The Limits of Faith: Funding Faith-Based Social Services




Miles, Thomas D.

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Since Charitable Choice was expanded in 2001, its implementation has been plagued by questions. Members of Congress immediately expressed hesitation about whether or not to authorize funding for faith-based organizations (FBO’s) amid questions of their constitutionality. The Supreme Court has similarly struggled, issuing conflicting rulings pertaining to the limits of free speech and the separation of church and state. More recently, social scientists have begun to question the claim that religious organizations are more efficacious at providing social services. This paper examines these issues and concludes that while religious organizations do provide valuable services primarily for their parishioners, the balance of the evidence does not support the continued expansion of the faith-based initiative as a government-funded method of social service delivery.



Faith-based, Federal aid, Public welfare, Government policy, Church charities, Finance, Human services


Miles, T. D. (2008). <i>The limits of faith: Funding faith-based social services</i> (Unpublished thesis). Texas State University-San Marcos, San Marcos, Texas.


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