July 31, 2014

The Faith-Based Pitfall

A word of warning from Joseph Loconte on the seductive appeal of government funding for Church-based social ministries. Loconte, a senior research fellow at The King’s College in New York City, says that the faith-based initiative, as it's being reformulated under the Obama administration, will likely be filtered though a Religious Left/Social Gospel ideology which holds that "compassion is defined by government budgets and delivered by government agents." From my point of view, the faith-based initiative has always been problematical because it surrenders the autonomy of the Church, and its ancient ethic of freely given charity, to federal bureaucrats. The danger here is the secularization of social ministries and a dependence on federal funding. Just say no. Witness the bizarre debate that erupted in 2001, recently revived by Obama, about the right of religious organizations to make faith commitment a criterion for employment. Earlier this week, the New York Times demanded that … [Read more...]