Monday, May 30, 2005

Faith-based Outreach to African-Americans

This administration's use of faith-based incentives to buy enough African-American votes to dismantle civil rights era legislation is back in the limelight. The L.A. Times is running a story about the latest episode in this continuting saga. Here are a few of the more salient paragraphs:
Rice and the pastors discussed the possibility of establishing an office of faith-based initiatives within the State Department that would direct federal funds for overseas aid to church and community groups, as similar offices have done in other Cabinet agencies.

The meeting reflected the expanding relationship between some of the country's best-known black clergy and the Bush administration -- a relationship that has been nurtured through a White House program that encourages funneling government grants to religious charities.

Illustrating the political benefit of that relationship, White House officials injected some Capitol Hill strategy into the session. They solicited support among the black pastors for controversial legislation that would allow faith-based charities in the U.S. to discriminate in hiring based on an applicant's religious beliefs -- a provision that has spurred opposition from some Democrats and civil rights groups."

2 comments:

ding said...

my father's an african american pastor (even used to be baptist) and we talk about the increasing conservatism of black churches all the time (i'm critical of it, he's embracing). i chalk it up to a few things:
-progressive policies that benefit the black community are few and far between (at least, that's the perception)

actually, i guess i chalk it up to just that. black churches are listening to the right because that's who's talking to them - and through these faith based initiatives, some congregants are getting homes, getting off drugs and getting closer to the whole 'american dream.' again, these are perceptions. thing is, what are the progressives doing?

Anonymous said...

Aye, yae, yae. I rarely hear these preachers (Dr. Reid aside) saying anything about Africa until the White House calls up. It's a sad state of affairs, really.

Marcus Garvey and other political and religious leaders (especially his Garveyite ministers) have been talking about Africa and its problems for nearly 100 years now. All of a sudden, it's now on these preachers' plates. Sad.

I'm disappointed in Reverend Reid. I guess he's given up on political office for himself (in Baltimore, and in the AME Church), so now it's time to throw his lot in with the Republicans and see what he can get.

I have such a bad taste in my mouth from this.