Sojourners. 2 pp.
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The 1996 dismantling of the welfare system has engendered the most thorough reassessment concerning the role of the religious community in the delivery of public social services since the New Deal. The dramatic shift from entitlements to block grants has opened up unprecedented opportunities for churches to receive public funds to administer programs such as Welfare to Work.
In the public discourse, the role of faith communities in social welfare, which until recently was mostly the domain of conservative intellectuals and a few other organizations such as Call to Renewal, has now become quite a hot topic. This was reflected in the comments of then-Vice President Al Gore: “Let us put the solution that faith-based organizations are pioneering at the very heart of our national strategy. If you elect me your president, the voices of faith-based organizations will be integral to the policies set forth in my administration.”