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 Post subject: Religious Groups & Fed Grants: Consider Beliefs of Appli
PostPosted: Wed Mar 02, 2005 3:35 pm 
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The House will vote on a measure that would allow religious groups that receive federal grants to consider an applicant's beliefs.

By Peter Wallsten and Tom Hamburger, Los Angeles Times

WASHINGTON — President Bush on Tuesday threatened to impose controversial new policies to let federally funded religious charities make hiring decisions based on the religious beliefs of potential employees.

Calling for an expansion of his faith-based initiative, Bush said that if Congress did not vote for the changes in hiring law this year, he would consider doing it himself through "executive action." Administration officials later said it remained unclear what powers the president had to affect hiring laws through executive order.


The president's remarks came on the eve of a House vote on the hiring issue. Administration officials say that some religious charities have been dissuaded from applying for federal grants out of fear that they would lose their religious identities in having to comply with civil rights laws that prevent discrimination in hiring.

Opponents say the change would be tantamount to government-sponsored discrimination, a fear that led Senate Democrats and skeptical Republicans to block the initiative during Bush's first term.



"One of the key reasons why many faith-based groups are so effective is a commitment to serve that is grounded in the shared values and religious identity of their volunteers and employees," Bush said. "In other words, effectiveness happens because people who share a faith show up to help a particular organization based on that faith to succeed. And that's important, now, for people in Washington to understand."

Bush's faith-based initiative has been credited with boosting the GOP vote in battleground states last year among African Americans and Latinos. Under the initiative, the administration has encouraged federal agencies to funnel more money to religious organizations that Bush says often perform social services more effectively than the government.

The House is expected to approve legislation today that, among other things, would allow religious organizations that receive federal job-training grants to consider religious beliefs when hiring staff. The measure's fate is less certain in the Senate.

Bush, speaking Tuesday at a conference of groups involved in the faith-based initiative, said Congress should pass the measure to clear up a confusing web of laws regarding whether federally funded religious groups can restrict hiring to people with matching beliefs.

President Clinton signed laws that the White House was now contending permitted such hiring practices, including a landmark 1996 welfare measure that permitted preferential hiring by faith-based organizations engaged in welfare-to-work programs.

But other laws prohibit discrimination under federally funded job-training and education programs.

Opponents charged that Bush misinterpreted the laws signed by Clinton, and that the measures being sought by Bush represented a sharp shift in U.S. policy, creating an historic rollback of civil rights laws.

Barry W. Lynn, executive director of Americans United for Church and State, which opposes the House bill, said the legislation being considered by the House would roll back existing discrimination statutes.

"It is astonishing that the president would put his so-called moral power behind a rollback of the nation's civil rights principles," Lynn said. He said that he would defend any religious organization's right to hire whomever it pleased for jobs and programs not funded by the federal government. But, he said, "this is about tax dollars being used affirmatively to fund discrimination."

Rep. Robert C. Scott (D-Va.), who has led opposition to the job-training legislation to be voted on today, said Tuesday that institutionalizing religious discrimination would lead directly to legalized racial discrimination. He said blacks would be shut out of jobs created by a Mormon organization, given that Mormonism was almost entirely white, while whites would be shut out of jobs created by programs run by the Nation of Islam or the African Methodist Episcopal Church.

"That is a profound change in position for the federal government," he said.

Bush's faith-based initiative has proved politically beneficial to the GOP, which has used taxpayer-financed grants as an entree into black, Latino and evangelical churches, many of which are run by charismatic pastors who backed Bush's reelection.

But the program came under criticism last month from a former official from the White House faith-based office, David Kuo, who penned a column for a religion website accusing the administration of failing to live up to Bush's campaign promises to be a "compassionate conservative." Kuo criticized the White House as failing to lobby hard enough for major expenditures and changes to help religious charities, including a tax break for charitable giving by people who do not itemize their tax returns.

That deduction didn't pass amid criticism that the measure was too costly in light of Bush's other tax breaks. In his budget for 2006, Bush for the first time did not request it.

Still, Bush said that the administration had increased spending on faith-based groups. Bush said the government spent $2 billion in fiscal year 2004 on such organizations, an increase over the $1.1 billion the administration said was spent the year before. He took credit for increasing the percentage of federal grants that go to faith-based groups.

But Jim Towey, director of the White House Office on Faith-Based and Community Initiatives, later told reporters that the numbers were inconclusive. The 2003 figure represented spending by five agencies, while the 2004 number totaled that of seven agencies. What is more, he said, both figures might be too high or too low, because there was no systematic way to tally spending on faith-based groups.

Rep. Major R. Owens (D-N.Y.), a member of the Education and Workforce Committee that produced the bill, said he planned to join other members of the Congressional Black Caucus in voting against the hiring measure. But he cautioned Democrats not to be seen as consistently negative toward programs sending real dollars and real aid to local communities.

"If we don't have a strong alternative six months from now, we will be in serious trouble because these [faith-based] programs have great appeal," Owens said in an interview on the eve of the vote. "We should recognize the appeal of programs that reach down to churches and community organizations to solve local problems and develop our own parallel program" but with more oversight and targeting than occurs under the White House initiative.


Link:
Reprinted from The Los Angeles Times:
http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/
la-na-faith2mar02,1,6473487.story

Catherine

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That's all there is to it."

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Mar 02, 2005 3:41 pm 
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This is just another unconstitutional effort of the president to muddy the line between church and state and another link in the chain of fascism. :evil:


Catherine

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"Behind every great fortune lies a great crime."
Honore de Balzac

"Democrats work to help people who need help.
That other party, they work for people who don't need help.
That's all there is to it."

~Harry S. Truman


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Mar 02, 2005 8:44 pm 
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So how much money is going to the Muslim faith? Or any faith that isn't Christian for that matter?

And why is there no accounting for these funds? Could this be why church's in this area put those flyers in church bulletins the Sunday before election day backing Bush?

It isn't the faith, it is the money. Taxpayer dollars, and lots of them!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Mar 02, 2005 11:05 pm 
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Quote:
Want some food? Say my god is your god!
Want some shelter. Say my god is your god!
Want some help? Say my god is your god!
Want a job? Say my god is your god!
Want a bank account? Say my god is your god!
Want to vote? Say my god is your god!
Want to live? Say my god is your god or else
.


Posted by warmoreyears at www.smirkingchimp.com

Quote:
Governments in fascist nations tend to use the most common religion in the nation as a tool to manipulate public opinion. Religious rhetoric and terminology is common from government leaders, even when the major tenets of the religion are diametrically opposed to the government's policies or actions.

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia said Saturday that people of faith should not fear being viewed by "educated circles" as "fools for Christ."

Christian Coalition of America founder Reverend Pat Robertson echoed the Bush administration's misleading crisis rhetoric to hype the need for Social Security reform and made rosy predictions about the results that a privatized system would produce.

The exclusive church where Washington's conservative power brokers pray very consciously aims its ministry at the ruling class.

President Bush has succeeded in opening the checkbooks of five federal departments to religious organizations. Now he's setting his sights on money doled out by the states.

Falwell says evangelical Christians now in control of Republican Party

Arkansas House Rejects Affirming Separation of Church and State

Religious networks broadcasting Bush's White House prayer event

Thou shalt be like Bush: What makes this recently established, right-wing Christian college unique are the increasingly close - critics say alarmingly close - links it has with the Bush administration and the Republican establishment.

Presidential Prayer Team
US is 'battling Satan' says general

US soldiers in Iraq asked to pray for Bush

Park Service Continues to Push Creationist Theory at Grand Canyon and other nat'l parks.


http://oldamericancentury.org/14pts.htm


Catherine

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"Behind every great fortune lies a great crime."
Honore de Balzac

"Democrats work to help people who need help.
That other party, they work for people who don't need help.
That's all there is to it."

~Harry S. Truman


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 Post subject: Bush Says $2 Billion Went to Religious Charities in '04
PostPosted: Thu Mar 03, 2005 12:31 am 
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By ELISABETH BUMILLER

Published: March 2, 2005



WASHINGTON, March 1 - President Bush said on Tuesday that his administration awarded $2 billion in grants last year to social programs operated by churches, synagogues and mosques.

A White House official said that was probably the most money the federal government had given in one year to religious charities.

"It is said that faith can move mountains," Mr. Bush told a conference of 300 leaders of religious organizations in a ballroom at the Omni Shoreham Hotel. "Here in Washington, D.C., those helping the poor and needy often run up against a big mountain called bureaucracy. And I'm here to talk about how to move that mountain so that we can reach out and partner with programs which reach out to people who hurt."

In his bluntest remark, the president said religious charities that accepted federal money were not allowed to discriminate against people of other faiths.

"What that means," Mr. Bush said, "is if you're the Methodist Church and you sponsor an alcohol treatment center, they can't say, 'Only Methodists, only Methodists who drink too much can come to our program.'

"All drunks are welcome, is what the sign ought to say."

Mr. Bush is a Methodist, and by his account used to drink too much.

The conference, organized by the White House Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives, intended to help religious charities apply for federal money for programs that help addicts, prisoners, the homeless and others. The "faith based initiative," as the White House calls it, is a central part of Mr. Bush's "compassionate conservative" agenda that tries to bring a new Republican approach to social problems and poverty.

Legislation that would have made it easier for religious charities to seek government money for social programs faltered in Congress in Mr. Bush's first term, forcing the president to bypass Capitol Hill and sign three executive orders that established religion-based offices in 10 federal agencies.

Mr. Bush said the directives, which removed barriers for religious groups that sought federal aid for social programs, were necessary because, in his view, religious charities were in the past unfairly denied government money simply because they were religious.

His critics have long countered that he is promoting the view of a highly religious White House, breaking down barriers between church and state and using taxpayer money to promote organized religion.

In his remarks on Tuesday, Mr. Bush said that of the $20 billion a year for social programs that individual groups could compete for, 10 percent went to religious charities last year. He said the number represented a 20 percent increase over 2003, when 8.1 percent of similar grants went to religious groups. Mr. Bush said he was pleased, but not satisfied.

"Ten percent isn't perfect," he said. "Ten percent is progress."

The amount of progress may be less clear than Mr. Bush said. In 2003, $1.1 billion was awarded to religious groups from money administered by five agencies, the Departments of Health and Human Services, Housing and Urban Development, Justice, Labor and Education. Grants were also awarded to religious groups in 2003 from money administered by two other agencies, the Agriculture Department and the Agency for International Development. Those two were not tabulated in the 2003 total; this year, they were.

The director of the Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives, Jim Towey, said in a conference call with reporters he believed that religious charities were receiving record federal money but that "because records have never been kept prior to last year to document that, you can also say we'll never know."

http://www.nytimes.com/2005/03/02/polit ... f5&ei=5070

-Eva


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Mar 03, 2005 12:44 am 
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Quote:
reach out to people who hurt


That is what Bush does best--reaching out to people who hurt. He has placed 'people who hurt' in charge of every agency in the government. His agenda is to hurt us and hurt us and hurt us. And he is doing too good a job of it!

The nuts are running the asylum.


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 06, 2005 11:53 am 
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Bump

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"Behind every great fortune lies a great crime."
Honore de Balzac

"Democrats work to help people who need help.
That other party, they work for people who don't need help.
That's all there is to it."

~Harry S. Truman


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