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September 21, 2005

Katrina aid: Churches v. the Government

From AgapePress...

Among the many groups that have responded to the needs in the Katrina disaster zone are many religious groups. Rev. Bob Reccord, president of the Southern Baptist North American Mission Board, recently told Associated Press that his and other faith-based charities responded more quickly than government agencies to help victims of the hurricane.

"We've proven we're much faster," Reccord noted. "When Katrina was coming in, we were mobilizing on Saturday and Sunday, we were getting in place on Monday, and we were feeding on Tuesday." He believes religious groups are able to help in ways the government cannot.

"Our people are doing what they do because of the spiritual heart that they have," the Southern Baptist leader says, "and so they carry that passion, that desire to help and meet all needs both physical, spiritual, and emotional. And a lot of situations in government would be focused just on the physical."

Reccord and other religious relief groups' leaders are hoping their prompt aid to Katrina survivors will build new momentum for President Bush's faith-based initiative. As Rev. Rick Warren, author of The Purpose Driven Life, points out, "long after the Red Cross pulls out and FEMA pulls out, the churches are still going to be there."

Reccord says he has urged Senate to pass the Charity Aid, Recovery, and Empowerment (CARE) Act, which is part of Bush's faith-based initiative program. "The CARE Act would provide some 83 million Americans who presently don't itemize to be able to deduct their charitable contributions. That's a biggie," Reccord says. "In addition, part of the CARE Act would provide incentives that would yield an estimated two billion dollars worth of food donations."

Monday, my wife signed up for a weeks vacation for next week, in preparation to go with a group from church to help the clean-up in Louisiana. Yesterday she had to cancel the vacation days because of Rita, and the uncertainty of when and where it will hit has meant the trip may not happen. There's another scheduled for October, which she plans to go on.

We don't make a heck of a whole lot of money, but after this trip that'll make two weeks of vacation this year that my wife will have used up helping those in need (earlier this year she went to Nicaragua on a medical aid trip). Meanwhile the various local, state and federal government entities trying to get the areas back in order, still have problems communicating with each other.

The idea of the government taking taxes from people by force so they can then redistribute it to those they deem more needy, has always been unconstitutional. But it's an easy way for some people, who would otherwise have not lifted a finger to help, to feel good. That so much of the money is wasted is immaterial — it allows rich Liberals to get that warm fuzzy feeling, knowing they've tossed so many billions of other people's dollars at something. And that's what really counts, right?

Posted by Danny Carlton at September 21, 2005 06:33 AM

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