Bush Official Suggests that Pagans and Other "Fringe" Groups Won't Benefit from Faith Based Initiative

December 12, 2003

Source: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution


On December 12, 2003 The Atlanta Journal-Constitution published an editorial taking a stand against recent comments by H. James Towey that pagans and other "fringe groups" won't benefit from the Bush Administration's Faith- Based Initiatives. The Journal-Constitution comments that "it's unclear what the president and governor's faith-based initiatives hope to accomplish except, perhaps, to extend the influence of a specific religious creed in the public square.While that may seem like a worthwhile goal to some, it would aggravate religious discrimination rather than minimizing it. The natural tendency would be to ostracize groups such as the Wiccans, about which Towey admittedly knows very little. Government bureaucrats would, in effect, become bishops -- endorsing some religions while penalizing others. That's exactly what the First Amendment was intended to prohibit. It also underscores why the constitutional wall erected by the Founding Fathers more than 200 years ago to separate church and state must remain intact."