Faith-Based Initiatives

Is U.S. funding of religious groups constitutional?


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.

Prison Fellowship Ministries operates the InnerChange Freedom Initiative (IFI) program for inmates at three prisons ...

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