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Posted: Nov. 17, 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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| I Think This Is A "party" Idea, Not A Bush Idea. From... ||Feb 1st. at 3:59:23 am UTC|
|Gaia Tepse (Columbus, Ohio US) ||Age: 21 - Email |
I think this is a "Party" Idea, not a Bush Idea. From what I've seen, it seems that Republicans milk Christians for campaign money, or the Christitans just give it to the Republicans who seem to want to make the Christian Bible into law, but slowly as to not get caught under church and state seperation. I think its just a way to try to get more campaign contributions for their party. On the larger issue, I agree with George Washington who was opposed to Party Politics. There has not yet been one party that has ever represented anywhere near most of what I believe in.
| It Is Against The Constitution To Give Federal Tax Dollars To Religious... ||Feb 1st. at 1:59:46 am UTC|
|Zoe (Santa Cruz, California US) ||Age: 19 |
It is against the Constitution to give federal tax dollars to religious groups. Bush has said that he doesn't consider Wicca to be a real religion, and he wants the military to revoke its recognition of Wicca. There is no way that a committee he appoints will even consider giving money to Wiccans. I'll be surprised if they give it to Muslims or Hindus. Along with his reinstatement of the gag rule, this looks like the beginning of an effort to impose the religious right's agenda on the US and everyone it affects.
| Merry Meet Re: The Presidents Recently Proposed "faith Based" Social Programs: I... ||Jan 31st. at 10:03:11 pm UTC|
|Stardanceres (Burlington, North Carolina US) ||Age: 0 - Email |
Re: The Presidents Recently proposed "Faith Based" social programs:
I must say that I am greatly concerned about the prospect of this erosion of the constitutionally mandated separation of church and state This issue should be of great concern to all those that will not be embraced by the religious "Reicht". We need only look back in history, (and because we have all been around many times, THINK back in history)to understand the danger of mixing church and state. Anyone that lives in the "bible belt" has full knowlege of the power and reach of the christian fundamentalist movement. The intollerance is stagering to behold. You must believe exactly as they do, or you are at best looked down upon, and that goes for Catholics and people who believe in Judaism, Islam and so forth. We are (at best)looked on as not a true religion, and at worst, monsters, who worship their universal bad guy satan, and commit unspeakable acts. The gains made by the Pagan community will erode, and faith based programs, which erode the wall between church and state, is the first step. Next, our Pagan sisters and brothers in the military will lose their right to worship. I for one, DO NOT wish my tax money to be given to the religious "Reicht" to proseltyze, and convert. Can you imagine that Wiccans would receive a warm welcome or even tollerance if requesting federal funds? Never Again the Burning Times? Back in the broom closet gang.
Blessed Be Well,
| Bush's Agenda Is To Outlaw All Religions Other Than Christianity And To... ||Jan 31st. at 8:11:39 pm UTC|
|Freaky Ferret (southern Louisiana, Louisiana US) ||Age: 28 |
Bush's agenda is to outlaw all religions other than Christianity and to actively enforce the laws against homosexuality. Keep in mind there are several laws in almost all states which outlaw the act of homosexuality (sex). Many states have laws which outright forbid the existence of homosexual establishments (bars). People who go to the bars can be arrested (and used to be, that's what Stonewall was all about!). All Bush has to do is (public) state he wants all law enforcement agencies to focus more on enforcing these laws. He doesn't even need to pass new legislation.
All the famous dictators started out with great popular support due to promises of decreased taxes and increased employment. The silver coin blinded so many it was so shiny. Immediately the tyrants put a few, small, subtle social programs into effect. Some people rejoiced, some cried at their dinner tables. Then the next not so subtle phase began -- the outlawing of "unfavorable" activities. Finally the illegalization and exportation (or worse) of certain "undesirable" people. They all started with a small step.
You all fear Bush won't outlaw our way(s) of life. You all hope nothing will really happen. Most of you don't believe there is anything to be afraid of cause nothing will happen. "Paranoia" is what you screamed at those of us who spoke of this last year. This "Faith Based" Initiative is Bush's first small step.
| I Think The Religious Reich Will Do Anything It Can To Gain... ||Jan 31st. at 7:44:44 pm UTC|
|Valerian (Seattle, Washington US) ||Age: 32 |
I think the Religious Reich will do anything it can to gain a firm foothold in the U.S. Government. Give them an inch...and it's back to religious persecution.
| This Is The Thin Edge Of The Wedge, The Trojan Horse For... ||Jan 31st. at 4:00:51 pm UTC|
|Raindancer (Christchurch, New Zealand) ||Age: 52 - Email |
This is the thin edge of the wedge, the Trojan Horse for the Religious Right. Nobody is going to oppose helping people, and then we will have state subsidized churches. How much will go to people and how much to the churches coffers for propaganda purposes? How much to pay fat salaries to church leaders? More importantly, where do they go after they win this battle?
Political pressure should be applied to those who vote on this to vote no when it comes up, or at the very least, build in airtight safeguards to ensure that the money only be used fairly to assist those in need. The last thing we should do, is give them a blank check and trust them to act responsibly. We know, or should know what their track record is on that.
It would be unreasonable to expect that they won't throw a little bible in the soup, but it seems reasonable to me that it be stipulated that joining the church not be a prerequisite to receive help. The United States is still a democracy, every effort needs to be made to ensure that it remains so. Hit those politicians where it hurts, in their campaigns for re-election.
Blessings and Good Luck Raindancer
| Mm All- I Think That This New Plan Is Yet Another Outgrowth... ||Jan 31st. at 3:57:42 pm UTC|
|Liz (Rochester, Michigan US) ||Age: 22 - Email |
I think that this new plan is yet another outgrowth of George's plan to run the country like he ran Texas. This is not where the United States should be people! As someone else in this forum already stated, this plan is the trojan horse for conservatives. Doesn't anyone else find it creepy that within his first two weeks of office, he has already cut overseas funding for abortions, developed this proposal (which is a CLEAR violation of the seperation of church and state), and nominated some very conservative individuals to hold places in his cabinet????
If this is what he has done within his first two weeks, what will the next four years look like??? I had heard President Bush state in a news clip (Mon. night) that this plan should be THE social program for the U.S. The info. provided by TWV also shows how he ran it in Texas. Ummm... we are talking serious social issues here, and he wants to turn it over to some church group? Many of whom have religious agendas on their itineraries? Don't be fooled for a moment that pagans will seriously be considered in this...remember that George is not alone in thinking that paganism IS NOT a religion. The big three will definately be represented, but after that...well, it's a toss up.
| Mm,george Bush's Faith Based Program Is Clearly A Violation Of The... ||Jan 31st. at 12:40:50 pm UTC|
|Tom Boughan (Cowan,, Tennessee US) ||Age: 47 - Email |
MM, George Bush's faith based program is clearly a violation of the First Amendment. I read that Patrick Henry asked James Madison to help him support funding for Catholic schools in Virginia. Madison replied that the government does not support any religious group, especially monetary aid. He said that was clearly a violation of First Amendment. He ought to know, he wrote the amendment. BB, Tom B.
| 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?
| 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...
| 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.
| 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".
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