Monday, June 26, 2006


We Think So

The Bush administration's funding of so-called faith-based initiatives strengthens the religious right by putting tax dollars in the hands of politically active religious fringe groups who are waging a culture war to radically restructure public education and traditional notions of church-state separation in America.

A report on a four-year study of 500 welfare-to-work programs in Chicago, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, and Dallas published in Christianity Today concludes that 38 percent of the evangelical programs report receiving more than half of their funding from the government, compared to 31 percent for mainline programs.

These groups aren't supposed to use government money to proselytize those they serve, but study author, Stephen V. Monsma, a former political scientist at Pepperdine University and now a research fellow at the Paul B. Henry Institute for the Study of Christianity and Politics at Calvin College, says:
If welfare-to-work staff reassure recipients that Jesus loves them, that work is a way to honor God, and that we all have a calling to fulfill in life—is that sectarian instruction? I think not.

Monsma also says, the clients of evangelical programs believe they are more caring than the main line Protestant churches. "They are so Christ-like here," one beneficiary told him.

No word on how caring they are if you happen to be Jewish, Muslim, a non-believer or, God forbid, gay.


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