THE PRESIDENT: Good morning. This week, the White House Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives held a conference to highlight the work being done by our Nation's armies of compassion, with help from the Federal government. This conference demonstrated the remarkable difference these groups have made over the past eight years. (continued below)
How the President Differs from the American vision of "Liberty Under God":
Families should not look to Washington D.C. for salvation
It makes no sense to have the money of a donor willing and able to donate to a charity sent to Washington D.C., for politicians to take their cut and impose bureaucratic regulations, and then send it back to the donor's charity (or perhaps a different charity, one the government likes better).
Americans are the most generous people on the planet. For hundreds of years, Americans have solved social needs without government intervention.
Anyone who sets himself up as "religious" by talking a good game is self-deceived. This kind of religion is hot air and only hot air. Real religion, the kind that passes muster before God the Father, is this: Reach out to the homeless and loveless in their plight, and guard against corruption from the godless world. (James 1:27)
Washington D.C. is the greatest obstacle to the success of "faith-based" organizations.
Saturday Morning Radio Address
"Liberty Under God"
THE PRESIDENT: Good morning.
This week, the White House Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives held a conference to highlight the work being done by our Nation's armies of compassion, with help from the Federal government. This conference demonstrated the remarkable difference these groups have made over the past eight years.
Nobody should question the value of these groups. These groups are the key to America's greatness, and have been for centuries. The issue is whether money from those who wish to donate to these organizations should be sent to Washington D.C. first, to have politicians get their grubby mitts on it, then attach regulatory strings and bureaucratic red tape to what's left of the money,
and send the mess back to the faith-based groups in the donor's neighborhood, in a system that ultimately makes the charitable organization look more like a Washington bureaucracy. Nothing about this system makes any sense at all.
When I first came to office, I was troubled to see many of our citizens' greatest needs going unmet. Too many addicts walked the rough road to recovery alone. Too many prisoners had the desire for reform but no one to show them the way. Across our country, the hungry, homeless, and sick begged for deliverance -- and too many heard only silence in reply.
The tragedy was that there were good men and women across America who had the desire to help but not the resources. Because many of them worked with small charities, they were overlooked by Washington as potential partners in service. And because many of them belonged to faith-based organizations, they were often barred from receiving support from the Federal
What is meant by "resources?" Money? or programs?
Many programs exist, but potential donors have their money taken from them by Washington bureaucrats, leaving them unable to donate to charities. The money is used to bomb foreign countries "back to the stone age."
The tragedy here is that money is taken from potential donors by Washington. Then, because of the myth of "separation of church and state," money taken from donors was only allowed to be sent to atheistic charities of which there were far fewer and far less effective than Christian organizations. (The term "faith-based" is part of the problem. There are not noteworthy numbers of charitable
organizations based on the jihadist faith, or the Buddhist faith, or the Aztec faith. The solution to America's problems is not "faith," it is Christianity.
So I set about to change this with a new approach called "compassionate conservatism." This approach was compassionate, because it was rooted in a timeless truth: that we ought to love our neighbors as we'd like to be loved ourselves. And this approach was conservative, because it recognized the limits of government: that bureaucracies can put money in
people's hands, but they cannot put hope in people's hearts.
Bush's approach is not conservative. This is a fatal error.
Bureaucracies cannot put money in people's hands. This belief is a first-cousin to belief in Santa Claus. Washington D.C. only TAKES money from people, then gives them SOME of that money back -- with burdensome regulations attached.
Putting hope in people's hearts is the mission of our Nation's faith-based and community groups, so my Administration decided to treat them as trusted partners. We held these groups to high standards and insisted on demonstrable results. And they have delivered on those expectations.
The idea that the government -- home of the post office, the cost-overrun, and "Piss Christ" -- holds anyone to "high standards" is laughable at first, then depressing, then outrageous. Bush is saying that the ethical standards of politicians are higher than those of Mother Theresa.
Through their partnerships with the government, these organizations have helped reduce the number of chronically homeless by nearly 12 percent -- getting more than 20,000 Americans off the streets. They have helped match nearly 90,000 children of prisoners with adult mentors. And they have helped provide services such as job placement for thousands of former inmates.
Homelessness is helped by businesses that build homes and provide jobs. Children of prisoners would not need substitute parents if their parents had not been imprisoned for their drug problem.
As usual, the government creates problems, then wants credit for trying to solve them in the most inefficient way imaginable.
Faith-based and community groups have also had a powerful impact overseas. In Africa, they have participated in our Malaria Initiative. In just over two years, this effort has reached more than 25 million people -- and according to new data, malaria rates are dropping dramatically in many parts of that continent.
Millions of human beings around the world have had their lives saved by DDT. Environmentalists -- who hate human beings -- suggested that DDT might possibly have a risk of maybe potentially making the shells of certain birds' eggs thinner, which could conceivably in theory maybe lead to the death of a bird. Or two. So DDT was banned. Malaria, which had been virtually wiped out by DDT, returned,
and millions of human beings have died. Not in theory. Not "face an increased risk" of death. They are stone-cold dead. Their children are orphans (if they are not dead). Their wives are widows (if they too are not dead). But it's possible that a number of birds are alive who otherwise might be dead. Maybe.
Again, government creates a problem, then devises a more expensive, convoluted "solution" to the problem it created.
These groups have also been a vital part of the Emergency Plan for AIDS relief. When we launched this program in 2003, about 50,000 people in Sub-Saharan Africa were receiving anti-retroviral treatment for HIV/AIDS. Today, that number is nearly 1.7 million.
Behind each of these statistics, there are stories of people whose lives have been changed by the kindness of faith-based and community organizations. One such person is Ramie Siler. Ramie was once lost to substance abuse, recidivism, and depression. Even when she tried to get clean for her daughter's high school graduation, Ramie couldn't break free from her addiction. Then she found a faith-based group
called The Next Door. At The Next Door, Ramie met people who stood by her throughout her difficult recovery. They gave her a second chance to become a productive citizen and good mother. Today, Ramie is reunited with her daughter. She now helps other women as the Next Door case manager. When Ramie describes her turnaround, she uses the words of Saint Paul: "Old things have passed away; behold, all things are becoming new."
The federal government does not need to involve itself in the ministry of "The Next Door." It violates the Constitution and the laws of economics to do so.
I'm grateful to every American who works to create this spirit of hope. Because of you, our Nation has made great strides toward fulfilling the noble goals that gave rise to the Faith-Based and Community Initiative. Because of you, I'm confident that the progress we have made over the past eight years will continue. Because of you, countless souls have been touched and lives have been healed.
The federal government is the greatest obstacle to the success of "faith-based" organizations.
John Adams once wrote that the American Revolution began in 1761, when Massachusetts attorney James Otis began legal challenges to the Writs of Assistance. He lost the case, but "American independence," Adams wrote, "was
then and there born." Now do the math. That means it took 15 years to convince the rest of America to declare Independence (1776). Then another seven years of war was required before a Peace Treaty was signed (1783), and then six years before the Constitution was finally ratified (1789). That's almost 30 years. (And Jefferson said we shouldn't go 20 years without
another rebellion!) How can we hope to convince Americans to fight for principles they were never taught in government schools? We need to be in this battle for the long term. "Eternal Vigilance is the Price of Liberty."
The Internet Can Speed up the Revolution
Here are ways you can help.
Communicating with Government and Media
Contact Congress -- this is from the JBS website, powered by "CapWiz," from Capitol Advantage. Lots of organizations use capwiz. If you don't want to go through the JBS, search for capwiz on Google and find another organization that uses it.
Notice that you can also contact media through this webpage.
Action E-List Sign up for the JBS Action E-List and be notified when you can make a critical difference on important issues.
Support an Iraq Referendum
Americans keep debating when, how, or if to leave Iraq. Maybe we should ask the Iraqi people what they want. After all, it's their country. Tell Congress to request that the Iraqi government hold a public referendum on the U.S. occupation. Learn more »
Make Congress read every word of every bill they create before they vote on it.
Urge your Representative and your Senators to sponsor DownsizeDC.org's “Read the Bills Act” (RTBA).
Unelected bureaucrats create tens-of-thousands of new dictates each year. Making rules is the job of Congress, not bureaucrats.
DownsizeDC.org has drafted the “Write the Laws Act” to end bureaucratic “legislation without representation.” Click here . . .
"Cap and Trade" is not the way
The politicians seem to be unifying around "cap and trade" as a way to cut CO2 emissions. If they take this step it may be the largest increase in the size, scope, and intrusiveness of government since the creation of Medicare. Worse still, it may not even achieve its purpose. Please tell Congress to oppose "cap and trade." Learn more »
Big government prospers through failure. Each new failure is used to justify more spending and new powers. Wasteful spending in Iraq is the latest example. One way to change this is to hold government accountable. A new bill in Congress seeks to provide some of the needed accountability. Please support it. Learn more »
The Accountability Project: 9-11 Accountability
The federal government had all the power, information, and resources it needed to prevent the 9/11 attacks—it simply failed to do so. Government repeatedly fails because it never pays a price for poor performance. Instead, government rewards itself for its own incompetence—with new powers and greater resources. We want to hold the federal government accountable for its failure on 9/11. Please help us do so by sending a message to Congress demanding
accountability. Learn More »
Repeal the Patriot Act
We said the government would abuse the Patriot Act, and it has. Now it's time to tell Congress to repeal it.
Stop experimenting with American lives
Congress and the President have spent four years experimenting with American lives, trying to find a way to bring peace to Iraq. It is time for the experiments to end. It is time for the Iraqi's to resolve their own problems. HR 413 would de-authorize the U.S. occupation of Iraq. Tell Congress to stop the experiments. Tell Congress to pass HR 413.
Stop the War for Terror
U.S. policy has inflamed the Middle East. It has made terrorism more likely rather than less. We seem to be fighting a war for terror, rather than on terror. This policy must stop. The place to start stopping is with Iran. We must not attack Iran. War with Iran would devastate our economy, disrupt world oil supplies, and recruit more terrorists. Click
here to stop this war before it starts.
John McCain is offering gimmicks that on the surface may sound good; but, in reality will cost us jobs and won't help families. And they certainly wont reduce our addiction to imported oil. Senator McCain's gimmicks — a gas tax holiday that will save consumers at most a gas tax holiday that will save consumers—at most—thirty cents a day for three months, and offering a prize for inventing a car battery — are not answers. As former
Secretary of Energy, I know they won't work.
Why is it that the Department of Energy did not predict or prevent our current problems? How can we presume that this bureaucracy has the knowledge to solve our energy problems if it didn't have the knowledge to prevent them? Are only Nobel Prize-winners capable of seeing that if you block drilling, prohibit refining, and put an end to the building of new nuclear power plants, that someday there's going to be an energy shortage?
Richardson also gives us an example of the "CHANGE we can believe in":
Barack Obama is proposing real solutions that will provide immediate relief to Americans and build a new energy economy for the future. Senator Obama will push for a second stimulus package that will send out another round of rebate checks to the American people.
Has Bush's first stimulus package been a "real solution?" We've also discussed this issue in previous editions of the Ozarks Virtual Town Hall.
Congressman Dennis Kucinich Appears on Bill O'Reilly
O'Reilly says Congress should not waste time on impeachment
when its time should be used to solve rising gas prices.
But Congress has no Constitutional authority to do anything about
gas prices, whereas it has no greater authority than to
impeach a President who is guilty of war crimes.
Mainstream Media pundits insist -- forcefully -- that "it's not going to happen"
with respect to impeachment or the election of Ron Paul.
They don't want it to happen.
Click herefor a replay of this edition of the Ozarks Virtual Town Hall