Compassion is good, but justice is better

Here's a little quiz related to political support for faith-based organizations. Which of the following three statements was said by George W. Bush?

Statement A: "I am a supporter of these programs in which faith-based organizations help the government serve public purposes. If a drug addict or a prisoner or a homeless person can find inspiration and strength within himself to deal with his or her problem, then don't we all gain from that?"

Statement B: "I have seen the difference faith-based organizations make. I believe the lesson to the nation is clear. In those instances where the unique power of faith can help us meet the crushing social challenges that are otherwise not possible to meet, we must explore carefully tailored partnerships with our faith community."

Statement C: "This is a meeting to begin a dialogue about how best to help faith-based programs change people's lives, how best government can encourage, as opposed to discourage, faith-based programs from performing their commonplace miracles of renewal."

If you picked "C" as Bush's statement, you were right. Statement A was made by Sen. Joe Lieberman and Statement B was made by Vice President Al Gore last May. I suggest that this indicates some sort of consensus, or at least less dissension than you might have expected on these programs.

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Sojourners Magazine May-June 2001
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