Lynchburg, Va., March 8, 2001 -- In my Beliefnet.com interview, I stated that I generally favor President Bush's faith-based initiatives program. However, I further stated that we must be careful not to provide public funds for religious organizations which practice bigotry toward anyone. In my interview with Beliefnet.com, I cited the Aryan Nation and their skinheads. Clearly, their racism should disqualify them as candidates for participation.

I also said that Moslem organizations should be willing to renounce any anti-Semitism, if it exists. I did not charge all American Moslem organizations with being anti-Semitic. However, I stated that Iran, Iraq, Libya, Syria, and a host of Moslem nations allow little or no religious freedom for those of other faiths...particularly accusing these nations of anti-Semitism. Their hatred for Israel is known to the world.

I am not anti-Moslem. I know and work with many American and foreign Moslems who love all peoples. In my interview with Beliefnet.com, I was simply saying that the Bush administration should bar all bigots and racists from participating in their faith-based program.

I also said that only religious ministries and persons who are presently involved in a successful way with the poor and the imprisoned, etc., should be considered for public funds. This new initiative should not be a "commercial venture" for novices and others to begin ministries in which they have no track record or spiritual interest.
more from beliefnet and our partners
Close Ad