Welfare In America

Overview

Should welfare be abolished because it fosters dependency, or should it be expanded to offer more effective help? Are people poor due to their own irresponsibility or as a result of social injustice? Is the key welfare problem non-work or illegitimacy? Should government help the poor, or is aid a job for the church? Such polarized questions have hampered the quest for constructive welfare reform and have left Christians criticizing each other as mere advocates of a bogus compassion or of a "tough love" that ...
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Overview

Should welfare be abolished because it fosters dependency, or should it be expanded to offer more effective help? Are people poor due to their own irresponsibility or as a result of social injustice? Is the key welfare problem non-work or illegitimacy? Should government help the poor, or is aid a job for the church? Such polarized questions have hampered the quest for constructive welfare reform and have left Christians criticizing each other as mere advocates of a bogus compassion or of a "tough love" that actually lacks love. This book moves beyond such polarities by developing a fuller biblical understanding of personhood, the multiple institutions of society, and the limited yet constructive responsibilities of government. It argues that assistance should aim to restore people and institutions to their diverse responsibilities in a healthy society. For shalom to replace poverty and social decay, families, churches, schools, government, and other institutions must each fulfill its own responsibilities. The topics range from family dysfunction to global economic restructuring, from constitutional disputes about government support for faith-based charities to social science's confusion about causation, and from welfare program changes to policy initiatives to revitalize civil society.
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Editorial Reviews

Booknews
Contributors attempt to move beyond the polarities of the welfare debate in America to develop a biblical understanding of personhood, the institutions of society, and the responsibilities of government. They examine aspects of the questions such as family dysfunction; global economic restructuring; government support for faith-based charities; school choice; and assistance offered by religious organizations. No index. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780802841278
  • Publisher: Eerdmans, William B. Publishing Company
  • Publication date: 1/19/1996
  • Pages: 608
  • Product dimensions: 1.35 (w) x 6.00 (h) x 9.00 (d)

Table of Contents

Foreword
Introduction: The American Welfare Policy Crisis: A Challenge to Christian Reflection
Why End "Welfare as We Know It"? 3
Beneath and beyond the State: Social, Global, and Religious Changes That Shape Welfare Reform 20
Who Cares? Poverty and the Dynamics of Responsibility: An Outsider's Contribution to the American Debate on Poverty and Welfare 49
What's Wrong with Welfare Rights? 81
Defining Poverty through the Welfare Debate: Limitations for Policy and Program Response 95
The Question of Being Human in Assessing the Requirements of Welfare Policy Reform 119
Biblical Teaching and the Objectives of Welfare Policy in the United States 145
Foundations of the Welfare Responsibility of the Government 186
The Poverty Debate and Human Nature 209
Opposite Sexes or Neighboring Sexes? The Importance of Gender in the Welfare Responsibility Debate 243
Rights Talk and Welfare Policy 277
The Antipoverty Dynamic of Religion: Lessons from Guatemala for U.S. Welfare Policy 298
Family Issues in Welfare Reform: Developmental Pathways as a Theoretical Framework for Understanding Generational Cycles of Poverty 318
Rural Poverty: Christian Charity and Social Justice Responses 348
Doing Analysis as Service along "The Way": The Social Policy Analysis of the Center for Public Justice 368
Free Schools and the Revival of Urban Communities 393
Overcoming Poverty: The Role of Religiously Based Nonprofit Organizations 426
Correcting the Welfare Tragedy: Toward a New Model for Church/State Partnership 454
Social Service Agencies and Religious Freedom: Regulation, Funding, and the First Amendment 480
Balancing Care and Cure: The Place of Health Care Reform in the Welfare Reform Debate 504
Conclusion: Reforming Welfare and Redirecting Government 526
Appendix: "A New Vision for Welfare Reform: An Essay in Draft" 551
Contributors 580
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