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Faith, Politics, and PowerThe Politics of Faith-Based Initiatives$
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Rebecca Sager

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780195391763

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: February 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195391763.001.0001

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Religion, Policy, and Politics

Religion, Policy, and Politics

Institutionalizing Religion within State Government

(p.165) 7 Religion, Policy, and Politics
Faith, Politics, and Power

Rebecca Sager (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

While some see faith‐based initiatives as ephemeral, there is reason to believe that they can impact policy in the future by reshaping how the United States views the norm of church‐state separation. States have created extensive faith‐based bureaucracies, connecting government to religious groups and affecting the delicate balance between church and state for many years to come. These initiatives have flourished because of the confluence of fiscal need, social need, and religious belief with the political rhetoric surrounding them. State faith‐based initiatives have created a phenomenon that is beneficial for many politicians and political leaders, who can say they have helped and show off their new offices and policies, without having to come up with new money. The policies and practices that make up state faith‐based initiatives do not do what their supporters originally promised; rather, they have created a new cultural understanding of church and state.

Keywords:   church‐state, symbolic policy, bureaucracies, cultural goods, culture, faith‐based organizations, politics

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