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God's EconomyFaith-Based Initiatives and the Caring State$
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Lew Daly

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780226134833

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: March 2013

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226134857.001.0001

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Religion and Welfare Reform: Old Battles and New Directions

Religion and Welfare Reform: Old Battles and New Directions

(p.81) Two Religion and Welfare Reform: Old Battles and New Directions
God's Economy
University of Chicago Press

This chapter examines how charitable choice and the faith-based initiative departed from conventional conservative thinking on welfare reform and the role of the state. It discusses debates within the conservative movement and the religious right which intersected with the legal and legislative developments behind the Faith-Based and Community Initiative, focusing on the views of Conservative Catholics such as William Lind and William Marshner, of the Free Congress Foundation, and leaders of the Protestant far right, including George Grant and Marvin Olasky. Juxtaposed with what these and other religious conservatives wanted out of welfare reform, this chapter argues that the faith-based initiative was a strikingly “progressive” departure that promised to strengthen public welfare by creating a new class of faith-based stakeholders with reciprocal constitutional protections and obligations. The particular legal and administrative reforms of the faith-based initiative drew on and, for many, were an expression of the broader “civil society” movement that swept over American political thought in the 1990s.

Keywords:   charitable choice, religious right, welfare reform, civil society, public welfare, religious conservatives, Marvin Olasky, William Marshner, George Grant

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