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Free Citizen

This writer espouses individual liberty, free markets, and limited government.

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Location: Jackson, Mississippi, United States

Monday, February 18, 2008

The Faith-Based Initiative is a Trojan Horse

It has been astonishing to me that so little has been said or written about the folly of President Bush's so-called Faith-based Initiative. Accepting government money, of course, is corrupting to the recipient, as it invites government control. Even Pat Robertson received a $500 million handout for his organization, which is in the same vein as his endorsement of Rudy Giuliani for president.

Just imagine what a Democratic president, in concert with a Democratic Congress, will do with this program. That will be almost as high on their agenda as socializing our healthcare system.

by Tom DeWeese

In... The DeWeese Report I warned that the Bush administration's Faith-based Initiative (S.476) was misguided and would not achieve its stated goal to use private organizations and private charitable programs as a means to cut the federal budget and return "caring" to its proper place in the private sector.

It's a noble idea and, if it had a chance of working, I said I would be the first to endorse the program with banner headlines. In fact, if the program had been designed to simply roll back federal regulations, making it easier for private charity groups to help the needy, the initiative would have been landmark legislation.

The problem is that the program is designed to give federal funds to private organizations. I warned that such a provision would be used as a "Trojan Horse" to allow federal restrictions and guidelines on federal hiring practices and separation of church and state to literally separate faith-based groups from their very roots. For the almighty federal dollar, I warned, faith-based groups would necessarily become little more than public agencies.

And so it begins. As Congress began to work on spending bills to fund the program, the Left showed its predictable dark side. Rep. Chet Edwards of Texas quickly crafted an amendment to the spending bill that would ensure none of the funds appropriated in the bill would go to any group that "discriminates" in job hiring based on religion. The measure was defeated, but it is a harbinger of what's to come.

Consider what such hiring restrictions would mean to a faith-based group running a soup kitchen. A Catholic church would have to hire those outside the faith to run the operation which means it would no longer be a Catholic charity operation. It would become just another federally-run soup kitchen.

Rep. Edwards used a different, but more illuminating, example as he said allowing "religious hiring rights" as called for by the White House, where faiths could hire the faithful free of federal harassment, means Congress would "legalize racial discrimination in this country." Edwards offered an example of a Jewish or Catholic organization refusing to hire a black Southern Baptist. Rep. Patrick Kennedy of Rhode Island warned that allowing faith-based groups to hire their own with federal funds would take the United States down "a slow road" to the theocracy of Iran.

It's astounding that the White House and Congressional Republicans could even...Keep reading>>>

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