"Churches, Charities Encourage Taxpayers to Give Caesar's Rebate to Godly Causes"

Christians urged to consider donating to areas they wish received more government funding.
As taxpayers receive $38 billion in rebate checks this year, churches and charities with a generally liberal political stance have started a grassroots movement of Web sites, word of mouth, and the occasional op-ed piece to encourage people to do good works with Caesar's cash.

Peace Mennonite Church in Dallas sponsors Rebate Redirect, a Web site that suggests people "consider donating your tax rebate where you wish the government had invested it."

The site proposes childcare, gang-intervention, and job-training programs as worthy recipients of the $300 to $600 checks.

Stan Harder, who maintains the site, says he'll support his belief in nonviolence.

"[Government leaders] have chosen not to buy land mines with it, so that gives me the opportunity to do something else," he says.

Harder has received several supportive e-mails, and he is aware of a handful of other churches that will pool their rebates. Associate Pastor Tammerie Spires says she estimates the church could raise $8,000 among its 70 members.

The funds will go to a local childcare center and the Dallas Peace Center, founded in 1981 by Peace Mennonite. The largest, oldest such organization in Texas, the center engages in peace research and education, and works with a number of local, national, and international organizations on grassroots campaigns focused on human rights, social justice, and disarmament.

Pat Ireland, pastor of First Presbyterian Church in rural Cottonwood Falls, Kansas, learned about Peace Mennonite's Web site through a parishioner. The church passed the idea along through an insert in its weekly bulletins. Ireland also wrote a letter to the editor of the local Chase County Leader-News encouraging people to give to charities. "We're just throwing bread ...

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September
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