Apparently, there will be a "Faith Symposium" held somewhere near you sometime in the near future. Fannie Mae is working through United Way King County and the Seattle Office of Housing to train and fund churches to not only create more housing for chronic homeless people, but to also staff the services that they require.
Fannie Mae, as close readers of this blog will know, is the government entity that favored the National Alliance to End Homelessness with a $5M grant just as they were crawling into bed with the US Interagency Council on Homelessness, thus quadrupling their budget in a single year.
The Faith Symposium is one of seven conferences being held around the country that come out of Bush's Office of Faith-based and Community Initiatives. There have been two quietly organized, invitation only planning meetings. Interestingly, the Interfaith Task Force on Homelessness was not among the invitees.
Adrienne Quinn of Seattle's Office of Housing told attendees of the last meeting that since the feds are out of the housing business, it's time for churches to step into the breach. And not just for housing. For everything else too.
As Bush strengthens his Party's Christian-right base by shifting money out of community development and into his faith-based slush fund, it looks like there are plenty of liberals who are happy to line up for a little dough as well.
Let's just roll back the whole fucking New Deal. We already have income disparity to rival 1929. Now we just need everyone to understand that government doesn't do charity anymore. That it's better left to the churches.
Here's what churches should be doing instead of shoring up their budgets with government funding: Opposing a murderous war for oil that is undermining whatever hope we have for achieving long-term security, urging their members to find meaning in service and not in the empty idolatry of consumerism, and insisting that government use its resources and regulatory power to protect the weak, rein in the strong, and promote the common good.
My Jesus would tell 'em take that money and shove it up your ass.