Monday, February 20, 2006

Faith Healing and Snake Charming

We all know that George Bush is a religious man. He believes that God speaks to him and tells him what to do next, and this is why he will not listen to us other earthworms. For what can we possibly know that would improve on the word of the divine? Too sad that Osama bin Laden also talks to God and feels the same way. Or so I see these two men who are intent on getting us all killed in a faith-based way.

End of rant. It has a point which is the share of the U.S. federal spending that goes into faith-based services. Like healing drug addicts with the power of prayer? I'm not sure, but religious organizations are encouraged to apply for federal funds and they can do this and still discriminate against women or gays or people who believe in other religions. We, on the other hand, don't have the right to refuse paying taxes on the basis of our sex or sexual orientation. This seems a little shitty to me. Pardon the language.

It is also not at all unclear if the faith-based charities are performing well. Given the recent government arguments that ineffective programs are ruthlessly cut down, why has the faith-based share of the grants pie remained constant when we have no idea if the programs are working? And why are we still paying for information on how to adopt the snowflake embryos?

And how many grants, exactly, have been awarded to non-Christian faith-based organizations. A 2004 piece argues that the number then was zero. If this is still true, shouldn't we change the term "faith-based" to "Christian"?

I'm going to start an Echidneite faith-based ice-cream organization. We will take ice-cream to people who are housebound and we will stay and chat for half an hour with the person and we will spread rays of love and understanding and the basic philosophy of snake charmers. I expect the government to fund it.