Faith, Politics, and Power: The Politics of Faith-Based Initiatives

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9780199920266: Faith, Politics, and Power: The Politics of Faith-Based Initiatives

During the 2000 presidential campaign, George W. Bush made faith-based social services one of the centerpieces of his domestic agenda. These "faith-based initiatives," supporters argued, would reduce poverty, ease the strain on an overburdened welfare system, and prove more effective than government programs. Opponents feared rampant proselytizing with government funds. Instead, these practices created a system in which neither the greatest hopes of its supporters, nor the greatest fears of its opponents, have been realized. The product of five years of in-depth research, Rebecca Sager's Faith, Politics, and Power offers a systematic examination of where and how these programs were implemented, arguing that faith-based initiatives strayed from supporters' original aim of helping the poor, and instead were used as tools to gain political power by the Republican Party and the conservative evangelical movement.

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About the Author:


Rebecca Sager is Assistant Professor of Sociology at Loyola Marymount University.

Review:


"While this book is an academic treatment of faith-based initiatives, it is also accessible to non-academic readers and it will appeal to those interested in faith-based initiatives specifically or in social movements and symbolic policy development more generally. It would be a useful text for an undergraduate social movement class or as a case study in a graduate course on religious social movements and their interaction with the state."--Sociology of Religion


"This is an impressive book...Sager's study holds timely lessons for policymakers...[A] substantial contribution to our understanding of faith-based initiatives and contemporary church-state relations in the United States."--Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion


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Book Description Oxford University Press Inc, United States, 2012. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . This book usually ship within 10-15 business days and we will endeavor to dispatch orders quicker than this where possible. Brand New Book. There is often more than meets the eye where politics, religion and money are concerned. This is certainly the case with the Faith-Based Initiative. Section 104, a small provision of the 1996 Welfare Reform bill called Charitable Choice, was the beginning of what we now know as the Faith-Based Initiative. In its original form, the Initiative was intended to ensure that small religious groups were not discriminated against in the awarding of government funding to provide social services. While this was the beginning of the story for the initiative, it is not the end. Instead Charitable Choice served as the launching pad for growing implementation of Faith-Based Initiatives. These new policies and practices exist despite the fact that all levels of government already contract with religious organizations to provide social services. Nevertheless, government actors have been implementing the Initiative in myriad ways, creating new policies where none appear necessary. Using data from multiple sources this book examines how and why states have been creating these policies and practices. The data reveal three key aspects of faith-based policy implementation by states: appointment of state actors known as Faith-Based Liaisons, passage of legislation, and development of state Faith-Based Policy conferences. These practices created a system in which neither the greatest hopes of its supporters, nor the greatest fears of its opponents have been realized. Supporters had hoped the Faith-Based Initiative would be about solving problems of poverty and an over-burdened welfare system, while opponents feared rampant proselytizing with government funds. Instead, these initiatives by and large did not offer substantial new fiscal support to those in need. In the place of this hope and fear, and despite the good intentions of many, these initiatives became powerful political symbols in the fight to reshape church/state relationships and distribution of political power. Bookseller Inventory # BTE9780199920266

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