A New Era of Church-State Cooperation

in God's Economy

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print December 2009 | ISBN: 9780226134833
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226134857 | DOI:
A New Era of Church-State Cooperation

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In 1996, the U.S. Congress passed a set of provisions known as “charitable choice,” part of the landmark welfare reform bill signed by President Bill Clinton that year. Charitable choice allowed religious social-service providers a statutory right to contract with the government without compromising their religious identity. The Faith-Based and Community Initiative (FBCI) of the administration of President George W. Bush was based on the core legal principles of charitable choice. This chapter examines the faith-based initiative and its two goals: to increase the share of federal social welfare funding going to faith-based groups and to insure the institutional autonomy and religious identity of participating faith-based providers. The faith-based initiative was implemented by the White House with mixed results over Bush's two terms. This chapter discusses what happened under Bush and considers the legislative and legal developments that preceded the launching of the FBCI. It also describes the church-state relations which moved away from strict separationism to cooperation, giving rise to a new church-state order.

Keywords: charitable choice; welfare reform; George W. Bush; church-state relations; cooperation; separationism; social welfare funding; faith-based groups; religious identity

Chapter.  21955 words. 

Subjects: US Politics

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