The opinions posted on the Pagan Perspective pages are those of individuals and are not neccessarily shared or endorsed by the Witches' Voice inc.
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.
|| Reverse Sort
| While I Agree That This Is A Horrible Step Towards Putting Christianity... ||Feb 2nd. at 2:51:03 pm UTC|
|Caliana Moonstone (Castle Rock, Colorado US) ||Age: 22 - Email |
While I agree that this is a horrible step towards putting Christianity at the head of our society, I do believe that we as a community need to unite behind our own charities to attempt to get this funding. Frankly, if we want to save this country from apathy we need to show the masses that the administration plans on placing it's own religion on top, to do that we need to prove a bias exists, simple. In addition we do suffer from a lack of organization and internal fights, ie. witch wars. We need to support each other regardless of ideological differences, that should be our true goal right now, because as a united but diverse front we will have the strengths of both traits. We need to fight for our rights and the education of the public, and not bicker over differences in belief or practice.
United we can overcome.
Love and Light
| In The Past We Have Witnessed The Horror Of Theocracy. We See... ||Feb 2nd. at 3:53:29 pm UTC|
|Quentin Bounds (St. Thomas, Pennsylvania US) ||Age: 23 - Email |
In the past we have witnessed the horror of theocracy. We see it even today in the "Fundamentalist" nations of the world. The radical scale of genocide for fundamentalists range from the modern exploits of Hitler (a fundamentalist of state) all the way back to the genocidal wars of the biblical Middle-East (involving theocratic fundamentalists). Remember the Crusades? All these things should stir in the mind when we enter in to thought on Gods and government.
It also seems that limitations have a way of changing over time, sliding down the fallicious "slippery slope" to one side of the issue or the other, as is demonstarted by the firearms problems our nation is embroiled in as we speak. The problem derives from the question of where we draw the line and how it is that we can hold that line at that point? In the history of the United States, the only "bans" or limitations that have been effective even in part have been those that are total and only involve those things which have never been a formative part of the culture. Once we have begun to deregulate certain activities, we find that the Pandora's box we open cannot be closed again, for the spirits we unleashed grow in number and strength. Like the prohibitionists discovered in the early twentieth century, good intentions can not erase culturally integrated concepts and practices. The price for that mistake was paid in blood as well as dollars. Savatsyana I believe said that those whose history is forgotten to them will relive it. Can we afford the price of a failed experiment at this critical time in our national history? Haven't we sullied the prestige of our Nation enough with scandal that we should feel the need to violate even the charter on which our nation was founded?
This indirect endorsement, then, of religion by government is likely to be one that we can not revert from once the course has been set. The emotion with which the issue is charged by is a thousand times greater than that of the firearms issue. It is a conundrum which enjoins all of the people, be they Jew, Pagan, Christian, or even Atheist. It is likely that once we step down this road, we can not go back without suffering the same wars and trials that our Brothers and Sisters have endured for generations in Yugoslavia, Ireland, and the Middle-East.
This having been said, it is a matter of grave consideration that stands before us; Do we taint the already imperfect purity of our spirituality with the fruits of often misguided politicians? Can we bear the new and additional burdens of scrutiny of our private lives will undergo? And if the proposition proves to favour the stronger religious factions too heavily, can we disentangle the Church and the State. If so, at what cost?
I am for all peoples of positive Faith, but I can not belie the principles of my national heritage when so much is at stake.
| Politics Generates Personal Opinion: Here Is Mine! And I Find I... ||Feb 2nd. at 5:55:23 pm UTC|
|Tree (Atlanga, Georgia US) ||Age: 55 - Email |
Politics generates personal opinion: here is mine! And I find I am in agreement with a spokesperson for the Texas Southern Baptist Convention who, on NPR, stated that they did not want their tax dollars to go to religous groups with whom they did not agree. Since I don't agree with Southern Baptists (I find their fear-based religion nauseating and their denigration of women intolerable) I certainly don't want my tax dollars supporting their initiatives... no matter how benign. Money taken from government hand-outs just frees up money for religious activities.
But, herein lies the challenge: The Republican administration _IS_ going to remove federal money from social programs. They campaigned on this issue and I believe them when they say they will follow through. So all of us... Pagan, Jew, Muslim, Xtian, etc... need to see what we can do to plug the holes.
Tree in Atlanta
| I Personaly Think He's An Idiot For Putting The Words "government Funding... ||Feb 2nd. at 11:49:51 pm UTC|
|Elffire (Carrollton, Texas US) ||Age: 14 - Email |
I personaly think he's an idiot for putting the words "government funding" and "religion" in the same phrase. All I've got to say is that I would have voted with the majority, for Gore. I think Bush should also keep in mind that more than 1/2 of America doesn't want him there. At least hes out of Texas now may be we can fix somthings up.
| I Think That The Separation Of Church And State Is Fundamental To... ||Feb 3rd. at 3:53:11 am UTC|
|Big John (Old Bridge, New Jersey US) ||Age: 40 |
I think that the separation of church and state is fundamental to preserving personal freedom in the United States. It's hard to believe that a man who has sworn to defend the constitution only a few days ago would make such a statement. If the issue is to fund religious groups to do social work why not give the American tax payers the choice in selecting which religious groups get their tax money? This could be accomplished by making a selection on the income tax forms just as we currently make a selection whether or not to contribute to a persidential campaign fund. Of course, this would give all recognized religions an equal share - something I doubt George Bush or the christian right would want to see. I believe George Bush made the statement to send a message that the current administration works hand in hand with the christian right. Furthering christian ideals using taxpayer dollars just proves that we all need to keep an eye on his spending policies in the future. Fortunately, I think enough Americans will take issue with this idea that the courts will put a stop to it - just as they did with internet censorship in years past.
| I'm Personally Disgusted With What Bush Has Been Doing As Of Late... ||Feb 3rd. at 1:03:43 pm UTC|
|HappyLittleMoron (Wyoming, Minnesota US) ||Age: 21 - Email |
I'm personally disgusted with what Bush has been doing as of late. If he's going to try to give to charities, why not give to all of them? Faith and non-faith based? And in faith, i don't mean just christian, but ALL faith, though I doubt that will happen. This is one time i'm following polotics as closely as I can, because it seems that all of our fundamental rights are being threatened by a bigot illegally put in office. I say, if you're going to give taxdollars to charities, give an equal amount to all charaties. After all, isn't everyone "created equal" in this country?
| What I Find Really Scary, Is That It Seems Like Alot Of... ||Feb 3rd. at 5:03:41 pm UTC|
|Kathy (Ann Arbor, Michigan US) ||Age: 22 |
What I find really scary, is that it seems like alot of americans think its a good idea.
| This Is Just Another Chance For The Religous Right To Get A... ||Feb 3rd. at 5:08:41 pm UTC|
|Stephen Patten (Laconia, New Hampshire US) ||Age: 48 - Email |
This is just another chance for the religous right to get a stronger
hold on secular, federal funding, to wipe out any religon but theirs.
to think they started from religons just like wicca!
| This Initiative Is Patently Unconstitutional. However The Even Bigger, More Telling "real-life... ||Feb 3rd. at 9:36:48 pm UTC|
|Mark St. John (Ypsilanti, Michigan US) ||Age: 36 - Email |
This initiative is patently unconstitutional. However the even bigger, more telling "real-life" questions are whether a) our legislative branch sees this and responds within bounds of same, and b) failing the Congress' good sense and sensibility, will the Courts do "the right thing"? I believe the former will do so only if besieged with prudently written letters saying how ghastly a plan this really is. Should it pass the Congress, court cases will definitely be needed.
This is where the Pagan community really needs to pull together and STRATEGIZE. Yes, indeed, Pagan groups need to apply for every single dollar we can manage to grab. First this gives us good charitable exposure. Second, when the discrimination comes down, which it inevitably will, we will then have (hopefully ) dozens of lawsuits that will serve to tear apart this law.
| I Wish To Bring President Bush's Attention To The Exact Words Of... ||Feb 3rd. at 11:12:25 pm UTC|
|Lara StarrFyre (Richmond, Virginia US) ||Age: 17 - Email |
I wish to bring President Bush's attention to the exact words of the First Amendment, which, like foreign policy, he obviously has no knowlege on:
"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances." (taken from: http://www.law.cornell.edu/constitution/constitution.billofrights.html )
Obviously, Mr. Bush Jr. needs to read up on the constitution...
| If We Have To Live With This Program,then We Ought To... ||Feb 4th. at 12:25:16 pm UTC|
|Deagan (jacksonville, Florida US) ||Age: 21 |
If we have to live with this program, then we ought to get equal treatment and funds, perhaps into a common "pagan" Fund that is regulated and applied for. If we cannot recieve equal treatment through this program, then we ought to be up in arms until we do or until it is abolished.
| So Sorry To Post Again, But... ||Feb 4th. at 12:36:29 pm UTC|
|Deagan (jacksonville, Florida US) ||Age: 21 |
So Sorry to post again, But i had to post on the accountability issue and i missed the deadline. Simple. it takes all types to make a healthy community, this includes everyone from the wont harm a fly pagan preschool teachers to the tough and gritty people who will break up brawls. accountability is personal within the law. whose law? the federal governments, and after that your own or your paths's. As for blacklisting....well that's a bit much for me, without a representative from every path adding into the guidelines for blacklisting it won't be a fair list at all. I'm not Wiccan and probably would fail a wiccan test to blacklist. I might pass an Asatru one though or one of another more primitive and not so nice paths. Leave everyone alone to their own devices unless they break some overall community standard. who sets those? well we'd need to get every path together for that....
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