Map of life expectancy at birth from Global Education Project.

Friday, February 03, 2006

Why do I not have faith . . .

in faith based substance abuse treatment? As I believe I have mentioned here before, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration is working and praying to steer more of your tax dollars to "faith based" providers of substance abuse treatment, through its Center for Substance Abuse Treatment (CSAT).

One minor obstacle is that churches don't, as a general rule, have any expertise, training, or least clue about how to actually treat substance abuse. So, CSAT is investing your tax dollars in training and technical assistance for churches that want to apply for CSAT funding. Naturally, the first thing you need to be able to do if you want to get funding is write a proposal, so that's what the training and technical assistance is all about.

Okay, so let's say you're the Rock of Ages Fire Baptized Church of God in Jesus Christ, Christian, and you go to the workshop and learn how to write a really good proposal, and you get the money. Then what do you do?

Here's an idea you can steal from Central Christ Church of Salt Lake City, Utah, which forced clients who were court ordered into treatment to work as telemarketers for 28 cents an hour. The proceeds went into church coffers. Now that's one way to fight for the Christian dominion!

(As far as I can determine Central Christ Church does not, at least as yet, have CSAT funding, not directly. But if it had state funding, as it apparently did, it was supported at least in part by Utah's formula grant. Presumably the state of Utah has felt encouraged to contract with "faith based" providers by the federal initiative.)

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