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Faith-Based Initiatives

May 4, 2001 • Volume 11, Issue 17
Is U.S. funding of religious groups constitutional?
By Sarah Glazer

Introduction

Prison Fellowship Ministries operates the InnerChange Freedom Initiative (IFI) program for inmates at three prisons in Texas, Iowa and Kansas. The Christ-centered program supports inmates in prison and after release. (Prison Fellowship Ministries)
Prison Fellowship Ministries operates the InnerChange Freedom Initiative (IFI) program for inmates at three prisons in Texas, Iowa and Kansas. The Christ-centered program supports inmates in prison and after release. (Prison Fellowship Ministries)

President Bush has proposed opening a wide array of federal grants to churches and religiously affiliated charitable organizations that provide social services, such as mentoring inner-city youths and counseling drug addicts. But civil libertarians and even some religious groups see the proposal as a threat to the constitutional separation between church and state. It's not clear that faith-based groups do a better job than secular organizations, and some advocates for the poor say the proposal is simply an abdication of government responsibility for the needy. There's broad public support for allowing religious groups to apply for government funding, but the support drops off sharply for a group that encourages religious conversion.

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
Religion and Schools
Dec. 20, 2002  Charter Schools
Feb. 15, 2002  School Vouchers Showdown
May 04, 2001  Faith-Based Initiatives
Jan. 12, 2001  Religion in Schools
Apr. 09, 1999  School Vouchers
Jul. 18, 1997  School Choice Debate
Feb. 18, 1994  Religion in Schools
May 10, 1991  School Choice
Aug. 16, 1983  School Prayer
Apr. 20, 1979  Private School Resurgence
Sep. 02, 1967  Private Schooling
Sep. 12, 1947  Religion in the Schools
BROWSE RELATED TOPICS:
Religion and Politics
Religious Freedom
U.S. Constitution
Welfare and Welfare Reform
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