Date registered: Sep 2004
Vehicle: 83 Astral Silver 280 SL
Location: Planet Houston
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Quoted: 8 Post(s)
Excellent points here:
Compassionate conservatism’s proponents tout President Bush’s faith-based initiative as an application of free-market principles to welfare. Government-funded welfare is distributed by sub-contracting and out-sourcing the “politics of love” to private middlemen—namely, churches and faith-based charitable organizations. The Bush administration’s program aims to make “funds more accessible to neighborhood and faith-based organizations that administer a mix of love and discipline,” writes Stephen Goldsmith.23 Such “privatization” of the welfare system does give rise to a certain kind of “competition”: Protestants, Catholics, Jews, Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, the Unification Church, Rastafarians, Scientologists, and various other California-style churches compete to offer the most love and the best soup—and with your money.
This political competition between churches for taxpayer money is the beau idéal of compassionate conservatism. Churches and charities compete with one another for government funding, and the recipients of this “charity” have the freedom to choose between various government-sponsored and government-regulated denominational soup kitchens. This is what compassionate conservatives mean when they advocate combining “free market” policies with religious programs for the poor. But this is an Orwellian perversion and an utter corruption of free-market principles. There is no such thing as “market competition” between semi-private charities for the favors of government bureaucrats who have the power to arbitrarily give away money that is forcibly taken from other Americans. This is sheer government coercion and forced redistribution of wealth. Worse yet, it is a violation of the separation of church and state.
Compassionate conservatism places government in the business of propagating religion. Under Bush’s faith-based initiative, the federal government has been enlisted to do the “Lord’s work.” Liberal and conservative Christians will, henceforth, grab for and use this billion-dollar giveaway to support and spread their particular faith. When Democrats are in power, federal money will go to churches and organizations run by Marxist-orientated (so-called “liberationist”) Christians in order to promote liberal-socialist values; when Republicans are in power, federal money will go to the likes of Jerry Falwell’s Moral Majority to promote conservative-socialist values—and both parties will give money to Muslim “charities” in order to demonstrate their religious tolerance.
Despite the President’s occasional protestations to the contrary, the faith-based initiative is, in the end, about promoting religion. As the President himself said in support of the initiative: “[W]elfare policy will not solve the deepest problems of the spirit. . . . No government policy can put hope in people’s hearts or a sense of purpose in people’s lives. That is done when someone, some good soul puts an arm around a neighbor and says, ‘God loves you, and I love, and you can count on us both.
Recall that earlier generations faced down fascism and communism not just with missiles and tanks, but with sturdy alliances and enduring convictions. They understood that our power alone cannot protect us, nor does it entitle us to do as we please. Instead, they knew that our power grows through its prudent use; our security emanates from the justness of our cause, the force of our example, the tempering qualities of humility and restraint.
-President Barack Obama, 1st Inaugural address