United we Stand
by Melissa V.
Please oppose distributing social services through "faith based organizations."
This plan cannot help but widen the deep divisions that are increasingly causing serious problems in this country, further eroding any basis for mutual trust or co-operation.
Allow me to explain.
If implemented, it is likely that a large number of faith based groups would be competing for a limited amount of money. Congress would, of necessity, be forced to favor some of these groups above the rest.
No matter what criteria are used, the groups who are excluded are bound to yell "foul" and cry that it is their very faith that is being attacked.
Not only that, but many of these groups have very different aims, goals, and ideologies. Citizens are going to scream when they realize that their tax dollars are going to support a group with an ideology that is diametrically opposed to theirs. I, for instance, will be very vocal in my objection if my tax money goes to any organization that promotes "reparative therapy" for gay people, or that is racially biased in any way. I imagine that people who belong to such groups will be every bit as outspoken when they realize that their tax dollars are going to organizations who they see as "promoting homosexuality" or "allowing women or blacks to forget their place in God's scheme." It will be a nightmare.
Add to this the very real fact that such groups are not required to be non-discriminatory in their actions. This means that people who can currently obtain aid from secular social services will have to run a gauntlet of "correctness" before they can be helped. What will happen if they are the wrong color, or the wrong sexual orientation, or the wrong religion, or no religion at all? They will be denied, and they will, rightly, cry for justice.
To compound this further, these groups are not required to hire qualified personnel. Already, in Texas (where Bush has implemented his ill-considered plan) there are stories of people with medical problems being told to simply "pray to Jesus" and they will be healed. Now, I have nothing against prayer, and am willing to testify to its power myself. But it is no substitute for medical care.
In short, this action will pit one religion against another, one ideology against another, one set of standards against another. It is primed to help further marginalize all the minorities in this country.
It will lead to pain, suffering, and untold agitation.
This is all in addition to breaking down the wall of separation between church and state, which could easily lead to further abuses.
It is the worst idea that Bush has come up with yet. And, for the good of the county and peace between neighbors, it must be nipped in the bud.
Tax breaks for charitable contributions are one thing. But a plan to pit faith based organizations against each other in competition for tax dollars to provide limited services for only the "right" people is just plain wrong.