I was listening on the radio about how the Bush administration wants to reimburse faith groups for expenses incurred during Hurricane Katrina. While this may be good in the short term, I think the Faith-Based Initiative at the federal government with spell the deathknell of faith-based initiatives. No, I'm not just concerned about the influence of church on state. I am much more concerned about the influence of state on church.
Look at it. Right now, the top states for personal giving are the Red states (incidentally, why on earth are conservative states called Red, which is elsewhere synonymous with Communism?) Why? Because people in these states believe in a moral and religious obligation to help humanity. In the blue states, people think their obligation is to pay taxes so that the government can take care of the needy. (OK, these are simplifications, but you get the idea!) Knowing a church gets federal support means less individuals will contribute, churches will swell with "entitlement money" and soon churches will be indistinguishable from the inefficient bureacracies we are bestowed with!
Also, while the present government may not seek to have strings attached, what prevents a future government from dictating moral and social terms to future dependent faith groups? If a church believes, for example, that homosexuality is a sin, is it for government to dictate that they must hire gay priests? I think not. Heck, I say if a faith group believes white people are superior, I as a man of color would disagree with them, I would sue a company which tried to impose such views, but believe the religious groups are within their rights to pick only white people in their clergy, as long as they do not get federal money.
That's why I think Salvation Army is on a slippery slope. It cannot long-term depend on state money and yet chose to hire only those who conform with their article of faith. But rather than demand the Salvation Army hire non-Christians like me, I would suggest they get out of the government money handling business, and ask Him to assist in His mission.