Good reasons for separation |

Good reasons for separation

Church and state are separated for two good reasons: Government is prone to abuse if its authority became deified, as is the church if its authority became secularized. This discourages political oppression of religious minorities, including one Christian sect by another. But even if publicly funded, faith-based organizations (FBOs) can avoid proselytizing and discriminating and so maintain this separation, are such programs effective?

Due to deregulation, where FBOs obtain exemptions from state law because their personnel lack formal health-care training, FBO children’s homes, child-care facilities, drug treatment centers, and prisons, etc., have been accredited without the usual standards for licensing and oversight. The results? According to the Freedom Network Report of Texas, where President Bush first promoted FBOs, program standards for health, safety, and quality of care has diminished. For example, the FBO For Children’s Sake has been charged with forging doctor’s signatures, faking business records, inadequately training employees, firing employees who refused to commit illegal acts, hiding documents from state licensing inspectors, and fraudulently transferring assets.

The Texas legislature has now withdrawn alternative accreditation for FBOs, having lost faith in Bush’s faith-based programs.

Robert Lobell

Nevada City

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