Tuesday, March 08, 2005

FBIs Update

Two articles across the wires on faith-based initiatives. The first is from the Las Vegas Business Press, which we're assuming is not exactly a radical journal:
many faith-based groups already receive federal funding for their social programs. We know it's not impossible to develop a set of rules that will allow the faithful to carry out their social mission without contravening the First Amendment. The obvious compromise would be to allow a waiver for a few charities as a pilot program to see how this would work in practice.

Veterans of the program are now suggesting, though, that both sides prefer to pander to their core constituencies rather than actually make the program work. Republicans love to be able to blame Democrats for being anti-religious and Democrats love to be able to say that Republicans are fostering religious discrimination.

Both parties could improve their image if they compromised on a pilot program to test the reality of faith-based initiatives but it looks as if they much prefer to continue a partisan feud that is increasingly resembling the Hatfields and the McCoys.

A federal appeals court ruled Tuesday that AmeriCorps may continue financing programs that place volunteers in Catholic schools, overturning a lower court ruling that said such funding unconstitutionally crosses the line between church and state.

The American Jewish Congress had complained that instructors who teach secular subjects at religious schools under the AmeriCorps program may also teach religious subjects.

How long will faith-based pork last after Bush leaves office? Probably depends on how much of the government is left after outsourcing.


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