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Posted: Sep. 8, 2002
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Question of the Week: 26 - 1/29/2001
What Do You Think About Bush's 'Faith-Based' Initiative Plan?
Pres. George Bush says that he will push a 'faith-based' social program this coming week that he hopes will grant federal money (taxpayer dollars) to fund religious groups doing social work. Does this plan violate the separation of church and state? If those federal bucks become available should Pagan religious groups make a grab for them, too? Or is this proposed religious feeding frenzy for secular federal money really a subtle plot to further bolster the Christian Radical Right's power to proselytize to the masses and, as Americans United believes, further erode the church-state wall?
| Reponses: There are 87 responses posted to this question.
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| In General, It Is A Good Idea. Many People Thrive And Rely... ||Jan 30th. at 1:17:16 pm UTC|
|Demeter (Charlotte, North Carolina US) ||Age: 23 - Email |
In general, it is a good idea. Many people thrive and rely on support from thier community leaders, and most times, people turn to clergy or some type of religious organization for help. If he sticks to a plan that will work for people and not just one religion, I think this could be a good thing. Becasue no matter how you look at it, religion will never be cast out of politics. So instead of casting out both evils, work with them both to make a positive. It can be done!
To be honest, I feel as a Pagan, Pagans in general need to take a closer look at why they are fighting this plan or any plan that involves positive based initiative. To be honest, we as people look too much at the negative implications first before looking at the positive, and this is what causes flame wars and more negativity than needed. Looking through only one tunnel, and one that is negative to begin with most times, only leads to a break down in communication. To be honest, if his plan does involved a exclusion of certain religions, I have a feeling it will not last long. This country is too diverse as it is, and I have a feeling 6 billion people will not be fleeing elsewhere anytime soon. He is going to have to work with and for the people, and I am giving him a shot. Let's see what he does, let's listen to what he has to say, not read too much into things, and we shall all go from there. Prevention is not always the best solution to problems.
| The Charitable Choice Initiative Was Passed In 1996. Bush Is Supposedly Implementing... ||Jan 30th. at 2:29:43 pm UTC|
|tserpsed (baltimore, Maryland US) ||Age: 40 |
The Charitable Choice initiative was passed in 1996. Bush is supposedly implementing what is already in place. I feel that many pagan groups around the country are helping others and they should take advantage of the funding should it become available. However, I really have to question this political decision, because most Christian religions want to impose their views on others.And how will the government control exactly how the monies are used? That creates the question of will government be funding religious activities? YES! And there goes your church and state wall. What perfect way to get more of "the word" out but to force it down your throat due to the fact that you need assistance which you only receive if you go to a certain faith-based charity? If this becomes a reality I would want to be able to choose a pagan faith based organization. So while I don't like the decision in general, if that's what we as pagans can do to further expand our abilities to help others, I think we should. No sense in cutting our noses off to spite our faces. I don't see this religious issue going away anytime while Bush is in office.
| Hey, I Have Been Watching These Guys For About 12 Years Now... ||Jan 30th. at 3:05:55 pm UTC|
|Medusa (Seattle, Washington US) ||Age: 50 |
Hey, I have been watching these guys for about 12 years now and the main thing I have learned is that they will use ANY tactic to achieve what they want and that is a christian nation that is not cluttered with disbelievers. They have used daily propaganda and now will use tax dollars to convert, vouchers will be used to get as many people into faith based education as possible and if possible to destroy the hated secular schools. They do not believe in separation of church and state and do not believe you have the right to any other religion besides christianity. At least one of these religious right groups is advocating a theocracy. Some of them honestly believe that our founding fathers wanted it that way. Others believe it is the only way to have god shower the country with blessings, as in the bible. These guys scare me, deeply and completely.
| Make No Mistake . . . This Is His Way Of Rewarding The Rr For... ||Jan 30th. at 4:26:18 pm UTC|
|Clint (Lewiston, Idaho US) ||Age: 22 |
Make no mistake . . . This is his way of rewarding the RR for their support. And I DO think pagan groups should step up to the plate if this is passed, and held as constitutional when it is challenged in the Supreme Court. . If we stand up and try to grab at this money, it may be more of a thorn than a boon to the RR.
| Wow... I Just Don't Understand It, From What I Can See, Most... ||Jan 30th. at 5:23:49 pm UTC|
|Tom Stevens (San Jose, California US) ||Age: 19 |
Wow... I just don't understand it, from what i can see, most pagans don't even support their own groups and organizations, yet many think it's ok to ask the government for money for OUR programs, that don't even exsist... Doesn't this make us look kinda pathetic and greedy. if we really wanted to help the needy wouldn't we all ready be doing this? i think they will laugh at us.i think we should work on our own act first and then play with the the big boys.
What i do see is the religious right in a very good position to futher their mission of converting the needy to their religion. they want OUR tax dollars to pay for it. amazingly, it looks like they will get away with this.
I think this is bad for all non christian religions. but perhaps the greed for govenment money will pull many other religions into this plan. I wonder if pagans follow along to.
| If President Bush Puts A Program That Is "faith-based" In Place, Then... ||Jan 30th. at 5:37:38 pm UTC|
|Michelle A. Magee (Skokie, Illinois US) ||Age: 30 - Email |
If President Bush puts a program that is "faith-based" in place, then it should be open to all faiths, not merely one. If it isn't open to ALL faiths, then it isn't a fair bill to represent ALL Americans.
| I Feel This Agenda Is For One Purpose Only--to Force Feed... ||Jan 30th. at 5:50:09 pm UTC|
|Linda (Dayton, Ohio US) ||Age: 45 |
I feel this agenda is for one purpose only--to force feed christianity down peoples throats. Oh sure to start off with, maybe some non-christian orginizations might get some of the money. But the majority will go to the religous right(wrong). As for we pagans--we're not even a religion according to Bush. So good luck there! Keep my tax dollars away from churches.
| Funny How Those Who Oppose Abortion And Family Planning Can Say Where... ||Jan 30th. at 7:06:10 pm UTC|
|Dy (Mpls, Minnesota US) ||Age: 32 |
Funny how those who oppose abortion and family planning can say where their tax dollars go, but those of us who are not christion don't have the same luxury.
Rev. Bush is taking this country down a dangerous path. This is nothing more than federally subsidized religious conversion. Most of the ministers supporting this initiative have already openly stated that turning to "the one true" God is what turns people around.
I think Pagan groups should be eligible for the money, but I don't see any of us actually making use of it.
This will be a long 4 years...
| After Reading All Th Posts, It Scares Me How Many People Are... ||Jan 30th. at 7:07:35 pm UTC|
|Sandra Rowland (Virginia Beach, Virginia US) ||Age: 20 - Email |
After reading all th posts, it scares me how many people are willing to shoot down this entire thing because of technicallitites that the government who is the one writing this bill, haven't even worked out.
Bush may not be on our side but he is not the one writing this entire bill. He can "push" but he still may not get his way. Yes, the houses have a republican majority but that only means more than half. In order to pass a bill, a 2/3 approval is required. Even if it were more than half to gain approval, is a any chance that all those republicans are so hard nosed that they would exclude non-christaians from recieving some of this money? Or that they would only approve charities that preach to the recievers?
We forget that Bush is only one man and the only power he has is the power to "suggest".
| As A Pagan Teen, Who Was An Active Girl Scout For 7... ||Jan 30th. at 8:08:55 pm UTC|
|Monica Mitchell (Virginia Beach , Virginia US) ||Age: 14 - Email |
As a Pagan Teen, who was an active Girl Scout for 7 years, and participated in several church programs, i find this to be both discriminatory and helpful. ultimately it will help the needy, but in the process will use taxpayers money , that will go through the Church's hands, and therefore benefit tham as well. Churches are accredited with praise, for their good work in the community, and that is good, but as a Wiccan, I find that participating in programs such as these should merit a mention, that not all the participants support that church's beliefs. Since I cannot vote, I regularly follo my State General Assembly, and track the bill and issues that affect me and my community. The separation of Church and Stae is indeed eroding, especially in Public Schools.
| I Believe That President Bush Is Using This Bill As An Opportunity... ||Jan 31st. at 12:06:04 am UTC|
|Schelli (Jacksonville, Florida US) ||Age: 22 - Email |
I believe that President Bush is using this bill as an opportunity to further errode the separation between church and state that the USA was founded upon. Federal funds, thats our taxpayer dollars, that are used to help those less fortunate (yes it is a good thing to help others while they are down and teach them to get back on their feet again) should not in any form be based on a person's faith. When a particular church chooses to help their followers or use money to help them "see the light" (I was raised a Catholic, and have seen the churches literally try to buy people's faith), then thats their choice along with the potential followers. This does not involve the government. I believe that this is part of Bush's plan to overwhelm the nation with Christain conservatism. Hopefully this will not be passed through congress...
| Any Religion Strengthens The Beliefs Of It's Followers. I Think That If... ||Jan 31st. at 12:23:03 am UTC|
|nikky (milton, Ontario CA) ||Age: 26 - Email |
Any religion strengthens the beliefs of it's followers. I think that if the public coffers are going to be opened up to churches, it should be to ALL churches and not just Christian ones. More importantly though I think that while religion can dramatically change some, therapy and counselling is the better way to go. It separates your church from your state and maybe these criminals will get the help they need. Besides, isn't it the Christian thing to do to help those in need without expecting something in return?
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