By Scott Tibbs, February 27, 2007
A legitimate criticism of Republicans since President Bush took office is that the party has drifted away from consistently opposing big government to supporting big government when it is used to advance conservative goals. One example of this is the faith based charities program that President Bush campaigned on in 2000 and has supported throughout his Presidency.
Now the Freedom from Religion Foundation is suing the federal government over tax funds used for conferences "designed to help religious groups get access to federal funding". CBS News states that if the FFRF lawsuit is successful, such conferences could disappear.
Not really. People can freely donate money to organize these conferences. A lack of federal funds will in no way prohibit events like these; it will only remove a taxpayer subsidy of it.
Conservatives should be wary of any government program than entangles church and state, especially one that aims to hook Christian charities on the narcotic of federal money. It has been well established that with government money comes government strings, and conservatives are playing with fire if they let the federal government control the purse strings of faith-based charities.
While we may be able to trust that President Bush will not make Christian charities choose between their convictions and federal money, he will only be President for another two years. There is a good chance that a Democrat will be elected President in 2008. Do we really trust Hillary Clinton to have influence over faith-based charities?
The following statement is from Jay Sekulow, Chief Counsel for the American Center for Law and Justice:
|I understand people saying I don't like my money going to that particular process, but, you know what, you and I both pay taxes, and there are things the government funds that I don't like. But that's part of the deal, part of being American. You can't simply object because your portion of your tax dollars is going to something you really don't like.|
The hypocrisy of this statement is right off the scale. Does Sekulow now have any credibility to complain about government funding to groups like Planned Parenthood? If we are demanding federal funding for our own groups, how can we make a principled argument about freedom of choice when opposing taxpayer subsidies to America's #1 abortion provider? This is something else that could come back to bite us in 2009 if a Democrat is elected President.
Faith-based charities can provide meaningful and effective solutions to the problems faced by our society. They do not need another government program to do that, especially one that threatens religious liberty and provides political cover for increased funding to Leftist special interest groups.