Abuse of Higher Power

Leslie Lenkowsky spoke at the 2006 O’Bannon Institute for Community Service, joining Paula Parker-Sawyers of the Indiana Governor’s Office in beating the drum for having social services provided by religious groups.  He mentioned in passing a faith-based program held in the youth center of a church, where employees "might say to a kid, ‘Do you want to go across the parking lot with me and pray?’"  Apparently he doesn’t realize that’s precisely as coercive as having an adult say to a kid, "Do you want to go across the parking lot with me and have sex?" And by the way, given the recent rash of sex scandals involving the clergy, exactly how much faith should we have in claims that religious programs are more effective/ethical/appropriate than their secular counterparts?

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2 Responses to “Abuse of Higher Power”

  1. Michael Kaye Says:

    Religious groups performing social services is indeed a tricky business rife with opportunities for abuse.

    If you make a gift of a meal or a service to someone conditional on their listening to your proselytizing, that is *not* a charitable act.

    It is more like a realtor giving a free trip to a time-share property so he can have a captive audience for a hard-sell presentation.

    Real charity is when you get nothing in return.

  2. Nonprofiteer Says:

    Amen, brother!

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