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: Nov. 17, 2002
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Question of the Week: 93 - 1/6/2003
Should Pagans Apply For Federal Funds?
Under the new U.S. ‘faith-based’ initiatives, religious groups cannot be denied federal money if they otherwise qualify for a social service program grant. Should Pagans go for a piece of that pie?
Do you think that an openly Pagan organization, all qualifications being met, would have a real chance at obtaining funding from the current administration?
What about the separation of church and state issue?
Federal funds and tax money going to religious organizations in order to provide social programs: A good idea or not?
| Reponses: There are 56 responses posted to this question.
|| Reverse Sort
| WHATS GOOD FOR THE GOOSE..... ||Jan 6th. at 6:58:12 am EST|
|Moon (New York) ||Age: 41 - Email |
.....should be good for the gander. If other religions can have this option, then so should pagans. We are a legitamate religion and should be recognized as such with all the benefits allowed to other religions. Think how the world could change for the better if this option were available to us. Pagans already contribute a tremendously huge amount of charity and good will in the world. Most would do much more if given the monetary resources to work with. I think this could also be a positive step toward world acceptance of alternative religions such as ours.
| Stand Up And Be Counted ||Jan 6th. at 6:52:16 am EST|
|Spirit Walker (Long Island, New York) ||Age: 44 - Email |
A part of what the government does when they offer any kind of money, is that they are taking a census of those who apply for it. So when money is available and given out over the year, they crunch the numbers and a report is generated.
[figures are for example only]
The politicians then look at these numbers and know who to smooze during election time at what percent of their campaign budgets and time. And when someone comes to see them and asks for other help, this report helps the politician say, 'HEY! this person represents 50% of the people in my district, I better help them out!". [who ever said politics was fair]
If we are to be viewed as a religion, one that is real and safe for the public to consider as an alternative to the ones listed above and others that I have not, then we have to stand up and be counted. Our numbers have to be viewed outside of that Misc column and stand on our own. When someone of our faith comes before anyone, we must dispell what others have painted us as and show what we really believe.
I look to the day when a Pagan, Wiccan, etc. walks into a politician's office and gets the same respect as a Christian or Jew would when they ask for funding or help.
Our problem is that we are not united. but we do all have our own minds and are not lead like sheep by our priests to the slaughter. Imagine seeing a election exit poll that said, "Well it looks like the encumbent got 60% of the christian vote; 70% of the Jewish vote and 40% of the Pagan vote"?
This will never happen until we Stand Up and Be Counted. And if part of that is applying for Federal Funds, then that might be the way to start.
| Fund Or Not To Fund ||Jan 6th. at 5:49:45 am EST|
|Sloopz (Bonnybridge, Scotland) ||Age: 17 - Email |
even though I dont live in America I feel that pagans etc should get funding. Paganism is no longer illegal and you cant get killed for practicing it in most places. So it is unfair that christians can get funding where pagans cant.
Everywhere you look people talk about equalising stuff so why cant they make paganism equal to other religions and stop dissing it.
| All Religions Put Aside.... ||Jan 6th. at 4:21:33 am EST|
|Aaron (Folsom, CA) ||Age: 26 - Email |
If you look at the Question from the aspect of... does religion really matter in this? You might feel the same. Christians are always grabbing out and taking whatever they can and they look down on those that don't give them money and say things like, "You'll be damned if you don't", just to scare people into giving them money, or anything else for that matter. We Pagans, Wiccans, Spiritualists and others of the sorts, don't. We instead rely on our fellow brethren and our beliefs to bring in the flow. However, when you and I work for someplace or buy ANYTHING, including that book of spells from your local spiritualistic store, the Government has NO PROBLEMS taking money from you and I. We should be allowed to have it back. When, and if, something arises from the Government, as some fear, that they (the government) will control us and say what we can or can't do or say or when or where we can say it... there we have certain rights, i.e..Freedom of Religion to back us up. If that should fail.. then we can always just go back to not accepting it.
Free money is Free money. If you were to walk down the street and see a hundred dollar bill on the sidewalk, would you not pick it up? Not to say you would not try to find the owner, I would, but you would not just leave it there. Well maybe some of you would... Here lies the same Question... Does Religion determine wether or not you pick up that hundred dollar bill?
| Mixed Feelings On This Issue ||Jan 6th. at 1:55:46 am EST|
|Callen (Elgin, Illinois, USA) ||Age: 34 - Email |
I have mixed feelings on this particular issue. In all fairness, if the goverment is handing out money to organizations which are designed to help others in the community then these funds should be available to *all* such groups -- religious or not. The majority of these groups are run by Christians and Christian organizations, and many require some form of biblical "counseling" or Bible class attendance in order to gather benefits from them. This is all fine and dandy, until one starts adding government money to the mix -- a de facto support of religious institutions.
While this troubles me as a Witch, I have found that it also, surprisingly, troubles some of the people who are involved in these Christian-based charities. My employer donates on a regular basis to such a local charity, and the people who run it do *not* take any state-money -- they are strictly supported by donations and other non-governmental funds. In their view, at some point the government might dictate what they could preach and to whom they could preach it -- they value their freedom to believe more than a hand-out from the government. Our contact person also has stated that she, as a Christian and an American, is uncomfortable with the state even seeming to support one religious tradition over any other -- even if it is her own tradition that is being supported.
Given the current state of both the economy and government I realize that there will be many, many more people who will need the help of such community organizations, and that said organizations themselves are always in need of cash to help others. However, I fear that government support of charitable works could, in the wrong hands in the future, be devastating to our freedom of religion and religious choice.
Just my two cents.
| Opinion ||Jan 6th. at 1:49:02 am EST|
|Danielle (Tx) ||Age: 21 - Email |
Well now... there are many types of pagans...... A LOT of "right-wing" pagans might object to certain groups recieving funding to pay for animals to sacrifice.. Though, I know a LOT of pagans who believe this doesen't happen, especially in witchcraft.... or in what they believe witchcraft is.. So, I dunno.... I think pagans should stay in the shadows to avoid exposing our secrets and Mysteries.... like the witches of long ago who didn't even tell the basic pagan their secrets....
| Yes ||Jan 6th. at 12:35:51 am EST|
|Firehawk (Glen Burnie) ||Age: 18 - Email |
I think we should. We as a faith have a right to funding just as Christians are. If we can't then there's something very wrong with America.
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