Parade Magazine on Struggling Churches May 17, 2009

Parade Magazine on Struggling Churches

Perhaps you saw this article in your Sunday paper today. Parade magazine had an article on “Who Should Help Struggling Churches?

Last month, the Department of Homeland Security announced that $100 million from the economic-recovery package will go to emergency food and shelter programs, including those run by religious organizations. Billions of dollars more have been set aside for education, neighborhood-stabilization programs, and affordable
child care—all services offered by many churches and other places of worship.

But some believe that such government aid violates the constitutional requirement to maintain separation of church and state. The Rev. Barry Lynn of the nonprofit Americans United for Separation of Church and State says there are no effective regulations in place to prevent churches from engaging in religious discrimination when hiring or to stop them from using government money to promote their religion through soup kitchens or shelters…

They even have a poll to go with it…


Right now, the poll is already swinging our way (77% to 23%), but surely we can make the “no” votes top 90%.

(Thanks to Brian for the link!)

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What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • Larry Huffman

    Sadly…the actual services provided are vital. This is evidence that the way the government sponsored faith-based initiatives was totally wrong. To save the programs…necessary for so many in need…will now require subsidizing churches. Had the government sought to provide these services through secular organizations rather than churches, this would not be a problem at all. But there is no way I want the greedy money-loving clergy of these religious groups to be given any stimulous money. I can see them lining their pockets with it. Not one penny should be given to religions.

    What this means is that we have to unweave all of the faith-based support the Bush admin was so fond of and move these services…if they are to get governmental support…to non-religious organizations.

    Just more proof of how misguided and ignorant the Bush admin…and truly the entire republican agenda has been.

  • I have no objection to religious charities getting government money to help fund important services like emergency food and shelters. They perform vital work and it’s important that it gets funding.

    What my objection is to any exemptions to the rules that non-religious charities must follow. If you can’t follow the rules about no preaching, discrimination, etc. then they shouldn’t under any circumstances get the money.

  • Larry Huffman

    Noadi…churches do not have to open their books up to account for where any of the money goes…so while I agree the services are vital…all the more reason to center the ones publically funded in secular organizations. Besides, church based organizations are well known for being selective about who gets the help…meaning they give it to believers or those who will commit to believe only (in many cases…not all…but again who is policing this? No one)…meaning that public funds paid by taxpayers of all belief systems would be paying into religiously biased help organizations…and worse, churches can use parts of the money for things unrelated to the actual help. (We needed new pews in our chapel and a new cross, because our church and it;s offerings have so much to do with what the needy get as services)…they can rationalize quite a bit.

  • Tom

    Voting in this “poll” resulted in the opening of two pop-up ads.

  • If “religious” charities are going to take taxpayer funding they should be subject to the same rules and regulations secular charities. No proselytizing, no requirements that recipients listen to sermons or adhere to church doctrine, no refusing people they find “undesirable”, and none of this nonsense that they don’t have to follow state regulations/be accredited/whatever because they’re “religious”.

    If they don’t want to play by the rules they can refuse the tax money and either live by the graces of their congregants or go under. Considering how many RRRWers insist charity should be provided by the churches rather than the government (since they hate paying taxes) I should think the congregants would be rushing to fill the coffers for this purpose.

  • Pseudonym

    Nobody should receive government funding “without restrictions”. I would have thought that was obvious.

  • Richard Wade

    Who Should Help Struggling Churches?


  • Geoff

    I remember ‘Parade’ from my 60’s childhood in the UK, when it was a poor quality, soft porn magazine.
    I see it’s gone downhill since then.

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