Bush Renews Dedication to Fatih Based Initiative

( [email protected] ) Oct 30, 2003 09:20 AM EST

DALLAS – Bush renewed his commitment to the Faith Based Initiative during a dedication service for a new youth education center in Dallas, Oct. 29.

Several hundreds gathered for Bush’s appearance at the auditorium of Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship. Upon Bush’s entry, the group shouted, “U.S.A. U.S.A” to cheer him on.

During his speech, Bush called for a legislation to give religious groups access to federal funds, under the premise that they are not discriminatory.

"We don't want the church to be the state and we don't want the state to be the church," Bush said. "But the government should support the good work of religious people who are changing America."

In addition, Bush referred to “a higher power bigger than people’s problems” to help bring a good change to the nation..

"The best way to help the addict ... is to change their heart," Bush said in a reference to how he stopped drinking at age 40. "See, if you change their heart, then they change their behavior.

Opponents to Bush’s actions, however, say the move will “inevitably entangle government with religion."

La Fayette Holland, the congregation's director of Project Turnaround, said that while he agrees with the philosophy of Bush's faith-based initiative, if the federal money came with restrictions that violated the congregation's strategy of helping individuals from the "inside out," it would likely decline it.

"We need to wait and see," Holland said. "So much of what we do is based on a biblical program. We just don't want to help an individual on this side of the Earth; we want to help them throughout all eternity. On this campus, we will share our faith."

On Thursday, Bush plans fly out to Columbus, Ohio to attend a fund raiser on energy. On Saturday, he will make two stops in Mississippi and two in Kentucky to support Republican gubernatorial candidates facing voters there next Tuesday.