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Posted 24 Feb 2001   For week ended February 02, 2001
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News about Mormons, Mormonism,
and the LDS Church
Sent on Mormon-News: 31Jan01

By Kent Larsen

LDS Church: No Comment on Bush 'Charitable Choice' Plan

SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH -- The LDS Church reacted with caution to the Bush administration's announcement Monday of a "Charitable Choice" program that could provide federal funds to religious organizations for non-religious charitable work. LDS Church spokesman Dale Bills told the Arizona Republic that the Church would not comment on the proposal, and the Church issued a statement Tuesday saying only that the Church had operated a welfare plan for 60 years without Government funds.

"The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has operated an effective welfare and humanitarian program for more than 60 years. Government funding has never been a factor in our welfare efforts. Rather, our work is based on principles of self-reliance, community service and Christian giving from our own members. Our hearts reach out to the disadvantaged wherever they may be," read the statement. None of the 35 religious leaders present at President Bush's announcement of the program Monday were LDS Church members.

Other religious leaders also reacted with caution to the President's proposals, as reactions gathered by the Arizona Republic indicate. Jacki Taylor, executive director of United Methodist Outreach Ministries was hopeful, but worried that federal money would come with too much paperwork or intrusive rules. "I was pleased to see that there was an emphasis that funding couldn't be used to promote a particular religion. But, on the other hand, I think anyone in the helping field will tell you that a faith component, connecting with a higher power, is a key element to recovery, whatever your issue might be," she said.

Other religious leaders worried that the money would open the door for government regulation of religious activities or allow the government to favor some religious over others. Federal funds often come with restrictions that prohibit them from being used to discriminate. Funds to Universities and Colleges, for example, prohibit discrimination on the basis of gender, leading to Title IX requirements that equal numbers of sporting teams be supported. Other federal funds prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, race and, of course, religion.


Valley organizations view plan as godsend or intrusion
(Phoenix) AZ Republic 30Jan01 T1
By Kelly Ettenborough and Maureen West: The Arizona Republic

Remarks by the President in Submission of Faith-based Services Proposal
White House Press Release 30Jan01 T1

Executive Order: Establishment of White House Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives
White House Press Release 29Jan01 T1

Agency Responsibilities with Respect to Faith-Based and Community Initiatives
White House Press Release 29Jan01 T1

Attendees at Faith Based Event
White House Press Release 29Jan01 T1

Remarks by the President in Announcement of the Faith-Based Initiative
White House Press Release 29Jan01 T1


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