Arianna Huffington on Welfare & Poverty

2004 former Independent Challenger for CA Governor


Faith works for addressing social problems

The debate we should be having over Bush's faith-based initiative is not on the issue of the separation of church and state, but on two critically important questions at the heart of the initiative: How do you turn around troubled lives when so many of our social problems involve human behavior--especially addiction and violence? And what is the proper role for government to play?

The evidence is overwhelming that it's infinitely harder to rebuild shattered lives without acknowledging the spiritual dimension of human nature. No, this doesn't mean accepting Jesus as your personal savior. It simply means that, as Alcoholics Anonymous and its many offshoots have shown, acknowledgment of a higher power is central to recovery.

To continue to try and solve social problems while ignoring human beings' innate need for meaning and a connection with something larger than ourselves is as destructive as if we were to build our principles of navigation on the basis that the jury is still out on Copernicus.

Source: Huffington column on salon.com, "church and state" , Mar 13, 2001

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