The New York Times has reviewed the presidential debate over faith-based welfare (via Politics Without God).
On one side of the debate, Obama fully supports faith-based welfare, but he thinks recipients of the funds should not be able to discriminate in hiring on the basis of religion:
Mr. Obama’s position that religious organizations would not be able to consider religion in their hiring for such programs would constitute a deal-breaker for many evangelicals, said several evangelical leaders, who represent a political constituency Mr. Obama has been trying to court.
“For those of who us who believe in protecting the integrity of our religious institutions, this is a fundamental right,” said Richard Cizik, vice president for governmental affairs for the National Association of Evangelicals. “He’s rolling back the Bush protections. That’s extremely disappointing.”
You mean if churches line up for handouts of forcibly transfered wealth, they have to jump through political hoops? Who’d have imagined?
Churches do not have a “fundamental right” to spend tax dollars free of political oversight. However, individuals do have a fundamental right not to finance religious organizations as a matter of freedom of conscience and property rights.
On the other side of the debate, McCain fully supports faith-based welfare, but he thinks recipients of the funds should not be subject to national hiring guidelines: “A McCain campaign spokesman, Brian Rogers, said Mr. McCain ‘disagrees with Senator Obama that hiring at faith-based groups should be subject to government oversight.'”
Some readers might have noticed that both sides of the debate are saying very nearly the same thing.
The only person quoted by the article articulating the alternative of liberty is the Reverend Barry W. Lynn, executive director of Americans United for Separation of Church and State, who told the Times, “It ought to be shut down, not continued.”
2 thoughts on “The Faith-Based Welfare Debate”
I don’t support faith-based welfare, for a variety of reasons. On the other hand, it seems relatively minor.
The government spends hundreds of billions of dollars on secular (and leftist) public schools (and colleges and universities). Global warming, the alleged evils of capitalism and the like are taught every day. Taxpayers who don’t agree with the leftism and secularism are forced to support it.
This is a much greater violation of individual rights than the government spending a few bucks on a church-run soup kitchen.
It staggers the mind that these people can put forward the lie that this money will not be spent on proselytizing.
Basically these organizations divert whatever money that they would have spent on these programs and use that money to try to convert people and this is somehow supposed to be ok.
The level of willful ignorance necessary for the Supreme Court to come down with a ruling saying that this is legal is truly despicable.
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