[Hpn] Faith-Based Initiatives: REPORT by AU (Americans United for Separation of Church and State) Separation of Church and State)

Wes Browning wes@speakeasy.org
Mon, 29 Jan 2001 21:11:17 -0800 (PST)

On Mon, 29 Jan 2001, Tom Boland wrote:

> Will increasing government funds for Faith-Based Initiatives
> HELP or HARM homeless people?  Why?

[warning: I got into rant mode when I wrote this.]

It won't make that much difference to actual homeless, who already
can't get a hot meal in most places without pretending to let someone
save their souls. Every damn day.

What I want to see is the day when they try to tell ordinary people
that in order to get something from the government, they have to go
through a church. Wouldn't that just wake people up? What if Joe
Six-Pack can't get his fishing license until he sits through a half
hour sermon to the effect that if he weren't such a sinner he would be
the CEO of a corporation and have figured out how to have fish
flown in to him?

What if they ran Medicare like they used to run the mission down the
street? You want pain-killer, you have to show up at the door at no
later than 4:30, the sermon starts at 4:35, NO LATE-COMERS, we don't
care how much pain you're in, this is Christ's time, you'll get your
pain-killer when it's your turn, and while you're waiting you'll find
a hymnal at your seat. You don't have to sing to the Lord, but if you
had let Jesus in your heart years ago you never would have landed
here. Look at the pain you're in, it's proof you hate God in your
heart. Oh, yes, and if you expect to come back for more FREE
pain-killer you'd better spend an hour sweeping the vestibule, whether
it needs it or not. What if everybody's grandparents got treated that
way when they needed help?

I'll tell you what if. If ordinary government services really were
handled by churches the way homeless services are already handled by
churches, there would be riots in the streets, thousands of churches
burned to the ground, and hundreds of thousands killed. The ministers
who run these joints would discover that the only way they got away
with their insulting bullshit all these decades was because they were
picking on an opressed class that had no natural allies. The smart
ones might discover it in time to escape.

But I expect these measures will only be taken halfheartedly, if they
pass at all. Just enough to insult maybe twice or three times as many
people as are now regularly insulted, but not enough to cause an
insurrection. I think GW wants to be a two-term president, then I
think he wants a library named after him. I don't think he wants to be
the first American president to be beheaded by an angry mob, and I
think he's smart enough to get what he wants.

Wes Browning 
Discovering New Ways to Harness Stupidity --
Since 1991.