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Author: Subject: Religious groups and government grants
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[*] Post 341161 posted on 2-7-2008 at 08:07 Reply With Quote
Religious groups and government grants



In the U.S., government grants are allowed to "faith-based initiatives." [I have, in other posts, mentioned that I prefer not to use thehistorically Christian distinctive term "faith" for other religions.] President Bush has noted that religious groups ought not be disqualified from using government money for government-sponsored programs.

Obama has said he would not allow groups to discriminate with respect to religion in hiring, in connection with these programs. That sounds bizarre to me. If that means a youth camp run by Baptists, that does the work of a government program and otherwise meets the standards for government financial support, must be willing to hire a Hindu as Camp Director--well, it just wouldn't happen. I think this requirement would effectively rule out any religious group that thinks it is important to have leadership that is under the authority and doctrinal standards of its denomination. (But it would allow religious groups that have no effective doctrinal standards, the "it-doesn't-matter-what-you-believe-as-long-as-you-do-good" crowd.)

Open for discussion. Should religious groups that believe their teachings should permeate all their institutions be barred from participating?

My denomination believes people should not steal--should we have to hire people who don't believe this, if we want to participate in food distribution programs with government support?
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[*] Post 341162 posted on 2-7-2008 at 08:19 Reply With Quote


I don't think Hindus promote theft.

But, if the raison d'etra of an organisation is to help the poor or to feed the starving, why would it matter who was running it as long as the object was achieved?

If a religious organisation put conditions on their project to help others, then you have to question the reason they are doing it. I would hope that Christians would help people just because they needed it. Good Samaritans and all that.

If you say we will only help if we can also promote our faith at the same time, then that must fall a bit short of true Christian principles as demonstrated by Christ himself who made a point of helping anyone regardless of what he got out of it.

But the Good Samaritan is the clincher in this debate. That really makes it clear that doing good is what counts whatever your religion. The baddies in that story were the Jews who passed by on the other side and did nothing.
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[*] Post 341164 posted on 2-7-2008 at 08:52 Reply With Quote


Quote:
Originally posted by John_Little
I don't think Hindus promote theft.
I didn't say they did. (The Hindu reference was a few paragraphs apart.--no connection):)

But it doesn't seem unreasonable to me that a Catholic institution could hire Catholics, Presbyterians could hire Presbyterians, Lutherans could hire Lutherans, Methodists could hire Methodists, Muslims could hire Muslims, etc. If it were the practice for a different worker to lead prayer each day before the place opens, or to share a teaching from the Bible, it would be very strange to have some that do not agree with the distinctive teachings or practices of the group of origin. But, as John Little says, anyone could benefit from what the group does--handing out food, handing out clothes, helping people who need emergency housing, etc.
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