quote:Unable to pass even a watered down version of the President's faith-based initiative Congressional sponsors said Thursday that they will remove from the bill all efforts to open government programs to churches and other religious groups. Their legislation instead just provides tax breaks for donations to charities including religious groups.
I can't say that I am sorry to see this program die a-borning. There were too many pitfalls and too much opportunity for corruption and diversion of funds.
In Columbus there is a homeless shelter called the Faith Mission. It is the largest of it's kind in the city, and provides shelter and food for the vast majority of Columbus' homeless population. They also have extensive programs to help the homeless who have mental or addictin problems. Without the Faith Mission, the city would have a major crisis on it's hands.
The building itself has a large, lighted cross over the door, and is in an old church. That's the extent of it's preaching, however. They don't try to convert people to Christianity. They don't descriminate in any way against the people that they help.
They work largely through volunteers from all parts of the city, of all faiths, of all social status.
This organization cannot, under current laws, recieve any monetary support from the government because it has "Faith" in it's name, and a cross over the door.
This law would have changed that, and I am sorry to see it die. It's just another form of discrimination.
Don't forget that Carter had a really hard time with the American public as a candidate just because he did an interview in Playboy and admitted to having felt lust in his heart for women other than his wife. That was just twenty or thirty years ago.
I wholly support religious charity (islamic, jewish, whatever, even protestant!) but I don't think that it should be able to receive money from the government. Not particularly (as we have discussed before) because I care a great deal about the US constitution, because I don't, but because churches should keep themselves seperate from government; I know that in the UK, there are many catholics, at least, who feel the same way. That said, I think that the constitution is right to make it difficult for the government to financially support religious institutions (there is no such rule here in the UK). I don't see it is discrimination, because we are talking about non-profit organisations here anyway and in any case being a christian, or a jew, or whatever, is a personal choice and I don't think that this ruling makes it any more difficult to be a christian/jew/whatever. 'Discrimination' against charities in terms of how government dough is distributed doesn't bother me all that much, to be honest; I also wouldn't want government dough to go to overtly political charities, either, for that matter (I don't know if there are any rules about that in the US; I suspect, again, that there aren't any here).
I guess that, in the end, the bill died not because there was massive opposition to the cool stuff that Lunacy is talking about (although I personally oppose it even at that level), but because of the potential of the law to go wrong (and maybe some constitutional concerns too, I wouldn't know about that).
I have to agree with Smug, mackerel snapper though he may be,
that despite the good work that the Columbus Faith Mission might do it should not receive government money directly. What educastion I have came as a result of the GI bill which promised the vets of WWII a college education--and the government came through on that promise and paid all of my college expenses plus a stipend of $54/mo while I was going. It made a tremendous difference in my life but a careful examination of the GI Bill as it was called reveals that in retrospect it was frought with deceit and fraud and waste as nearly all federal giveaway programs are. Schools were opened by the thousands to teach esoteric subjects not really related to getting a college education and building a career opportunity. Billions of dollars went to the enrichment of these "schools". I fear that if we permitted government donations to churches we would find some strange "faith based " organizations standing in line for the money.
I hope that the Faith Mission prospers and evidently it has grown
to this point by private contributions or church support but lets let the government stay out of the picture.
The State oF Texas has an interesting law passed after WWI and never challenged in the courts as to its legality.
The law provides that no person who was a citizen of the state when he or she joined the armed forces of the United States will ever have to pay tuition or fees at a State sponsored university
(about ten or eleven universities in the state) and further provides that a veteran may buy any land of twenty acres or more
in the state and the Texas Land Commission will finance it at 2% interest for 20 years. I took some graduate courses by correspondence under the veterans rights above.
if the government gives a christian charity a cool million, then the jews, hindus, muslims, Heaven's Gate and every wacko cult out there is entitled to that mil too. who's to say satanist organisations arent entitled to aid also? Bush can't expect to only dish out charity to christians, and even if it is under the guise of 'charity' we all know it is really used to promote christianity (or whatever religion), which is not our governments job. If it wasnt they'd have no problem with dropping the cross.
Originally posted by Dingle if the government gives a christian charity a cool million, then the jews, hindus, muslims, Heaven's Gate and every wacko cult out there is entitled to that mil too.
No, they would only recieve aid only if they provided a useful service.
who's to say satanist organisations arent entitled to aid also?
Last time I checked, satanist organizations aren't big on helping people.
Bush can't expect to only dish out charity to christians, and even if it is under the guise of 'charity' we all know it is really used to promote christianity (or whatever religion), which is not our governments job. If it wasnt they'd have no problem with dropping the cross.
The initiative he backed was not for christian charities only. It would benefit all faith-based charities. I agree that it's not the government's job to promote a religion. I would vehemently oppose any attempts to. In the example I used before, the cross represents the reason the organizers are providing the services they do. It is important to them. They do not try to change anyone else's beliefs.
The way things are now, the government draws a line that says we'll help you only if you hide your religious views. It is discrimination in that it does not take into account the value of the work being done by the group.
If we are to deny aid to charities that are run by openly religious organizations, then we need to deny aid to all charities. (Which is what Smug thinks we should do anyway.)
Maybe it will open the door to corruption, but I would venture to say that there is probably corruption already. It's the arbitrariness of the situation that gets me.
Either we're going to help charity organizations based on their services, or we're not. To pick and choose based on religion is unfair.
quote:Originally posted by nymbus If we are to deny aid to charities that are run by openly religious organizations, then we need to deny aid to all charities. (Which is what Smug thinks we should do anyway.)
No, that isn't necessarily what I think; if giving money to charities is more efficient, then do it that way, as long as it isn't to political or religious groups. It isn't discrimination against christians (or any other believers), it is 'discrimination' against certain charities with a religious bent, which is a different thing. If those charities do receive government dough, though, they are, effectively government contractors and the government certainly shouldn't be giving tax money to political groups, say, and nor should it (for my tastes, but also, in the US, from at least the flavour of the constitution) go to religious based groups. I am still surprised that these religious groups want government money, to be honest; being on the government payroll isn't what it should be about.
To what charities does the government give money. I guess I am the way you thought Smug was. I can't see the government giving money to the United Fund, The Red Cross, The Salvation Army, The American Heart Association etc. nor do I think that it does. I don't even like for the government to give money to NPR or PBS because those media are not objective reporters of the news and the government has no business supporting news organizations anyway. Nor do I fancy such recipients as the National Endowment for the Arts or the National Endowment for the Humanities I don't think that the government should or has the right to support and decide what is "art" and what is a "humanities study". I have a book titled "Wives and Daughters"
written by a woman who got a three year government grant of something like 300,000 dollars for her to go to Africa and ask questions of the women and girl children of some country (I think Lesotho). It was just coincidence of course but her husband
wAS ASSIGNED TO THAT COUNTRY FIR THREE YEARS.
"The Corporation for National and Community Service awarded the grants to help meet President Bush's goal of involving American citizens in the war on terror. Ridge announced that a total of $10.3 million in competitive grants would be awarded to 43 non-profit and public organizations in 26 states and the District of Columbia. From a pool of $10.3 million, the American Red Cross received $1,778, 978, which was distributed among national headquarters and several chapters. " http://www.redcross.org/news/ds/ter...19security.html
United Way: "In addition, revenue beyond the campaign (e.g. government grants, gifts to initiatives) totaled $212 million, compared to $191.5 million in 2000." http://national.unitedway.org/aboutuw/
quote:Originally posted by nymbus Pfft, everyone knows that white men are the privledged elite oppresors. Like you guys need money. Ask Paint, he knows.
Hrm. Pulled a 13 hour shift today (my day off) (damn you Boston!), brain not working great, not getting reference to me.
Anyway, I agree with Oxsan on this one. And, the success of that homeless shelter would suggest to me the opposite of what it does to you. Instead of "charities like this shouldn't be disallowed money because of their religious bent," I was thinking "See? A religious charity can succeed without sucking off the government tit! Bloody good for them!"
quote:Could a church open a shelter under a secular sounding name and not preach and so be elgible for funding? They should be able to do that.
Why should they be able to do that? I don't think that money from the government should flow to any charitable purpose. IMO
government is not charged with being a wet nurse to the welfare of its citizens. We have the United Fund, The Red Cross, The Salvation Army, The Rotarians, The Jaycees, thousands of churches, Meals on Wheels, The Big Brothers, Probably also The Big Sisters though I've never heard of them. All of those things are devoterd to the benefit of our less fortunate bothers and sisters in this world. Why do we want to take part of the money that Paint earned above working a thirteen hour shift and give it to a charitable shelter or institution? If Paint wants to give part of that 13 hour shift to a homeless shelter that is great but why have the government prize it from his lifeless fingers, take out a portion for administrative costs and give the rest to Nymbus' favorite shelter? Doesn't make sense. Why don't the people in the shelter work a 13 hour shift and pay for their own shelter?
During the Depression I have experienced many times watching a housewife try to cut up a chicken so that it would go around to ten people for two meals. There weren't charitable organizations then except churches and neighbors and the government didn't give you anything until 1932. That was a very big incentive to work BP---and just about everyone did. I don't know of anyone who starved but a lot of people slept in a barn or an old empty building.
I'm getting carried away. Let me just say I don't believe in the government being a wet nurse.
we would disagree there. the term "wet nurse" wouldn't be one i would use, but i like the social democratic system. i may even support a more socialist state, since northern europe seems to be pulling it off so well.
but what i meant was that if the government was funding charities, even church-run charities should be able to receive said funding provided they drop the churchiness. for the greater good.