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Source link: http://archive.mises.org/6743/bush-and-the-religious-right/

Bush and the Religious Right

June 14, 2007 by

This morning, the New York Times headlines a scoop on how the Justice Department has shifted its energy from prosecuting race-oriented civil rights cases to religious-oriented civil rights case. I was prepared to think: here we go again with unjust laws being used to privilege groups based on their political affiliations. The story seemed to be a easy pitch for any libertarian to hit out of the park.

But as we examine the cases cited in the story, the clarity disappears. The Bush administration came to the defense of the Salvation Army to manage its own hiring decisions without threat from the federal government: government protects group against government. That doesn’t seem objectionable. Other cases seem to be clear cases of government overreach: public schools kicking kids out for handing out candy canes, local governments zoning religious congregations out of their rights to property, and other such cases. Now, one might argue against federal intervention here on federalists grounds, but in most cases cited, the Bush admin seems more or less correct (if the story is accurate).

The story further tries to make an issue out of the religious hires done by the Justice Department. Now, it strikes me as a waste of a good life for anyone to go to work for the government but I still had to laugh at this paragraph, presented to shock us: “Figures provided by the department show that from 2003 through 2006, there was a notable increase of hirings from religious-affiliated institutions like Regent University and Ave Maria University. The department hired eight from those two schools in that period, compared to 50 from Harvard and 13 from Yale.”

{ 16 comments }

Dennis June 14, 2007 at 8:16 am

Remember, any show of religious conviction labels you a Neanderthal in certain circles. Better to hire individuals from our allegedly more august universities who worship, glorify, even deify the state. That is real progress.

lester June 14, 2007 at 1:01 pm

I think the number of hires from the respective law schools is misleading. There are an awful lot of lawyers that work for the government and the ones from Regent seem to be well placed and very numerous for what is described as a “fourth tier” law school.

greg June 14, 2007 at 2:33 pm

&lttroll&gt Every practicing lawyer works for the government. They must take an oath to protect the constitution.&lt/troll&gt

Dennis June 14, 2007 at 3:38 pm

Regarding the legal profession’s, especially federal judges’, supposed upholding of the U.S. constitution, see Thomas Woods’ recent review on LRC of Kevin Gutzman’s “The Politically Incorect Guide to the Constitution”.

http://www.lewrockwell.com/woods/woods70.html

Gary June 14, 2007 at 4:11 pm

Once again, we see evidence that mises.org is not really a Libertarian organization, but a Republican organization that, while superficially supporting Libertarian ideals, almost always comes to support the Republican party. The Libertarianism on this site is token. Jeff Tucker should come clean on his political affiliations.

Kevin B. June 14, 2007 at 4:51 pm

Gary: “Once again, we see evidence that mises.org is not really a Libertarian…”

Ha! One cannot point out good decisions without being labeled as an imposter by a member of an opposing political group, can they? Such is the lot of an honest commenter.

Brent June 14, 2007 at 5:19 pm

Yeah, Tucker is probably eating dinner with the McCains tonight! ;)

Writeups June 14, 2007 at 5:32 pm

As a New Zealander, it just strikes me as weird as to what your Justice department does. What on earth do special interest groups have over criminal justice, finding terrorists etc?

TGGP June 14, 2007 at 6:36 pm

You are right, Gary. I, for one, am sick and tired of articles supporting the Iraq war at mises.org. No blood for Austrianism!

jeff June 14, 2007 at 6:59 pm

I think surely the above comment about my GOP affections is facetious. When I saw the story, it struck me as a great chance to jump on the Bush admin — and then I read the story. now, the bushies might be doing horrible things on behalf of religious groups (pushing for subsidies, wars, etc.) but examples don’t really appear in ths piece.

Dan Mahoney June 14, 2007 at 9:25 pm

“Gary” is wasting valuable oxygen.

Qnunc June 17, 2007 at 5:01 pm

Sure, for now. I think this has something to do with Bush’s Faith-Based Initiative program. Bush made deals with groups like the Salvation Army that if they would support his religious welfare program, they wouldn’t have to hire homosexuals.

First they stringently denied it (The White House on Tuesday denied cutting a deal to gain Salvation Army support of the president’s faith-based initiative in exchange for a regulation protecting some religious charities’ practice of not hiring homosexuals,) then, whoops! we really didn’t mean it.

They bought off Pat Robertson with a grant of about $300,000 to keep his mouth shut, which he did.

Bush created an unconstitutional office, (or let’s say a religious welfare office) funded it, and rewrote the rules for the agencies, all of which, surprise, surprise, is Congress’ jobs.

Read The Expanding Administration Presidency: George W. Bush and the Faith Based Initiative.

Qnunc June 17, 2007 at 5:09 pm
Paul Marks June 18, 2007 at 12:16 pm

Handing out taxpayers money to religious charities, or to non relgious charties, corrupts them.

However, I doubt that trying to protect religious organizations and individuals from persecution by local, State and Federal government is anything to do with a dark plot about Faith Based Initiative.

As for “Gary” – I think he is amusing.

Let us see, as well as being against the Iraq war the Von Mises Institute people are against the war in Afghanistan, and every other war up to (and including) the Civil War.

So this makes them puppets of the Republicans?

I might have my differences with the Von Mises Institute people (and, I believe, if he was alive Ludwig Von Mises would do), but this charge is so absurd it is a laugh.

RogerM June 18, 2007 at 1:49 pm

Paul Marks: “Handing out taxpayers money to religious charities, or to non relgious charties, corrupts them.”

Excellent point! I don’t know about other charities, but the Southern Baptists have steared clear of Bush’s faith initiatives. The Baptist Children’s Homes in Oklahoma won’t take state money either, even though they accept wards of the state into their homes. Baptists may be alone, but we still believe in the separation of church and state.

alt1985 June 18, 2007 at 10:23 pm

RogerM: The PCA is with the Baptist Church. We don’t need the government. However, I would argue that there are many individuals within the Baptist Church that are wrapped up in welfare state ideas. For that matter, many Christians believe that charity should be done through the government. Thankfully, there seem to be some individuals and denominations that are actually “getting it”.

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