I recently heard a speech by Rev. Michael Brown, the executive director of the Kalamazoo Gospel Mission. This is a great organization that is dedicated to fighting the problem of homelessness in Kalamazoo.
The Gospel Mission does good work in providing food, shelter, and clothing to those who truly need it. But they recognize that the problem of homelessness goes much deeper than a lack of material goods. Homelessness is a behavioral problem. The Gospel Mission recognizes that homeless people have spiritual problems that neeed to be addressed.
They have been attacked by the radical Kalamazoo Homeless Action Network. KHAN believes that the homeless are entitled to food and shelter without having to hear the Gospel message.
Rev. Brown also pointed out that the Gospel mission takes no government funding. He makes the point that government control follows government money. The federal government naturally tries to remove God and Gospel as a condition of their support.
President Bush has proposed federal government funding for charities like the Gospel Mission. But private and religious charities are so effective precisely because they are private and religious. Federal funding runs the risk of corrupting them. That's the flaw in the faith-based initiative.