underlined by the recent appointment of Wayne Horn as Undersecretary of Health Education and Welfare. He has been a relentless promoter of two-parent families as Director of the National Fatherhood Initiative. Speaking in Milwaukee during the campaign, Bush promised $185 million "to strengthen fatherhood" if he were elected.

Since the religious community is thought to be the custodian and arbiter of moral behavior in this country what better group to help implement the conservative moral agenda. Let the churches take over the nation's anti-poverty programs, and if they fail, government will not be blamed.

There is no economic analysis in the Charitable Choice strategy--only economic prejudice. In reality, poverty in most cases is caused not by a lack of morals but by a lack of money. Simply put, poverty is an economic problem. Welfare was first of all a wealth re-distribution mechanism providing money for needy families in times of hardship. In some situations social services provided by faith-based organizations will be helpful, but poverty will not be eliminated until more equitable means of wealth distribution are instituted.

If churches are really serious about eliminating poverty and not just managing poverty by applying band-aid solutions like emergency food centers and homeless shelters, then they need to maintain their distance from the moral agenda of the White House Initiative. They must assert their freedom to speak out against an economic regime that perpetuates economic inequality. When the boundary between church and state is breached, and the church succumbs to the temptation of power and prestige, it sacrifices its true prophetic heritage. False prophets are those who cooperate with the powers, who enjoy the blessing of the realm, who are flattered by having access to those in authority and who in turn flatter the princes of the land. As the prophet Micah says, they "divine for money."

For those of us who believe that one of the tasks of the government is to do justice, there is great cause for alarm--health care and health research funds denied, housing subsidies reduced, education neglected, food stamps cut back, living wage bills stymied, welfare ended, public lands privatized for individual gain, inadequate legal services, prisons designed to punish and not to rehabilitate, the wealthy pampered, the poor blamed and neglected. Rather than reverse these conditions and improve the well being of this land, the Charitable Choice legislation, now being promoted by the White House, will have only negative impact in these areas. People of faith have but one choice: to maintain their freedom from unjust economic priorities and to work against the systemic economic injustice of this administration......

Edited by kiwibank
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Why the White House Faith-Based Initiative?

The White House has been saying that faith-based organizations do social services better than government.

There was a time when communities took care of each other and the churches were the center of that attention. Today banks and corporations are now the center of attention, and in most communities (at least in the cities), people barely know their own neighbors.

I have this idea in which people would be given small tax rebates if they performed community service within their own communities. Imagine people actually getting to know each other and helping each other!!! And you wouldnt even have to be wealthy to get a tax break!

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I have this idea in which people would be given small tax rebates if they performed community service within their own communities.  Imagine people actually getting to know each other and helping each other!!!  And you wouldnt even have to be wealthy to get a tax break!

i smell socialism--bad, bad, BAD! :lol: (y'know, i agree w/you)

kiwibank: 'Decisions about distributing the funds to the faith community will not be made on the basis of need or the effectiveness of the service that a charity provides.'

and they counsel abstinence instead of birth control and they don't give a shit about pregnant unmarried women but forget it if any woman wants an abortion.

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