Republican vice presidential candidate Dick Cheney visited a homeless shelter in St. Louis as part of a campaign trip to tout a plan by George W. Bush to put government funds in the hands of faith-based groups that help the poor, the Associated Press reported August 9.
Bush is calling for partnerships between the government and churches, charities and individuals who help people on welfare and fight crime and poverty. The Republican presidential candidate has said he would dedicate $8 billion in the first year of his administration for tax credits and grants for such groups.
Al Gore also favors a greater role for church-based groups in providing social services.
Critics worry that giving federal funds to faith-based groups violates the constitutional principle of the separation of church and state. Others worry that needy people will be forced to embrace a certain faith in order to get help.
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