Democracy Under Assault
Theopolitics, Incivility and Violence on the Right

Michele Swenson

Faith-Based Initiatives

Over $1 billion of tax-funded monies were allocated to faith-based initiatives in 2004. (NPR Morning Edition, 10/5/04)

Unable to pass a Faith-Based Initiative through the legislature, President G.W. Bush issued an executive order.¬† The Bush White House removed all restrictions against proselytization and protections against job discrimination by religious groups administering social programs with government money. By 2005, Pat Robertsonís group will have received $1.5 million in faith-based monies. ("Pat Gets Paid," Steven Benen, Church & State, Americans United for Separation of Church & State, 11/02)

Many Bush White House policies are run through a religious filter:

Millions of dollars have been shifted from social welfare programs to abstinence-only education and marriage initiatives. Religion trumps science, as distorted "scientific" data equates abortion with increased rates of cancer, condoms are discounted as protection against AIDS, and AIDS programs are run by faith-based groups.

Faith-based initiatives, as well as term limits and school vouchers, were ideas that originated in Christian Reconstructionist circles in the '70s and '80s. Rousas Rushdoony's Christian Reconstructionists believe that churches should assume most functions of government, including health care, education and social services. Reconstructionists, or Dominionists, seek dominion over all social and political institutions, and the elimination of all democratic manifestations, including labor unions, civil rights laws, and public schools.