PrincessGoneral Posted March 18, 2004 Share Posted March 18, 2004 [I](I do not wish to offend any religious groups in this post. I am not criticizing their beliefs. I am only commenting on the conduct and organisation of certain individuals. And in case you didn?t get it, MCS stands for Mix of Church and State.)[/I] I believe that the separation of Church and State is an important factor in keeping society [I]relatively[/I] sane. As we all know, when these two enemies meet, a violent battle is bound to ensue. Here?s one minor incident where they come in contact with each other. Picking up the Globe and Mail, (Americans, it is known to be a right-wing paper) I found a front-page article stating that Florida Governor Jeb Bush had created a faith-based prison. Called Lawtey Correctional Institute, the 791 inmates are expected to be followers of the Christian God, in exchange for a more ?peaceful and lenient? environment than that of other prisons. The Institute is staffed by more than 500 volunteers from religious groups, most of them Protestant. These people provide daily worship and prayer-based rehabilitation. Civil-rights groups have accused it of being unconstitutional and offensive. But since the prisoners are volunteers, this isn?t so. Since the prisoners were not forced to be subjected to this, I have no moral opposition to the idea of faith-based jails. I do have some questions, though. -Would someone be so kind as to explain to me how prayer-based rehabilitation prepares criminals to re-enter the real world? -Additionally, do you think that this project deserves $200-million for funding? (Given to them by the George Bush-created ?Federal Office of Faith-Based Initiatives.) -Finally, Can you give me a circumstance in which this approach has been effective? So if this isn?t what?s getting under my skin, what is? Well, the article continues to explain that Mr. Jeb Bush has instated a ?faith-based co-ordinator? in every department of Florida?s government. Apparently, they reach out to religious groups and ?encourage them to make bids to offer government services in exchange for grants in Washington.? This is the Mix of Church and State Number One. MCS #2 Jeb Bush fired the head of the Department of Children and Families ( it administers many of the state?s welfare programs), appointing a conservative with a master?s in Bible Studies. This man, Jerry Regier, suggested Bush spend $10-million a year on a program that provides prayer-based marriage counselling from Church Groups. He claims this will reduce the divorce rate. -Again, Do you think $10 million a year is worth it, and can you find me a circumstance in which this worked? - What if you?re not Christian? How does this help you? MCS #3 Here?s a big one. Jeb has introduced a program called ?Character First!?. Government employees are coached in 49 ?key biblical qualities?, eg. Deference, Virtue, Loyalty, and Meekness. (Modelled after an evangelical Christian program called the ?49 Commandments of Christ?.) He appears to be enforcing Christianity into the Florida government. The state of Florida is not entirely comprised of Christians, right? I can see how many Christian commandments make sense, ie Thous shall not kill, but some people out there [I]are not Christian[/I]. It?s their choice. This isn?t government related, but Jeb Bush is also attempting to put some child-care programs in the hands of religious groups. I assume some parents would be more comfortable with their children in religious care programs, so this is fine with me. As long as the children are educated about all their religious, social, sexual (and everything else religion dictates over) options. This last point[B] really [/B] stood out for me. The aforementioned Mr. Regier suggested that the government should have absolutely no say in social-assistance. He believes that it should be left to the Churches. I repeat: Some people in Florida [B]are not Christian[/B]! What if they don?t want Churches telling them they can?t say this, do this, marry this person. At least the government is comprised of people of different viewpoints, religions, and morals. (At least [I]did[/I], until Jeb made had them all coached in ?Biblical Qualities?.) They can come to agreements on things, and remain neutral. Hopefully, their decisions will appease as many groups and cultures and possible, not just the majority. The minority must also be considered. That?s also huge. Christianity appears to be the majority in Florida. (Please correct me if I?m wrong.) Election time is drawing ever closer, and the Republicans need votes. Wherever shall they get them? Republicans look to the evangelical Christians for their faithful vote. President Bush?s 2000 victory margin was so narrow due to the poor turnout of Christian conservatives. The Bush government won?t let this happen again. Florida has is the largest recipient of Washington?s faith-based funding. Those who have noticed this now accused this faith-and-fuding program of being no more than a campaign fund. What do you think? In conclusion , like vinegar and baking soda, I believe that is necessary for the church to be separated from the state. Because when dealing with religion, there is only one way to go when dealing with a problem, and one cannot debate this way without fear of retribution. When dealing with the government, many different minds can contribute and help to resolve conflicts, in a (hopefully) composed and organised fashion. That is Democracy and Freedom. Aren?t these the two ideas that the United Stated of America are most proud of? :D Smma wants your input on this issue! Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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