2 of 3
2
Obama’s Executive Order on Faith-based Partnerships
Posted: 08 February 2009 06:42 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 16 ]
Moderator
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  5508
Joined  2006-10-22

I think the question about “even playing field” is: are the funds distributed equally among all the organizations, e.g., one million to each, or, say, twenty million to faith based orgs. and twenty million to secular orgs?  Since there are many more churches than there are secular organizations, they would get most of the money if we followed the first scheme.  Personally, I prefer the second, but it’s doubtful that it’s the way the money will be distributed.

Occam

Profile
 
 
Posted: 08 February 2009 06:58 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 17 ]
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  4576
Joined  2008-08-14

Yes Occam,Here’s another little point.People!Remember,that a large portion of these people that are needing help for whatever reason,are not Progressive Atheists in the first place!!!Many of them,I’m sure,are theists to one degree or another.So the idea that they are turning to a church for help is not as disconcerting to them as it is to some of our more Progressive Atheists.

 Signature 

Row row row your boat gently down the stream.  Merrily Merrily merrily merrily life is but a dream!

Profile
 
 
Posted: 09 February 2009 11:25 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 18 ]
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  438
Joined  2009-01-28
VYAZMA - 08 February 2009 06:58 PM

Yes Occam,Here’s another little point.People!Remember,that a large portion of these people that are needing help for whatever reason,are not Progressive Atheists in the first place!!!Many of them,I’m sure,are theists to one degree or another.So the idea that they are turning to a church for help is not as disconcerting to them as it is to some of our more Progressive Atheists.

for people REALLY needing help, the source of that assistance would be less relevant than the service it provides.  if an atheist-organization-sponsored food bank opened up in a disadvantaged neighborhood, how many needy people - religious or otherwise - do you honestly think would forgo its services out of ideological differences? 

by that argument, a group like SHARE (secular humanists’ area relief effort, created by CSH after hurricane katrina) should be eligible for equal federal funding as habitat for humanity.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 09 February 2009 12:59 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 19 ]
Moderator
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  5508
Joined  2006-10-22

I think offering help to people in need is great.  What bothers me are the many commercials religious groups impose on those who seek their help.

Occam

Profile
 
 
Posted: 09 February 2009 01:23 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 20 ]
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  1161
Joined  2007-07-16
Occam - 08 February 2009 06:42 PM

I think the question about “even playing field” is: are the funds distributed equally among all the organizations, e.g., one million to each, or, say, twenty million to faith based orgs. and twenty million to secular orgs?  Since there are many more churches than there are secular organizations, they would get most of the money if we followed the first scheme.  Personally, I prefer the second, but it’s doubtful that it’s the way the money will be distributed.

Occam

Does it really matter if funds get distributed equally? Is that really the most efficient use?

Consider that religious institutions reach more people, and that most people are religious so most in need might go to a church. There could be a valid argument to distribute most of the funds to churches. The purpose should be to help people. But there should be strong and transparent accounting practices to ensure that funds are used for social purposes and not internal or proselytizing purposes. If a church gets funds for a homeless shelter it should be used for sheltering, feeding, counseling and training the homeless, not for the Preacherman’s Lexus or to send its memebers out with fliers to spread the Word of God. Likewise for secular groups, the funds shouldnt be used for their institutional programs but for whatever social purposes they get the funds for.

Depending on how this is conducted would determine many things. Namely, whether it is constitutional and/or productive.

 Signature 

“Unsustainable systems can’t be sustained.” ~ Robert Jensen

Profile
 
 
Posted: 09 February 2009 02:22 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 21 ]
Jr. Member
Rank
Total Posts:  9
Joined  2008-07-30

Prior to the Bush administration, various social service organizations that were religiously affiliated (such as Catholic Charities and the Salvation Army) received federal funding/grants to run their organizations. They had to follow strict rules and regulations and there didn’t seem to be a problem with these organizations abusing the funds for religious purposes. The reason Bush created Faith-Based Initiatives was to politically reward the religious right by providing them with federal funds to proslytize and spread their fire-brand agendas via social programs.

There is no need for specific “Faith-Based Initiatives”. Why not simply have grants available for any organization (regardless of affiliation) that is qualified to provide certain services and that must be accountable to the law and constitution?

And while some organizations do good work, I also have a problem with funding charity initiatives overall, because I think they were an example of Bush’s philosophy that the government shouldn’t be bothered to solve social problems, just leave it up to charities to take care of those poor people... Its like saying a habitat for humanity trip over spring break is all that is needed to fix the overwhelming issues of New Orleans that range from issues of poverty to the lack of properly maintained levies.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 09 February 2009 02:31 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 22 ]
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  1161
Joined  2007-07-16
liberalartist - 09 February 2009 02:22 PM

And while some organizations do good work, I also have a problem with funding charity initiatives overall, because I think they were an example of Bush’s philosophy that the government shouldn’t be bothered to solve social problems, just leave it up to charities to take care of those poor people... Its like saying a habitat for humanity trip over spring break is all that is needed to fix the overwhelming issues of New Orleans that range from issues of poverty to the lack of properly maintained levies.

I absolutely agree. The whole Friedmanite BS always made me wanted to vomit. If Charities were enough, more efficient and productive then how do we explain pre-New Deal living?

 Signature 

“Unsustainable systems can’t be sustained.” ~ Robert Jensen

Profile
 
 
Posted: 11 February 2009 11:01 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 23 ]
Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  189
Joined  2009-01-01

I have watched the “Faith Based Initiative” program for some time now with regards to their newsletters giving details on how much monies are available at any given time (“grants”).  While they are pretty specific as to the purpose the money is to be used for from a given program, they are not so specific as the potential receivers. 

These funds are in practice made available to faith based as well as non-faith based community service organizations. Perhaps this is something that CFI needs to look into?

http://www.hhs.gov/fbci/publications/Pubs/newsletter.pdf.

Obama’s willingness to expand the program does not surprise me in the least.  The “Church” is, if anything, a more powerful factor within the Black American social structure than perhaps for any other segment of our population.  One needs to only witness the power structure involving Obama’s own former church in Chicago.  If one wants to go anywhere in local or perhaps even state politics utilizing the African-American voting block, one must first pay his or her respects therein or therelike.

As to the exemptions regarding hiring practices,  dare I say we need to keep “like-minded” people even moreso within religious organizations than with something akin to CFI?  For how long would you like to have a few Jehovah’s witnesses hanging around the water cooler explaining the “truth” of things?

In the final analysis, it’s more about writing ever more to their friends via the public checkbook than any actual “good” such spending actually nets.

 Signature 

Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by rulers as useful. - Seneca (ca. 4 BC –AD 65)

Profile
 
 
Posted: 12 February 2009 10:16 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 24 ]
Jr. Member
Rank
Total Posts:  6
Joined  2009-02-01

In Michigan the state and court systems contract for services from faith-based organizations.  They include adoption services, foster care and social work.  To my knowledge these organizations separate these functions from their religious functions.  Specifically I can speak to Catholic Social Services/St Vincent Catholic Charities (CSS/SVCC) in the Lansing area. (SVCC/CSS is not part of the St Vincent DePaul Society which is a great organization in itself, assisting people in need without a religious test.)

CSS/SVCC does exceptional work.  Among other services they operate a home for children that are not placeable in the foster care system, the only such facility in Michigan.  Their staff is hired without a religious test and their services are dispensed without a religious component.  This is true for all of their social services.  Their dedication in their tasks has endured even when the State has shorted them on payment - they wouldn’t dream of abandoning people in need.

To my knowledge other faith-based agencies that have been contracted follow the CSS/SVCC model. Using services such as these save governmental agencies a lot of money and the return they get is excellent.  I donate to CSS/SVCC annually and will continue to do so.

I don’t think that converting these services to governmental agencies would be beneficial, having worked in that system.  It would be great if an organization such as CFI would have similar services available but we don’t.  It took these faith-based organizations a long time to attain their level of service and the bulk of them, including The Salvation Army, Volunteers of America and others have done so without requirement of a declaration of religious affiliation.  They are Christian in the best tradition of that term.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 01 March 2009 09:17 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 25 ]
Administrator
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  15370
Joined  2006-02-14

Author of The Age of American Unreason and CFI NYC Program Director Susan Jacoby has an opinion piece in today’s NYTimes about Obama’s faith-based initiatives. Read it HERE:

OP-ED CONTRIBUTOR
Keeping the Faith, Ignoring the History
By SUSAN JACOBY
Published: February 28, 2009

NEARLY everyone now takes for granted the wisdom, constitutionality and inevitability of some form of federal financing for community social services run by religious groups. Who anymore can imagine that the United States managed to exist for over 200 years without the government providing any direct aid to faith and its works?

It is truly dismaying that amid all the discussion about President Obama’s version of faith-based community initiatives, there has been such a widespread reluctance to question the basic assumption that government can spend money on religiously based enterprises without violating the First Amendment. ...

 Signature 

Doug

-:- -:—:- -:—:- -:—:- -:—:- -:—:-

El sueño de la razón produce monstruos

Profile
 
 
Posted: 02 March 2009 08:11 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 26 ]
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  4576
Joined  2008-08-14

Like the above member stated,I too see the St.Vincent DePaul Society(a couple of them)driving around the city of Buffalo.I occassionally deliver donated goods to these kinds of places.(by that I mean deliver with a tractor-trailer,as part of my job,not delivering stuff of my own donation)1/4 truckloads of toys,diapers,foods,formulas,computers,books,books,(not religious books,kid’s learnin’books)Truckloads of new playground equipment,gym equipment,exercise equip etc.Medical goods etc….
When I pull up in my truck,I already know the place is going to be a Religious Organization because I read it on the B.O.L.
True Bethel Baptist,COGIC,on and on there are quite a few.I used to be a little bit sour with the fact that I was indirectly giving aid to these orgnizations.Until I did it for the hundredth time and realized it was REAL.I go inside to help unload and you see little kids eating and playing and learning the alphabet.Homeless people,battered mothers.
Yes,anybody can go right down to City Hall,apply for WIC,Food Stamps,Welfare,Heap,on and on.These are all non-theist systems to provide aid for the afflicted,the downtrodden.
The point is as I already mentioned,why are we quibbling about who’s doing the helping.Be thankful that there are entities that are providing this assistance.
The REAL ISSUE IS WHY DO WE HAVE SO MANY PEOPLE THAT NEED THIS HELP IN THE FIRST PLACE? THE ANSWER IS BECAUSE WE SPEND OVER 50% OF OUR FEDERAL BUDGET ON WEAPONS OF WAR.AND EACH STATE SPENDS AN INORDINATE AMOUNT OF MONEY BOLSTERING A POLICE FORCE THAT IS DESIGNED TO PROTECT THE WEALTHY AND THEIR PROPERTY FROM THE VERY SAME PEOPLES WHO ARE SEEKING AID AT THESE RELIGIOUS SHELTERS AND COMMUNITY CENTERS.

 Signature 

Row row row your boat gently down the stream.  Merrily Merrily merrily merrily life is but a dream!

Profile
 
 
Posted: 02 March 2009 09:34 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 27 ]
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  4576
Joined  2008-08-14
dougsmith - 01 March 2009 09:17 AM

Author of The Age of American Unreason and CFI NYC Program Director Susan Jacoby has an opinion piece in today’s NYTimes about Obama’s faith-based initiatives. Read it HERE:

OP-ED CONTRIBUTOR
Keeping the Faith, Ignoring the History
By SUSAN JACOBY
Published: February 28, 2009

NEARLY everyone now takes for granted the wisdom, constitutionality and inevitability of some form of federal financing for community social services run by religious groups. Who anymore can imagine that the United States managed to exist for over 200 years without the government providing any direct aid to faith and its works?

It is truly dismaying that amid all the discussion about President Obama’s version of faith-based community initiatives, there has been such a widespread reluctance to question the basic assumption that government can spend money on religiously based enterprises without violating the First Amendment. ...

What percentage of these people who seek out aid from these faith based organizations are already theists of some kind or degree?
Does S.Jacoby want to offer up a gander at that?I’m thinking upwards of 68% myself…upwards!
What mention does Jacoby make about the Budget,and the amount of money that Uncle Sam is willing to dole out for his “unseen"citizens?Does she not realize that Uncle Sam has always realized that he can get the most bang for his buck(the few bucks he throws that way)by relying on the “Volunteerism"of the Churchs.Your local Social Services Govt.Institution closes it’s Iron Doors everyday at 4:00pm.Closed on weekends.Get in line!Take a number!No,maam,you’re at the wrong place!You need to go down to Pine St.first,fill out the applications,and then wait 6 months.

 Signature 

Row row row your boat gently down the stream.  Merrily Merrily merrily merrily life is but a dream!

Profile
 
 
Posted: 02 March 2009 12:16 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 28 ]
Sr. Member
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  2457
Joined  2008-06-03

It’s just so sad, when you have homeless shelters run through government faith based grants, who turn down someone on a freezing cold night because he won’t sign a sheet of paper Declaring Jesus Christ as his new personal Lord and Savior.

These same homeless shelters previously received government grants. Except they had a simple rule in place that they should not push religion on the homeless in exchange for services. Bush took that away. Previously, if the homeless person inquired about religion, they could still send him over to talk with the preacher and be converted. All he had to do was ask. Now it’s a condition of walking in the door, in some places - it’s forced.

There was a “faith based” prison program recently, run by taxpayer money, where inmates who signed a paper declaring their love of Jesus Christ and participating in bible study groups received nicer cells, long distance phone calls, access to TV and better visits with their children and families - being able to actually hug them instead of speaking through a glass wall on a phone. How horrible, government taxpayer money, telling inmates they can only hug their children if they accept Jesus Christ! If you’re a Jew, you can’t visit your family. Even Catholics were not allowed to participate unless they declared the trinity false and became protestant, southern baptist to be specific. They were told that Catholicism is not “real Christianity.”

 Signature 

Some people can read War and Peace and come away thinking it’s a simple adventure story. Others can read the ingredients on a chewing gum wrapper and unlock the secrets of the universe.    - Lex Luthor

Profile
 
 
Posted: 02 March 2009 09:21 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 29 ]
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  4576
Joined  2008-08-14
Jules - 02 March 2009 12:16 PM

It’s just so sad, when you have homeless shelters run through government faith based grants, who turn down someone on a freezing cold night because he won’t sign a sheet of paper Declaring Jesus Christ as his new personal Lord and Savior.

These same homeless shelters previously received government grants. Except they had a simple rule in place that they should not push religion on the homeless in exchange for services. Bush took that away. Previously, if the homeless person inquired about religion, they could still send him over to talk with the preacher and be converted. All he had to do was ask. Now it’s a condition of walking in the door, in some places - it’s forced.

There was a “faith based” prison program recently, run by taxpayer money, where inmates who signed a paper declaring their love of Jesus Christ and participating in bible study groups received nicer cells, long distance phone calls, access to TV and better visits with their children and families - being able to actually hug them instead of speaking through a glass wall on a phone. How horrible, government taxpayer money, telling inmates they can only hug their children if they accept Jesus Christ! If you’re a Jew, you can’t visit your family. Even Catholics were not allowed to participate unless they declared the trinity false and became protestant, southern baptist to be specific. They were told that Catholicism is not “real Christianity.”

I’m not trying to downplay what you said above in the first paragraph, but anybody who would turn down warm shelter on a freezing cold night because he/she won’t sign a “religious manifest of sorts”, is a strong person, who is burning with their own inner warmth. I’m glad you raise these issues of forced indoctrination, and I’m sure they exist in places. I find it appalling(sp?). It just speaks to me of this brokedown, crazy, system we have in the US. I am certainly not trying to defend the rights of religious institutions. I am only interested in the rights of the downtrodden, and the needy, and afflicted. I stated what I mean by this in a couple of previous posts. S.Jacoby mentioned in that article that America went for 200 years without funding these Religious institutions. That doesn’t mean that these religious institutions were not in the business of helping the needy before that. They always have been. And yes, their motives are doctrinational to a point. But that speaks of the larger problem of our social-economic system as a whole. As someone who would gladly embrace reforms on a scale of Marxist-Leninism, I must bite my tounge; in regards to this Forum; on what I would recommend to fix both the problems of poverty and theism. Instead, I contemplate the situation as it is now, and how it has evolved to this point.
I think I left a space between commas and sentences here for you. I would shoot pool with you and drink a “few” beers with you anyday. snake

 Signature 

Row row row your boat gently down the stream.  Merrily Merrily merrily merrily life is but a dream!

Profile
 
 
Posted: 02 March 2009 10:51 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 30 ]
Sr. Member
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  2457
Joined  2008-06-03
VYAZMA - 02 March 2009 09:21 PM

I’m not trying to downplay what you said above in the first paragraph, but anybody who would turn down warm shelter on a freezing cold night because he/she won’t sign a “religious manifest of sorts”, is a strong person, who is burning with their own inner warmth. I’m glad you raise these issues of forced indoctrination, and I’m sure they exist in places. I find it appalling(sp?). It just speaks to me of this brokedown, crazy, system we have in the US. I am certainly not trying to defend the rights of religious institutions. I am only interested in the rights of the downtrodden, and the needy, and afflicted. I stated what I mean by this in a couple of previous posts. S.Jacoby mentioned in that article that America went for 200 years without funding these Religious institutions. That doesn’t mean that these religious institutions were not in the business of helping the needy before that. They always have been. And yes, their motives are doctrinational to a point. But that speaks of the larger problem of our social-economic system as a whole. As someone who would gladly embrace reforms on a scale of Marxist-Leninism, I must bite my tounge; in regards to this Forum; on what I would recommend to fix both the problems of poverty and theism. Instead, I contemplate the situation as it is now, and how it has evolved to this point.
I think I left a space between commas and sentences here for you. I would shoot pool with you and drink a “few” beers with you anyday. snake

Ha ha - you got my joke I slipped in the other thread about your spacing after sentences. LOL

 Signature 

Some people can read War and Peace and come away thinking it’s a simple adventure story. Others can read the ingredients on a chewing gum wrapper and unlock the secrets of the universe.    - Lex Luthor

Profile
 
 
   
2 of 3
2