September 11, 2023
When George W. Bush was President, he instituted the White House Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives. Some constitutional scholars expressed concern that the office — which directs federal money to faith-based charities — might violate the First Amendment’s separation of church and state.
Well, now there are legislators who are attacking the program. No, they are not concerned about its constitutionality; they are concerned that money is being spent by religious institutions whose theology doesn’t align with theirs.
Specifically, a handful of U.S. Representatives* are threatening to reduce or eliminate funding to Catholic Charities, Jewish Family Services and Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service for — horrors! — offering aid to refugees at the southern border.
I have been reading a bit of the Bible lately, since I’m getting a Masters Degree in Theological Studies, and I could have sworn that I read a passage that went something like “I was hungry and you fed me. I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink. I was naked and you clothed me. I was a stranger and you welcomed me.”
It’s almost as if the separation of church and state is a good idea.
*– (This is an apolitical blog, so I will not identify the representatives by their party affiliation)