As criticism of the government’s response to Hurricane Katrina continues, praise of faith-based groups that have responded is providing new momentum in a campaign to expand federal funding of religious social services.
Religious groups were some of the first on the Gulf Coast scene, delivering desperately needed help in relief operations last year. Many faith-based groups are still there, taking a high-profile role in rebuilding efforts, which raises the question: Should religious groups get government money for their work?
“If a faith-based group is actually doing the best job at administering a service, why not?” said Pam Pryor, vice president of We Care America, a nonprofit organization that advocates creation of more governmental-religious partnerships. “Katrina definitely proved that these folks know how to do what they do, and they know how to do it quickly,” Pryor told the PBS program Religion & Ethics NewsWeekly.