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Hillary Clinton Took Little Action to help the Akha
While First Lady, Hillary Clinton visited the Akha in Thailand and knew of their desperate situation, including the trafficking of Akha children. Yet there is little record of what she did to assist the Akha or improve their situation. The record that does exist, appears not much more than a photo op.
An Op-Ed in the New York Times illustrates Hillary's stance on funding missionaries. Hopefully if she were to become president she would take another look at the types of people Bush has been channeling money to during his administration.
When looking at continuing the funding of these "faith-based initiatives," we hope that any congresspeople who might get a chance to vote on them, and any potential new administration members who might shape the future policy, will bear in mind the numerous reports that have recently been published about the failures of many recipients of such funding to actually follow the rules they agreed to. For our specific concerns, see "Cross Purposes" from the Village Voice, about International Justice Mission in Thailand. And there is a link to a very thorough Boston Globe series below.
New York Times Op-Ed by David Kuo and John Dilulio, Tuesday, January 29th, 2008:
"David Kuo was the deputy director of the White House Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives from 2002 to 2003. John J. DiIulio Jr., the author of "Godly Republic: A Centrist Blueprint for America's Faith-Based Future," was the office's director in 2001."
< a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2008/01/29/opinion/29kuo.html?_r=1&oref=slogin">New York Times article
"...Hillary Clinton has declared that there is no contradiction between "support for faith-based initiatives and upholding our constitutional principles."....."
".....The Constitution is no longer a potential obstacle to a successful faith-based initiative in the White House. In several cases decided since 2001, the Supreme Court has clarified that even "pervasively sectarian" religious nonprofit organizations remain tax-exempt and can receive government social service grants on the same basis as secular nonprofit organizations. Their eligibility is constitutionally secure so long as they do not proselytize or engage in sectarian instruction; serve all persons without regard to religion; follow applicable federal anti-discrimination laws; and use public monies only to serve grant-specified secular purposes...."
".... On Jan. 19, 2005, Mrs. Clinton, speaking before clergy members in Boston, captured the spirit that is likely to prevail in the White House, no matter who is elected: "But I ask you, who is more likely to go out onto a street to save some poor, at-risk child than someone from the community, someone who believes in the divinity of every person, who sees God at work in the lives of even the most hopeless and left-behind of our children? And that's why we need to not have a false division or debate about the role of faith-based institutions, we need to just do it and provide the support that is needed on an ongoing basis." Amen......."
The Boston Globe series from 2006:
...........For decades, US policy has sought to avoid intermingling government programs and religious proselytizing. The aim is both to abide by the Constitution's prohibition against a state religion and to ensure that aid recipients don't forgo assistance because they don't share the religion of the provider.
But many of those restrictions were removed by Bush in a little-noticed series of executive orders -- a policy change that cleared the way for religious groups to obtain hundreds of millions of dollars in additional government funding. It also helped change the message American aid workers bring to many corners of the world, from emphasizing religious neutrality to touting the healing powers of the Christian God.
Bush's orders altered the longstanding practice that groups preach religion in one space and run government programs in another. The administration said religious organizations can conduct services in the same space as they hand out government aid, so long as the services don't take place while the aid is being delivered. But the rule allows groups to schedule prayers immediately before or after dispensing taxpayer-funded aid.................
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