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Archive for November 17th, 2012

Whither, Oh Father(hood), shall I flee from thy presence? (A Few FAQs).

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Be patient with the Bible quotes– I’m contrasting “faith” which the Bible of course talks about, with “faith-based” which word just ain’t in there, although now it was inserted by US President George W. Bush, an Executive Order marking the beginning of his reign Administration since 2001, and has remained a central feature of federal family and fatherhood policy (even in the “Change” Administration which has followed.  Did that change?  Not much!), despite complete lack of definition even in the corporate world.    What is a “faith-based” corporation? IRS has a few designations, like “religious-exempt” but does corporate law apart from that? I’ve spent a lot of time on various secretary of state sites over the years (2009ff anyhow) — and I’ve yet to see a searchable field called “faith based.” …. Even Taggs.HHS.gov doesn’t have a sortable field:  “faith-based, Yes/No” or even a Grantee Type or Class…

Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships


Psalm 139 speaks in wonder and awe about how no one can flee the presence of God, and how wonderful that is.  For those who have faith (even “as a grain of mustard seed”) it is indeed comforting to contemplate that, “even if I should make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there.”

This is to be a good and comforting quality and leads into a determination to praise:

1<> O LORD, thou hast searched me, and known me.2Thou knowest my downsitting and mine uprising, thou understandest my thought afar off.

3Thou compassest my path and my lying down, and art acquainted with all my ways.

4For there is not a word in my tongue, but, lo, O LORD, thou knowest it altogether.

5Thou hast beset me behind and before, and laid thine hand upon me.

6Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high, I cannot attain unto it.

7Whither shall I go from thy spirit? or whither shall I flee from thy presence?

8If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there.

9If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea;

10Even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me.

11If I say, Surely the darkness shall cover me; even the night shall be light about me.

12Yea, the darkness hideth not from thee; but the night shineth as the day: the darkness and the light are both alike to thee.

13For thou hast possessed my reins: thou hast covered me in my mother’s womb.

14I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well.

David was a fugitive from the king and spent a period of time living in caves, and on the run, from his jealous predecessor, Saul.  Generations later, Paul (a.k.e. Saul of Tarsus; no king, but a Pharisee) also fell afoul of religious authorities of his time (after having betrayed his colleagues by converting from persecution followers of Jesus Christ and throwing them in jail, to preaching Christ and being whipped, stoned, thrown in jail (escaped a few times) and in general living like someone with no home.  He wrote in “Romans 8” also movingly about the pervasive love of God in Christ Jesus.  Apparently this was written from prison, or at least house-arrest in Rome.

 35Who shall separate us from the love of Christshall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?

36As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.

37Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. 38For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, 39Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

In all these things, in other words, there is “the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

Paul, as it goes, known as “apostle to the Gentiles” learned the hard way about profiling people by their religious affiliations, and after having caused major suffering, himself, later suffered.

While he did have a lot to say about “faith” strangely, he said nothing at all about “faith-based,” nor did he (as do the Mormons, or the Unification church) apparently believe that the unmarried were per se inferior, or single mothers, “anathema.”  Galatians 5, you can see the word “faith” figures prominently, but in context, it’s referring to a specific thing, apparently: faith came, faith was revealed, it justified, faith in Christ Jesus [in context, including the resurrection from the dead] enables people to become “children of God”

23But before faith came, we were kept under the law, shut up unto the faith which should afterwards be revealed. 24Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith25But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster. 26For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus27For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. 28There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus29And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.

In one sense, it could be said the entire Bible is to elicit faith in  a specific gospel and prophecies.

The concept of something being kinda-sorta “faith-based” and as such, deserving of special consideration, is nowhere to be found.  Please see also segment in green, above, especially the third “there is neither” phrase.  Thank you.  The equalizer in this context is “in Christ Jesus.”

“Faith-Based”

I should not have to mention this, except that nowadays, it’s the “faith-based” and  gender-based (fatherhood) program material that there’s nowhere to flee from, the moment anyone enters the Federal room — which we are all pretty much operating in, in this country.  You work a legitimate job, (or business) you have a social security number, you pay towards the central pool, you are participating in producing some of these grant programs.

If perchance you end up on the wrong side of the law, it’s likely you may end up (and much MORE likely if you are male, and of a certain skin color) in some of the places operated by the Federal Bureau of Prisons.  Or contracted out to private corporations.  You may end up in jail.  However, if you are living in a household without a father, and with an independent-minded single mother who fights for custody — or in ignorance of the powers that be, applies for child support, or federal assistance for things like FOOD — you are also possible fodder for the Foster Care System (if it’s not possible to find a father to reconnect you with).  

I have been working hard to understand this and come to the conclusion that the whole system appears to revolve around the letter “F.”  “F” in school is not a passing grade, but “F” in this context is fine, wonderful, friendly, family-oriented, and federally-favorable.

And it seems there is nowhere to flee from its reach either.  I’m saying this on behalf of a number of cases (in different states) where mothers are fighting either to reconnect with children in foster care, or to prevent from losing custody to a criminal whose outreach program included a faith-based fatherhood representative and related funding.

 “F,” must be it is Fun, Fair, and Family-Friendly; and should be Federally Funded.  After all, not one, but TWO, presidents who, amazingly, also were fathers* executively ordered it so.

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Written by Let's Get Honest

November 17, 2012 at 6:58 pm

martinplaut

Journalist specialising in the Horn of Africa and Southern Africa

Let's Get Honest! Absolutely Uncommon Analysis of Family & Conciliation Courts' Operations, Practices, & History

'A Different Kind of Attention Develops Sound Judgment' | 'Suppose I'm Right Here?' (See March 23 & 5, 2014). More Than 745 posts and 45 pages of Public-Interest Investigative Blogging On These Matters Since 2009.

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