Down The Slippery Slope
Of The New World Order
Government Partnering With Small and Big Business, Profit and Non-Profit Corporations
What Are The Implications of Placing The Church Into Public Service by George and Rita Williams, Cephas Ministry
"Then came the disciples, and said unto him, Knowest thou that the Pharisees were offended, after they heard this saying? But he answered and said, Every plant, which my heavenly Father hath not planted shall be rooted up. Let them alone: they be blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch." (Matthew 15:12-14)
We have come to the conclusion that the faith-based initiative is a part of government partnering with businesses. Non-profit churches and organizations are corporations that run just like businesses. They have to keep books, do reports, hold meetings and comply with corporate rules like businesses. The only difference is that they cannot make a profit, The money donated or received from sales of tapes and books has to remain in the corporation to be moved to another corporation dealing with the same subject matter when the corporation ceases to exist. Many Television Ministries are not non-profits, they collect too much from sales of books, tapes, trinkets, etc.. which means the money stays in the family.
Who Are The Leaders In This Executive Order Faith-Based Initiative
To set the tone of the faith-based issue here is some background about who is who, who issues an Executive Order moving the new law into our lives and who directs this new administration.
Due to the election we are discovering, that the church has become a divided house in the United States. For some strange reason Christians assume that Christians have to be Republicans. In the last issue of Media Spotlight, a discernment ministry, we find a drawing of a map that depicts the states that elected the Democratic candidate as Sodom and Gomorrah.(1)
It is a strange assumption that the whole rest of the United States is saved? Speaking of the last days, Jesus said: "Likewise also as it was in the days of Lot [one man and his family]; they did eat, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, the builded; But the same day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven, and destroyed them all. Even thus it be in the day when the Son of man is revealed." (Luke 17:28-30)
Then still Governor Bush spoke at an annual Al Smith Memorial Foundation fundraiser Dinner, in New York. (2) Roman Catholic Archbishop Edward Egan of New York was to be honored with over a million dollars for his personal charities. Governor Bush acknowledged the "diocese as the top 1 percent.. this is an impressive crowd "the have's and the have nots.. some people call you the elite, I call you my base.... my brother Jeb is a Catholic convert.. before I close there is another man I would like to talk about, he is not here.. John Cardinal O'Conner.. The Cardinal was one of the most impressive men I have ever met... when I had some things to clarify, I knew exactly who to contact.. Everyone who met him saw strength, energy, wit and intellect.. For anyone who aspires to leadership, he is a model... The story is told that when Pope John Paul went looking for a successor and chose the great Cardinal O' Conner, I want a man like me in New York.. In his political season his kind heroism is worth remembering.. He defended the doctrines of his church and reached out to other faiths.."
Governor Bush promoted all the various charities and moralities that Catholics represent as admirable and to be revered. Speaking of Cardinal O'Conner he stated: "Where the world wanted compromise there was steel, where the world expected harsh judgment there was simple love.. His Holiness surely knows how to pick good men. He introduced "Your Excellency Archbishop Edward Egan." In thanking the participants the Archbishop called the audience his unofficial angels several times.
President Bush stated during the election that Billy Graham was instrumental in George's coming to the faith. George is a member of the United Methodist Church which has a high profile in the World Council of Churches and ecumenism. The WCC is said to be pushing a form of Communism. They wish to transfer the wealth from the wealthy to the poor. Paul Crouch of Trinity Broadcasting Network [TBN] was at the Summit and reminisced of meeting the Prime Minister of China there. He told the Prime Minister that Jesus was a Communist and Christianity therefore is a form of Communism so they have nothing to fear from Christians.
President Bush chose Senator Ashcroft for his cabinet to head the office that enforces laws. Ashcroft designed the Welfare Reform: "Charitable Choice Law" in 1996 that includes a mandate of "No proselytizing" is allowed when churches receive funding that is attached to "Charitable Choice" of which Faith-Based legislation is part of.
Religion enjoys varied expression at GOP gathering.
The Republican National Convention has presented powerful images of minority faiths, the influence of religion in social reform, and an all-embracing "big tent" that included bishops and evangelists, but avoids a "culture war" over religious values.
In a burst of unscripted enthusiasm Monday night, the Rev. Herbert Lusk of Greater Exodus Baptist Church endorsed Texas Gov. George W. Bush for president in a video telecast to the convention. "We are supporting him because we know that he understands that we must give faith a chance," Mr. Lusk, a black clergyman, said from his pulpit in what critics said was an apparent violation of Internal Revenue Service rules against churches endorsing candidates.
Rep. J.C. Watts Jr. of Oklahoma Thursday criticized as "shameful" a call for the IRS to investigate Mr. Lusk.
By a GOP convention rule, morning and evening floor business began and ended with prayer. And prime time prayers were said by nationally known figures, such as Steve Young, a former San Francisco 49ers quarterback.
Thursday night, the nomination session was opened by Mr. Bush's United Methodist pastor in Dallas, the Rev. Mark Craig. It was closed by a benediction from Catholic Cardinal Anthony Bevilaqua of Philadelphia.
Evening prayers also were given this week by Rabbi Victor Weisberg of Northbrook, Ill.; the Rev. Franklin Graham, president of Samaritan's Purse and son of famed evangelist the Rev. Billy Graham; and Archbishop Demetrios of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America.
"That's quite a lineup. They're covering all the bases," said Richard Pierard, author of "Civil Religion and the Presidency." "I wonder if Bush's emphasis on diversity won't be a new twist on civil religion," Mr. Pierard said. "The Republicans have always appealed to religion and patriotism, but then the Democrats began to say they were captive of the right-wing evangelicals."
Civil religion, traced to the nation's founding, is the belief that God, country and the presidency are symbolically united in a bland, nonsectarian way. The Republican convention downplayed its religious right wing, focusing instead on issues such as faith-based services helping communities, which is a part of Mr. Bush's theme of "compassionate conservatism."
The Rev. Pat Robertson, a Southern Baptist and religious broadcaster who ran for the Republican presidential nomination in 1988, spoke this year only at a hotel rally for the Christian Coalition, which he founded.
"I'm so amused when I read these articles that say, 'The Christian Coalition is dead,' " he told more than 3,000 supporters. He said the coalition will distribute 75 million voter guides this fall [He distributed 90 million].
On Sunday, before the convention opened, a national panel on "Religious Faith in the Public Square" convened at Mr. Lusk's church in downtown Philadelphia to hear scholars, ministers and civic officials extol faith-based solutions to social problems.
"The faith community has the vocabulary, language and moral imagination to resurrect hope for a younger generation," said the Rev. Eugene Rivers of Boston. Former Indianapolis Mayor Stephen Goldsmith, who is Jewish, warned of "an enormous feeling in government bureaucracy that they know better than pastors what helps the poor." Thursday, the Republican Jewish Coalition held a salute to Republican governors. On the Lusk matter, Mr. Watts said the complaints to the IRS were "no less than shameful."
"As a black minister, I am disappointed at this politically motivated intimidation of another black minister who exercised his constitutionally guaranteed right to free political speech," Mr. Watts said in a press release. Churches and other nonprofit groups that are exempt from federal taxes under Section 501(c)(3) of the tax code. (3)
What Is Charitable Choice Now Extended to Faith-Based Funding?
Condensed Faith-based and Community Initiatives.
The White House Office of Faith-based and Community Initiatives will work with [five +]federal departments to make sure they comply with Charitable Choice. It will encourage and urge state and local governments to implement the letter and spirit of Charitable Choice. It will work with Congress to expand the principle to additional areas of federal social spending... We have promoted, defended, and help to shape Charitable Choice legislation since 1995...
The Charitable Choice Concept
The Charitable Choice provision in federal law is a path-breaking public policy innovation with great potential for making public assistance programs more effective. Charitable Choice changes procurement rules to enable government to work more closely with faith-based groups to help the poor and needy. It is not a separate pot of money for houses of worship. It is not a plan to collapse government social programs and dump the needy on the doorsteps of churches and charities. It is not a scheme to force the poor to get religion. Instead, it is a set of new rules that applies whenever governments use certain federal funds to buy welfare and social services. The goal is more fruitful relations between government and faith-based organizations, and more effective assistance for individuals, families, and neighborhoods that need help.
Charitable Choice Principles
Level Playing Field: Faith-based providers can compete for government funds to provide services on the same basis as other providers. They should be neither excluded nor included because they are religious, too religious, "pervasively sectarian," or of the "wrong" religion.
Respect for Allies: The religious character of faith-based providers is protected by allowing them to maintain a religious atmosphere, to have a governing board of their choice, and to maintain their right to hire only employees committed to the organizations faith-based way of providing the services government specifies.
Protecting Recipients: Providers must serve all eligible for help without discrimination. Recipients cannot be forced to take part in inherently religious activities like worship or scriptural instruction. Government must ensure that a secular alternative is available for clients who object to a faith-based provider.
Church-State Separation: All government funds must be used to fulfill the public social-service goals. No direct government funding can be diverted to inherently religious activities (worship, sectarian instruction, proselytization). Government funds go into a separate account and only that account is subject to government audits.A few states have applied Charitable Choice also to additional state and local funds and programs (Texas, Wisconsin, Arizona).
Excerpts from Charitable Choice
6. Faith Cannot Be Compelled. Charitable Choice protects the religious character of groups that accept government funds to provide specific social services. It allows the groups to offer inherently religious activities such as prayer and discipleship training. But such inherently religious activities must be voluntary, separate, and paid for with private funds, not government money. A person who arrives to receive job training must receive job training. If a prayer time is offered, it must be offered outside the class time. People can be invited to come early or stay late for prayer and spiritual counseling. They may be invited to a worship service. But these must be voluntary activities, with no implication that getting the best help depends on participation. If a class participant seeks spiritual guidance, it should not be withheld. Just be sure that it is voluntary and offered outside the time for the government-funded services.
7. Getting into the Loop. Some states have appointed or hired Faith Liaisons or "faith community liaisons" officials to act as contact persons for newcomers. This is the person to call if you dont know exactly who to call about Charitable Choice, funding opportunities, bureaucratic opposition, good models for service, etc. (For a list of faith liaisons, click here: Faith Liaisons.) If there is no designated liaison and you are searching for information about funding or more generally about how to collaborate with government, youll have to be creative. Try calling your local welfare office and ask to speak to the volunteer coordinator, the community outreach person, or whoever is in charge of contracts and grants. You might have to locate such a person at the state level, instead. Or check around for other religious organizations that already have experience with government and ask them to advise you.
8. Nonprofit Structure. Despite Charitable Choice, government officials may legally require a faith-based organization such as a church, temple, synagogue, or mosque, to establish a separate nonprofit organization to receive and expend the government funds and to provide the social services. What officials may not require under Charitable Choice is that the separate nonprofit be secular. Rather, the separate organization has all the rights (and responsibilities) under Charitable Choice: to use religious criteria in hiring, to maintain a religious environment, to choose its board without interference from government direction, etc. Establishing a separate nonprofit structure helps to insulate the house of worship from government regulations and oversight that otherwise would come attached to the government funds. In addition, the separate structure helps everyone keep clear about the nature of the services offered, to whom accountability must be rendered, what rules must govern how the program is run, and whom is being served. Providing faith-based counseling or incidental help with groceries as a sideline of your house of worships main activities is very different from contracting with the government to use particular funds to provide specified services to people who are not part of your congregation. Furthermore, the process of setting up a separate 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization gives you a great opportunity to think through basic matters such as how the program will be organized and staffed, how accountability will be maintained, just what the mission is, and how funds will be gathered and spent.
9. Keeping the Faith. Charitable Choice requires government to respect, rather than encroach upon, the religious character of faith-based organizations that accept certain government funds. It ends government pressure to secularize the program and organization. But Charitable Choice cannot preserve the faith basis of your organization or keep you faithful to your original vision and mission. Those are your tasks. You have to work out a way to keep employees and volunteers fired with the vision to serve faithfully. You have to plan carefully what to do if government funds you were depending upon dry up and you are tempted to promise you can do something entirely different, just because thats where the money now is. You have to work constantly to cultivate a positive and deep faith dimension among the staff.
Tests of Compliance
The information for these grades was gathered in the late Spring and in the Summer of 2000. Some or many states may have made significant changes since the grades were complied and printed. Press publicity about the compliance report card, questions by reporters and faith leaders to their states officials about failing grades, and the announcement of President George W. Bushs initiatives to make government more hospitable to faith-based and grassroots groups have all produced an upsurge in interest by state and local officials about how to comply with Charitable Choice.
Charitable Choice can revolutionize welfare. This new federal rule breaks the barriers that excluded many religious providers from state procurement of welfare services. But states have to put the new rule into effect by getting rid of old restrictive policies and practices. While many states are now reaching out to faith-based groups, the law requires that they must also come into compliance with Charitable Choice. Test results were dismal: 42 states flunked compliance - Texas received an A+ Indiana and Ohio an A. (4)
Reactions to Faith-based Inititative
DiLulio Pitches Charitable Choice to Cautious NAE Delegates, by Jim Jones in Dallas. President George W. Bush's initiatives on government support of faith-based social programs met both criticism and praise during the Dallas convention of the National Association of Evangelicals (NAE) in March. Hit broadside by the unexpected evangelical criticisms, allies in Congress are moving slowly on the plan, partly to give the Bush administration time to address concerns. At the NAE convention, John J. Dilulio, assistant to the president and director of the White House Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives, gave one of the first major policy speeches on Bush's program.
"Compassionate conservatism warmly welcomes godly people back into the public square," DiLulio declared. "Community-based organizations, religious and nonreligious, can work together and across racial, denominational, urban/suburban, and other divides to achieve civic results."
Olasky, professor at the University of Texas at Austin and editor of the conservative Christian weekly newsmagazine World, urged revamping of proposed charitable choice rules, which he said discriminate against evangelicals who provide a spiritual witness while carrying out social programs. Yet Olasky also praised Bush as the first federal leader in 40 years to seek partnership with religious groups.
During a question-and-answer session, DiLulio said the current proposal would make funding problematic for groups that openly evangelize while offering social services, but a voucher system might change that. After the convention, DiLulio said he would clarify the initiative to address the concerns he heard.
An NAE resolution said, should not exclude a faith-based social program because it is "too religious... Faith-based charities should not have to hide their light under a bushel," the resolution said. (5)
No More Excuses
Bush's faith-based initiative should reinvigorate our mission of service.
We like president Bush's plans to enlist churches and faith-based organizations in combating social ills like poverty, addiction, unemployment, and illiteracy. It is apparently necessary to start our editorial by stating that clearly and prominently. Otherwise people will say we oppose it.
Pat Robertson went on CNN to say he thought Bush's plan was "an excellent idea," adding, "but if somebody said, well, you can't ever tell them about Jesus, we'd say no way, we won't take your money." The press was soon abuzz over Robertson's "opposition" to the plan. Likewise, Bush adviser Marvin Olasky and the Hudson Institute's Michael Horowitz issued a statement that was characterized as warning "that government grants could sap the vitality of religious social programs." Their statement more prominently said, "We support President Bush's agenda for action, and also take this opportunity to insist that any federal program to support faith-based institutions must vigilantly preserve the independence of America's religious institutions."
Likewise, Catholic Charities USA (which has received federal funding for years) was lumped in with critics despite its statement that it "is enthusiastic about sponsoring and operating such services."
Even those religious groups that actually have voiced serious concerns have also voiced praise. "We're heartened that President Bush says he wants faith-based organizations to have a place at the table, but we hope that the government will not vacate its essential seat at that table," says a press release from Lutheran Services in America. So we'll say it again: Bush's plan to remove bias against religious organizations in federal contracts for social services is great.
That churches and religious organizations are expressing concerns while praising the program in principle is also encouraging: this shows the idea is being taken seriously, and indicates that churches and organizations are thinking about getting involved. During these initial months, we should be voicing concerns about diluting the evangelistic message and mission of the church. We should also be concerned about the possibility of tax dollars helping to fund proselytism by Scientology, the Unification Church, and other sects. And we are right to warn that discretionary government grants covering overhead costs or salaries would likely make the church too dependent on the state, and open the door to excessive regulation.
We have confidence that the White House Office for Faith-Based and Community Initiatives will come up with a system that will neither co-opt nor excessively limit churches. With John DiLulio, Steve Goldsmith, Don Eberly, and Don Willett, Bush has assembled a kind of dream team to tackle these concerns.
Meanwhile, our hope at Christianity Today is that the easing of official government hostility to religious organizations will reinvigorate Christian thought and action on service, community action, and action in the world.
When the welfare state "ended as we know it" through the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act in 1996, many Christians cheered an end to "welfare moms" and "government handouts" that had lulled the poor into abandoning their initiative. But the welfare system had lulled the church, too. We knew we should be feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, and serving the poor but we knew Uncle Sam would pick up the tab if we didn't. No more. Bush's plan inadvertently reminds us of a key biblical teaching: everyone has a duty, not just an opportunity, to serve the needy.
While sometimes we've abdicated to the state, at other times we've pointed to our struggling church budgets. Those are no longer adequate excuses (if they ever were). We now have an unprecedented opportunity to serve the poor in our communities. We'll only be limited by our imaginations (and, to be extremely pragmatic, our ability to write grant proposals).
That's not to say that all faith-based organizations will want to sign up for federal funds. Organizations that can't separate their evangelism from their social work probably won't want to if it means they will have to forgo evangelism or make evangelistic efforts optional. But most evangelical churches probably won't be tempted to trade their evangelism for a few government grants. More likely, some may be enticed to use any regulations on evangelism as an excuse to exempt themselves from social services.
"We are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do" (Eph. 2:10, NIV). We do not serve the needy as a means to proclaiming the gospel but out of a love for Christ. As Bob Pierce famously prayed: "Let my heart be broken by the things that break the heart of God." We should seize this opportunity to launch new faith-based social programs and enhance the ones already in place. Must we silence ourselves on why we do these good works? Certainly not. And if DiIulio and his coworkers are to be believed, we won't face that dilemma. But if churches have put off aid programs because they can't find the budget for it, they've just lost their excuse. (6)
Charitable Choice Dance Begins Without Delay
President Bush Denies Delays Faith-based organizations cautious but eager for government aid." Deputy director of the White House Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives, that office was postponing its plans and Bush's subsequent denial of the delay. (7)
Who is Behind Proselytizing Forbidden?
ED NOTE: Prohibition of proselytizing has come up before from Pope John Paul II. He was losing too many Catholic members to the new Charismatic movement and raised the issue that proselytizing should be prohibited. Well here we go. It is coming into the church with a juicy carrot attached to it through the back door. What is absolutely amazing is how the political and religious agenda are intertwined. Interfaith is going to be the only solution to overcome "leveling the playing field" so all can participate and harmonize the world into a peaceful existence. You will see in the following paragraphs how Jesus Christ is still under attack.
In Congress the Budget Committee with Alan Greenspan: The big worry is "We don't know what to do with all the money that is coming in!" Several stretches of Greenspan's answers were blocked out. (8) The Stock Market is having the same problem. The brokers had too much money coming in due to the retirement investments and invested in areas that were not earning. The bubble had to burst.
Relative to the FAITH-BASED initiative, President Bush on February 27, 2001 stated that $14 billion dollars of OUR (the people's) money will come into Charitable Funds by allowing people to deduct their contributions whether they submit a short or long Income Tax Return. So far there has not been any funding allotted for the new Department of Faith-Based Programs. $700 million will be set aside into the Federal Compassion Fund. The new director John DiLulio, was introduced as a Baptist preacher in the body of a Catholic. He said that he did not receive any kind of funding to budget.(9)
During his first press conference, President Bush was literally attacked by the Sr. White House Correspondent and Press Secretary, Helen Thomas of Hearst Newspapers, National Press. She asked the President why he is implementing faith-based funding when history has proven ideology like that caused bloodshed. The President's reply was there is no reason why the government can't assist organizations who want to help alleviate social problems.
The Mayor of Philadelphia, a democrat has faith-based compassion in action according to the President. Here are some interesting facts that relate to this initiative: Fast Track has received a new name: "Trade Promotion Authority." American people's collective debt amounts to $500 billion. The average American has a little over $1,000 savings.
The Bush Mindset
Governor Leads Privatization Push
"Headline" Governor leads privatization push. Corporate trainer and author Stephen Covey, who wrote "The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People." (Check the link and find that he is of a Mormon mind set) urges his audience to "empower" employees to "value the potential within them.. in order to produce more for less. "If there is a constant principle giving direction to state government today, it's true north is the merger of government and business.. Motivational business seminars like the one Bush gave ... had little influence on concerned state employees who listened to this speaker during a meeting on the privatization of government and will eliminate 4,226 permanent positions from the state payroll next year.(10)
The Performance Based Budget Job Eliminator
A few days later: ".. Jeb Bush told them his aim is to create "increased productivity" while operating more efficiently" within a "performance-based budget.".. He forgot to mention his goal of eliminating more than 4,226 state positions this year.(11)
The Pope's Mindset
For The Pope Religious Plurality Didn't Seem to Be the Issue
Vatican criticizes Jesuit book.. his book on religious pluralism contained "notable ambiguities" that could lead a reader to "erroneous or harmful positions." The statement Monday by the powerful Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith followed a nearly two-year investigation of the book by the Rev. Jacques Dupuis, a 77-year-old Belgian professor at the Gregorian University in Rome... calling it watered-down to avoid offending non-Catholics.
The author agreed to include "intended to safeguard the doctrine of the Catholic faith from errors, ambiguities or harmful interpretations," in future editions of the book. Jesuits issued a statement praising Dupuis' efforts in a "fundamental area for the future of inter-religious dialogue" and said they hoped he would continue his "pioneer research." The book is about exploring common theological ground among religions. The Vatican statement did not cite specific examples of what in the book it found objectionable. In choosing close to 40 additional cardinals, it was written that Latin America will play in a greater role in the future. (12)
Interfaith Partners with Faith-Based Partnership for Adoption
Interfaith Coalition Organizes First Adoption Sabbath
First came the national Children's Sabbath, created to benefit at-risk youth. Then, the Sabbath of Domestic Peace, which highlights sexual and domestic abuse. Now, adoption Sabbath joins the ranks of interfaith observances. A coalition of local religious agencies is launching the program, in conjunction with the city Department of Human Services, to push adoption of foster children.
About 30 events are planned, including seminars, recruitment seesions and prayer services. Adoption Sabbath - timed to the current National Adoption Month - planned by the Faith-Based Partnership for Adoption, which includes the Jewish Family and Children Service of Greater Philadelphia, the Lutheran Children and Family Service, Bethany Christian Service, Bennett and Simpson Enrichment Services, and One Church, One Child of Pennsylvania. The agencies hope to raise awareness that more than 1,660 children are in foster care in Pennsylvania, including more than 300 in Philsadelphia. Six synagogues are scheduled to focus on the issue. Other large programs are at Christian Stronghold Baptist Church in West Philadelphia and Deliverance Evangelist Church in North Philadelphia. (13)
Prince Charles' Mindset
Where Did the State Partnering with Businesses Originate?
[ NOTE: The book "Who Will Rule the New World Order? Prince Charles - The Sustainable Prince" by Joan Veon addresses this merger of government and business which she has researched for quite some time. In her conclusion she writes: "Because of who he is, doors automatically open and people flock to him. His tentacles are very long, reaching into every area of life, business, and government. He transcends politics, national borders, and religion. He is very powerful by way of position, lineage, inheritance, importance, and influence.
He is out to remake society and mold it into his image, which is based on Gaia and corporate global governance through public-private partnerships. This will change life for every person on earth as we will becomes slaves to the new twenty-first century feudal landlords - those with the power and money. Sustainable development demands that every crust of bread eaten be measured against what a person produces in order to protect resources for future generations... It is spiritual warfare at its finest. The person the mainstream media would have us believe who Charles is - is not the real Charles. The real Charles has a global agenda of his own.(14)
ED NOTE: Wouldn't you know it, sleeping in Motel 6 over-night during the holidays, reading the book while traveling, Joan had mentioned that Prince Charles had aligned himself with the hotel businesses for a beginning. Motel 6 had a flyer on the bed by ACCOR's Corporate Office Recycling Program REMINDING PEOPLE TO BE EASY ON WATER, LAUNDRY PRODUCTS, LESS ENERGY BULBS, REDUCE CONSUMPTION OF POWER, RESPECTING THE EARTH'S RESOURCES WITH MOTEL 6. AVOID CHEMICAL USE. WE'LL CHANGE SHEETS EVERY OTHER DAY, PLEASE HANG TOWELS YOU RE-USE.
Does this ring a bell with California and Florida? Did the news media dig deep enough with their reports? Washington is keeping us busy with the soaps and spin. In the meantime they are changing our whole existence without our input.
Prince Charles Calls For Acceptance of Other Faiths
Who Advertised This? The Global Catholic Network
LONDON, The Prince of Wales has called for more tolerance and understanding of faiths other than Christianity. Speaking to a Muslim gathering today, Prince Charles said cultural diversity was crucial to unity in Britain. He said, "What I always try to say is about the importance of our different faith communities in this country. I think we are enormously fortunate to have such a rich and diverse mix. I feel we have a great deal of unity through that diversity." The Prince, who by law must accept the tenets of Anglican Christianity when he becomes king, had earlier listened to a reading from the Qu'ran. (15)
State of Present Government Welfare
The Ford School of Public Policy designed and implemented Welfare Reform. Intent is leaving welfare for work. Welfare to Work Reform - 37 states implement the plan in one form or another. Families are placed Time Limits are 60 months during which time they have to get their act together and work with partial help. There are "Full Family Sanctions" no benefits - there are work requirements if they want benefits. Their clock is ticking during this time. Many do not understand what their requirements are. If they don't comply they lose their benefits. At least half a million have been discarded because of government sanctions. Iraq is not the only country who has to bear up to sanctions, but families that have major struggles. People who couldn't find jobs were sanctioned off welfare. (17)
Only Catholic Charities Available For Praising the Faith-Based Initiative
Archbishop Charles Chaput from Denver, Knights of Columbus and Sisters of Life praised the president for the Faith-based Initiative. They were represented at this Welfare to Work Conference. They discussed the new plan of creating a partnership between job providers (corporations) and government.
Government Plans to Subsidize Employees' Wages to Get Employers To Hire
A shocking program: government plans to subsidize employees who get low wages to get employers to hire them for low wages. Employers will be taking advantage of that by hiring nothing but low wage earners because it will mean that the employee stays put in their jobs and it will cost the employers less. Our tax money will pay the difference. Obviously this will cost good wage earners jobs and drive them into poverty as well. In this approaching poverty for Americans we have subsidized housing.
We just experienced and jolt in that area. We live in suburbs of Tampa, Florida in a new government development. We were not informed when we purchased our house that this project will always be under the jurisdiction of governmental control which requires strict enforcement of regulations. We pay $700 more real estate tax to have that privilege. The builder built the streets and handed them over to the county free and we pay the government bond that was issued to cover the cost. The project is occupied by middle to high income people, a nice neighborhood.
There was 15 acres set aside for a little commercial shopping area. They secretly changed the zoning and were about to allow a government subsidized contractor to build a government subsidized low-income 208 unit apartment complex right by the entrance of this area. Hundreds of people stormed the county court house where all the decisions are made and complained. The homeowners hired a lawyer to represent them.
There were three projects that were dealing with the same problem in this vicinity. The county was to contribute $750,000 each to the projects, as well as funding from the federal government. It was a sad situation. The commissioners just kept saying, we have to do what the feds mandate. One project lost their battle, one is pending and the other one is still on hold. The owner of the property and the contractor are trying the governor now to get their way. It will have major effects on property values and quality of life. There are thousands of acres of vacant land they could use but the contractors want to capitalize on the beautification that the homeowners pay for, for their projects.
Rep. Michael Capuano (D), addressing a conference about banking and investments stated that public housing got the ax. The $700 million budget was deleted out of President Bush's budget.(18)
The Ford Foundation is Planning to Put Greater Emphasis on 2 Parent Families
The three principles for keeping people out of poverty according to their model are: 1) staying married 2) work 3) high school graduate. They claim that prevents poverty. Part of this position is cutting off benefits to unwed parents. Once they are married they will receive housing benefits
Popular Alpha, Momentus and Mind Changing Courses Emphasize Community Responsibiliy
When people write about workshops like Alpha, Momentus and others they say that the training is usually about people becoming "community minded." They are basically getting people ready for the New World Order which will engage every individual to become a "responsible to the community" citizen. Remembering Mormonism, which is much like this new world order. Members are expected to accept the notion that the people's property belongs to the church in theory. The members enjoy each other's homes, food, goods, etc.. When they go through the temple they dedicate their assets, their talents, and their time to the church. Looking at what is coming, aren't we going to be in a similar situation?
John DiLulio, the new director of the faith-based office in the White House, used a former policeman who had mortgaged his home to start an after school program for kids as an example of what is expected from the congregation of a church. It includes assets, time and talents for free. The Mormon church is valued at the Stock Exchange at $30 billion due to the hard working membership within the church and some very smart people.
The dictionary defines "commune ism" in theory as elimination of private property, a system in which goods are owned in common and are available to all as needed, a totalitarian system of government in which a single authoritarian party controls a stateless society, a final stage of society in Marxist theory in which the state has withered away and economic goods are distributed equitably.
The Slogan Today Is "Lets Get an Even the Playing Field."
The Faith-Based Initiative is the next level to pick up the slack of Welfare to Work Reform. Government is dismantling and corporations, non-profits and businesses are taking the load on their purse. The reason they call it faith-based is to remind us that we are mandated to take care of our neighbors.
C-SPAN presented a forum by the PEW Charitable Trust - PEW Foundation on Religion and Public Life [http://www.pewforum.org ] - about the new Federal Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiative which is going to be responsible for Federal Funding of Faith-Based Initiatives. President Bush issued TWO EXECUTIVE ORDERS. The first EO establishes this new office and the second deals with task forces within five federal agencies responsible for funding specific public services, Departments of Agriculture, Health, Housing, Employment and Education.
Who Is John J. DiLulio, Jr., the Director of the New Faith-Based Agency
John F. Kennedy School of Government - Harvard University, John J. Dilulio, Jr., Director, Partnership for Research on Religion and At Risk Youth (PRRAY), Philadelphia, PA
John J. DiLulio, Jr. is director of the Partnership for Research on Religion and At Risk Youth (PRRAY) at Public/Private Ventures; a professor of politics and public affairs at Princeton University; Douglas Dillon Nonresident Senior Fellow and Founding Director of the Brookings Institution's Center for Public Management; and Senior Fellow at the Manhattan Institute. His research interests include public management, social policy, and U.S. politics.
He is coauthor with William J. Bennett and John P. Walters of Body Count (Simon and Schuster, 1996); coauthor with Donald F. Kettl of Fine Print: The Contract with America, Devolution, and the Administrative Realities of American Federalism (Brookings, 1995); coauthor with Gerald Garvey and Donald F. Kettl of Improving Government Performance: An Owner's Manual (Brookings, 1993); editor of Deregulating the Public Service: Can Governments Be Improved? (Brookings, 1994); coeditor with Richard P. Nathan of Making Health Reform Work: A View From the States (Brookings, 1994); and coeditor with Donald F. Kettl of Inside the Reinvention Machine: Assessing Governmental Reform.
A winner of the David N. Kershaw Award of the Association of Public Policy Analysis and Management and the Leonard D. White Award of the American Political Science Association, he is also the author of Governing Prisons: A Comparative Study of Correctional Management (Free Press, 1987), and No Escape: The Future of American Corrections (Basic Books, 1991); coauthor with James Q. Wilson of American Government: Policies and Institutions (D.C. Heath, sixth edition); and editor of Courts, Corrections, and the Constitution: The Impact of Judicial Intervention on Prisons and Jails (Oxford University Press, 1990). Among other books, he is presently at work on Rediscovering Government: Leadership, Administration, and Culture in the Federal Bureaucracy (a Twentieth Century Fund book).
In addition to articles in scholarly journals, he has written numerous op-eds for The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, The New York Times, and other major newspapers, and numerous articles for popular magazines including The New Republic, The National Review, The Washington Monthly, Commentary, and many more. He is also a contributing editor of The Weekly Standard. He has chaired the APSA's standing committee on professional ethics, and has served as a consultant to federal, state, and local governments on public management and criminal justice issues. He has testified frequently before the U.S. Congress.
His core professional and civic work however, is director of PRRAY. PRRAY has three overlapping missions; (1) assessment--the timely production and wide dissemination of cutting-edge empirical research on the relationship between religious faith, faith-based activities, and faith-based organizations on the one side, and various measures of socioeconomic well-being and the vitality of civil society on the other; (2)assistance--providing financial and technical assistance to inner-city faith-based organizations that put responsible adults into the lives of at-risk youth; and (3)education--devising and administering training programs and courses for clergy who are committed to working with at-risk youth.
John DiLulio, Catholic, new director of the new office was introduced. "Let me explain what we are trying to do at the new White House Office of Faith-Based Initiatives.. " He described a pilot program of a school in W.D.C. which is an example of what they expect to happen. The school is run by a former police officer who developed the "Officer Friendly" program, after he left the police department, he mortgaged his home and borrowed to open a "safe haven" for kids. Now it is called the Fishing School an after school program for kids where more learning is going on. "That is the kind of community serving ministry we are talking about. This is not about religion..."
"Three things we are trying to do. First we are trying to increase charitable giving not only dollars but also charitable giving of volunteer hours and time. To compensate individuals the President hopes to change the IRS to allow tax deductions for giving on short forms as well as long forms. [Remember that you only receive a small percentage, in other words, the tax rate, back in form of refunds. They also want people to give to charities from their IRA's without any penalty and stimulate more corporate giving. "That is the fiscal side," John said.
Americorp to Re-engineer and Re-tool Faith-Based Organizations
"Americorp is going to be linked to Faith-Based community groups. They are to re-engineer and re-tool faith-based organizations to become more effective. There are tremendous examples of Americorp involvements in Community-based organizations. There is a real opportunity to take that volunteer base into the community-based activity.
Second: Removing the barriers, ending discrimination and create a level playing field so all non-profits can compete for the funding. "Charitable Choice", a new law, was initiated in 1996 that religious organizations are to be able to compete for assistance by the government. John DiIulio read all the various laws regarding discrimination against religions, homosexuals, aids, race, age and so on and said that they will not be changed.
Third: finding models for effective public private partnerships for effective cooperation. Working across denominational and racial lines, the usual urban and suburban divide.. quality best practices after school literacy programs and mentors for children who have parents in jail within walking distance of his or her public school.(19)
Gale Norton, the New Interior Secretary Had Some Interesting Statistics
Gale addressed public private partnerships to further public goals and benefit important resources used. Gale Norton was in charge of the environmental issues in Colorado. She said they had 90,000 volunteers in Colorado working in the environment. She also admitted that the federal government has photo radar cameras in the parks to take pictures of people's license plates.
Compassion Fund is Really a Matching Fund
The funding set aside is a "Compassion Fund" which is really a matching fund. Step up and do things that have provable, ..government performance results, said DiLulio. Each of the five major domestic cabinet agencies in the White House will have a faith-based affiliated task force to co-ordinate efforts by doing performance audits of various non-governmental providers. Focus is to lift up children, youth and families in need... by harnessing the constructive force of religious and civic organizations.
John stated there should be debates about this and that we ought to sue each other, we ought to sue each other, we ought sue each other till we drop. [He probably wasn't just kidding because the lawyers contributed a whole lot to the presidential election and expect a return]. "But when the suing is over we find some common ground to find our missions we have to bend a little. While the debate goes on 2,3,5,7 years, we still have kids without mentors, we have a problem," stated John Dilulio. What he is saying, they will be implementing the programs during the debates.
"Charitable Choice" Can Land a Christian in Jail
The new Law. Charitable Choice (1996) changed the law about discrimination. It contains very specific language that religious discrimination is okay. Enforcing racial discrimination laws of the Title 7 Civil Rights Act, is impossible. Proselytizing is against the law for religious organizations who accept federal funding. This brings up the issue of tax write-offs. Are they going to attach that issue to donations for tax write-offs? Will they require that people only declare those donations to those who qualify as federally funded "non proselytizing organizations."
Senator Ashcroft (R) crafted the "Charitable Choice Law" with a tougher mandate which was changed by an amendment. He wanted people to have to join a church before they could get federally church funded services. That is the reason the discrimination law was changed. The amendment didn't go far enough apparently.
Our donation dollars will be partnering with government separately from the church where it is intended to go in the first place and provide the secular sector with social services across the board with the ingredient that proselytizing can land one in jail. John DiLulio did not deny that that was a possibility. In fact there are already at least three cases in front of the courts. A Jewish representative said that this would create tremendous tension within the religious sector as to whether to adhere to their faith or the government dollars. Intrusion into one's religion is illegal.
What's truly interesting is today's article in the Tampa Tribune, March 5, 2001, U.S.-funded relief workers pray with victims. Guadeloupe, El Salvador: Evangelicals teach the Gospel, along with helping to build 2000 homes for homeless quake victims. Samaritan's Purse, headed by president Rev. Franklin Graham, Dr. Billy Graham's son, was one of the first to be investigated and exposed in violating the federal mandate. He is not to promote religion at he public's expense. Paul Chiles, the country's director in a mostly Catholic country, said "we distribute to the people in need. At the same time, we bring the message of the Gospel." (21) In 1998 Rev. Franklin Graham collected $75,638,000.00 in donations and $1,126,000.00 in government grants. He had a surplus of $11,562,000.00. The faith-based government grants where not necessary. (guidestar.org)
The new director John DiLulio emphasized that performance is their only bottom line. They are not concerned with mandates from the Bible. Comments as to who and how it is determined where service leaves off and proselytizing begins. DiLulio stated that 200 congregations, churches, synagogues, mosques had to fill out a census and they turned up with 215 services to the secular community which did not make faith a condition in receiving the service.
Jim Wallis of "Call to Renewal" said that church / state public private cooperation is a new partnership that has already been going on for years. [Many Catholics as well as other denominations, schools, charities, hospitals, Salvation Army and the Red Cross have had assistance from tax dollars].
Jim Wallis is worried this initiative might be leading to the private sector replacing government services altogether. We become the clean up group for bad social policy. We can't provide health care, housing, etc.. Prophetic Integrity [speaking of the Gospel] could well be compromised.
Pentecostal, black, Rev. Eugene Rivers stated that blacks are willing to put in 90 hours. a week with no health plan for Jesus without proper funding. The bottom line on who gets funding, should be who is doing the work. "They should not be discriminated against because they follow Jesus. "At Harvard University the fact that they are motivated by following Jesus was a strike against getting this funding," said Rev. Rivers.
Pat Robertson Says The Plan "Could be a Real Pandora's Box."
It's hard for us to believe that Pat Robertson is using this opportunity to whitewash himself from this administration. His organization sent out 90 million voters guides to make sure people would go and vote "Republican." It is confusing to say the least.
Faith-based supporters wary! ".. The Southern Baptist Convention's North American Mission Board said that while "optimistic," it had urged to proceed with caution.," explaining, "There can be a tendency over time for the government to attempt to control that which it subsidizes."
A spokesman for Focus on the Family, the multimedia industry led by James C. Dobson, said it was still studying the initiative. And only half the leaders of the National Association of Evangelicals said in a survey last year that they were in favor of government financing for religious charities. The board is to vote on a resolution of support next week.
[Here comes the misrepresentation] "The president has said he will not require charities to suppress their religious doctrines in order to receive government financing."
The 700 Club last week, calling it "appalling" that the initiative could result in government contracts for social service programs run by non-Western religions and newer religious movements like the Church of Scientology and the Unification Church... What seems to be such a great initiative can rise up to bite the organizations as well as the federal government." The 700 Club already benefits from the public sector especially businesses to the tune of $151 million dollars in 1999 and held $299,300 million in assets. His International Relief & Development "Operation Blessing" organization had a surplus of $94,000 that could not find a home in 1998. (guidestar.org)
Tampa Tribune continues: "About 300 leaders with the Jewish Council for Public Affairs interrogated John DiLulio Jr., who heads the new White House office, at a meeting.. Lutheran Services, Catholic Charities, Wiccans and pagans have complained in a letter to the president. Bush defended his initiative in a news conference on February 22, saying, "I believe that so long as there's a secular alternative available, we ought to allow individuals who we're helping to be able to choose a program that may be run by a faith-based program... In a survey they found that 28% of politically conservative congregations were willing to apply for government financing for charity work, compared to 51% of politically moderate or liberal congregations. The younger generation is far more receptive. (22)
The separation of wheat and weeds is about to begin. Jesus said in Matthew 6:24: "No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon." "Let both grow together until the harvest: and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into my barn (the Rapture)." (Matthew 13:30)
The Faith-Based Dilemma
WASHINGTON: As President Bush wrestles through the thorny details of his faith-based initiative, his point man on the plan is taking his critics head on. At the Dallas convention of the National Association of Evangelicals Wednesday, John DiIulio addressed complaints from the right and the left. And he faced off with some faith-based proponents who question the president's commitment to protect groups of faith.
Marvin Olasky wrote the book on compassionate conservatism and even advised George W. Bush on the subject. But he won't give his blessing to the president's plan for funding faith-based groups. "I cannot give blanket support now because I'm not willing to support discrimination in grant-making against evangelicals," Olasky said.
Olasky says strongly religious groups who retain their religious components may be unfairly excluded from the plan groups like the Memphis Union Mission where the government cut off USDA meat supplies for the homeless because the shelter requires chapel attendance before meals. "I do not accept the notion that evangelicals should lose the rights of free speech and free expression of religion whenever they participate in a government-funded program. Those funds do not belong to the government. They belong to all of us," Olasky said.
Olasky and other conservatives question whether Bush, under pressure from opponents of mixing government and religion, is backing off a campaign pledge. "In his 1999 speech that defined compassionate conservatism, he promised to never ask an organization to compromise its core values and spiritual mission to get the help it needs," Olasky said. President Bush says his goal is to "level the playing field" for all groups of faith, but the price for government money will be restricted religious activity.
"Religious organizations can include specifically or strictly religious activities in their programs, but they cannot use public funds to pay for such activities," said DiLulio, the director for the White House Faith-Based Office. "Programs can receive government support only if they follow all relevant anti-discrimination laws that protect clients, duly segregate accounts, serve secular or civic purposes, and prove results. The hybrid religious/secular program can use any public pennies to fund the psychiatric social workers, but not the specifically or strictly religious activities," DiLulio said.
It is still unclear how much religion will be too much. "Charitable Choice ought to be open to all qualified community-serving groups, but not all groups ought to participate. Faith leaders, organizations, and communities that perceive the slope as a secularizing and slippery slope ought simply to opt out," DiLulio said.But DiLulio says those who "opt out" will have an alternative. "The indivisibly conversion-centered program that cannot separate out and privately fund its inherently religious activities can still receive government support, but only via individual vouchers," he said.
A parolee, for example, would receive a voucher and a state approved list of drug-treatment programs. "If the adult freely chooses to use his or her public voucher to receive services via a proselytizing program, then, provided that ample and equivalent secular alternatives are available to him or her, no constitutional or legal lines are crossed," DiLulio said. Some supporters of faith-based programs favor vouchers as well as tax credits that let individuals pick their charity of choice.
Others say the emphasis on federal grants could become a big government solution that discriminates against the faithful. "If you say, no evangelical poverty fighting programs, you say they can't receive funding, you are cutting against equity, or basic fairness," Olasky said. "Those who are cut out have a reason to complain. And they have a right to ask, Will the faith-based office discriminate not only against the gospel of Christ, but the gospel of effectiveness?"
In his speech, DiLulio defended the rights of religious groups to consider religion in hiring and firing decisions. And he confirmed religions, like Islam or Scientology, will be allowed to compete for federal grants. (23)
One final thought, one of the mandates in these types of situations are meetings with the Federal Government for educational purposes. It will again provide a way to get the denominations to come together and learn together.
1) Media Spotlight, Vol 23 - # 4, PO Box 290, Redmond, WA. 98073-0290, p.23
2) C-SPAN, November 4, 2000
3) The Washington Times, by Larry Witham, March 13, 2001
5) Christianity Today, March 23, 2001
6) Christianity Today magazine, March 2, 2001, p.38
8) C-SPAN March 2, 2001
9) C-SPAN February 27, 2001
10) Tampa Tribune - February 25, 2001
11) Ibid., March 2, 2001
12) Ibid.,(AP) February 27, 2001
13) Philadelphia Inquirer, 11.11.2000, P.A22
14) Prince Charles, The Sustainable Prince, Joan Veon, Hearthstone Publishing Ltd.
15) CWNews.com, Feb.8,01 http://www.ewtn.com/vnews/getstory.asp?number=12063
17) C-SPAN Mathematica Policy, Research Manpower Demonstration Research Corporation
18) Ibid., March 5,2001
19) Ibid., PEW Foundation on Religion and Public Life http://www.pewforum.org
20) Ibid., January 19,2001
21) The Tampa Tribune, March 5, 2001
22) Ibid., March 3, 2001
23) CBN.com - By Melissa Charbonneau, White House Reporter, March 12, 2001