But for this kid, it helped him with his substance abuse, didn't it? Sure, it came with some baggage, but he certainly believes it was worth it, doesn't he?btw, as far as I could tell, they got him when he had some issues with substance abuse. Preying on vulnerable people, helping them, and then filling their minds with lies and deceptions. boo.
The whole model of churches providing social support is severely outdated. It may work in a few lucky cases, but otherwise it fails miserably. It has insufficient coverage, insufficient tools, and it gives vast power to charming crackpots.
One thing I have been thinking about, and is mentioned in the Post article, is that when you replace churches with government as social support, it takes the community out of it. People don't meet on a weekly basis to get updates on how the local homeless shelter is doing when it is run by the government, but they do if it is run by the church. Separating social support from religion has also unfortunately separated social support from the community. If the church is diminished as a civic institution, what is replacing it?
It seems like social services have become more like consumer services provided by a distant government, rather than something the community is coming together to provide. And this seems like a problem to me because people start to see government from a more consumer perspective (What do I get from the government?) rather than a civic institution (What can I contribute to the community?).
Here's a link to the Post article: http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/...478_story.html