May 8, 2007

Church and State Blurring in Missouri

According to the Associated Press via the News Tribune, a bill designed to increase cooperation between the state of Missouri and faith-based organizations passed the Missouri House with a wide margin. This bill requires the Department of Social Services "to coordinate with faith-based organizations" in providing services to the needy. The Missouri Senate already passed the bill, so it is now headed for the governor.

Since faith-based programs have not demonstrated their efficacy (and are actually judged by different standards, at least at the federal level), this sounds like a problem for Missouri taxpayers. Being asked to fund faith-based programs without evidence that such programs work as well as their secular alternatives should be a concern. Then again, I suppose if there was evidence that such programs worked, they wouldn't need to be called faith-based, would they?

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