Re: w. supports his privates

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Date: Mon Feb 05 2001 - 08:43:34 PST

[re-sent because was down] writes:
> sure that not a nickle of that money you spent on bread actually went to buy
> communion wafers? What will you think about being brought to Washington for a
> hearing where you will have to account for it all? Because, you know, it will
> happen--and there might be a little problem with your tax-exmpt status if the
> answers aren't right.

IMHO, this kind of auditing --- and fear of auditing --- would improve
many an organization, faith-based or otherwise.

> There's a reason religion's stronger and more vital in the US than anywhere
> else in the world,

Is this, in fact, true? It seems like a doubtful statement; if it
were true, I'd expect we would have less state-sponsored terrorism,
because terrorism is against the religions of most Americans. (I'd
expect, at the very least, that the state-sponsored terrorism would be
related to religion rather than economics.)

I'd also expect higher rates of church attendance, higher rates of
tithing, lower rates of poverty, higher rates of pilgrimages, etc.
But the US ranks among the worst (religiously speaking) countries in
all these ways --- low attendance, low tithing, high poverty, high
suicide, low pilgrimages. A significant proportion of the population
of the Middle East and India have gone on religious pilgrimages, while
almost no US inhabitants have --- and not for lack of a tradition of
religious pilgrimages!

> Finally, the supposed efficacy of "faith'-based" charity is, I suspect, a
> charade: First, there's lots of volunteer labor (i.e. people who do work for
> below minimum wage--this might become a problem).

Volunteers can't work below minimum wage --- they have to work for
nothing in order to avoid becoming subject to minimum wage laws.

> Second, no one looks
> closely or audits the claims faith-based organizations make; yes, there are
> checks to make sure that charities don't line their own pockets too much, but
> I mean performance audits.

Many programs have statistical outcome-assessment programs based in
epidemiology, often done by government agencies.

In sum, your post is well-written, but your misconceptions appear to
be based on ignorance of statistical measures. :)

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