George W. Bush, Texas governor and presidential candidate, has placed government cooperation with faith-based initiatives at the core of his campaign. In July, Bush outlined his bold proposals at a policy speech in Indianapolis. As President, Bush says, he would dedicate $8 billion—an amount equal to 10 percent of the nonsocial security budget surplus—to provide new tax incentives for supporting charities. He also proposes loosening regulations to allow "charitable choice," which allows religious organizations to compete for welfare funds, to extend to all social service programs. He recently shared his ideas with Texas writer Deann Alford:
Why do some faith-based organizations succeed where secular or government programs fail?
It's because they change hearts. There are faith-based organizations in drug treatment that work so well because they convince a person to turn their life over to Christ. And by doing so, they change the person's heart. A person with a changed heart is less likely to be addicted to drugs and alcohol.
I've had some personal experience with this. As has been reported, I quit drinking. The main reason I quit was because I accepted Jesus Christ into my life in 1986. Billy Graham planted a seed in my heart, and it grew. I believe in the power of faith.
What does society lose if faith-based organizations are marginalized and excluded from partnership with government?
We lose the capacity to have a nation where the American dream touches every willing heart. We lose the capacity of a nation under God.
We have children locked into failing schools. We've got babies being born out of wedlock. We've got drug addiction. We've got 1.2 million children whose parents ...1
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