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I have noticed that during the past decade there seems to be a move by the religious community to discredit Government help for the poor.

During the Bush Administration there was a "Faith Based Initiative" where Bush tried very hard to get the government to provide funds to the churches to help the poor. That program didn't seem to work too well and has seemingly been discontinued.

Lately, I hear my religious friends and clergy harping about how inefficient the government is and how much money they waste.

This caused me to wonder if there weren't some  built in reasons that Churches would like to see more poor people.

 

 

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Well, naturally they'd rather have people be beholden to them rather than someone else. Maybe there's a tax break reason lurking in the wings, too.

 

There's always the fact that gubmint assistance is less likely to come with a "GIVE US YOUR SOUL!!!" string attached. Churches don't like stuff like that...

I am a govt worker and I can vouch for how much money they waste. I remember 2 yrs ago wanting to get my remedial ELA class some  easy reading books. The books online cost $1 per soft text-brand new from Townsend Press. When I looked at the cost on the NYC DOE book vendor directory, it would cost my school $9 per book for me me to get a class set of 20. I couldn't in my right conscience ask my principal to order those flimsy books for an obscene amount. I ended up ordering the books for my class myself online with my money.

 

Then you have schools where all the new technologies (tens of thousands of dollars) go to waste because they don't bother training the staff how to use it properly.

 

I am harping on wasteful expenditure not as a religious person or clergyman, but as a concerned citizen.

 

Who should help the poor.   E V E R Y B O D Y.

Maricel, I agree, i think everybody agrees with that thought. Where it falls apart is when it comes time to decide how to get that help to the poor. Personally I think building huge elaborate churchs are a waste of money.

Nicely said. Everyone should help; there is not an equal balance, at all, for those of us who were once considered middle class; there is no longer a middle class. AS an unemployed teacher, I am dismayed at how awful times are and how despite working hard and earning "benefits" I am considered to make too much to qualify for some things (i.e. help to purchase groceries for family, help in forcing my ex to pay court-ordered child support, ways to modify loans/bills....). What a quandry!! The government needs to do more, so others like me are not forced to lose their livlihood (be it career, shelter, health...).

If you look at the history of our country, you will find that before welfare and the other plethora of programs to help the poor, that churches did indeed take people and families in need under their wings.  They gave free meals, a safe place to stay, and only asked that you did small chores and attended services in return until you were on your feet. People in the congregation did the same.

This country was born of the need for our ancestors to have freedom of religion, and that faith in God is evident throughout much of our history...government didn't come into the picture until much later.

Unfortunately so many government programs to help the poor have gone awry.  Welfare was only supposed to be a springboard to help people during the depression; it has now become a lifestyle choice for many, with those of us that work hard supporting them.  Every time there's talk of creating changes within the system to have it function better, there's a loud outcry from those that abuse it, and so nothing ever happens. 

I like quite frankly that the state of Florida is now going to require drug testing for those seeking assistance.  I have had to drug test for jobs many times over the years, so why not them?  Los Angeles County is bankrupt because 40% of the people that live there are working and trying to support 60%...those things are indicators of the much bigger problems lurking...it's quite ugly.  The government has gotten too large and unwieldy to properly manage these programs; but my dollar goes to them anyway.

I don't care if the churches get anything out of helping or not, and despite what I've written, I'm not so cynical as to believe that everyone and everything has ulterior motives...

I'd rather hand it back to the churches even if it means they get a few tax breaks or credits, or even dollars, because I believe that they won't put up with the shenanigans that our government does, and that it would relieve our government of a huge debt/problem/issue.  And if they benefit by it a little, so what? How much does our government benefit by all the tax dollars they collect in the name of helping the poor?

I.e.; why is it that every family that enrolls their child in the pubic school system has financial information that they have to fill out during enrollment?  What business is it of the schools what your financial situation is?  It's so that they can discern if you and your child qualify for the government programs (and therefore bring more $$$ into the school system) they have; free lunches, free shoes, free before and after school programs, etc.  It filters down to every segment of our society.  Our schools are there to educate our children....when did they become the ones that feed, dress, and care for our children too?  When the government got involved is when. And with them pursuing helping those in need so much, you have to know that YOUR dollar is attached.

It is a very badly run business.

 

I could go on and on, but for now, that's my 2 cents worth.

 

 

 

 

 

Welcome to the group Tru Dee.

 

I'd rather hand it back to the churches even if it means they get a few tax breaks or credits, or even dollars, because I believe that they won't put up with the shenanigans that our government does, and that it would relieve our government of a huge debt/problem/issue.  And if they benefit by it a little, so what?

 

I am a churchgoer, but am ambivalent about your suggestion :  

I'd rather hand it back to the churches even if it means they get a few tax breaks or credits, or even dollars, because I believe that they won't put up with the shenanigans that our government does, and that it would relieve our government of a huge debt/problem/issue.  And if they benefit by it a little, so what?

 

There a different kinds of houses of worships (churches) some with dubious intentions and then you have the organized religions which already have a big history of providing welfare to the masses( ex Catholic Charities). I would imagine a potential monopoly and resentment between the different religious groups.

 

Our schools are there to educate our children....when did they (govt) become the ones that feed, dress, and care for our children too?

 

As a teacher at an inner city school, I can vouch that it is hard to educate a child who is hungry. Hunger does affect significantly a student's concentration. Not all parents are home to feed their kids in the morning and not all kids live with their parents.

Thanks for the welcome Maricel. =)

I can understand your concerns about churches, but I tend to believe that the ones with dubious intentions are the exception and not the rule, and are usually easily ferreted out.  Add in that with all the politics involved in our government, EVERYONE there has their own agenda, and I don't believe for a minute that they are any better or worse than any church.  All I have to do is watch the news for confirmation of those thoughts.

I'm also not worried about a monopoly or anything of that sort, or the disagreements that would happen.  Let's just look at the democrats, republicans, tea party, independents, libertarians, etc.  Disagreements and power struggles will happen no matter who is involved.  I live in a city that only has one gas company.  There's no other option...monopoly, I don't get a choice.  So I manage my budget to make sure that I can and do afford my gas.  It still happens and always will; the PO had one forever until fed-ex and ups and some of the other little fish got fed and grew...it's how things work here, and it's not necessarily a bad thing in all situations.

I went to both private and public schools growing up, and I put my children through private school even though it was a huge difficulty at times.  In both private school situations (mine and theirs) there were kids that didn't have much...and you know what happened? The teachers taught the children a great lesson; they asked them to share what they had so that someone else didn't have to do without!  The kids liked that they got to actually share and make a new friend!  The word "charity" was never used...it was considered helping a friend, truly!

They also had food and clothing drives....none of those kids ever went without while within the school system...there was never a need for government driven programs to help these families and kids.

So while I understand the challenges (I went to public schools in Los Angeles County in the 1970's in a district that practiced busing and desegregation) of the public school systems, and the parents that aren't or can't always be there, I believe the answers are within our communities, and not our government.  We don't need big brother in our back pockets, or being pick-pockets in the name of "helping".

Now you have 4 cents worth...lol.

 

I think we all should.  I think that the problem with expecting the other guy to do something is that nothing ever gets done.  And then we blame the other guy for not doing it.

yay Wndel! I agree with every word of your comment.

I believe there may be a 'control' issue here.  I feel as if many want to help, so long as they can choose their cause.  So much of our tax money is spread thin and goes to support causes that we feel our money should not be part of.  When a school in our district demanded that parents contribute to help buy uniforms for children who could not afford it, there was a knee jerk reaction to the policy.  Nobody wanted to be told they 'had' to contribute to this cause.  More money was collected when the act of generosity became voluntary.

The churches do the same thing.  They will help...provided you worship as they worship.

Here goes another "When I was a kid" but it's my two cents worth. I was born during the depression in a very small town in an area that has been economically depressed ever since the Great Depression.  Churches and civic groups knew who needed help and who would try to scam the system.  They gave people a hand when they needed it and, to my knowledge, didn't try to force feed doctrine.  No one starved or was homeless, at least in our town.

Once the government began programs to "help", people, churches, and civic organizations began to back off.  Gov't regulations made it difficult to provide a level of help that was mandated.  The result is a massive bureaucracy that is expensive, complicated, and doesn't do the job a bit better than before all the social programs were put in place and it has created a dependency and attitude of entitlement that is generations old.  When I had a business I tried to hire an out of work girl for a temporary job at minimum wage but her dad made her turn it down the work because her dad insisted she could make more on welfare.

I know the world is a different place now and most people don't live in towns where everyone knows everyone else or even cares about anyone else.  Too bad.  It was a great way to grow up, to raise a family, and to grow old.  It wasn't perfect but it was good.

what about private ,public corporations?

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