Forum: Keep taxes out of church

As a person who wants what is best for America, I was willing to give George W. Bush a chance. However, it has been a little over a week since he has assumed office, and his policies are already dividing the nation. Take for instance his resolution to create a White House Office of Faith Based and Community Initiatives. This office is designed to grant federal tax funds to religious institutions that profess to aid those in need.

Although the president means well, he needs to understand that implementing a proposal that has anything to do with religion in the federal government is a serious violation of separation of church and state. Not to mention the fact that it will pull much-needed funds from already dwindling resources allocated for our nation’s welfare institutions such as the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

The U.S. Constitution was founded on blocking the oppression of the people by its leaders. By allowing the federal government to spend billions of dollars to help religious institutions, we will be promoting tyranny. Most of the institutions that these moneys will go to are right wing, evangelical churches that have one purpose: to build a congregation.

The claim by the Bush administration that evangelism will not be a part of the program to help those in need is absurd. I have absolutely no qualms about paying taxes because I know that my money is going to programs that are designed to promote the greater good. However, I will have severe problems paying to give government money to religious institutions. That is why churches take collections. If I wanted to give money to a church, I would go.

Furthermore, the move toward compassionate conservatism seems to mean the move toward compassionate Christianity. It is nice that the president, who professes the need for large tax cuts, wants to help those less fortunate than himself. However, giving tax dollars to religious institutions is not the way to do it. Perhaps he should concentrate on reforming our current welfare system. Religion has no place in our government as this nation represents diversity both religiously and ethnically. It seems to me that the president wants to make this Jesus Christ’s country. It is not; it is the people’s country.

-The writer, a freshman majoring in political science, is a member of the GW College Democrats.

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