[Hpn] *Fact-based analysis INVITED on "federal funding for faith-based services" services"

Tom Boland wgcp@earthlink.net
Wed, 31 Jan 2001 23:40:16 -0800 (PST)

Homeless people I know are hotly debating Bush's promise of more federal
funds for "faith-based" services.  I'd like to try to move from "attacks on
personalities" to "fact-based analysis" of the funding-stream's impacts on

For your information, about me:  While I do not describe myself as
"Christian", I was raised in the tradition.  While I find the history of
Theocracies red with the blood of innocents, I know self-described
Christians who work for what I deem "social justice and economic equity" -
and others whom I think work to "oppress the poor and different".  So, I do
_not_ assume that "all people who define themselves as Christians have the
same practices" in regard to the rich-por gap and human rights.

*Should homeless people be forced to observe religious rituals as a
condition of being served in government-funded programs?

No. I think it violates the Constitutional separation of Chruch & State.
And my Spirtual Freedom.

*Should religious organizations be able to compete with secular groups for
government funds for human services?

I'm not sure. OR (putting on my flame-shield): Yes with reservations, if
preaching and services are separate.

Continued funding of _all_ "homeless services" should be based on "results
sought by homeless people".

*Will federal funds to faith groups be distributed based on

No.  Most of it I fear will go as favors to conservative congregations, who
tend to vote Republican.  And as we focus on Redeeming sinners from their
Lifestyle choices, the Social Injustice of our wage-rent economy will be
left out of policy formulations.  The oppressed will starve in chains,
while some Churches justify corporate control of civic choices.

*Do homeless people need a guaranteed annual income and secure housing more
than we need service workers?

Yes, for almost all of us for most years of our lives.

*Will "secular alternatives" be provided everywhere faith-based services
are funded?

Not by a long shot, expecially in rural and poor communities.

Is your "fact-based analysis" _different_ than mine?  That's fine.  Bring

But please respect my intentions, even if you "have at" my assumptions. --
Mr. Nice

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