The coming presidential campaign is going to be different from other campaigns for a number of reasons. One significant difference will be the amount of discussion the candidates will give to faith-based organizations. Republicans (like George Bush and Gary Bauer) as well as Democrats (like Al Gore) have devoted a significant amount of discussion to the role of faith-based organizations.
Such discussions have even caught the attention of Dick Morris, former consultant to President Clinton. In a recent New York Post column he talks about the approach of George Bush. Bush, he says, "learns from history that when the rich get tax breaks, they spend the money on yachts and villas and that when government gets the money, it squanders it on the bureaucracy and the unions. So he calls for a third way: tax credits to encourage charitable donations to mobilize the voluntary and faith-based sector to step into the breech and help the poor."
Now I'm not sure I completely agree with this analysis by Dick Morris, but the quote does show how prominent the discussion of faith-based organizations has become in just the last few months. Political pundits are calling it "the third way."
Dick Morris goes on the talk about the Texas prison system. "As governor, Bush realizes that we must have long prison sentences for violent offenders but he also understands that we must rehabilitate them while they are there, if we can. So the governor has turned over a Texas prison to Prison Fellowship, a faith-based organization of ex-inmates led by Chuck Colson. They run the prison and staff it with 12-step counselors, ex-prisoners and religious believers."
I'm excited that this presidential election will include a legitimate discussion of what churches and individual Christians can do to deal with social ills in our society. Let the debate begin.
I'm Kerby Anderson of Probe Ministries, and that's my opinion.