[Hpn] TIA Raises Concerns with Bush Faith-Based Proposals

wtinker wtinker@fcgnetworks.net
Tue, 30 Jan 2001 18:11:06 -0500


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TIA Raises Concerns with Bush Faith-Based ProposalsWe better all watch =
this compassionate christian BS,as Chance said ..
And its first your money than your clothes ...rights what rights?
A Brother=20
Bill
 =20
TIA Raises Concerns with Bush Faith-Based Proposals=20
U.S. Newswire=20
30 Jan 16:57=20
Interfaith Leaders Raise Concerns With Bush's Faith-Based=20
Proposals to Fund Religious Ministries=20
To: National Desk=20
Contact: Amber Khan of The Interfaith Alliance,=20
202-639-6370, ext. 103 or 888-941-9614 (pager)=20
Web site: http://www.interfaithalliance.org=20
 =20

WASHINGTON, Jan. 30 /U.S. Newswire/ -- The following was=20
released today by The Interfaith Alliance:=20

In response to President George W. Bush's legislative proposals=20
to fund religious ministries, interfaith leaders around the=20
nation raised concerns about the harm that can be done to religious=20
ministries if Bush's legislative proposals redirect billions=20
of federal dollars earmarked for existing social services to=20
religious organizations.=20

Clergy from across the ideological spectrum are raising concerns=20
about the integrity of religious autonomy, the prophetic voice of=20
faith, excessive government entanglement in the affairs of=20
religious institutions, and the overarching temptation to abuse=20
religion and manipulate faith to achieve political power.=20

"Tax dollars come with strings that will effectively turn=20
religious leaders into government puppets. Take away the strings=20
and you take away the accountability which opens the door to=20
lawsuits," said the Rev. Dr. C. Welton Gaddy, executive director of=20
The Interfaith Alliance.=20

Religious leaders with The Interfaith Alliance (TIA), a=20
grassroots faith-based organization dedicated to promoting the=20
positive and healing role of religion in public life, questioned=20
Bush's plan to infuse religious charities with billions of tax=20
dollars and government regulations. Concerned with the immediate=20
impact on the autonomy of religious ministries to remain faithful=20
to their missions, TIA challenged the notion that this program is=20
a true partnership.=20

"President Bush's plan to subsidize religious charities is not=20
a partnership, it is contractual employment with rules, regulations=20
and risks. 'Buyer Beware' should be posted on the door of this=20
White House Office. This multi-billion dollar proposal will not=20
allocate new monies to deal with poverty; instead it will turn our=20
nation's religious leaders into competitors for a limited pool of=20
money, inevitably placing the bulk of responsibility for the=20
nation's disadvantaged on the already burdened shoulders of the=20
faith community," said Gaddy.=20

Yesterday's announcement of the newly established White House=20
Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives sent a shock wave=20
of concern through religious communities across the nation. Faith=20
leaders from across the ideological and faith spectrum are raising=20
questions about Bush's understanding of the uniquely religious=20
nature of charities, his comprehension of the vast religious=20
pluralism in our nation, and his commitment to protecting religious=20
minorities and others from discrimination in the funding process=20
and in the receipt of services.=20

"With more than 2000 religious traditions practiced in the=20
United States, President Bush has yet to offer a plan that will=20
demonstrate how political appointees will award money in an=20
equitable manner. If different faith charities representing widely=20
differing religious groups proffer the same results, who decides=20
which religion deserves funding and who should be excluded?" asked=20
the Rev. Michael Carrier, president of The Interfaith Alliance of=20
Colorado and pastor of Calvary Presbyterian Church in Denver.=20

Religious leaders are also raising concerns about the impact=20
federal funds would have on the ability of religious institutions=20
to hire and employ staff or run programs that integrate fundamental=20
religious beliefs into every aspect of a social service program.=20
In his speech unveiling the initiative, the president's remarks=20
created confusion about whether charities that integrate religion=20
into every aspect of their work would be required to separate the=20
religious message and program from the delivery of social services.=20

"Would federally funded religious charities be required to=20
abandon their religious teachings in some instances and comply with=20
employment and civil rights laws that prevent hiring discrimination=20
based on race, religion, nation origin, gender, or sexual=20
orientation?" asked Rabbi Sidney Vineburg, co-chair of the=20
Northeast Wisconsin Interfaith Alliance in Green Bay. "As=20
religious people, we know that while faith can have the power to=20
heal, religion can also be used to exclude, demonize and=20
discriminate. The government should not be in the business of=20
financing that exclusion."=20

Under current laws, many religious groups create separate=20
organizations that neither promote religion nor discriminate in=20
hiring to compete for federal funding, such as Catholic Charities=20
or the Lutheran Social Services agencies. President Bush has=20
proposed eliminating that "barrier" to applying for funding,=20
raising serious questions about accountability and standards.=20

During his speeches, Bush offered little clarity on the matter.=20
While he stated that the government "will not fund religious=20
activities of any group," he went on to say "faith-based charities=20
should be able to compete for funding on an equal basis, and in a=20
manner that does not cause them to sacrifice their mission."=20

Noting the contradictions, Rev. Gaddy stated that the "president=20
cannot have it both ways."=20

Curious questions abound: What happens when the mission of a=20
Christian faith-based group dealing with poverty includes promoting=20
the Gospel and bringing individuals to Jesus? What if a Muslim=20
faith-based charity believes that the only way to effectively=20
combat alcohol or drug addiction requires accepting Islam? Will a=20
Christian Prison Fellowship that uses the Bible to promote literacy=20
among inmates be asked to find another book to use to teach inmates=20
to read?=20

"There are numerous questions about how this federal initiative=20
will treat religious groups and whether it is even possible to=20
claim a commitment to equity. After all, religion is not a generic=20
idea and the substance of each faith is very specific," noted=20
Gaddy. "There is a big difference between Evangelical Christianity=20
and Hinduism or The Church of Scientology and Buddhism. In a=20
politically charged environment like the White House, religious=20
minorities from unknown or ridiculed faith traditions that could=20
spark controversy are highly unlikely to receive federal support."=20

"This proposal, albeit outlined with the right intention, opens=20
the door for the abuse of religion and political power.=20
Ultimately, there can be no effective guarantee enforcing fairness=20
because the decision-making process will be inherently subjective=20
-- reflecting both bias and preference," said the Rev. Gaddy.=20

TIA will begin convening a series of community meetings across=20
the nation to educate and engage religious leaders in a national=20
dialogue on the role for religion in providing social services.=20
TIA will continue to monitor and offer perspective and analysis on=20
the potential impact of President Bush's initiative on the work and=20
integrity of the diverse faith communities of our nation.=20
 =20

KEYWORDS:=20

RELIGION, GOVERNMENT=20

-0-=20
/U.S. Newswire 202-347-2770/=20
01/30 16:57=20

Copyright 2001, U.S. Newswire=20


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<DIV><FONT face=3DArial size=3D2>We better all watch this compassionate =
christian=20
BS,as Chance said ..</FONT></DIV>
<DIV><FONT face=3DArial size=3D2>And its first your money than your =
clothes=20
...rights what rights?</FONT></DIV>
<DIV><FONT face=3DArial size=3D2>A&nbsp;Brother </FONT></DIV>
<DIV><FONT face=3DArial size=3D2>Bill</FONT></DIV>&nbsp; <BR>TIA Raises =
Concerns=20
with Bush Faith-Based Proposals <BR>U.S. Newswire <BR>30 Jan 16:57=20
<P><B>Interfaith Leaders Raise Concerns With Bush's Faith-Based</B>=20
<BR><B>Proposals to Fund Religious Ministries</B> <BR>To: National Desk=20
<BR>Contact: Amber Khan of The Interfaith Alliance, <BR>202-639-6370, =
ext. 103=20
or 888-941-9614 (pager) <BR>Web site: <A=20
href=3D"http://www.interfaithalliance.org">http://www.interfaithalliance.=
org</A>=20
<BR>&nbsp;=20
<P>WASHINGTON, Jan. 30 /U.S. Newswire/ -- The following was <BR>released =
today=20
by The Interfaith Alliance:=20
<P>In response to President George W. Bush's legislative proposals =
<BR>to fund=20
religious ministries, interfaith leaders around the <BR>nation raised =
concerns=20
about the harm that can be done to religious <BR>ministries if Bush's=20
legislative proposals redirect billions <BR>of federal dollars earmarked =
for=20
existing social services to <BR>religious organizations.=20
<P>Clergy from across the ideological spectrum are raising concerns =
<BR>about=20
the integrity of religious autonomy, the prophetic voice of <BR>faith, =
excessive=20
government entanglement in the affairs of <BR>religious institutions, =
and the=20
overarching temptation to abuse <BR>religion and manipulate faith to =
achieve=20
political power.=20
<P>"Tax dollars come with strings that will effectively turn =
<BR>religious=20
leaders into government puppets. Take away the strings <BR>and you take =
away the=20
accountability which opens the door to <BR>lawsuits," said the Rev. Dr. =
C.=20
Welton Gaddy, executive director of <BR>The Interfaith Alliance.=20
<P>Religious leaders with The Interfaith Alliance (TIA), a =
<BR>grassroots=20
faith-based organization dedicated to promoting the <BR>positive and =
healing=20
role of religion in public life, questioned <BR>Bush's plan to infuse =
religious=20
charities with billions of tax <BR>dollars and government regulations. =
Concerned=20
with the immediate <BR>impact on the autonomy of religious ministries to =
remain=20
faithful <BR>to their missions, TIA challenged the notion that this =
program is=20
<BR>a true partnership.=20
<P>"President Bush's plan to subsidize religious charities is not <BR>a=20
partnership, it is contractual employment with rules, regulations =
<BR>and risks.=20
'Buyer Beware' should be posted on the door of this <BR>White House =
Office. This=20
multi-billion dollar proposal will not <BR>allocate new monies to deal =
with=20
poverty; instead it will turn our <BR>nation's religious leaders into=20
competitors for a limited pool of <BR>money, inevitably placing the bulk =
of=20
responsibility for the <BR>nation's disadvantaged on the already =
burdened=20
shoulders of the <BR>faith community," said Gaddy.=20
<P>Yesterday's announcement of the newly established White House =
<BR>Office of=20
Faith-Based and Community Initiatives sent a shock wave <BR>of concern =
through=20
religious communities across the nation. Faith <BR>leaders from across =
the=20
ideological and faith spectrum are raising <BR>questions about Bush's=20
understanding of the uniquely religious <BR>nature of charities, his=20
comprehension of the vast religious <BR>pluralism in our nation, and his =

commitment to protecting religious <BR>minorities and others from =
discrimination=20
in the funding process <BR>and in the receipt of services.=20
<P>"With more than 2000 religious traditions practiced in the <BR>United =
States,=20
President Bush has yet to offer a plan that will <BR>demonstrate how =
political=20
appointees will award money in an <BR>equitable manner. If different =
faith=20
charities representing widely <BR>differing religious groups proffer the =
same=20
results, who decides <BR>which religion deserves funding and who should =
be=20
excluded?" asked <BR>the Rev. Michael Carrier, president of The =
Interfaith=20
Alliance of <BR>Colorado and pastor of Calvary Presbyterian Church in =
Denver.=20
<P>Religious leaders are also raising concerns about the impact =
<BR>federal=20
funds would have on the ability of religious institutions <BR>to hire =
and employ=20
staff or run programs that integrate fundamental <BR>religious beliefs =
into=20
every aspect of a social service program. <BR>In his speech unveiling =
the=20
initiative, the president's remarks <BR>created confusion about whether=20
charities that integrate religion <BR>into every aspect of their work =
would be=20
required to separate the <BR>religious message and program from the =
delivery of=20
social services.=20
<P>"Would federally funded religious charities be required to =
<BR>abandon their=20
religious teachings in some instances and comply with <BR>employment and =
civil=20
rights laws that prevent hiring discrimination <BR>based on race, =
religion,=20
nation origin, gender, or sexual <BR>orientation?" asked Rabbi Sidney =
Vineburg,=20
co-chair of the <BR>Northeast Wisconsin Interfaith Alliance in Green =
Bay. "As=20
<BR>religious people, we know that while faith can have the power to =
<BR>heal,=20
religion can also be used to exclude, demonize and <BR>discriminate. The =

government should not be in the business of <BR>financing that =
exclusion."=20
<P>Under current laws, many religious groups create separate =
<BR>organizations=20
that neither promote religion nor discriminate in <BR>hiring to compete =
for=20
federal funding, such as Catholic Charities <BR>or the Lutheran Social =
Services=20
agencies. President Bush has <BR>proposed eliminating that "barrier" to =
applying=20
for funding, <BR>raising serious questions about accountability and =
standards.=20
<P>During his speeches, Bush offered little clarity on the matter. =
<BR>While he=20
stated that the government "will not fund religious <BR>activities of =
any=20
group," he went on to say "faith-based charities <BR>should be able to =
compete=20
for funding on an equal basis, and in a <BR>manner that does not cause =
them to=20
sacrifice their mission."=20
<P>Noting the contradictions, Rev. Gaddy stated that the "president =
<BR>cannot=20
have it both ways."=20
<P>Curious questions abound: What happens when the mission of a =
<BR>Christian=20
faith-based group dealing with poverty includes promoting <BR>the Gospel =
and=20
bringing individuals to Jesus? What if a Muslim <BR>faith-based charity =
believes=20
that the only way to effectively <BR>combat alcohol or drug addiction =
requires=20
accepting Islam? Will a <BR>Christian Prison Fellowship that uses the =
Bible to=20
promote literacy <BR>among inmates be asked to find another book to use =
to teach=20
inmates <BR>to read?=20
<P>"There are numerous questions about how this federal initiative =
<BR>will=20
treat religious groups and whether it is even possible to <BR>claim a =
commitment=20
to equity. After all, religion is not a generic <BR>idea and the =
substance of=20
each faith is very specific," noted <BR>Gaddy. "There is a big =
difference=20
between Evangelical Christianity <BR>and Hinduism or The Church of =
Scientology=20
and Buddhism. In a <BR>politically charged environment like the White =
House,=20
religious <BR>minorities from unknown or ridiculed faith traditions that =
could=20
<BR>spark controversy are highly unlikely to receive federal support."=20
<P>"This proposal, albeit outlined with the right intention, opens =
<BR>the door=20
for the abuse of religion and political power. <BR>Ultimately, there can =
be no=20
effective guarantee enforcing fairness <BR>because the decision-making =
process=20
will be inherently subjective <BR>-- reflecting both bias and =
preference," said=20
the Rev. Gaddy.=20
<P>TIA will begin convening a series of community meetings across =
<BR>the nation=20
to educate and engage religious leaders in a national <BR>dialogue on =
the role=20
for religion in providing social services. <BR>TIA will continue to =
monitor and=20
offer perspective and analysis on <BR>the potential impact of President =
Bush's=20
initiative on the work and <BR>integrity of the diverse faith =
communities of our=20
nation. <BR>&nbsp;=20
<P>KEYWORDS:=20
<P>RELIGION, GOVERNMENT=20
<P>-0- <BR>/U.S. Newswire 202-347-2770/ <BR>01/30 16:57=20
<P>Copyright 2001, U.S. Newswire </P></BODY></HTML>

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