September 22, 2003


U.S. Allowing Funds to Religious Groups (DEB RIECHMANN, 9/22/03, Associated Press)

Four government regulations completed Monday and a half-dozen more in the works will provide federal money for religion-oriented programs run by people President Bush has dubbed America's "neighborhood healers." [...]

"These six new regulations and the four finalized ones represent a continued march by the president in the faith-based initiative's effort to spread compassion in our country and make sure that the most effective programs are funded," said Jim Towey, the head of the White House faith-based office. [...]

The president has long pushed to let religious groups compete for government money, so long as their services are available to anybody in need. Opponents fear the government would wind up paying for religion. They also object to allowing taxpayer-funded groups to hire and fire based on religious persuasion.

When his initiative stalled in Congress amid this controversy, Bush sidestepped lawmakers with executive orders and regulations to give religious organizations equal footing with nonsectarian ones in competing for federal contracts.

Americans United for Separation of Church and State, which has opposed Bush's faith-based initiative, said the administration was bent on eroding the First Amendment, not on helping the nation's less fortunate.

"The only thing this administration wants to tear down is the wall separating church and state," said the Rev. Barry W. Lynn, director of the group. "The president has failed to convince Congress that his initiative is sound policy so he is creating policy through executive fiat."

You can't count the number of articles and essays that say Mr. Bush's FBI has failed...sort of like No Child Left Behind doesn't have vouchers...

Posted by Orrin Judd at September 22, 2003 10:20 PM
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