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This Week: God and Government
This Week
October 10, 2003

This week on NOW:

Despite opposition from Congress, President Bush has pushed ahead with his faith-based initiative. He wants to fund religious groups to play a much larger role in running government social services. Already, taxpayer-funded faith offices have sprouted up in some of the most powerful federal agencies - including Health and Human Services, Justice, and Housing and Urban Development. These offices will help funnel billions of tax dollars to religious and other groups. But critics worry, are these religious groups doing what the law expressly forbids: trying to convert the people they are helping? NOW continues its report on the changing relationship between church and state. With the potential of billions of tax dollars headed to faith-based groups, the broadcast examines the debate between critics who claim that there is a political agenda that threatens democracy behind the faith-based initiative, and supporters who say religious groups only want to help people in need.

NOW with Bill Moyers co-host David Brancaccio interviews Wall Street insider John Bogle. Founder of the Vanguard Group, one of the biggest mutual fund organizations in the world, Bogle has been about the state of American capitalism. Brancaccio talks to Bogle about the mutual fund scandal that has rocked Wall Street and left millions of Americans alarmed about their future, and how to restore confidence in an era that some call unregulated greed.

John Ridley has been called a "triple-threat" writer of novels, film and television. His work includes: the Hollywood films UNDERCOVER BROTHER, THREE KINGS, the network television series THIRD WATCH MARTIN, and the critically acclaimed novels STRAY DOGS, LOVE IS A RACKET, EVERYBODY SMOKES IN HELL and most recently THOSE WHO WALK IN DARKNESS. Bill Moyers sits down with Ridley and taps into his keen insight for a lively discussion of the intersection of politics and entertainment.

In Depth

Church scene

Separating church and state in U.S. history

Exploring the philosophy of "Compassionate Conservatism"

The wall between church and state in the Supreme Court, again

John Bogle
Primer on the mutual funds scandal

Updates on corporate scandals

The Vanguard Group's John Bogle

John Ridley
Writer, director and commentator John Ridley

Who owns the media in your town?


Talk about the news on the message boards


Bill Moyers on Bigger and Bigger Media


Learn more about the issues discussed on NOW

Read the complete transcript.


Funding Faith
Producer: William Brangham
NPR Correspondent: Daniel Zwerdling
Editor: Amanda Zinoman

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