Please update your browser

You're using a version of Internet Explorer that isn't supported by Questia.
To get a better experience, go to one of these sites and get the latest
version of your preferred browser:

Government Support of Faith-Based Social Services: A Look at Three Potential Pitfalls

By Forren, John P. | Journal of Markets & Morality, Spring 2006 | Go to article overview

Government Support of Faith-Based Social Services: A Look at Three Potential Pitfalls


Forren, John P., Journal of Markets & Morality


President George W. Bush's faith-based initiative, introduced with great fanfare in early 2001, may seem at first glance to represent little more than a clever rebranding of various church-state partnerships that have been mainstays on the federal domestic policy landscape for years. After all, religiously affiliated organizations such as Catholic Charities USA, Lutheran Social Services, and the Jewish Board of Family and Children's Services have been receiving significant federal support of their charitable works since at least the early 1900s. (1) Church-linked hospitals and nursing homes likewise have been participating in federal health care programs such as Medicare and Medicaid for generations. At the local level, churches and other religious bodies have long since become the primary providers in many communities of publicly funded counseling, job training, disaster relief, and family support services. At the same time, members of the clergy now have long track records of service as mentors, counselors, spiritual leaders, and role models within the nation's military and in its prisons.

Clearly, then, the basic idea of using people of faith as vehicles in the delivery of public services is hardly an innovation of the current Administration. Still, to characterize the Bush faith-based initiative as simply "more of the same" would be to downplay just how much the nature of the church-state partnership in social services has changed over the past half-decade. Under the guidance of a new White House-based Office for Faith-Based and Community Initiatives, agencies throughout the federal government now operate under affirmative presidential mandates to open up more public funding opportunities and to expand the technical assistance, training, and regulatory relief afforded to religious groups. Specially designated offices in eleven of the fifteen Cabinet-level federal departments have been opened since 2001 to coordinate outreach activities and manage information about participation by faith-based organizations in federally funded grants and contracts. (2) On Capitol Hill, meanwhile, administration officials have lobbied extensively to eliminate stat-utory barriers to public funding and expand the pool of available resources. At the same time, the Bush Administration has forged a broad range of new partnerships on faith-based policymaking with states and local governments as well.

The results? According to White House estimates, religious entities received over $2.15 billion in federal grants in fiscal year 2005 alone--altogether, 10.9 percent of the total federal grant monies for which faith-based groups were eligible to apply that year. Within some departments, the percentage reached much higher; in Housing and Urban Development, for instance, religious charities received $520.9 million--or 24 percent of all discretionary funds awarded competitively by that agency last year. (3) At the same time, the overall number of federal grants awarded to faith-based organizations increased significantly--up 38 percent between 2003 and 2005, (4) and state-level offices tasked specifically with the enhancement of social service participation by religious charities rose in number to twenty-five. (5)

As advocates of closer church-state linkages see it, such developments provide clear evidence of Bush Administration success in removing outmoded legal and regulatory barriers to participation and in enhancing the quality of public services for the poor and needy. (6) Yet, in the eyes of critics, the current Administration's efforts have created a host of new threats to core American principles of church-state separation and to the constitutionally sanctioned freedom of religion. Among these concerns, three seem especially worrisome. For one, critics argue that clients of social service groups, long protected by legal and regulatory restrictions on faith-based groups, are now exposed to unwanted proselytization and pressure at the hands of activists operating at taxpayer expense.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Government Support of Faith-Based Social Services: A Look at Three Potential Pitfalls
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.