Faith-Based Initiatives Are an Assault on Secular Government
By Alex Epstein (Caledonian Record, Feb. 4, 2003; Daily Journal Corporation, Feb. 11, 2003)
President Bush's State of the Union call for Congress to expand the "faith-based initiatives" he passed by Executive Order in December is a fundamental assault on secular government.
Of course, the President denies any church-state impropriety in doling billions of tax dollars to religious charities, but he is simply being dishonest. By Bush's own statement, the justification for bankrolling religious organizations is that they, unlike conventional welfare programs, help "solve the deepest problems of the spirit" and put "a sense of purpose in people's lives"--by exposing them to religion. Hence, Bush supports funding organizations such as the drug-treatment group Teen Challenge, which, according to the Associated Press, "uses Christian teachings to tackle drug addiction and encourages participants to convert to Christianity."
Forcing citizens to fund the propagation of religion is a complete repudiation of our Constitution, and a major step in the direction of theocracy. The same is true of Bush's crusade to ban life-saving "therapeutic cloning" research in the name of his Christian beliefs in the moral sanctity of embryos and the moral evil of man "playing God"--which amounts to the declaration that in the Land of the Free, science may function only by permission of religion.