The economic heart of fascism in the 1930’s was the “government-private industry alliance.”
It still is.
In this alliance, the state provides limited funds and promotion of favored businesses. The businesses provide profits that are taxed. The state’s bureaucrats increase their influence over the economy by way of favored business enterprises.
The state is now heralding faith-based welfare. State money is used to favor some ministries, which conform to state requirements. In this way, the churches get “matching funds” from the state, and the state gets another avenue into the lives of the public. There will be more welfare clients, and there will be restraints on what the ministries can say and do with the money. The state extends its influence by means of confiscated money from the voters.
There are no free lunches. But church leaders forget this. They preach that grace is free to recipients, but then they preach the need for ethics: personal reform. They do not see that the state is imitating the gospel, but with confiscated funds. “Free money from the state, but then personal reform.” The state is in charge of the reform program.
He who pays the piper calls the tune.
A recent experiment in faith-based enterprise was announced by the Governor of Arizona. The story is here.
With one signature, the governor of Arizona created a brand new office that some worry blurs the line between church and state. She created the Office of Faith and Community Partnerships, and while some see this office as a way to admit the state needs financial help, others think it funnels state money to churches.”Somebody’s got to step up to the plate if the money’s not there,” said Tyler Johnson, the lead pastor at Redemption Church. He said he sees great potential in this new Office of Faith and Community Partnerships.
“We’re dealing with thousands of people in the Redemption congregations that we have the opportunity to mobilize to care for the totality of our city and our state,” Johnson said.
Gov. Jan Brewer’s order also creates a council that’s supposed to nurture partnerships between the state, non-profits and faith-based organizations. The council will be comprised of representatives from government agencies and these groups.
“I desperately want Jewish communities and Islamic communities and Sikh communities and whatever else you may say, even coalitions of atheists, to serve and seek the benefit of our city at large,” Johnson said.