Community Service Bill Marginalizes Organized Religion

by Sal on March 26, 2009

in Culture,Politics,Religion

The House of Representatives passed the Generations Invigorating Volunteerism and Education Act (GIVE), creating a mandate for community service among high school and college students.  The bill spends $6 billion on beefing up government-paid and sponsored national service programs, and paves the way for future mandatory service by establishing a commission to explore the feasibility of such a plan.  The stated goal of the Obama Administration is to require service programs in secondary schools, as well as for a period of three months to a year of service before, during, or after one’s college education.

Leaving aside the already heavily talked about socialist civilian army comparisons, expanding government’s role in the business of community service is a bad idea for several reasons.  First, it places a mandate on what should be a “volunteer” activity.  Community service is a wonderful thing, but it is and should be the result of volunteering or goodwill on the part of participants.  Second, coordination of such efforts are best applied at the local level.  The Federal Government has not demonstrated an ability to run anything efficiently, and a national mandatory community service program for ALL young people has the potential to grow into an enormous bureaucracy that can never be effectively managed.  Finally, and probably most ominously, the service mandate would do severe harm to organized religion and move our nation to a more secular society.  The bill would severely harm local religious charities, as it does not allow coordination with any religious organization.  Religious charities do some of the best charitable work in this country, and do it in a cost-effective way.  Forcing young people to give up their time to a government charity will preclude many of these people from serving in religious charities that they may otherwise be inclined to serve in.

Additionally, the bill also bars participants in the program (which, remember, will likely end up being mandatory) from participating in religious activities.  This blatantly unconstitutional provision will no doubt be hailed by both liberals and the ACLU as protecting that great “Wall of Separation” between church and state.  Combined with its likely effect on religious charities, this bill essentially ends up moving creating a statist replacement for religious activity.  By separating the role of churches from service and forbidding religious participation while in the program, the government is promoting a marginalization of the next generation of Americans from organized religion.  With many Republicans on board due to the feel-good soundbite of “community service”, the bill is likely to become law.  It is tragic that religion, which has been a hallmark of American society since it’s founding, will be the biggest victim of this bill, further moving our nation towards a secularism that was never envisioned by our founders.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

nate wester March 29, 2009 at 11:35 pm

to requier labor is slavery


Uncertainty Principle October 4, 2009 at 11:16 pm

It should be very obvious to anyone what is happening here. Freedom of religion was one of the rights included in the Bill of Rights which means that the founding fathers deemed this right so important that it was not to be taken away from anyone for any reason. It is time to wake up and realize what America is becoming. We are sliding quickly into a police state where virtually all of the rights given to Americans will be abysserated.

Remember, as president of the United States, Obama is supposed to uphold the Constitution. This surely has not gone unnoticed. What is really going on and why has he failed on virtually all of his campaign promises.

Get the real story on president Obama at


Leave a Comment

You can use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

Previous post:

Next post: