Faith, Politics, and Power: The Politics of Faith-Based Initiatives

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Oxford University Press, Jan 15, 2010 - Social Science - 264 pages
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During the 2000 presidential campaign, George W. Bush made faith-based social services one of the centerpieces of his domestic agenda. These "faith-based initiatives," supporters argued, would reduce poverty, ease the strain on an overburdened welfare system, and prove more effective than government programs. Opponents feared rampant proselytizing with government funds. Instead, these practices created a system in which neither the greatest hopes of its supporters, nor the greatest fears of its opponents, have been realized. The product of five years of in-depth research, Rebecca Sager's Faith, Politics, and Power offers a systematic examination of where and how these programs were implemented, arguing that faith-based initiatives strayed from supporters' original aim of helping the poor, and instead were used as tools to gain political power by the Republican Party and the conservative evangelical movement.
 

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Contents

1 An Introduction to the FaithBased Initiatives
3
2 The Historical Role of Religion in Government Social Services and the Development of the FaithBased Initiatives
29
Finding Faith in the FaithBased Initiatives
51
4 Making the Initiatives the Law of the Land
93
FaithBased Conferences and Liaison Choices as Symbolic Politics
115
Why Are There FaithBased Initiatives?
133
Institutionalizing Religion within State Government
165
What Is Success?
189
Data and Methods
193
FaithBased Liaison Interview Schedule
201
Raw Data Collected from FaithBased Liaisons 20042005
205
Notes
221
References
227
Index
241
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About the author (2010)

Rebecca Sager is Assistant Professor of Sociology at Loyola Marymount University.

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