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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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| This Is The Thin Edge Of The Wedge, The Trojan Horse For... ||Jan 31st. at 4:00:51 pm EST|
|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 EST|
|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 EST|
|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 EST|
|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 EST|
|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 EST|
|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 EST|
|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".
| Funny How Those Who Oppose Abortion And Family Planning Can Say Where... ||Jan 30th. at 7:06:10 pm EST|
|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...
| I Feel This Agenda Is For One Purpose Only--to Force Feed... ||Jan 30th. at 5:50:09 pm EST|
|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.
| If President Bush Puts A Program That Is "faith-based" In Place, Then... ||Jan 30th. at 5:37:38 pm EST|
|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.
| Wow... I Just Don't Understand It, From What I Can See, Most... ||Jan 30th. at 5:23:49 pm EST|
|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.
| Make No Mistake . . . This Is His Way Of Rewarding The Rr For... ||Jan 30th. at 4:26:18 pm EST|
|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.
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