The Faith Community Loses a Patriot, the Administration forgets about our poor and Welton's Curch Speaks Up!
Apr 14 2006
Apr 18 2006
Washington, April 18 – Today, in response to the resignation of James Towey as director of the White House Office of Faith Based and Community Initiatives, The Interfaith Alliance again called on President Bush to end his unconstitutional experiment in government funding of religion and to eliminate that White House office and similar offices in federal departments and agencies.
“Mr. President, for the sake of religious liberty, please stop mixing religion with politics in the appropriations process and stop violating the Constitution by sponsoring and funding favored religious groups,” said the Rev. Welton Gaddy, president of The Interfaith Alliance. “A past director and a past deputy director of the president’s faith-based office have testified that it is and has always been a program designed to gain political advantage rather than to increase help to those in need. While the president has talked endlessly about the need for federal funding of religious organizations, he has decreased total funds going to faith-based social service providers in recent years.
“Because the Congress wisely refused to approve the president’s programs to funnel money to organizations that discriminate in hiring and that proselytize recipients, the president issued several executive orders in his first term bringing in five years of public policy that have been bad for religion and bad for democracy.
“We believe that appropriate partnerships between religious organizations and the government for the purpose of helping those in need can be of great mutual benefit. For many decades, organizations like Catholic Charities, Lutheran Social Services and United Jewish Communities have performed invaluable services with financial assistance from the government. But they carefully separate religious activities from their 501(c) (3) social services programs. They follow all civil rights laws and they don’t discriminate in hiring based on religion. We encourage the continuation of federal support for such healthy partnerships, but neither job applicants nor recipients of assistance should have to risk the sacrifice of their religious freedom.”
Apr 20 2006
Phillips’ book has been the center of attention for several weeks now as he claims the Republican Party is edging toward theocratic government. Phillips, a former Republican strategist, warns that
"As the religious imprint on the Republican Party grew,” Phillips says, “there was an increase in the blurring of the lines between the church and the state.” And he warns of President Bush's "odd view of himself," claiming that the President possesses an "egocentricity verging on messianic self-appointment."
James Towey, Director of the White House Office of Faith Based and Community Initiatives, resigned this week, but the news was barely reported. In his remarks he calls critics of the faith based initiative “secular extremists” – to which
“The faith based initiative is the perfect example of what is wrong at the intersection of politics and religion today,”
Hollyn Hollman, General Counsel at the Baptist Joint Committee for Religious Liberty, joins
“We’re going to see that a lot of harm has been done and the office has been counterproductive,” Hollman says. “Our concerns are legal and moral. There is a fundamental conflict in the faith based initiative this Administration has pushed.”
Apr 28 2006
In a news conference this week, The Interfaith Alliance and several national religious leaders called on President Bush to dismantle the Faith-Based Initiative. The leaders fear the Office has been used as a political football to gain favor with certain groups. The Rev. Timothy McDonald, Pastor of First Iconium Baptist Church in
“It is hard to bark when there’s a bone in your mouth,” McDonald says. “This Administration has used the faith-based initiative to buy the black church.”
Welton stresses the initiative was a bad idea when it was conceived in 1999 and is even worse now.
“Put plainly,” Gaddy says, “it’s an ill-conceived, unconstitutional experiment that creates government sponsored religion and threatens the integrity of democracy and the sanctity of religion.”
Continuing State of
“We’re going through a really bad patch,” Adler says. “I think that people’s hearts aren’t very open. I think what people are learning very often in their churches, in their synagogues and in their various houses of worship, are not an appreciation for diversity and I think it’s going to be a very long struggle.”