Holy Government Handouts, Batman!

So a new GAO report about Bush’s famous faith-based initiatives shows that the programs perform exactly as expected—it just hands bundles of cash to churches and doesn’t ask what they do with the money. This sort of reminds me of a scene from “The Simpsons” where Ned Flanders goes to feed the homeless singing a little tune:

Here comes sandwiches, here comes sandwiches/Right down Boozy Bum Lane/ Good ol' Ned's got cheese and bread/And a side order of shame.

This is sort of the problem with leaving what should be society’s secular duties—taking care of the less fortunate—and putting them solely into the hands of the church. You don’t know what they are giving out besides bread. Certainly churches can do missionary as well as charity work—just not on the government dime. Certain important lines tend to be crossed when the government just allows religious groups to run public-needs programs without oversight. Like, for example, in prisoner counseling.

Read more @ Tom Paine.


AndyRand said...

Many, including John Kerry, didn't have a problem with the faith based initiative. However, the money doled out to many of these churches is being turned into a grass roots political organizing machine to promote the Bush agenda.

jpn said...

In some ways, I see the potential for such use of my tax dollars in the school voucher systems being discussed. I have not problems with the social-humanitarian aspects of the faith-based initatives. My questions on this subject would concern the political agenda of those handing out the money and the criteria for earmarking this money to organizations.