Monday, October 29, 2012

In God's Name

Just in case you missed it, the Tampa Bay Times this past Sunday began a series of reports on unlicensed religious children's homes entitled, In God's Name.

Whether you claim to be a Christian or not, this report should turn the stomach of every person who considers themselves to be a human being, because what the religious leaders of these homes are doing is beyond the pale of humanity, as Jules Verne wrote in From the Earth to the Moon, by crossing the limits imposed by the Creator on his earthly creatures.

Once you have read the Times report, if you haven't already vomited in disgust, consider this: The Florida Religious Freedom amendment to the State Constitution, number 8 on the ballot, will allow these homes to compete for your tax dollars.

Is this where you want your money to go:

The Times reported that "Florida became a magnet for unlicensed religious homes in the mid 1980s, when a small group of preachers teamed up with a powerful Florida legislator and a lobbyist to successfully press for a law that exempted them from state control."

Now, the homes answer to FACCCA instead of state regulators.

What, then, is FACCCA? 

From their website: The Florida Association of Christian Child Care Agencies Inc., is a volunteer peer accrediting association of Christian children’s ministries. It was created in 1982 as a 501-C3 not-for-profit organization.

Its purpose is to provide accreditation for residential faith-based children and foster care programs, which choose to register with FACCCA in lieu of becoming state licensed. This religious exemption from licensing was created in 1984 by Florida Statute 409.176.

This Florida Statute requires exempt ministries to annually furnish information to the state on the number served, personnel qualifications and training, as well as proof of compliance with the published minimum standards of FACCCA.

As printed in the Times, "[...] unlicensed religious homes can abuse children and go on operating for years. Almost 30 years ago, Florida legislators passed a law eliminating state oversight of children's homes that claim government rules hamper their religious practices.

Today, virtually anyone can claim a list of religious ideals, take in children and subject them to punishment and isolation that verge on torture — so long as they quote chapter and verse to justify it."

I have no idea of what kind of Bible they are reading, but justify it they do. With the passage of Amendment 8 we will be helping finance these hell homes. 

Read the Times report before you vote.

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