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.
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| 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....
| Sunday Morning, As I Sit Sipping Coffee, Watching The Snow Fall Softly... ||Feb 4th. at 1:50:12 pm UTC|
|horse (Missoula, Montana US) ||Age: 26 - Email |
Sunday morning, as I sit sipping coffee, watching the snow fall softly down, I watch my favorite TV programming, John Mclaughlin's One on One. Today's guest, Bush's new director of the FB initiatives plan. Straight from the horse's mouth: two criteria will keep out the smaller, minority and 'undesirable' religions. First, and this is how they plan to exclude Wiccans, Pagans, et al, is that each organization will have to provide extreme accountability; how many beds do you have, how do you budget your money, and most importantly, how well does your program work? The Bush administration wants to see your program working, so if you haven't been around very long, they could discriminate on that basis. Second, and this is how they would exclude Nation of Islam, Satanists, and (in theory on the show) the Branch Davidians, is that if the fundamental tenets of your religion are not consistent with the idea of "helping the needy". The administration made particular reference to the fact that Nation of Islam preaches "hate" and that they believe whites to be inferior, and so could not be reconciled to gettting federal money for their programs (even if they had 150 beds and food and heat). So, this is the new reality. It appears that pagans are back in the closet, so to speak. Oh yeah, when asked about the prayer question, Bush will let a FB organization require a attendance at a prayer, as long as there is a choice of other, non secular shelters in the area. So, this is their mad, mad plan. Give us your weak, your hungry, your poor...and we'll turn 'em right around with the power of the lord...
| Sadly In Canada This Last Election The Christian Right Raised Its Ugly... ||Feb 4th. at 6:15:00 pm UTC|
|Cathbad (N/a, Ontario CA) ||Age: 15 |
Sadly in Canada this last election the Christian Right raised its ugly head and it seemed that the Homosexuals, womens groups and other organization like that were all protesting, but to my amzement I did not see one of my brother/sister Pagans. If your President went on T.V. and said Homosexuality was not a valid sexuality then there would be such an uproar. But he says that Wicca is not a religon and nobody says anything. We need to UNITE. All of us Wiccans, Druids, CRs, Astrau followers, all of us. We need a unified voice, a Pagan's voice. We need to tell them that we are a religous group and that there will NEVER again be a burning time.
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