The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and the American Baptist Churches are two denominations that have expressed serious concerns about Bush's plan.
The Evangelical Lutheran's official policy is that social welfare is primarily the responsibility of the government, but the government should help church efforts when possible. However, the denomination already has very active non-profit social service programs, which receive federal funding because they are established as secular tax-exempt service organizations. So while the church is hopeful that government money might help social services reach more needy people, the denomination is concerned about the new constitutional issues associated with charitable choice.
In a press release from American Baptist Churches national headquarters in Valley Forge, Curtis Ramsey-Lukas, director of Legislative Advocacy for National Ministries, urges caution on the part of American Baptist Churches towards the faith-based initiatives. "We whom Christ calls to be wise as serpents and innocent as doves would do well to consider the risks as well as the opportunities inherent in these new endeavors. Charitable choice, in particular, blurs the distinctions between church and state."
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