Monday, December 29, 2014

Letter: Middletown's "faith-based" Initiative Is Wrong

The expressed opinions or views of this letter does not necessarily represent the opinion of the MiddletownMike blog:


Dear Editor,

I was horrified to learn that the Middletown Township Committee in Monmouth County is planning on directing residents to utilize "faith-based" organizations, when seeking assistance with what they describe as "everything from storm recovery to substance abuse services to household finance".

In this country, there is a separation of church and state. The Middletown Township Committee goes onto state that they are going to determine "faith-based organizations capable of collaborating with the township". This sounds like Middletown Township will be providing a preference to certain religious groups over others.

Given how high the property taxes that my parents pay on the family home in Middletown are, I am offended that the all-Republican township committee is not willing to allocate funds to helping the most vulnerable members our community, yet there is always money to give high-paid jobs to the politically-connected.

Government has a responsibility in providing for the social welfare of it’s people. It is a sad reflection on our society's moral compass when a township that spends so much money on high salaries for the well-connected and settling lawsuits for police chiefs accused of racism, is categorically unwilling to assist it's citizens in need, especially around the holidays.

Justin Cooke
Middletown, NJ / Boulder, CO

45 comments:

Anonymous said...

The twp. at one time had a welfare office that directed people to the various social service agencies. The town in all their wisdom turned it over to the county and I guess they are falling down on the job. Not surprising, another political maneuver to try to make themselves look good that back fires. Of course they will have some half winded story how that was OK to do but in the end another screw up by the gop.

Anonymous said...

Exactly, Justin. Good reminder, anonymous!

Anonymous said...

There are many cases that faith based organizations can provide better services than secular government agencies. The government can take money from us all to give it to some in need, but secular organizations cant provide hope to people who are hopeless. A good example of this is Teen challenge a faith based rehab that doesn't charge thousands of dollars a month and has helped many people overcome their addictions. Justin you may want to look into that, there is one in Newark NJ that may be able to help you stop smoking pot.

Anonymous said...

Why should someone from Middletown have to travel to Newark to get help to stop smoking pot? This Justin doesn't even live in NJ, let alone Middletown.
Besides, Middletown has a drug counseling service in the Municipal Alliance. This must be one of the free services Middletown offers that Gerry Scharfenberger wants to eliminate, as he stated during the December 1 Township Committee meeting. He added this item to the meeting at the last minute to squeak it through.

Anonymous said...

Well said, Justin. It sounds like the government just doesn't care about it's citizens...What happened to the separation of church and state?

Anonymous said...

Teen challenge will help people who cant pay, they have taken homeless people into the program. If Justin's parents or if he has any loved ones willing to pay the cost is very minimal compared to other rehabs. Also teen challenges has a very high success rate: http://teenchallengeusa.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/2011_MN_summary.pdf

Can we have a town motto "Middletown NJ our mayor is hotter than yours!"? http://usmayors.org/database_search6beta.asp?searchvalue=Murray&state=KY

Anonymous said...

I think "Our mayor is dumber than yours!" would be more on point. And lord knows in NJ that is a low bar to surpass.

Anonymous said...

Hey anon 2:39 the phrase separation of church and state does not appear in our constitution. The first known use was in a letter Thomas Jefferson wrote to the Danbury, CT Baptist Association in 1802 to assure them the government was not going to trample on freedom of religion. There is nothing wrong with the local government suggesting people go to charities that may help them.

Anonymous said...

It's pretty sad when the only thing Middletown can say to deflect the truth is to start rambling about pot. Justin has a medical marijuana card that he got from his doctor. The only people who need "rehab" are the Middletown Republicans who are addicted to profiting off of the taxpayers and pushing their Christianity down the throats of people who don't believe in their hypocritical religion. Maybe the Middletown Town Council needs some pot to chill out? I know they all drink enough that they all need AA.

Anonymous said...

It's pretty sad when the only thing Middletown can say to deflect the truth is to start rambling about pot. Justin has a medical marijuana card that he got from his doctor. The only people who need "rehab" are the Middletown Republicans who are addicted to profiting off of the taxpayers and pushing their Christianity down the throats of people who don't believe in their hypocritical religion. Maybe the Middletown Town Council needs some pot to chill out? I know they all drink enough that they all need AA.

Anonymous said...

I will give a free gram of marijuana to anyone who was forced to participate in Teen Challenge.

Anonymous said...

The First Amendment to the United States Constitution provides that "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof ..." and Article VI specifies that "no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States."


The phrase "seperation of church and state" was coined by Jeffereson, however the concept is in the constitution.

Anonymous said...

Hottest mayor? Oh please Stephanie Murray looks like a cross between a pig and a snooki.

Anonymous said...

@Anonymous December 30, 2014 at 4:18 PM Unlike the stupid lawyers who work the Middletown GOP, I know the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment has been ruled binding upon the states through the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. Theyre idiots.

Anonymous said...

Anon 2:43

She may have some competition-
http://usmayors.org/meetmayors/mayorsatglance.asp

Tell It Like It Really Is said...

Anyone who trusts any of these baboons,especially Scharfey needs their head examined. These integrity challenged political punks only have one objective....serve themselves....that how it is,always has been and always will be.

Any questions just look at past performance of these characters. Not one worthy of entrusting any faith or confidence in you can be sure !

Scharfey must be up for re-election this year and this crap is his campaign endeavor.....last time it was turf fields in the middle of a "great recession". Gotta get his snoot in the papers and Murray looks like a carbon copy of that same ridiculous
nonsense. That broad might be able to hold "Middletown a.m. coffee sessions" but she has a lot to learn about government and legal activities!!

OH, I forget....they do as they damn please regardless in this town .

When will ALL of the people of this town WAKE UP ???

Anonymous said...

Stephanie Murray is HOT! If you cant see that you have no Y chromosome. If you are a woman I understand you may be jealous. She is a goddess and we the men of Middletown LOVE her!
Love you Stephanie!!

Anonymous said...

You know Mike, if you want this blog to be taken seriously (maybe you don't - I don't know) you should not allow the junior high school name calling that some of your posters put here.

Someone's politics are fair game, even questioning someone's integrity if you have some legitimate information, is okay, but comments on people's looks are just trashy and juvenile and cause people to consider the place they are allowed to proliferate not much better than a sewer.

Anonymous said...

This is not a example of religion, it's another example of stupid and questionable GRANDSTANDING, plain and simple. Too bad there's no sincerity in this purely political scheme!!

Anonymous said...

Thank you Anon 1:35 for confirming that Republicans win in Middletown because at least half the voters make their choice with the little head.

Anonymous said...

Anon 5:43 p.m.,

Where were you when Sharfey made the APP editorial because of his inability to be truthful about who he worked for ??? And are you ignorant of Fiore's lapses of memory about Sayreville and his resume when first running in Middletown? And maybe the only thing "hot" about this mayor may be the racy novels or her verbal assaults on anyone who disagrees with her..

As for what these characters look like, who cares? More interested in their true motives that do affect quality of life in Middletown !!

Anonymous said...

Wrong anon 3:01 the Republicans win because they are the superior leaders. Let's review. The Democrats in this town as well as the State and the nation are the party of high taxes, welfare, big government and lawlessness. Locally, the Democrats ran a crack addict and a petition forger while their party chairman was arrested for stealing signs and lying to police. This faith-based initiative is just another example of creative leadership that will open services to the public without costing the taxpayers. Maybe that's why the posters here are having a fit - this doesn't increase the size and dependence on government. So you can keep DeBlasio, Obama, Pelosi, Holder and the rest of the Democrat socialists. I'll take the leadership that has made this town one of the best places to live in the country.

Anonymous said...

Having lived in this town for five decades, I can assure everyone reading this that this town is not one of the best places to live in this country!!

Anon 12:34 p.m., that's because of BIASED AND BIGOTED AND IGNORANT REPUBLICAN AH"S like you !!! YOU ARE GD NUTS !!!! COMMUNIST CONSERVATIVE ????

Anonymous said...

Speaking of lawlessness, ANON 12:34 p.m.,what about your dear
"odd couple", George W. Bush or Richard Cheney?

This country and you arrogant and shameless Republicans should be ashamed to show your faces and shoot off your outrageous lies. Wasn't it a Republican that was the only one ever forced to resign the presidency and didn't his Vice President,Agnew, also resign in disgrace prior to Nixon's resignation???

When it comes to politicians, few of them, regardless of party, are squeaky clean but there are some better than others. Not sure Middletown has any of those kind and the current N.J. governor sure is not one of them either....

Stop complaining about exactly what you are constantly doing....degrading others to make your point. YOU ARE A HYPOCRITICAL and DIVISIVE INDIVIDUAL who sees no opinion but your own.....take your opinions over to More Monmouth Musings where you MAY find like minded people who MIGHT agree with you!!!!

Anonymous said...

The only taxes I see going up are my property taxes. The costs for pet licenses and park usage continue to rise, as well as many other "fees". I can only credit those in control of this town for that.

Anonymous said...

Anon 3:34 is a great example of how devoid of any substance many of the posters on this blog are. Rather than substantive dialogue, all he/she spews is childish namecalling. Funny how the town is named one of the top places to live over and over again by unbiased organizations, yet this individual doesn't see it. Also interesting how according to this poster, the town is an awful place yet he/she continues to live here. Anyone notice how not one poster has given a viable, tangible reason as to why the faith-based initiative is somehow a bad thing as they claim? All they have is personal attacks, derisive comments about people's appearance, and the fact that they don't like Republicans. Hardly a compelling argument for one's position.

Anonymous said...

Well that really escalated quickly.

Anonymous said...

You guys are so obvious. Get on Mike's blog and post idiotic statements about the hottest mayor, and then lecture him on the grade school banter that follows. Anything to distract from the crux of this article which is that having decimated services in Middletown, the two bit hacks on the Middletown Township Committee try to make some news by "generously" directing taxpayers to religious and other charitable organizations.

I do have a question for the TC and the lady who clutches Money Magazine to her bosom- which chartitable organization will come to our homes and pick up the fall and winter brush which now litters the streets thanks to the dropped brush pick-up?

And if you do know of one, will the TC, which looks upon providing municipal services as being under the "yoke of government regulation" release the citizens of Middletown from the yoke of paying their property taxes?

Just wondering...

Anonymous said...

When the village idiot,anon 12:34, baits the readers and posters here with the usual republican nonsense and poster 3:34 gives her a dose of her own medicine,anon 12:34,the village idiot, can't stand the REBUFF !!
If 12:34 and 5:11 doesn't like what she reads, GO SOMEWHERE ELSE. WE WILL NOT MISS HER !! EVER !!!! AND IT"S PRETTY OBVIOUS JUST WHO THIS POSTER IS....SHARFEY"S CHEERLEADER !!!!
If you don't want a bloody nose....don't start a fight !!

THE TOWNS PEOPLE ARE NOT YOUR PUPPETS AND MANY OF US SEE HOW DEFICIENT GOVERNMENT IN MIDDLETOWN IS !! IT IS THE POLITICAL CLIMATE THAT HAS DESTROYED QUALITY OF LIFE HERE !!! and attitudes just like anon 12:34 and anon 5:11 and THIS TC.

PASS THE BUCK is the name of the game...






Anonymous said...

Whenever Middletown has been named to Money Magazine's Best Places to Live List....it was because of Middletown's schools and Middletown's proximity to New York and the Arts !!!

What does that have to do with quality of life here when it's based on where you are able to reach quality entertainment. BTW kudus to the BOE in the past and the expertise of Karen Bilbao for their contributions to that recognition of our schools.

Anonymous said...

The township never provided any of the services that faith-based organizations offer to begin with. This resolution makes it look like the township is doing something new here, when they are generating more work for the employees of the town by compiling a list of organizations to refer people to. The township will also act as a "clearinghouse" to make sure those in need actually need help and refer them to those who can help the. Sounds like another position to fill and pay for.
The faith-based organizations already exist and are doing a great job. Middletown Helps It's Own, which has been in operation for over 50 years should be the focus of this initiative instead of making another taxpayer funded position.

Anonymous said...

State government has FAILED in the handling of Sandy funds. It took the governor's wife a couple of years to start to distribute funds donated to those in need. The federal government did not do much better either.....so party affiliation has little to do with the incompetent outcomes of government administration of many programs.

Volunteers always seem to make us see politicians out for what politicians really are.....self interested and mostly self serving with ulterior motives. Some are a greedy bunch and some can't discern right from wrong or fact from fiction. And don't believe politicians want to help anyone but themselves and trust them only as far as you could throw them !!

If we need a "clearinghouse" maybe we need to CLEAR HOUSE first and tell these characters to mind their own business because we have NO FAITH in them !!! Middletown Helps It's Own does fine without political interference.

Anonymous said...

January seems to be the time of year that the TC idiots brainstorm (to the degree that's possible) so they can plaster their brilliant ideas onto the news pages and remind us that they are still breathing. January 2013 we had Scharfy touting "Buy Middletown" cards that would be used to credit our property taxes if we use local businesses.

Anyone get that card? Still waiting on mine......

Anonymous said...

I guess when you get crushed year after year in the local elections all you have left is to try and denigrate any initiative that comes out. There is an option though. There are democrat-run places like Camden, Newark, Trenton, Paterson, Compton, Detroit, etc that would welcome you with open arms. Would stop the pain of living in such a terrible place.

Anonymous said...

Scharfy lacks a lot in the realm of integrity, character, or common sense. Typical politician.


Remember when he "starred" as the subject of the APP editorial, Tongue Tied For A Reason"??

Truthfulness escapes this man.

Who cares if he's still breathing ??

Anonymous said...

Anyone notice a pattern here? Instead of giving cogent, reasoned objections to the issue, all you get are childish namecalling and personal attacks. That means that the initiative is a sound one and the objectors are simply, jealous, petty, bitter individuals who aren't interested in good things for the town, only spewing their hatred for the opposing party. Very sad.

Michael Morris said...

OK people, it was time to reject a comment! keep it civil and watch the name calling please.

Anonymous said...

Middletown Helps It's Own is all that is needed and the support that comes to that organization from the towns people, many who do not trust the politicians in this town.

The divisive rhetoric from anon 7:25 & 12:34 that does nothing positive to gain any support of any initiative in this town because of that's person's constant interjection of negative diatribe about Democrats or their party. Maybe that person ought to GROW UP unless they are only using Mike's blog to VENT their negative nonsense and to criticize based on their political viewpoint.

Some mutual respect for another person's perspective is called for here if that divisive poster (12:34) isn't just always looking for a fight. You can be sure if you are looking for trouble, you will find it and if it's a fight you are looking for, you'll find that too !!!

Anonymous said...

I love the poster(s) who continue to say that many do not trust the politicians of this town. Can you explain how Murray and Fiore received roughly 2/3 of the vote based on your theory?

Anonymous said...

Anon 10:56 A.M.,

The thing that's really sad is that YOU don't know when enough is enough.

Let the faith based organizations or the volunteer groups do their good work. NO politician in this town demonstrates the unbiased ability to handle the job.... not one of them.

The public is not fooled. This initiative is political grandstanding and nothing more...
just as the baloney about cards to do business in Middletown to save on your property taxes. Can you imagine the COST or the integrity involved to accomplish that one ??

Anonymous said...

For the record anon 12:51, both of the posts you cite provided facts in a clear, non-confrontational manner. They were neither divisive nor belligerent, that is, unless the truth is that disturbing to you. Ironically you overlooked most of the other posts, which most fair-minded people would agree fit the mold of which you speak. Of particular note are the posts that contain CAPS.

Anonymous said...

Why doesn't anon 6:53 start his/her own blog where he/she could control all differing opinions? That poster doesn't like to be disagreed with.

Nobody would read it !

Anonymous said...

It is odd that the TC's resolution designated "faith-based" organizations. Is that another bid for votes?All that was needed was to refer to charitable or helping organizations, period, e.g., Middletown Helps Its Own. No reference to "faith" was needed!

Anonymous said...

It is odd that the TC's resolution designated "faith-based" organizations. Is that another bid for votes?All that was needed was to refer to charitable or helping organizations, period, e.g., Middletown Helps Its Own. No reference to "faith" was needed!

Anonymous said...

No one has ever said that the TC was the brightest bunch of bulbs in this town !!

Should be interesting to see how far over the line of what's legal they will try to step this time.