Obama says he will expand Bush’s “Faith-Based” initiatives.

Somehow I had a feeling Obama was too good to be true. There had to be something about him that was eventually going to disappoint me. And now I know what it is:

CHICAGO – Reaching out to religious voters, Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama is announcing plans to expand President Bush’s program steering federal social service dollars to religious groups and — in a move sure to cause controversy — support some ability to hire and fire based on faith.

[…] Obama does not support requiring religious tests for recipients of aid nor using federal money to proselytize, according to a campaign fact sheet. He also only supports letting religious institutions hire and fire based on faith in the non-taxypayer funded portions of their activities, said a senior adviser to the campaign, who spoke on condition of anonymity to more freely describe the new policy.

I suppose so long as he’s including more than just the Right Wing Nutsacks Evangelicals in handing out government money that’d be at least somewhat of an improvement over Bush’s plan, but I’ll believe it when I see Muslims or, even better, Wiccans getting a grant. The Right Wingers, of course, are going to have a hissy fit when they’re suddenly no longer the only ones sucking on the taxpayer teat. Expanding the program, however, is not the ideal solution:

Rev. Barry Lynn, executive director of Americans United for Separation of Church and State, criticized Obama’s proposed expansion of a program he said has undermined civil rights and civil liberties.

“I am disappointed that any presidential candidate would want to continue a failed policy of the Bush administration,” he said. “It ought to be shut down, not continued.”

Agreed. The government has no business being involved with the funding of religious organizations of any kind. Looks like it will continue to do so, however, even if the Republicans aren’t in control.

6 thoughts on “Obama says he will expand Bush’s “Faith-Based” initiatives.

  1. Hmmn, the faith based initiatives could be a good thing: Has he not argued that America is not a ‘christian nation’? Hopefully large chunks of the funding will go to other mainstream religians such as islam, judaism, hinduism and Budhism. If so, it could shed a lot of light on how mutually contradictory they all are. The ability to hire and fire based on faith is far more likely to do damage, somehow i doubt that there are many people in religious orginisations who this will aply to, so it leaves one to wander, what is his plan concerning it? The only course of action that this could be in aid of (as far as I can see) is giving employers the right to hire and fire based on religion outside of religious organisations, which really seems quite out of character for Obama. Ah well, i still prefer him to that antique that the Republicans have put forward.

  2. I just read this earlier, I had the same thoughts. Well, hopefully he’ll get some more people of different religions, not just christian zealots, but that’s asking a lot from an American politician, even if he’s not a rightwinger~

  3. My wife and I were so pleased and hopeful about the candidacy of Barack Obama. Now that he has dissapointed so many on the FISA bill and his declared intention to expand Bush’s Faith-Based initiatives, he seems to be tracking the same kind of campaign Gore and Kerry employed to lose the race…We will send no more money to help his campaign. (I assume the telecom giants and religious organizations will pick up their support!) It is a shame that he apparently has not studied the 1948 campaign of Harry Truman who was a heavy underdog (you could not find anybody who was going to vote for him before election day.) Needless to say, he remained true to his words and convictions and WON in 1948…Perhaps Obama will see the error of his ways and change course back to the progressive who promised to change the politics of this nation. Also, I noticed he has changed his language from “getting our troops out of Iraq” to “ending” the war in Iraq…Nixon used this kind of language in th 1968 presidential campaign and it took six years and the lives of another 28,000 of our troops before helicopters finally lifted the last of our troops off rooftops to end that war.

    Jim Tucker
    Austin, TX

  4. Yeah, I’ll go on record that this and the FISA cave-in really took the gilt off the ol’ gingerbread.  What planet is he on???

    I mean, the really cynical part of me thinks it was a brilliant scoop, pulling this out of thin air, with McCain in Latin America banging on about free trade to people whose economies have been @$$-raped for decades by American and European corporations.  And (even more cynically) if Obama tries to keep his promise, it may actually doom the program:  Ain’t no way Joe America’s sitting still while his tax dollars are being used to support Muslims instead of killing them in droves for a change. 

    Cynically, I should be smirking.  But @#$%^&*.  Bad enough that the voice of reason in this election seems to be coming from Mike Huckabee.  Stop making my world The Onion, d—n you people!!

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