So if religious nonprofits are addressing secular needs, why shouldn’t secular government partner with them for greater results? It’s not about government establishing religion; it’s about government working in concert with established religion to mutual societal benefit.
Now, if I give a cup of soup in Jesus’ name, I ought to be able to say so. If the second cup is paid by Uncle Sam, it’s still Christ that provided my particular channel, and there should be no religious muzzle-clause for Initiative money recipients if the program continues.
THE REV. BRYAN GRIEM
Montrose Community Church
I feel strongly that our next president should not only keep this worthy program, but expand and strengthen it so that it can reach more people in need.
Religious organizations are uniquely positioned to ensure that the needy receive help quickly, efficiently and in a respectful manner. Houses of worship and their clergy generally serve the local population in a direct, grass-roots way — and therefore are in tune with who is in need and what their needs are.
By contrast, many secular organizations that help the disadvantaged — while they do phenomenal work — are large, nationally structured bureaucracies that cannot always reach the poor as effectively.
Faith-based groups, in addition to simply giving physical sustenance, can also provide spiritual assistance as part of a broader approach to uplift the destitute. Sadly, many people out there are hurting — now more than at any time during the past few decades. In addition to a handout, these people need a shoulder to lean on for spiritual support and can benefit from the “warm, human touch” that religious groups provide.