Erroneous AP Report: Obama to Support "Hiring And Firing Based On Faith"

NOTE - The title has been changed due to further information seemingly disproving the AP report.

This to me is a stunning development if true. But the Media is not very good at reporting so I will wait to hear Obama's own words. But the AP is reporting that:

Reaching out to evangelical 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 . . . 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.

If religious institutions have such policies then they should not be eligible for tax payer funds period. This is an outrageous, indefensible and contemptible position. It is support for religious discrimination. If it truly is Obama's position, I would have to question whether I could continue supporting him for President.

IMPORTANT UPDATE - David Mizner points to this statement from the Obama campaign:

The new partnership will not endanger the separation of church and state, so long as a few basic principles are followed. First, if an organization gets a federal grant, it will not be permitted to use that grant money to proselytize to the people it serves, and the group will forbidden to discriminate against them on the basis of their religion. And groups will be required to comply with federal anti-discrimination laws in their hiring practices—including Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits employment discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, or national origin.

It appears the AP report is wrong. Phew.

By Big Tent Democrat, speaking for me only

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    At last (5.00 / 9) (#1)
    by nellre on Tue Jul 01, 2008 at 08:44:15 AM EST
    I would have to question whether I could continue supporting him for President.

    Obama hid behind the Hillary bashing press. Now he's showing us who he really is. That I knew I didn't know who he was is one of the reasons I supported Hillary.

    Maybe Obama will "say anything" to win, (5.00 / 8) (#2)
    by andgarden on Tue Jul 01, 2008 at 08:44:36 AM EST

    And he has (5.00 / 7) (#4)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Tue Jul 01, 2008 at 08:45:41 AM EST
    a secret plan to liberalize government once in office?

    OMG (5.00 / 1) (#8)
    by Lahdee on Tue Jul 01, 2008 at 08:47:38 AM EST
    he doesn't?

    Wonder what the supers are thinking about this.


    If he says that (5.00 / 8) (#12)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Tue Jul 01, 2008 at 08:48:45 AM EST
    I will not support him for President.

    I know that is McCain's position so I will not support him.

    I simply will not vote or support anyone for President this year.

    Replace the word "religion" with "race" or "gendet" or "sexual orientation" and ask yourself what you would feel?

    This is repugnant.

    I can not support a candidate who supports such a policy. I will not.


    I agree that it would be a very bad position. (5.00 / 2) (#16)
    by andgarden on Tue Jul 01, 2008 at 08:50:33 AM EST
    Welcome (5.00 / 7) (#26)
    by Cream City on Tue Jul 01, 2008 at 08:57:32 AM EST
    to my world, and never in the world did I think -- after all for which the suffragists fought for me -- that I could forgo voting.

    For me, though, this is not a surprise.  Obama's religiosity was a concern for me last summer, though he toned it down for Iowa.  His church's policies suggest this, though statements were removed from its website by then, too.

    But the big tipoff to me was his support of school vouchers.  In my city where the voucher program started -- thanks to Obama's push as chair of the board of the Ayers' family foundation years ago, which funded its startup, a story yet to be written but that's how I piece it together -- the vouchers have devastated the public schools.

    More to the point of this step today, the school voucher program blurs the separation between church and state.  But that is no bother to Obama, the Constitutional law teacher.  So, frankly, I think we have to think about this step today as far from the limit.  It might be just the start.


    Rev. Wright said - change is coming (5.00 / 1) (#55)
    by Josey on Tue Jul 01, 2008 at 09:12:41 AM EST
    Wrong (5.00 / 4) (#64)
    by Athena on Tue Jul 01, 2008 at 09:21:53 AM EST
    Change is also about losing the votes of Democrats who would have voted but will not stand for this kind of Bush-lite retro pandering to religious America.

    We already subsidize religion in this country.  Not one more dollar.


    Oh - I agree (5.00 / 1) (#130)
    by Josey on Tue Jul 01, 2008 at 10:37:28 AM EST
    but Rev. Wright did warn "change is coming."

    dictionary definition of Chauvanism (none / 0) (#146)
    by Salo on Tue Jul 01, 2008 at 10:53:45 AM EST
    and Bigotry.

    No, AP got it wrong, it seems (5.00 / 1) (#5)
    by david mizner on Tue Jul 01, 2008 at 08:46:57 AM EST
    The campaign says:

    The new partnership will not endanger the separation of church and state, so long as a few basic principles are followed. First, if an organization gets a federal grant, it will not be permitted to use that grant money to proselytize to the people it serves, and the group will forbidden to discriminate against them on the basis of their religion. And groups will be required to comply with federal anti-discrimination laws in their hiring practices--including Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits employment discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, or national origin.


    Hmm, stupid AP then (5.00 / 2) (#9)
    by andgarden on Tue Jul 01, 2008 at 08:47:48 AM EST
    Unless he's changing his position from what's on the web site.

    Even if he changes his mind (5.00 / 3) (#77)
    by talex on Tue Jul 01, 2008 at 09:34:07 AM EST
    it is still alarming of what his first thoughts anf intentions were before catching hell this morning upon the release of the news.

    Whether he goes through with it or not who wants a guy in the WH that even thinks these things - particularly a Democrat?

    I've said it and I'll say it again - Obama will destroy the Democratic Party, particularly the Left Wing of the Party.


    Huh? (5.00 / 1) (#85)
    by anydemwilldo on Tue Jul 01, 2008 at 09:41:02 AM EST
    So the article is wrong, and that's now evidence that Obama changed a position he never took?

    Not so fast (none / 0) (#97)
    by talex on Tue Jul 01, 2008 at 09:55:21 AM EST
    Here is a portion of the AP article I read:

    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

    So if Obama sent out a "fact sheet' along with the prepared text of his speech then AP was apparently reporting properly what Obama's intentions were. I imagine other people got this 'fact sheet" and prepared text and if what was reported was correct, and there is no reason to believe it wasn't based on subsequent comment from his campaign who does not deny what is reported then yeah, it would be a position he has taken and may still be taking, we will have to wait and see.

    But until you and I see a denial of what was in the fact sheet and the prepared comments then we must intelligently assume that what was reported is fact.


    Umm (5.00 / 0) (#107)
    by samtaylor2 on Tue Jul 01, 2008 at 10:14:03 AM EST
    Obviously reading is a problem.  There is a period after fact sheet, and fact sheet modifies the sentence it is in.  The next sentence has nothing to do with the fact sheet.

    No Problem Reading (5.00 / 1) (#129)
    by talex on Tue Jul 01, 2008 at 10:35:13 AM EST
    It's safe to take it that everything written as fact was obtained through the fact sheet. The writer does not have to include the words 'fact sheet' in every sentence you know, particularly in the very next sentence. That would not only be ridiculous but it would be unprofessional writing.

    Additionally both sentences are in the same paragraph which would mean the sentences in that paragraph are related as to subject and are one cohesive thought being communicated. Sound like you are the one with a reading problem or don't know anything about paragraph structure.

    Lastly all else aside - who here wants a Democrat, Obama in this instance, not only continuing on with BUSH'S Faith Based Initiative, but actually expanding it? Is that what you want?



    MSNBC just reported (5.00 / 2) (#139)
    by vigkat on Tue Jul 01, 2008 at 10:46:03 AM EST
    That Obama will be giving a speech in about an hour. Subject:  his intention to expand President Bush's Faith Based Initiative.  So, it appears we will be hearing his plans from the man himself.  Should be interesting.

    AP amended thier article (5.00 / 2) (#153)
    by talex on Tue Jul 01, 2008 at 11:02:37 AM EST
    to say "some" hiring would be acceptable on a religious basis. Obama is saying that too is incorrect.

    I'd love to see the actual fact sheet and the text of prepared remarks to sort this all out. If Obama originally intended to say what was reported then he was clueless or disregarding of the law.

    I'm also curious to see just how much the blogosphere likes the idea of Obama expanding Bush's Faith Based Program.


    some articles are titled - (5.00 / 1) (#190)
    by Josey on Tue Jul 01, 2008 at 11:53:49 AM EST
    Obama would EXPAND Bush's faith-based policy.

    Yup (5.00 / 2) (#195)
    by talex on Tue Jul 01, 2008 at 11:57:40 AM EST
    just keeping them is bad enough. That he wants to EXPAND them is just another reason for me not to vote for him. As if I needed another reason - lol.

    I'd like to have some specifics (5.00 / 1) (#171)
    by joanneleon on Tue Jul 01, 2008 at 11:29:14 AM EST
    and some examples of how this will work, because right now, I really don't understand what types of activities they're talking about, how they will cleanly separate the funds, if it will be audited, etc.

    i don't want to spend 4 years (5.00 / 3) (#161)
    by hellothere on Tue Jul 01, 2008 at 11:15:51 AM EST
    debating what obama meant. dang, the man has a good command of english. let him be clear with us. demand it and don't give him a pass.

    Can anybody find the fact sheet? (5.00 / 1) (#170)
    by dianem on Tue Jul 01, 2008 at 11:28:13 AM EST
    The media have to have a copy of the entire package, and it should be made available. There should be no further questions about this. If we only have part of the facts, then things are up for interpretation, and they needn't be.

    Uh... (2.00 / 1) (#140)
    by anydemwilldo on Tue Jul 01, 2008 at 10:46:39 AM EST
    You and the AP author are splitting hairs here.  Churches already have the ability to hire and fire based on religion in the non-taxpayer funded parts of their operation.  That's just status quo.  Presumably (obviously I don't have the fact sheet) the wording was intended to show that this was still the case, and that hiring and firing would not be allowed in programs funded by the new program.

    But don't let that stop you if you want to believe otherwise.  This is clearly a great reason to rant against Obama.


    Uh!!! (none / 0) (#157)
    by talex on Tue Jul 01, 2008 at 11:11:51 AM EST
    I just love it when people start a post with "Uh". LOL. It usually is an indicator that they have no idea what they are talking about.

    Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of l964 prohibits employers from discriminating against individuals because of their religion in hiring, firing, and other terms and conditions of employment. Title VII covers employers with 15 or more employees, including state and local governments. It also applies to employment agencies and to labor organizations, as well as to the federal government.

    As you can see it is against the law to do what you say churches can do. If you would have read the thread you would have know that.

    Of course when it comes to clergy being of a certain religion is a required qualification for the job. but short of that in hiring staff, etc - any company or organization with 15 or more employees cannot by law base hiring on religious affiliation.

    And nowhere does the above law exclude churches from the law.


    Ha. Lots of churches have fewer (5.00 / 2) (#166)
    by Cream City on Tue Jul 01, 2008 at 11:24:48 AM EST
    than 15 employees.  And then there's the accounting slash legal trick of breaking up a larger church into several separate corporate entities, each of fewer than 15 employees.  And then there's not getting caught -- legislation that does not mandate and fund accountability is the norm.

    I have worked for church employers.  See it from the inside before basing your faith in laws on the books -- laws without accountability, and then there's what lawyers and accountants can do to cook the church books for federal auditors . . . if federal auditing and enforcement even is funded, rarely.


    I understand that (none / 0) (#187)
    by talex on Tue Jul 01, 2008 at 11:50:55 AM EST
    That is why I emphasized 15 employees or less. And the 15 does not only apply to churches but any type of employer. So yes there is religious discrimination going on in this country regarding jobs and of course many other things.

    And if the churches play tricks to be discriminatory and the government knows about it them those churches should not get any federal funds IMO.

    Proselytizing is another area of abuse in the Faith Based Initiative that I don't like and is virtually not policeable and has been investigated by Bill Moyers I believe.


    Many charter schools (5.00 / 2) (#176)
    by waldenpond on Tue Jul 01, 2008 at 11:36:42 AM EST
    and religious schools have less than 15 employees here in CA.  That is an unacceptable loophole for public monies.  So in actuality, religious discrimation is allowed now.  I do not want my tax dollars going to religious schools.  I want quality public education.

    Yep. And within the same building (none / 0) (#179)
    by Cream City on Tue Jul 01, 2008 at 11:40:59 AM EST
    with, say,  56 employees, they run four schools of 14 employees each.  But all with the same "principal," the owner of the business -- a religious business that gets tax exemptions despite getting our tax dollars.  For the "principal" to have four Mercedes Benzes but spend nothing on books for students who don't have teachers with teacher certification, not that the teachers get paid when the "principal" has to buy another Benz or a big home in the burbs, etc., etc.  

    Agree (none / 0) (#188)
    by talex on Tue Jul 01, 2008 at 11:51:30 AM EST
    And how is that not status quo? (none / 0) (#178)
    by anydemwilldo on Tue Jul 01, 2008 at 11:39:54 AM EST
    Yes, exactly.  That is the law as it exists right now.

    So now you're slamming Obama here for a law written when he was two?  His proposal, so far as I can see, simply doesn't change the existing law in this case.  It adds some funding sources, and guarantees that they can't be used for discriminatory hiring.

    So ... can you please explain again where you are finding all this outrage?  Other, that is, than it comes from the hated Obama campaign?


    Because we hoped a Democrat (5.00 / 3) (#184)
    by samanthasmom on Tue Jul 01, 2008 at 11:47:07 AM EST
    would get rid of faith-based initiatives rather than expand them.

    NO -- Title VII has an exemption (none / 0) (#186)
    by Valhalla on Tue Jul 01, 2008 at 11:50:53 AM EST
    for religious organizations.  They can discriminate based on religion in hiring.  Doesn't matter how many employees they have.  Please see comment #158 for text of exemption.

    How about a link (none / 0) (#193)
    by talex on Tue Jul 01, 2008 at 11:55:45 AM EST
    and posting the relevant paragraph so people here don't have to go searching.

    And talex (5.00 / 0) (#203)
    by cal1942 on Tue Jul 01, 2008 at 12:10:04 PM EST
    captures it in a nutshell.

    "Whether he goes through with it or not who wants a guy in the WH that even thinks these things - particularly a Democrat?"

    Once again: The Roberts confirmation is the Rosetta Stone to Barack Obama.

    School vouchers, religious organizations receiving public funds, Social Security privatization, etc., etc., etc.

    This is what Obama means when he talks about change, rescuing the Conservative Movement. No sense voting for a "Democrat" that isn't a Democrat, it only damages the brand.  

    This cannot be tolerated.


    Since when do you care (none / 0) (#80)
    by andgarden on Tue Jul 01, 2008 at 09:35:29 AM EST
    about the "left wing"?

    Why do you say that? (5.00 / 0) (#91)
    by talex on Tue Jul 01, 2008 at 09:45:47 AM EST
    I've been on the Left Wing of the Party longer than you have been on earth probably.

    You would find it hard to find anyone more Left Wing than I - except for of course hard core socialists and communists which I don't consider part of the Democratic Party or 'pragmatic lefties'.


    all of us "care" about the left wing. (none / 0) (#198)
    by hellothere on Tue Jul 01, 2008 at 11:59:13 AM EST
    we care about any group getting power in this country.

    AP has been in the bag for Obama from the get go (none / 0) (#213)
    by fly on Tue Jul 01, 2008 at 12:54:47 PM EST
    if they said it they meant it..seems Obama is now changing course..

    Now that is a thought i can trust..not.......


    Wait and see... (5.00 / 11) (#15)
    by Mike H on Tue Jul 01, 2008 at 08:49:56 AM EST
    Frankly, I believe that the whole faith-based initiative thing was unconstitutional to begin with, and I was looking forward to a Democrat dismantling the program.

    Note that a lot of EFFECTIVE non-faith based programs have been cut so that money could be given to LESS EFFECTIVE faith-based programs.

    It's been a bad idea since day one, and it sickens me that Obama is giving it ANY support at all.


    Not only are they not (4.80 / 5) (#36)
    by mmc9431 on Tue Jul 01, 2008 at 09:02:17 AM EST
    Dismantling this problem, they've added additional funds to the abstence only program and want to expand school vouchers. Now I know where all those disgruntled Republican's went! It's getting to the point you can't tell us from them without a score card.

    looking forward to WHICH Democrat (2.00 / 1) (#24)
    by tben on Tue Jul 01, 2008 at 08:56:30 AM EST
    dismantling it.

    Because surely you realized that Hillary supported expanding faith-based initiatives...


    This was back... (5.00 / 3) (#105)
    by Mike H on Tue Jul 01, 2008 at 10:11:17 AM EST
    ...when Bush first created it.  I was naively assuming that the liberals/progressives would get rid of it completely.  

    I object to any Democrat pushing this program.  Unless the idea is to give funding to ALL religious groups equally, in which case it might become so unpalatable to evangelicals that the pagans are getting tax dollars that the program finally gets axed.

    My take is that caring for the sick, the homeless, the mentally ill, children, the undereducated, etc, is all something that can be done without respect to religion, and that the government can support.

    If a religious group wants to take on those challenges ON TOP OF the secular programs, so be it, but do it with your own private funding.

    Otherwise we're spreading the tax dollars too thin on some religious programs of dubious benefit.  Never mind the fact that some of these religious programs sometimes won't be helpful to those in need from other faiths.

    It's a bad idea, and I'm not saying anything about the good intentions of religious folk working in those programs -- many of them are good, sincere people.  But again, they should do THEIR work with private donations.


    I agree ... (5.00 / 1) (#114)
    by santarita on Tue Jul 01, 2008 at 10:21:49 AM EST
    and the flip side for faith-based institutions (i.e. religious institutions) is that acceptance of federal money comes with strings attached.  At some point those strings become very confining and restricting, as they should be when taxpayer dollars essentially are being used as tithes.

    And the bottom line is always what federal program gets the shaft so the money can go to these programs.


    The campaign is saying (5.00 / 3) (#17)
    by ruffian on Tue Jul 01, 2008 at 08:51:26 AM EST
    the organization can hire and fire based on faith, just not ostensibly with the federal money. We have seen how that works already.  They just play shell games with the money.

    BTD's headline made me gasp out loud and I see nothing to change my mind in the campaign's statement.


    No (5.00 / 1) (#20)
    by david mizner on Tue Jul 01, 2008 at 08:54:12 AM EST
    The statement says that if the group gets federal money, it can't discriminate. Not the component of the group, but the group.

    So maybe the AP's source (5.00 / 1) (#27)
    by ruffian on Tue Jul 01, 2008 at 08:58:08 AM EST
    was playing some code language for the religious?  I don't know.  I'll wiat and see how it plays out I guess, but I am not convinced.

    How is this a change to the current faith-based initiative?


    Yes (5.00 / 1) (#35)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Tue Jul 01, 2008 at 09:01:24 AM EST
    The two reports are mutually exclusive. Both can not be true.

    Yes they can (5.00 / 0) (#48)
    by myiq2xu on Tue Jul 01, 2008 at 09:06:25 AM EST
    if the laws were changed.

    Of course they can both be true (5.00 / 2) (#94)
    by daryl herbert on Tue Jul 01, 2008 at 09:50:02 AM EST
    Obama says one thing in a speech, then his campaign tries to undo the gaffe by contradicting him.

    In that scenario, both reports are true.

    For example, he told AIPAC that Jerusalem should remain undivided, and then his campaign issued a statement to the effect of "just kidding."

    I'm guessing that's what happened.


    But it is typical Obama (5.00 / 3) (#112)
    by ineedalife on Tue Jul 01, 2008 at 10:21:22 AM EST
    Trying to be all things to all people. If you want to see him as an evangelical, providing federal funds for the mission, that is fine with him. If you want to see him defending the separation of church and state, that works too.

    Obamabots of all stripes will look at this and take away what they want to see. Somebody will be disappointed once he is in office.


    Easily done by a lawyer -- (5.00 / 8) (#53)
    by Cream City on Tue Jul 01, 2008 at 09:08:30 AM EST
    all they do is set up "foundations" that make it look on the books like the money is separate.  Then the "foundation" supplements funding here, funding there -- but it's funny money, it's just moved around in the accounting for the federal auditors.

    But in reality, the lines are blurred.  I've worked for church schools, I've seen it for decades.  The federal funds go directly to the student, they say, and the church never gets its hands on it . . . but that really only means it never gets its fingerprints on it.  The church school is entirely free, though, to hire and fire based on faith -- and to proselytize with our tax dollars.  Count on it.


    Exactly. (none / 0) (#102)
    by dk on Tue Jul 01, 2008 at 10:02:17 AM EST
    Here's my question for BTD.  Let's say a church that discriminates in hiring sets up a separate non-profit entity that does "community" work.  A majority of the money that funds the non-profit entity comes directly from the church.  The non-profit entity does not discriminate in hiring.

    Then, Obama signs his bill to fund the non-profit entity.  Would you support that?


    And accountants can fix (5.00 / 1) (#110)
    by Cream City on Tue Jul 01, 2008 at 10:17:45 AM EST
    all sorts of things on the books for federal auditors -- percentages of positions, supplies, overhead, etc.  And supplies, in our voucher schools, include Mercedes Benzes -- yes, plural -- for the school "principal," someone with no educational background at all.  But then, hiring based on faith does not require certification.

    Of course, to pay for the principals' Benzes, the classrooms have no books except maybe Bibles.  So the students get no education, except in religion.  And there was no accountability for years -- and now that there is, a few schools finally may get caught after several years, and midyear, and then they're closed down . . . but the students suddenly flood into the public schools, which have to catch up kids who have not had books or learned much for years except reciting prayers.

    And I'm attempting to summarize here; the reports are full of details far worse in aggregate here in my city, where the faith-based, tax-paid, school voucher initiative began.  And the public schools are devastated, and overall scores are among the worst in the nation.  Perhaps the solace in this is that my city will look better when all of yours score worse, once Obama's plan hits yours, too.


    In addition, (5.00 / 2) (#122)
    by santarita on Tue Jul 01, 2008 at 10:28:20 AM EST
    Money is fungible.  To the extent that federal money goes to the school, the religious institution is free to use the money it gets from its adherents for its religious activities.

    Which candidate will be the first to offer to subsidize the bibles in the hotel rooms?  Pandering to religious groups apparently is the accepted campaign strategy of the new millennium.


    that statement does not specifically (5.00 / 2) (#96)
    by TimNCGuy on Tue Jul 01, 2008 at 09:54:55 AM EST
    address the different components.  Either side of this issue can interpret that statement either way.  And, I would submit that is the reason the statment doesn't address it directly.  The campaign WANTS you to be able to interpret it either way.

    The update doesn't address the (5.00 / 3) (#115)
    by Valhalla on Tue Jul 01, 2008 at 10:24:03 AM EST
    component issue.  I haven't looked at this for a while, but as long as a group purports to follow the no-direct money to proseletizing and such, they can still discriminate in hiring in the component that isn't getting the money directly.

    I don't see how this is any different than the Bush program, and, as others have pointed out, they just play a big shell game with the money.

    The update statement (and the text in the link) is just restating what the law is, not indicating that Obama would do anything to ensure an end to the shell game itself.


    Maybe... (none / 0) (#125)
    by santarita on Tue Jul 01, 2008 at 10:31:15 AM EST
    his idea is to create a big federal bureaucracy to oversee that the funds aren't used improperly.  Something like the EEOC.  
    The devil is always in the details.

    What if the group's parent company, (none / 0) (#109)
    by dk on Tue Jul 01, 2008 at 10:14:29 AM EST
    i.e. the church, discriminates?  Is it ok then?

    Is Obama going to get away with government sponsored discrimination simply based upon the legal fiction of separate entities?  Shame on him.


    I love the distinction (5.00 / 5) (#23)
    by Lahdee on Tue Jul 01, 2008 at 08:56:28 AM EST
    but we'll still be giving money to churches and "will not endanger the separation" gets smudged. Who's going to enforce the non-proselytizing clause? The religion police?

    Good politics maybe, but a policy that may make many uncomfortable.


    That's just old website boilerplate. (5.00 / 1) (#71)
    by wurman on Tue Jul 01, 2008 at 09:31:50 AM EST
    What will the Obama campaign say today.

    Question (5.00 / 1) (#84)
    by kempis on Tue Jul 01, 2008 at 09:40:37 AM EST
    And groups will be required to comply with federal anti-discrimination laws in their hiring practices--including Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits employment discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, or national origin.

    I assume "sex" is gender? Is there anything in Title VII that prohibits discrimination against gays and lesbians? I ask because this was the discrimination that was objected to--and defended--most strenuously when Bush first proposed his "faith-based initiatives" in his first term.


    No, Title VII (none / 0) (#118)
    by Valhalla on Tue Jul 01, 2008 at 10:25:16 AM EST
    does not protect discrimination against sexual orientation.

    Let's hope that is true (none / 0) (#14)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Tue Jul 01, 2008 at 08:49:31 AM EST
    and how will this be prevented? (none / 0) (#21)
    by Josey on Tue Jul 01, 2008 at 08:55:10 AM EST
    >>>First, if an organization gets a federal grant, it will not be permitted to use that grant money to proselytize to the people it serves

    I'm not aware it's prevented now.


    Dems jumped all over bush for doing (5.00 / 1) (#127)
    by PssttCmere08 on Tue Jul 01, 2008 at 10:33:07 AM EST
    this....how many are going to go along with it now....it is WRONG and does not belong in politics imo...obama will flip flop again wherever necessary...bottomline is that we cannot trust obama anymore than we could trust bush...another in a long of sad days for democrats.

    Thank god (heh) (none / 0) (#33)
    by Thanin on Tue Jul 01, 2008 at 09:00:10 AM EST
    Hmm, official v. anonymous source (none / 0) (#38)
    by Democratic Cat on Tue Jul 01, 2008 at 09:02:30 AM EST
    Maybe the AP just got it wrong, but they are relying on a source that wanted to remain anonymous so they could more fully discuss the policy. Maybe this is a trial balloon to gauge the reaction.

    That wasn't direct from Obama either (none / 0) (#42)
    by myiq2xu on Tue Jul 01, 2008 at 09:04:34 AM EST
    And it really wasn't inconsistent with the AP story if federal anti-discrimination laws are changed to permit hiring and firing based on faith.

    Does (5.00 / 1) (#82)
    by tek on Tue Jul 01, 2008 at 09:39:22 AM EST
    anything EVER come direct from Obama?  No, because then he could be challenged on it.

    Here is the money quote: (none / 0) (#57)
    by myiq2xu on Tue Jul 01, 2008 at 09:13:28 AM EST
    "And groups will be required to comply with federal anti-discrimination laws in their hiring practices--including Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits employment discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, or national origin."

    So if Title VII is amended to permit the type of discrimination in the AP story, both stories are true.


    Yep (none / 0) (#62)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Tue Jul 01, 2008 at 09:18:56 AM EST
    And with Obama and a Democratic Congress, it can easily be done.

    I dont think... (none / 0) (#74)
    by Thanin on Tue Jul 01, 2008 at 09:32:37 AM EST
    a democratic congress would allow that to happen.  This is an issue I believe theyd still fight for... but with things the way they are, dont quote me on that.

    right.... (5.00 / 3) (#98)
    by TimNCGuy on Tue Jul 01, 2008 at 09:58:42 AM EST
    and I thought a dem congress wouldn't confirm Roberts and Alito for the supreme court either.   LOL

    This is the same Democratic Congress (5.00 / 5) (#132)
    by MO Blue on Tue Jul 01, 2008 at 10:39:45 AM EST
    that is allowing telecom immunity to come to the floor for a vote, has passed it in the House with the support of Democratic Representatives and will in all probably pass in the Senate with the support of Democratic Senators.

    Excuse me if I do not share your faith based confidence in the Democratic Congress.


    The Democratic Congress (5.00 / 1) (#136)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Tue Jul 01, 2008 at 10:43:47 AM EST
    will likely fight any faith-based changes if McCain is president.

    They likely WON'T fight them if Obama is president.


    I think you hit the nail on the head (5.00 / 2) (#165)
    by blogtopus on Tue Jul 01, 2008 at 11:24:35 AM EST
    One of the major reasons why McCain might be preferable to Obama.

    Still not voting for McCain. Just less and less sure about Obama.

    He's making ANOTHER speech? Why do I get the feeling he throws these wrenches into his own campaign works so he can have more speeches on nat'l tv?


    hmm, the democratic congress has (5.00 / 1) (#164)
    by hellothere on Tue Jul 01, 2008 at 11:22:33 AM EST
    fought for nothing to help americans. why would they do anything for us now. don't you think this has been run by the so called party leaders? i do.

    Dream on (n/t) (none / 0) (#120)
    by ineedalife on Tue Jul 01, 2008 at 10:27:18 AM EST
    The article also says: (none / 0) (#99)
    by Nadai on Tue Jul 01, 2008 at 09:58:45 AM EST
    Second, federal dollars that go directly to churches, temples, and mosques will only be allowed to go toward secular programs.

    Maybe I'm reading this wrong, but aren't churches, etc. permitted to discriminate based on faith in their hiring?  If they receive federal money directly, how is that not subsidizing faith-based hiring?


    If true... (5.00 / 12) (#7)
    by Mike H on Tue Jul 01, 2008 at 08:47:22 AM EST
    ...this just cements that Obama is no progressive, and will pander to anyone, say anything, in order to get elected.

    FISA renewed.  Iraq drags on.  Iran IS a threat.  Maybe privatize social security.  No universal health care.  No repeal of Don't Ask Don't Tell.  Energy policy that focuses on nuclear energy and coal.  And now (maybe) we'll keep on giving tax dollars to religious groups that hire and fire based on faith.

    Exactly which candidate is the Republican, again???

    This is not pandering. (5.00 / 13) (#30)
    by Cream City on Tue Jul 01, 2008 at 08:58:55 AM EST
    This IS Obama.  

    Indeed!!/ hope this is not too o/t. (5.00 / 1) (#95)
    by kelsweet on Tue Jul 01, 2008 at 09:53:57 AM EST
    can i say that i am a little frightened? on sooooo many levels. I haven't been big on following politics in my life. I will tell you however that I LOVE LOVE LOVE my country and do not take it for granted. My grandpa, dad uncles cousins have all fought for this country from WW1 on, I do not take my freedom for granted, I've taught my children how lucky they are to be American citizens etc.

     This year when I heard the false rumors about the muslim thing I felt it my DUTY to investigate OB as he was unknown to me, and I haven't been comfortable with him from the get go, not from what I heard on TV, but what I have studied HARD on for months now. i don't trust BO, he frightens me, I don't feel that he has OUR country's best interest in mind.

    I am not as passionate as most of you here about certain issues, my being a "newbie" and all but I thought my opinion might give ya'll insight into this year's low info voter. I want to feel safe and that my freedom and the freedom of my children will be safeguarded by someone who I know would lay down his/her life for this great country, and I aint feelin the love. Faith/governing should be separate. p.e.r.i.o.d.


    Sinclair Lewis said (5.00 / 3) (#150)
    by samanthasmom on Tue Jul 01, 2008 at 10:57:31 AM EST
    "Fascism will come wrapped in a flag and carrying a Bible." Given our discussion of "Unity vs. Solidarity" the other day, a patriotism speech yesterday, and this on faith today, I think a little  fear is justified. Not "digging a hole in the backyard and building a shelter for yourself and your family" kind of fear, but a "pause before voting" kind of fear.

    Forget About Being Progessive (5.00 / 2) (#45)
    by talex on Tue Jul 01, 2008 at 09:05:14 AM EST
    How about unconstitutional?

    Religious Discrimination

    Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of l964 prohibits employers from discriminating against individuals because of their religion in hiring, firing, and other terms and conditions of employment. Title VII covers employers with 15 or more employees, including state and local governments. It also applies to employment agencies and to labor organizations, as well as to the federal government.

    Religious Discrimination

    Looks to be another bad day for Obama. The GOP ought to have a field say with this. Religious freedom in our country is a cornerstone of our concept of freedom. Obama want to toss that aside?

    If you hadn't crossed the line to not vote for Obama perhaps this will do it. Who wants to have to include your religious affiliation and church attended on your resume or job application? If you are not a Christian but instead a Muslim or Buddhist can you get a job with certain companies anymore? Or how about if you are a Baptist and not a Methodist? What if you attend a Black Church and not a White one.

    If Obama doesn't lose half the blog readers over this I will be very surprised. Heck if he doesn't lose half the country over this I'd be surprised.

    Violating Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of l964 and he wants to be President. I don't think this is what America wants.

    Super Delegates, Hillary Clinton is still in waiting and ready to step up.


    BTW for clarification (none / 0) (#66)
    by talex on Tue Jul 01, 2008 at 09:22:42 AM EST
    Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of l964...

    Does not just apply to companies that receive Federal Funds. It applies to all companies with 15 of more employees - public or private - if I read it correctly.

    Additionally at the bottom of the page of the link I provided was this:

    In Fiscal Year 2007, EEOC received 2,880 charges of religious discrimination. EEOC resolved 2,525 religious discrimination charges and recovered $6.4 million in monetary benefits for charging parties and other aggrieved individuals (not including monetary benefits obtained through litigation).

    So yeah, if Obama sticks with this then he is advocating breaking the law.


    Mike - even if it's not true, (5.00 / 5) (#121)
    by Anne on Tue Jul 01, 2008 at 10:27:43 AM EST
    the list in your middle paragraph ought to be enough to convince people that Obama is not the progressive some people think he is; I think by the time August gets here, people will be wondering if the campaign has morphed into a repeat of the Republican primary, with Obama having sold out to the right on so many issues just to get votes that he will no longer be recognizable as a Democrat - and that is going to convince a lot of Democrats - real Democrats - that there is no advantage in voting for him..

    As far as I'm concerned, he has not given me any reason to trust him.


    ENOUGH ALREADY (5.00 / 7) (#11)
    by northeast73 on Tue Jul 01, 2008 at 08:48:07 AM EST
    Why keep pretending that Obama is not a shmuck?

    This is yet another reason why I will not only not ride the Unity Pony, I'm thinking of taking a shot at it.

    Obama will say, and do A N Y T H I N G to win....and unlike my hero Hillary, Obama wants to win for OBAMA's benefit....not mine, not yours, not anyones but his...

    It was pretty clear from the begining of (5.00 / 9) (#19)
    by inclusiveheart on Tue Jul 01, 2008 at 08:54:01 AM EST
    Obama's journey on the national scene that we could expect him to have plans to institutionalize religion in our federal government.

    He was running on religion pretty much from the start.

    i don't think obama ever disowned (none / 0) (#167)
    by hellothere on Tue Jul 01, 2008 at 11:25:30 AM EST
    trinity just rev wright. that is black liberation theology. go read up on it. is this what we want in the white house. the thinking behind this approach is fine for the private individual or even a sentator if the state voters agree. i fear the results of something like that in wh without any firewall between religeon and the federal government.

    The sign of a true leader is keeping your word (5.00 / 5) (#22)
    by Angel on Tue Jul 01, 2008 at 08:56:05 AM EST
    and not breaking promises. Obama is not a leader.  He's a speech reader.  And he'll say and do anything, and I mean anything, to get elected.  Many of us said this a long time ago, and we repeated it often.  Just to think that we could have had Hillary.  Disgusting.  Makes me sick.  Welcome to reality, BTD.  

    This too will be rationalized--and fluffed by the (none / 0) (#151)
    by jawbone on Tue Jul 01, 2008 at 10:57:48 AM EST

    I heard at least 4 or 5 references to Jeffrey Toobin telling the public that Obama had not changed on the death penalty when he seemed to now support the death penalty for child rape. It was something he wrote about in one of his books, per Toobin--and Toobin quoted him as writing that he was always for the DP for egregious crimes such as mass murder or child rape and murder.

    Now, to me that sounded like two categories. 1) Murderer who killed more than one person and 2) a child rapist who also killed his child victim (I guess Obama would not ask for the DP for a person who raped an adult and then killed him or her, but, who knows?).  Toobin seems to think there were three categories: the above two and solely raping a child.

    I was looking for the quote, but I can't find it--anyone have Obama's quote from on of his books?

    Anyway, Toobin's take seems to have spread far an wide in the MCM and is rapidly becoming Conventional Wisdom.

    Plus, since Obama is the Change candidate, any of his change is good??


    Is This the Same AP... (5.00 / 1) (#29)
    by northeast73 on Tue Jul 01, 2008 at 08:58:49 AM EST
    ....that reported that Hillary said she "is staying in the race in case Obama gets whacked"?

    They're so good at, like, reporting stuff....

    hmmmmm (5.00 / 2) (#32)
    by andgarden on Tue Jul 01, 2008 at 08:59:43 AM EST
    David Kuo, a conservative Christian who was deputy director of Bush's Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives until 2003 and later became a critic of Bush's commitment to the cause, said Obama's position on hiring has the potential to be a major "Sister Souljah moment" for his campaign.
    It sounds like Kuo thinks he said what BTD first thought he said. . .

    I swear I did not copy you (5.00 / 1) (#49)
    by ruffian on Tue Jul 01, 2008 at 09:06:37 AM EST
    great minds, and all that...

    EVERY Church in this County is tax payer funded (5.00 / 2) (#43)
    by Exeter on Tue Jul 01, 2008 at 09:04:59 AM EST
    Just look at property taxes alone and think about it the next time you drive by a five acre Catholic compound smack dab in the middle of prime real estate.

    Almost every church college is (5.00 / 0) (#54)
    by Cream City on Tue Jul 01, 2008 at 09:12:38 AM EST
    because federal scholarship funds and the like simply, allegedly, are sent straight to the students -- but sent to the financial aid offices for them. The students never see the money; they just show up and sign over the checks immediately to the schools.

    So, (5.00 / 1) (#72)
    by tek on Tue Jul 01, 2008 at 09:32:13 AM EST
    we should give Obama a pass on directly handing out our money to religious organizations just because they're religious?  You Obama people really are over the edge.  Imagine if Hillary had made this announcement.

    No we don't want those slick Clintons in the WH, they'd do anything, say anything to get there.  And they're, Oh No, MODERATES, not like Obama who's a Republican in Disguise.  Ronald REagan--greatest change agent in the twentieth century "Bill Clinton's administration didn't bring any real Change."  Barack Obama


    HIllary supports (5.00 / 1) (#169)
    by tben on Tue Jul 01, 2008 at 11:27:31 AM EST
    expanding faith-based initaitives also.

    "There is no contradiction between support for faith-based initiatives and upholding our constitutional principles" - Hillary Clinton


    No expansion has been advocated (5.00 / 1) (#207)
    by tree on Tue Jul 01, 2008 at 12:13:35 PM EST
    by Clinton, but she has stated she supports federal funding for faith-based social services. Here's an article summarizing Obama's, Clinton's and McCain's positions on the issue from March of this year. (As opposed to your very vague article on Clinton from 2005.)

    Republican Arizona Sen. John McCain, and Democratic Party hopefuls Sens. Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama "have each voiced support for federal funding of faith-based social services."

    Obama told Christianity Today that he wants to take a look at the program before deciding how to deal with it: "One of the things that I think churches have to be mindful of is that if the federal government starts paying the piper, then they get to call the tune," Obama said. "I want to see how monies have been allocated through that office before I make a firm commitment [to] sustaining practices that may not have worked as well as they should have."

    Burns Strider, Clinton's director of faith-based outreach, "said that if she were elected, Clinton would continue funding faith-based organizations, but would seek to maintain an appropriate boundary between church and state," Christianity Today reported. "Clinton emphasizes a 'fair and level playing field' for faith-based and secular providers of social services, Strider said."

    Brett O'Donnell, a spokesperson for McCain, told Christianity Today that his "candidate wants faith-based groups to 'have at least the same standing as they have now.'"

    yup and that is bad enough in my (5.00 / 1) (#168)
    by hellothere on Tue Jul 01, 2008 at 11:26:59 AM EST
    view. but to allow this type of blurring of lines and giving tax payer money to religeon is WRONG, WRONG, WRONG, WRONG.

    That is a different issue (none / 0) (#50)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Tue Jul 01, 2008 at 09:06:42 AM EST
    My point is that (5.00 / 2) (#67)
    by Exeter on Tue Jul 01, 2008 at 09:26:28 AM EST
    we already indirectly fund churches (and their discrimatory practices) with tax money my allowing them to operate tax free and giving them government services such as police, fire, water, and sewer.

    It is absolutely absurd to directly fund churches or their programs and we definitely should not be EXPANDING such funding. Who cares if the funds will have Fed discrimination laws-- those are easy to get around and almost impossible to prove, unless the chuch does or says something overtly discrimatory.  

    Let's say the scientologists have a inner city school that is doing a bang-up job and starts getting fed grants. Do you really think that they won't be hiring anyone other than scientologists or people that are scientologist-friendly b/c they get grants? Do you think they will be hiring alot of scientologists critics?

    I get the distinction that its important that they must, at least in theory, abide by fed disctimination laws. But, for me, this whole discussion is horrifying and its distiction without a material difference.  


    From someone who reviewed the Obama plan (5.00 / 5) (#46)
    by ruffian on Tue Jul 01, 2008 at 09:05:39 AM EST
    David Kuo, a conservative Christian who was deputy director of Bush's Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives until 2003 and later became a critic of Bush's commitment to the cause, said Obama's position on hiring has the potential to be a major "Sister Souljah moment" for his campaign.

    Lovely, just lovely. The idea of the "Sister Souljah moment" was that it was just one event - a moment - not a whole campaign.

    I'm not convinced the AP story is wrong. I want more details from the Obama campaign on this

    Checking out the viral reports on this . . . (5.00 / 2) (#142)
    by wurman on Tue Jul 01, 2008 at 10:48:45 AM EST
    . . . Jennifer Loven, by-line, Assoc. Press, Chicago seems to be the source for about 99 percent of the published reports.

    However, John M. Broder, by-line, has a separate & different account in the NY Times here (link):

    Between now and November, the Obama forces are planning as many as 1,000 house parties and dozens of Christian rock concerts, gatherings of religious leaders, campus visits and telephone conference calls to bring together voters of all ages motivated by their faith to engage in politics. It is the most intensive effort yet by a Democratic candidate to reach out to self-identified evangelical or born-again Christians and to try to pry them away from their historical attachment to the Republican Party.

    On Tuesday, Mr. Obama is scheduled to deliver a speech about faith in Zanesville, Ohio, in a battleground section of a battleground state, one where Mr. Bush relied heavily on evangelical voters to provide his narrow margin of victory in 2004.

    The Guardian UK (link) Daniel Nasaw, by-line, has an independently developed article on the subject (not derived from AP).

    The federal money could only be directed to "secular" programmes, the campaign said.

    "I believe deeply in the separation of church and state, but I don't believe this partnership will endanger that idea," Obama will say, "so long as we follow a few basic principles."

    Obama will discuss the plan in a speech at a church in Zanesville, Ohio today.

    Two things: Loven's story is accurrate & the Obama campaign merely slapped a spin on it with the proselytizing & neutral hiring disclaimers; the progam is not "Bush-lite," it is a far more insidious program aimed at fundagelicals & is "Heavier-than-Bush."  This is pure rightwing garbage.


    I'm (5.00 / 7) (#51)
    by Ga6thDem on Tue Jul 01, 2008 at 09:06:46 AM EST
    sorry but Obama IS breaching the church/state wall simply by endorsing this program. It's been shown that evangelical churches were using the money for other purposes than what it was supposed to do. I read where Obama earmarked hundreds of thousands of dollars to Rev. Pfleger when he was in the Il Senate. He's giving McCain a huge opening here with the voters due to Obama's relationship with Rev. Wright.

    One of the things (5.00 / 4) (#56)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Tue Jul 01, 2008 at 09:13:24 AM EST
    I hated about Bush was his faith based initiatives.  Keeping them or expanding them in any way WHATSOEVER sends chills down my spine.  

    Yech! no wonder I'm an independent.  At least the Democrats would FIGHT McCain on this.

    And yeah, Obama has a different position than the AP thought or maybe he doesn't.  He takes many positions on many issues, so just as with every other issue out there, we have no reason whatsoever to trust that what he says in his statement is true and what the AP said is false.  He cannot be trusted -- ever.

    Ah yes Teresa (none / 0) (#172)
    by tben on Tue Jul 01, 2008 at 11:30:25 AM EST
    This is how a REAL Democrat would fight these initiatives  - LINK

    I do not want taxpayer money going to (5.00 / 9) (#60)
    by MO Blue on Tue Jul 01, 2008 at 09:15:26 AM EST
    religious organizations. One scenario is worse than the other, but no matter how it is framed, I'm still against expanding the faith based initiative program. I would prefer that this program be dismantled not maintained or expanded.

    I keep looking for a reason to vote for Obama other than he is not McCain. Instead of finding more reasons to vote for him, daily he is providing more reasons for me to abstain from voting the top of the ticket. I feel strongly that Democrats who are advancing Republican agendas do not deserve my vote.  

    You too (5.00 / 1) (#173)
    by tben on Tue Jul 01, 2008 at 11:33:42 AM EST
    should follow the link in my response to Teresa (#172).
    Somehow I suspect you may fall back on the "ok, well he is just copying then,..." argument.

    Why would you accuse (none / 0) (#182)
    by waldenpond on Tue Jul 01, 2008 at 11:44:23 AM EST
    your candidate of copying anyone?  This post is about Obama and the media report.  What is his position and was the media correct.

    Isn't your candidate clear enough on this issue that there would be no questions?


    huh? (none / 0) (#200)
    by tben on Tue Jul 01, 2008 at 12:00:28 PM EST
    First of all, he is OUR candidate. Secondly, I wasnt accusing him of anything, it was a somewhat sarcastic comment given that the standard response of Obama-bashers around here to anything that he does that they cant criticize is that he is just copying it from someone else.

    Missouri is allegedly one of the states (none / 0) (#68)
    by HenryFTP on Tue Jul 01, 2008 at 09:28:28 AM EST
    targeted by this page out of the Amy Sullivan playbook to woo evangelicals.

    Sure would have been nice to have had a proper debate about this during the nomination campaign.

    Are there some "heartland" pastors of megachurches who have climbed aboard the Obamabus?


    This Doesn't Happen In Missouri? (none / 0) (#101)
    by daring grace on Tue Jul 01, 2008 at 09:59:04 AM EST
    I live in upstate New York, a densely Roman Catholic region, and public money from federal, state, county and municipal levels has helped fund health care, nursing homes, and all manner of social services operated by elements of the Catholic Church for a long time, probably the better part of a century.

    I've had friends and relatives who worked in some of these settings--many of them not only non Catholics but actually non religious, and they report little slosh over of Catholic dogma, none with consumers. And they're pretty aggressively vigilant about it.

    One friend had a manager who routinely began meetings with a prayer, but there was no onus on those who chose not to participate. She was, however, looking forward to the new manager's tenure: a nun who did not include prayer in the meetings.


    I had a similar experience (none / 0) (#104)
    by CST on Tue Jul 01, 2008 at 10:10:55 AM EST
    I worked for the salvation army and I am "non-religious".  There were prayer circles that I didn't participate in and was never pressured to.  I was invited to youth group but when I declined that was that, no pressure.  I was payed through the city of Boston.  I don't have a problem with funding some faith based groups as long as they don't discriminate against/ harass their employees.  There should be sufficient oversight to make sure this is the case though.  And there should be equal funding available for non faith-based groups.  My biggest problem with Bush's program is that he ONLY funded faith based groups and seemed to deliberately keep money from any group with a more "progressive" agenda.  

    The Salvation Army in NY... (5.00 / 1) (#212)
    by Dawn Davenport on Tue Jul 01, 2008 at 12:45:33 PM EST
    ...was allowed, by the courts, to fire gay people who were working for the program they ran based on that "allowed to consider religion in hiring/firing" thing that Obama supports.

    I'm not OK with my tax dollars subsidizing charities that are allowed to fire people simply because they are gay.


    Exactly (none / 0) (#123)
    by daring grace on Tue Jul 01, 2008 at 10:28:55 AM EST
    I'm sure there are situations and settings where there is abuse and strict separation isn't maintained. When knowledge of that emerges in the media, action is taken against the facility involved--funding cut or the threat of it, stricter reviews, etc.

    I can't speak for areas where the religious institutions involved may be more aggressively proselytizing, but as I wrote before, in my area the Catholic Church has been in this collaboration with the government for years and they're more interested in maintaining the facilities than in converting anyone.

    The problem comes up sometimes around hospitals and reproductive services--abortion and contraception. But THAT is always well publicized. A recent issue locally was when the state decided hospitals in various communities had to close or consolidate to better utilize resources. Locally, the public hospital was ordered joined with the Catholic one. Not an easy fit.


    To me there is a distinction (none / 0) (#116)
    by MO Blue on Tue Jul 01, 2008 at 10:24:19 AM EST
    Let me see if I can explain it clearly.

    A person on medicare/medicaid needs medical treatment. That person chooses to go to a hospital or nursing home that has a religious affiliation to receive the treatment required. The government pays for the treatment. In this instances the money is IMO being for the services rendered after the fact. That to me is very different from having money paid directly to a religious organization.


    Agreed (5.00 / 1) (#128)
    by daring grace on Tue Jul 01, 2008 at 10:33:25 AM EST
    I'm not in favor of that either.

    In the cases I referred to the service organizations already existed--that is, they weren't created specifically to be funded by the gov't. in fact, that is one of their strengths--their funding comes from their church coffers as well as the government's.


    And if Obama backs away from this statement (5.00 / 0) (#61)
    by carmel on Tue Jul 01, 2008 at 09:18:47 AM EST
    is there any reason to believe him? Obama has an agenda, why else would he have a "closed to the press" meeting with evangelicals? We're getting glimpses of Obama Administration - is it too late to nominate Hillary? Seriously, Obama will quiver like Jello all over the place on this one, we'll never really know where he stands.

    I calmed down and read the whole Obama (5.00 / 3) (#63)
    by ruffian on Tue Jul 01, 2008 at 09:21:02 AM EST
    statement, but based on the anonymous source quoted in the AP story, I still want a definitive statement from Obama renouncing, refuting, denouncing, rejecting forever and for all time any federal involvment in hiring of anyone based on religion. This includes the so-called non-taxpayer funded part of a religious group that gets taxpayer money.  

    There is no firewall big enough to separate that money, IMO.

    Hiring (5.00 / 2) (#79)
    by tek on Tue Jul 01, 2008 at 09:34:38 AM EST
    is just part of what he's promoting.  Giving religious groups our tax dollars i also Unconstitutional, but I guess the Obama people have to find a loophole to make this seem like it isn't a stab in the back.  The whole program was established by Bush's Executive Order and was illegal three months after it began, but no one's pointing that out.

    So, I guess Obama has every intention of continuing Bush's practice of implementing unconstitutional programs by Executive Order?


    Sad that I have gotten so used to (none / 0) (#155)
    by ruffian on Tue Jul 01, 2008 at 11:07:11 AM EST
    the existence of the faith based initiative to begin with, something I also vigorously opposed. Now only expanding it gets me excited, when I really should be calling for its abolition.

    I must have outrage fatigue over the last 7.5 years of Bush.


    Eventually, this faith-based program (5.00 / 2) (#86)
    by inclusiveheart on Tue Jul 01, 2008 at 09:41:06 AM EST
    stuff will be exposed as one big opportunity for scamming the government out of money through largely unregulated religious institutions.

    This whole thing got its momentum from the fact that the Methodist Church was doing really, really good work on AIDS in Africa.  A marriage between left and right was born out of the fact that as a religious institution, the Methodist Church was barred from receiving US federal funding for their good work.

    The problem though is that not every religious instituion is as stellar at delivering services as that particular group is and eventually someone is going to start looking at the rate of waste and fraud - and I think it will be stunning - especially in places like Africa where tracking expenditures is much harder.  Obama likely won't be the guy who scrutinizes these orgs, but the time will come - at least I hope it will.

    What I know to be true about the Methodists' work in Africa on AIDS, still does not make a convincing argument in favor of funding religious organizations with US federal money.


    This is what happens when a primary (5.00 / 15) (#65)
    by Anne on Tue Jul 01, 2008 at 09:21:58 AM EST
    candidate is allowed to run on lofty rhetoric and not challenged to be specific, so that when one casts a vote that will help determine who the party's nominee will be, there is a firm sense of what the candidate really believes in and seeks to work toward.

    This is what happens when no one challenges a candidate who says one thing to one group and something completely different to another.

    This is what happens when the powers-that-be in the party allow their visions of vast oceans of cash to obscure the emptiness of the candidate.

    I think this is going to be a deal-breaker for a lot of people.  It's going to - pardon the expression - resurrect all of Obama's connections to people like Jeremiah Wright, which will peel off even more support.

    I don't care how this gets "explained."  I don't want to hear a lot of talk about how this is part of "reaching out" to the faithful.  

    Who is this man?  Is he trying to out-Republican the Republicans so that the landscape is so blurred people will be bamboozled into voting for him?  And then what?  What the heck is this man going to do if he is elected?

    Words cannot adequately express how angry this makes me, on so many levels.

    So where did this erroneous report (5.00 / 1) (#69)
    by inclusiveheart on Tue Jul 01, 2008 at 09:28:52 AM EST
    come from?

    I think that is a serious question because while this hiring and firing question may really piss off the Dem base, it would be welcomed in the most extreme religious circles - so it would help Obama with some in McCain's base.

    So who benefits from an erroneous report like this one?

    Please note: It is possible that the AP just got it wrong, but their poor reporting track record of late suggests something more systematic.  I suppose they could be this incompetent, but it is hard to believe that that is all it is after the many, many mistakes they've made reporting on the Democrats.

    Wrong. (5.00 / 0) (#81)
    by tek on Tue Jul 01, 2008 at 09:35:36 AM EST
    It's no "erroneous report."  Obama has held this view since he arrived in the Senate.

    If you (5.00 / 0) (#70)
    by tek on Tue Jul 01, 2008 at 09:29:12 AM EST
    try to frame this as something other than it is, you are not a responsible jouralist, just a pundit for Obama.  I read an interview with Barack Obama months before the primaries even started (he was my Illinois Senator) and he said EXACTLY what this headline says.  He thinks Faith Based Initiative is a GOOD program (that's giving billions of our tax dollars away to people who get preaching licenses off the Internet just because they call themselves Christians--also to people like Jeremiah Wright and Pat Robertson.  Investigative reporters showed how many millions Wright got and Obama earmarked it for him).  

    The entire program has been shown to be a dismal failure.  It's unConstitutional on it's face, whether you draw in the hiring practices or not.  I am a Unitarian, the federal government is taking my hard earned money and giving it to Christians--a faith I do not subscribe to or believe in.  It's unConstitutional.  

    Barack Obama says he teaches Constitutional Law, yet he makes this declaration to pander for votes from Republicans.  It is unconscionable.  We all skewered Bush for this, so Democrats had better take Obama to task for it as well.

    Barack Obama is a Republican in Democrat clothing--like most of those preachers are child molesters and whatnot hiding behind pontifical robes.

    Missed the update while I was (5.00 / 1) (#73)
    by Anne on Tue Jul 01, 2008 at 09:32:36 AM EST
    posting, but I have to say that I do not trust Obama - not after all the whole Joshua Generation project and his history.

    I am not enamored of faith-based initiatives unless the government is out of the picture altogether.  If churches/religious institutions want to feed the hungry and shelter the homeless and counsel the sick, let them do that with private contributions.

    If the government is going to hand out funds for this kind of assistance, let's leave religion out of it.

    If you're a religious organization, (5.00 / 1) (#75)
    by samanthasmom on Tue Jul 01, 2008 at 09:32:43 AM EST
    and you want to do something that will be helpful to society, that's  wonderful. But raise your own money to do it.  You can ask me for a donation, even if I'm not part of your religious organization, but no tax dollars. I don't want my tax dollars anywhere near your organization. And hire you want. I don't care. If the Pastafarians only want to hire believers in the spaghetti monster, fine. A group whose main purpose is to get out their message should be able to choose their own messengers.

    Raise your own money OR motivate your members (5.00 / 0) (#126)
    by RonK Seattle on Tue Jul 01, 2008 at 10:32:13 AM EST
    ... to volunteer or participate at menial wages in open non-religious programs on equal footing with everybody else.

    two problems i see with this... (5.00 / 1) (#76)
    by TimNCGuy on Tue Jul 01, 2008 at 09:32:48 AM EST
    First, I am tired of seeing the press report information from "people who speek on condition of anonymity".  There is really no reason for this other than to protect a person's personal safety.  If you aren't willing to stand by what you say and defend it, then you shouldn't be talking.

    Secondly, I don't see anything in Mizner's update that specifically addresses whether Obama's campaign differentiates between the taxpayer funded portio of a organization and the non-taxpayer funded portion.  Simply stating that organizations will have to comply with anti-discrimination laws without specifically addressing the point that was made about taxpayer funded versus non-taxpayer funded activities doesn't cut it.  It leaves a hole big enough to drive a truck through.  Either side of this issue can interpret the statement to their own advantage.

    Erroneous or not (5.00 / 7) (#78)
    by BarnBabe on Tue Jul 01, 2008 at 09:34:10 AM EST
    I am against faith based grants. I hated when GW went with this. I am a non-practicing Catholic. I did not like the Church getting involved when Kerry was running in as much as all churches enjoy a tax free existance. The same goes for Rev Wright or any church receiving this allowance and preaching politics. Basically, the government should not get involved with religion. And although sounding tight a$$, anyone can set up a church.

    So Obama's mission in life is to cut back NASA and give more to God. I see a problem here. I find it interesting that until Edwards suspended I saw Obama as a possible President. Then after a eleoquent speach I would wonder what he had just said if anything. At that time I realized he parroted Hillary and blurred the difference lines, could not think on his feet, and pulled the Race Card. I got over the idea that he was a leader quickly.  

    its going to be interesting (5.00 / 2) (#88)
    by Capt Howdy on Tue Jul 01, 2008 at 09:42:25 AM EST
    watching all the so called "progressive" apologists twist themselves into Cirque du Soleil type contortions trying to justify Obama over the next few months.

    you know it really doesn't matter to me (5.00 / 1) (#202)
    by hellothere on Tue Jul 01, 2008 at 12:09:02 PM EST
    if obama twists and panders again to another side claiming we are all wrong, wrong i tell you. i have seen and heard enough. this religeous pandering is so far over the top i want to barf. so twist, turn, and try to apologize and protect obama all you want, supporters, but take a good look at a so called progressive. that is not progressive, it is regressive. if obama is elected and then grosses you out, please don't go on blogs and cry about it. thanks

    I read the TPM comments on this (none / 0) (#156)
    by ruffian on Tue Jul 01, 2008 at 11:09:13 AM EST
    Some dissent, but lots of love for faith-based initiatives. Unbelieveable

    Expand (5.00 / 2) (#83)
    by TheRealFrank on Tue Jul 01, 2008 at 09:39:53 AM EST
    I was kinda hoping that Obama, even though I don't trust him, would actually undo some of the damage that Bush did.

    Instead he wants to expand it.

    I know he panders to the extreme, but the problem is that his thin record makes it hard to judge what he would and would not do. Therefore, I will have to assume the worst in this case.

    I don't care about the clarification about hiring and firing. Faith-based organizations can do anything they want, with their own money. Hell, they are already getting sponsored heavily, because they pay no taxes.

    Separation of church and state is important, and one of the cornerstones of modern society. It's sad to see that countries like Turkey are better at it than the US.

    Just wait--the Unitary Executive will be all good (5.00 / 1) (#141)
    by jawbone on Tue Jul 01, 2008 at 10:47:25 AM EST
    when it's The One doing the unitizing and executing.

    Or will he try to keep the powers BushCo has aggregated to the executive?

    Who knows?


    BTD, (5.00 / 2) (#87)
    by dk on Tue Jul 01, 2008 at 09:41:49 AM EST
    Isn't it premature to call the AP report erroneous?  I can see saying it contradicts previous statements by the Obama campaign, but how do you know it's erroneous?

    I read the Obama statement Minzer points to (5.00 / 3) (#90)
    by MsExPat on Tue Jul 01, 2008 at 09:42:49 AM EST
    ..and it doesn't make me feel any better. Obama wants to institutionalize the partnership between government and so-called "faith-based" groups. What Bush started, he will cement into practice.

    It's a convenient political fiction that a religious organization can keep accounts straight between money used for religious activity and money used for charitable or educational purposes. It can't be done, and there's no way to police it anyway. Obama knows this as well as Bush did when he started this whole faith-based fiasco.

    all it is now is double talk but the intent (5.00 / 1) (#205)
    by hellothere on Tue Jul 01, 2008 at 12:11:19 PM EST
    is the same. i don't see any reason to "let's wait and see what obama says". he and his campaign have already said and done enough on this. from pandering to the homophobe preacher to rev wright, and now this. enough is enough.

    The faith-based operations are anathema. (none / 0) (#103)
    by wurman on Tue Jul 01, 2008 at 10:04:43 AM EST
    I am opposed to the distribution of US Govt funds to church-affiliated groups.


    I once worked at a Roman Catholic college that received many & various Federal & state grants to "do stuff."  I am not even remotely connected to that church or any religion.

    The college quite clearly had non-discriminatory hiring practices & it was provable & it resulted in my being hired--as well as many other folks who had different faiths & beliefs.

    Further, the accounting practices did keep the funding separated.  That is not even a difficult task, much less improbable or impossible.  It's worth noting that many of the major research universities in the USA have religious connections.  The isolation of funds is easy for any accounting system.

    The practices that allocate "burdens" for salary, operations, overhead, R&D, etc., are simple & it's done all the time.

    Even so, I'm generically opposed to this type distribution of tax-payer dollars. It appears to be unConstitutional on the face of it.  It needs to be reined in, now.  We need more than a "bright line" on separation of church & state; we need a concrete wall.


    Yet another Obama-inkblot (5.00 / 4) (#93)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Tue Jul 01, 2008 at 09:47:28 AM EST
    Say one thing in the AP, say another that partially contradicts somewhere else.  Everyone can read their own connotations into what he says, including those who want reassurances that he's still a "progressive".  (Hint:  He isn't.  Please slap yourself silly until you realize that he is not liberal, not progressive, he's a right centrist, and far right on certain issues like this one.  If you still want to vote for that, it's your call.).

    I wonder if this strategy will hold all the way through a GE.  I wonder if anyone will trust him by November 1st.  Certainly there is nothing about this man that implies he'll be liberal on any subject including the Supreme Court.

    I am confused (5.00 / 2) (#106)
    by Steve M on Tue Jul 01, 2008 at 10:13:39 AM EST
    I think these two reports need to be harmonized somehow.  Unless they come out and say that anonymous senior advisor got it all wrong, then I'm not going to assume he or she was simply talking out of turn.

    By the way, the Bush Administration has kind of made me tired of the practice of sending anonymous officials out to explain the official policy.  Maybe someday it will come to an end.

    You are supposed to be confused (5.00 / 4) (#119)
    by Cream City on Tue Jul 01, 2008 at 10:25:27 AM EST
    until after the election.  That's how it's done.

    They won't fool me (5.00 / 1) (#159)
    by Steve M on Tue Jul 01, 2008 at 11:14:16 AM EST
    Faith-based initiatives are a particular clever incarnation of machine politics.  Now that the genie is out of the bottle, it's not going back in.  Any Democrat who gets elected is going to gladly grease those palms.

    So they can't disappoint me, because I have no expectations in the first place!


    Like Bush??? (5.00 / 1) (#108)
    by desertswine on Tue Jul 01, 2008 at 10:14:18 AM EST
    "Like Bush, Obama was arguing that religious organizations..."

    OK that's it for me. Who do I vote for now?

    Is Ralph Nader still running?
    How about Pat Paulson? Still alive?
    What about that Pig that ran in the sixties?

    I see that a McCain administration would be a disaster of major proportions.
    And an Obama presidency would merely be spectacularly disappointing.  Aaarghh...


    It will still result in discrimination (5.00 / 3) (#113)
    by blogtopus on Tue Jul 01, 2008 at 10:21:30 AM EST
    I don't know how many business owners there are in this forum, but it is relatively easy to get away with maneuvering cash funds so that technically you aren't using taxpayer's money to discriminate, but the effect is still the same.

    What Obama has done is shown organizations that wouldn't have considered doing it EXACTLY how to get away with it.

    If you don't think this will happen, or has happened already, then there really is no point in discussing it.

    Jeebus, this guy is in complete meltdown mode. Or is it 'letdown mode'?

    Will the real Obama please stand up? Blue Dog? (5.00 / 2) (#135)
    by jawbone on Tue Jul 01, 2008 at 10:42:43 AM EST
    Repub Lite? Flaming Lefty but shrouded in smoke? Lib but covered in fog?

    I do not know where Obama really stands on issues and that has been why I could not support him in the primaries. He's making it even more confusing as he campaigns as a general election candidate.



    Oh. My. God. (5.00 / 2) (#117)
    by RonK Seattle on Tue Jul 01, 2008 at 10:24:38 AM EST
    Policy or no, do we really believe such groups will not discriminate in services, will not proselytize, and will not discriminate in hiring?

    Do we believe that majorities in limited-resource communities will not use this to marginalize and exclude minorities within the local social-service ecosystem?

    It's Lewis Carroll's world, we're just living in it.

    Have you ever worked in a Church soup kitchen? (none / 0) (#134)
    by flyerhawk on Tue Jul 01, 2008 at 10:42:26 AM EST
    I have many times.  If they ever proselytized they were certainly pretty subtle about it.  

    Different churches probably act differently-- (none / 0) (#138)
    by jawbone on Tue Jul 01, 2008 at 10:44:36 AM EST
    The mainstream churches I'm familiar with would not proselytize while trying to feed the hungry. Some others have made a "session" a requirement for access to aid programs.

    Any program (none / 0) (#152)
    by flyerhawk on Tue Jul 01, 2008 at 11:01:49 AM EST
    will have those who skirt the rules.  Doesn't make the program a bad idea.

    Maybe then... (none / 0) (#180)
    by Mike H on Tue Jul 01, 2008 at 11:41:49 AM EST
    ...don't have the program at all, y'know?

    If some church groups skirt the rules, but others don't -- AND it's a situation where you don't NEED church groups doing this at all because a secular organization was doing it just fine to begin with -- then maybe just scrap the program.

    Let the church groups continue with their own money, as it should be.

    Secular programs -- good, effective, productive programs -- have been getting less money because of this faith-based program.  And their results have NOT been better, and often not even as good as, their secular counterparts.

    It's a conflict with constitutional principles.  It isn't providing better services.  And sometimes groups misuse the funds or break the rules.

    Sounds like it's time to end it -- not expand it!


    Yes, Really Do Believe (none / 0) (#137)
    by daring grace on Tue Jul 01, 2008 at 10:44:23 AM EST
    it's possible for these kinds of collaborations to work without any of the things you mention being part of the mix.

    Where I live these kinds of partnerships between faith based entities and the government long pre-date Bush's initiative.

    And, as I wrote above, I've witnessed it and heard about it from friends and family who worked in such programs and facilities and have experienced none of that abuse of the process.

    I'm talking about people who are aggressively secular and went to work in these places with tremendous skepticism about what the environment was going to be. They found it to be little different than their previous employment with non religious employers.

    That's not to say there aren't abuses. That's just to say there don't have to be. And when there are they can simply lose their funding.


    Faith Based Programs (5.00 / 2) (#131)
    by mmc9431 on Tue Jul 01, 2008 at 10:38:37 AM EST
    Death Penalty, Fisa, NAFTA, etc The list continues to grow. At this rate McCain won't have to campaign or raise money. He can just sit back and watch the Democrat's implode.

    And to think that we owned this election!

    Having read the Mizner Version... (5.00 / 1) (#144)
    by santarita on Tue Jul 01, 2008 at 10:51:43 AM EST
    my first reaction is that Obama wants the federal government to outsource some more of its core responsibilities, or at least what I thought, were core responsibilities - support for public education, food for the needy, etc.  Obama's plan must be to shrink the government through outsourcing.  His support of public-private partnership for public housing in Chicago seems consistent with this notion of outsourcing.  Outsourcing is not per se bad but only works when there are a lot of controls on the private sector by the public sector.  

    What the ----? (5.00 / 2) (#145)
    by ajain on Tue Jul 01, 2008 at 10:53:44 AM EST
    Is this the change we asked for?
    Where is the discussion of health care, jobs, equality, civil rights.
    For crying out loud, where is the discussion of women's rights and needs?

    I thought this election was going to be different, and new priorities would be set. This is just silly non-sense.

    Obama and his not so surprising policies (5.00 / 2) (#147)
    by Prabhata on Tue Jul 01, 2008 at 10:54:28 AM EST
    That's been my problem with Obama.  He has policies that he wrote on the back of an envelope to appeal to the primary voters.  We are our habits.  If anyone wants to know what a human being is about, take a look at what the person has done in the past and his friends.  Obama's associations with church people is strong, and his position regarding faith initiatives is in line with his background.

    Give Fed money to "faith-based" groups (5.00 / 4) (#149)
    by MsExPat on Tue Jul 01, 2008 at 10:57:00 AM EST
    and that means there is less money available for already-strapped government social programs. Federal funding of faith-based charity is like school vouchers--on the surface it looks great and pragmatic ("we're tapping into networks that are already reaching the grassroots"/"we're supporting better schools and school choice")

    But the net effect is to gut public schools and public social services. Instead of working on ways to make the things government should be doing more effective, we privatize and subcontract these public functions to religious organizations.

    Sounds like the Republican agenda to me, in a nutshell. But for whom do I cast my vote to stop this?

    Despite the update (5.00 / 1) (#160)
    by waldenpond on Tue Jul 01, 2008 at 11:14:20 AM EST
    I do not agree with Obama's position on school vouchers.  I support quality public education.

    Obama has requested 4-5 million for faith-based programs... 2.3 million of that for religious schools.  For me, this violates separation of church and state.

    I, also, have doubts about Obama's willingness to support discrimination issues as he voted for Thomas B Griffith.  This is one of several votes that I absolutely disagreed with.

    Leahy on Griffith

    NOW on Griffith

    Obama's vote

    This vote, along with other statements and associations?  I don't trust Obama on social issues.

    The problem is the term 'faith-based' (5.00 / 1) (#163)
    by dianem on Tue Jul 01, 2008 at 11:18:47 AM EST
    Why do they always have to emphasize religious groups over secular ones? In order to pander to fundmentalists who see their charitable work as a ministry that promotes the word of God. Bush initially threw in some language about not actually supporting the religious aspects of organizations with federal dollars, but it was not implemented. With Bush, there was no question that his program was a not-so-thinly veiled attempt to gain support from fundamentalist churches, included black churches - and it worked. Several promininet black progressive ministers endorsed Bush during the last election after he convinced them that he would benefit their ministries.

    Obama's policy is only subtly different from Bush's policy. The term "faith-based" is prominent - more prominent than agnostics like me would like to see it. If Obama simply wants to support charitable activities, then why is he specifically targeting "faith based" activities? He should be talking about his programs to support secular charitable activities of all types, and throwing in language about how secular activities supported by religious groups will be included. He parses the language so that you can read what you want, but the emphasis is on money going to faith-based organizations. This, like his prominent meeting with right-wing fundamentalists, is not a comforting attitude for people like me who feel that the U.S. is moving toward a theocracy. It looks like pandering to the religious fundamentalists.

    Both (none / 0) (#196)
    by daring grace on Tue Jul 01, 2008 at 11:58:06 AM EST
    Obama proposes expanding Bush's original plan to include secular grassroots groups as well:

    "Council for Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships".


    Switch Candidates (5.00 / 1) (#177)
    by Carolyn in Baltimore on Tue Jul 01, 2008 at 11:38:45 AM EST
    Since Obama is turning out to be a better moderate Republican than McCain, and the evangelicals will accept him too, I propose that he become the acclaimed Republican candidate and we have a quickie re-primary or open convention to pick a candidate who actually has Democratic values.

    I am sick that my choices are between McCain and a DINO. Make Barr, Nader, Paul, and McKinney look good. Sad.

    Priorities (5.00 / 1) (#192)
    by joanneleon on Tue Jul 01, 2008 at 11:54:07 AM EST
    I'm having a real problem with the Obama campaign's apparent priorities again.  Why are we not hearing grand speeches on how we're going to deal with the most critical issues of today, such as the wars, the economy, energy, etc. with specifics.

    Why choose to talk about faith-based initiatives and patriotism now?

    I have a real problem with the whole faith-based initiatives thing to begin with, but I think the priorities thing is bugging me even more.

    Let's have some details about how we're going to pull ourselves out of the ditch that we've dug during the last seven years.

    Maybe the Salvation Army (none / 0) (#206)
    by samanthasmom on Tue Jul 01, 2008 at 12:12:51 PM EST
    will be deployed to Iraq?

    Obama has to go after centrist Independent, (none / 0) (#208)
    by MyLeftMind on Tue Jul 01, 2008 at 12:16:09 PM EST
    Republican and even Reagan Dems now, before they're completely and thoroughly bamboozled by anti-Obama right wing material.  Most of the GOP's attacks will come after the Dem convention.  People vote on gut feelings, so the impression he makes now will carry through the fall.  He's positioning himself squarely in their court, and he's buying support from religious institutions.  Once he has them, Faux News slanders and dishonest misrepresentations won't work because too many conservatives will already see him as supporting their agendas.  Now is the time for Obama to address those voters, before he's hit hard by the GOP.

    Personally, I don't see a way for any President to get us out of the ditch the Bush Admin has dug during the last seven years.  Our economy is sinking and we're mired in Iraq.  But it's really our own fault for letting things get so out of control while many Democrats twiddled their thumbs instead of voting.  Or instead of talking to, convincing, even berating their relatives/friends/colleagues for voting for Bush.

    Friends don't let friends vote Republican.


    Remember Father Pleger of St. Sabin (5.00 / 1) (#204)
    by oculus on Tue Jul 01, 2008 at 12:10:53 PM EST
    in Chicago?  One of Obama's earmarks was for programs under the auspices of St. Sabin.  

    If this is true (none / 0) (#3)
    by Lahdee on Tue Jul 01, 2008 at 08:45:11 AM EST
    I think Obama's got bigger problems then Kos withholding his support.

    Obama still has a half assed chance (5.00 / 1) (#37)
    by Edger on Tue Jul 01, 2008 at 09:02:24 AM EST
    of winning the presidency.

    But if this is true, then whether Obama wins or McCain wins... McCain wins, and the whole country has much bigger problems than Kos withholding his support for Obama.


    BTW, I wonder what his pal Deval Patrick (none / 0) (#6)
    by andgarden on Tue Jul 01, 2008 at 08:47:14 AM EST
    would have to say about this? I'm sure he would not be pleased.

    So, is this (none / 0) (#10)
    by vigkat on Tue Jul 01, 2008 at 08:47:57 AM EST
    a political calculation?  

    Go back to his speech at that (5.00 / 4) (#31)
    by inclusiveheart on Tue Jul 01, 2008 at 08:59:36 AM EST
    evangelical convention - his membership at Wright's church - his personal conviction about his own religion - I think this is real and I think he has been pretty clear on his position in favor of integrating religion into our government for a long time now.  For some reason, a lot of people chose to ignore his position or rationalize it arguing that it was good for voting numbers.

    But I think it is really odd that he'd allow hiring and firing on the basis of faith in light of the most recent Pew study on religion in America which shows that an overwhelming majority of Americans are actually quite tolerant of other religions.  It could be said that he is out of the mainstream in the context of Pew's findings.


    So, (none / 0) (#13)
    by vigkat on Tue Jul 01, 2008 at 08:48:51 AM EST
    Is this a political calculation?  

    I agree completely (none / 0) (#18)
    by TruthMatters on Tue Jul 01, 2008 at 08:53:21 AM EST
    you highlight the wrong spot
    supports letting religious institutions hire and fire based on faith in the non-taxypayer funded portions of their activities,

    why shouldn't a religious institution that is NOT using taxpayer funds, not hire or fire based on people sharing those same religious beliefs?

    thats like saying a catholic church must hire Hindu staff or face discrimination charges,

    seriously you have a problem with regigous institutions hiring and firing based on whether people actually share the same faith as that religious institution?

    and obvious then since they made the effort to clarify NON-TAXPAYER. Obama doesn't support this if they use Taxpayer dollars.

    so whats the beef?

    It seems you disagree with Obama (none / 0) (#28)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Tue Jul 01, 2008 at 08:58:18 AM EST
    based on the update I recieved via David Mizner.

    Frankly, your position is repugnant. You think insititions that discriminate should receive tax payer funds. I say they should not.


    uh really? (none / 0) (#34)
    by TruthMatters on Tue Jul 01, 2008 at 09:00:46 AM EST
    or do I think that institutions that DON'T get tax payer funds can discriminate if they choose?

    pretty sure I say everything depends on that whole taxpayer vs. non-taxpayer funds.

    and yes if they aren't using taxpayer funds then I don't care if a religous instituion hires or fires on the basis of their religious belief.

    seperation of church and state works both ways, if they aren't using tax payer funds, then they can hire and fire but whatever guidelines they choose.


    Then you missed the import of the story (5.00 / 1) (#39)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Tue Jul 01, 2008 at 09:02:41 AM EST
    I suggest you read them more carefully.

    maybe you needed to read it better (none / 0) (#44)
    by TruthMatters on Tue Jul 01, 2008 at 09:05:03 AM EST
    becuase in the part YOU provided it spells it out

    supports letting religious institutions hire and fire based on faith in the non-taxypayer funded portions of their activities,

    I dont know what you read when you see non-taxpayer funded but to me a federal grant is tax payer funded so no parts with those grants can be used for discrimination, but as the article pointed out, any part of the oraganization that isn't taxpayer funded can discriminate.

    but sure maybe i am reading that line wrong.


    Implication being (none / 0) (#52)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Tue Jul 01, 2008 at 09:07:37 AM EST
    they recieve TAX PAYER funds.

    that is unaccpetable.

    Seriously, no offense, you do not get it.


    wow for once (3.50 / 2) (#58)
    by TruthMatters on Tue Jul 01, 2008 at 09:13:32 AM EST
    cant you just accept someone doesn't agree with you

    I get your point they accept tax payer dollars then at ALL levels of their activities whether the taxpayer funds go to fund those activities or not you wouldnt allow discrimination.

    holy cow man people can disagree with you without you insulting them.

    one of your worse faults your opinion is right who ever disgarees should be insulted by the all mighty BTD. well guess what American's have differing opinions.

    I agree that if activities aren't funded by taxpayer dollars then those are private activites.

    if a regiligous institution receives  taxpayer dollars to say put on a Kids camp during the summer, then they can't discriminate in who they hire to run a national confrence for the church in december?

    maybe you say no, I say yes. thats the beauty of this country people can have differing opinions without the all mighty BTD once again telling someone else well you don't get it because you dont agree with me.


    reverse that I used a negative (none / 0) (#59)
    by TruthMatters on Tue Jul 01, 2008 at 09:14:34 AM EST
    so you say yes, and i say no.

    I dont care if they discriminate in activitives that aren't tax payer funded, if I am not paying for it they can do what they want.


    except you could argure that .... (5.00 / 2) (#89)
    by TimNCGuy on Tue Jul 01, 2008 at 09:42:36 AM EST
    the non-taxpayer funded portio oftheir operations are really supported by the tax-payer funded portions of their operation.  If the didn't receive ANY tax-payer funding, then they would have to use ALL of their non-taxpayer funds to support ALL their operations.

    Receiving taxpayer funding allows them the flexibility to free-up more of their non-taxpayer funding to use.

    It is similar to the arguments used by state lotteries that are supposed to be used to fund education.  People approve of these lotteries because they are supposed to bring in ADDITIONAL monies for education.  But, then the state legislatures just cut their original education funding by the amount expected to come in from the lottery and education funding levels don't actually increase at all.


    You don't get the laws in the matter. (5.00 / 1) (#92)
    by wurman on Tue Jul 01, 2008 at 09:46:23 AM EST
    There are several layers of law involved such as organizations with over 15 employees, tax status (LLC, 501.3c, 508, SubS, Standard Corp), & state laws.

    Basically, though, if a Lutheran Family Services operation has more than 15 employees it cannot discriminate in hiring practices.

    Another complexity is that a group may be located in Camden NJ & function or operate or provide services in NJ, PA & NY so a whole 'nother set of laws comes into play.

    It doesn't matter whether it's a church using parishioner donations, a charity using public donations, a foundation funded by a family or a corporation----they're not allowed to hire on a discriminatory basis if they "fit" into one, some, all, or any of the criteria.

    Co-mingling US Gov't funds with private dollars occurs all the time in various situations--major private, religiously affiliated colleges & universities, for example.  The law still applies.


    No, this is wrong (none / 0) (#158)
    by Valhalla on Tue Jul 01, 2008 at 11:11:59 AM EST
    Title VII contains an exemption for religion-bsed discrimination in hiring for religious organizations.

    Section 702 states:

    This subchapter shall not apply ... to a religious
    corporation, association, educational institution, or society with respect to the employment of individuals of a particular religion to perform work connected with the carrying on by such corporation, association, educational institution, or society of its activities.

    My comments are practical facts. (none / 0) (#214)
    by wurman on Tue Jul 01, 2008 at 12:56:56 PM EST
    Your reference to Section 702 of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (amended 1972, 1987) is accurate.

    However, it is the starting point for court decisions, administrative rulings, CFR wording, state rules, & local laws.  That's why my post contains several elements.

    I will reference & quote a useful source about this issue of religious discriminations.  If you are interested in the subject, it's a good read.  I would also comment that Bu$h xliii would not have issued his Executive Order on the faith-based inititiative discrimination difficulties if 702 was the sole source of how things work.

    Here's the "read" on religious hiring (link).  This is PDF, also available in HTML, which is broken up by pagination.

    Here's the relevant quotation:

    There are now at least five different--and often conflicting--approaches that Congress has applied to religious organizations that receive a Federal grant. States and localities may have additional rules. This hodgepodge of conflicting approaches has led to confusion for providers of social services, and a consequent reluctance by many faith-based groups to seek support from Federally funded programs. A faith-based organization that receives Federal funds to house the homeless, help them find work, and provide them with drug treatment and counseling could be subject to different Federal, State, or local rules on whether it can hire according to its religious beliefs
    [My underlines]

    Those words are the reason for my comment about tri-state operations by a "nominally" religious organization.  Some states have laws that are more restrictive than Title VII.  And some have more specific definitions of the term "church."

    Finally, there is a backward edge to this odd sword of justice.  Under some conditions, if an organization applies the discriminatory hiring option & then, at some point, employs a person who doesn't fit or match the religion, then the exemption is nullified.

    In my opinion, Sen. Obama is unaware of the worm can that he's opening here.  Bu$hInc clearly screwed this up, but it could become even worse.


    Religious institutions (none / 0) (#189)
    by waldenpond on Tue Jul 01, 2008 at 11:51:45 AM EST
    are not just churches.  They are businesses, hospitals etc.

    I do not agree that a bookstore should be able to discrimate based on religion because it takes advantage of a loophole that allows it to fall under 'religious institution'


    He hasn't done anything to earn my vote (none / 0) (#40)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Jul 01, 2008 at 09:03:52 AM EST
    If this is true he is forfeiting my vote.

    Not true.........whew (none / 0) (#47)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Jul 01, 2008 at 09:06:23 AM EST
    Is there code talk (none / 0) (#41)
    by Lahdee on Tue Jul 01, 2008 at 09:04:29 AM EST
    going on here?

    Dog whistling. (5.00 / 1) (#143)
    by jawbone on Tue Jul 01, 2008 at 10:49:02 AM EST
    TPM has the text (none / 0) (#100)
    by andgarden on Tue Jul 01, 2008 at 09:58:53 AM EST
    Are there any metrics that speek toward (none / 0) (#111)
    by samtaylor2 on Tue Jul 01, 2008 at 10:21:09 AM EST
    This programs success or failure.  I have heard many either amazing stories or horror stories, both of which are suspect.  Defunding working successful programs is not okay.  But then I look at Detroit, and there are so many churches there doing goood things (as there are in most urban centers with large black and latino populations).  Does it not make sense to use these networks that have strong roots in the population to help these Detroiters and other out?  I say this as a Jew has deep suspicion of the church in politics.  There in an obvious slippery slope.

    Check longitudinal studies now, at last (5.00 / 4) (#124)
    by Cream City on Tue Jul 01, 2008 at 10:30:25 AM EST
    on the longest-running publicly funded school voucher program in the country, in Milwaukee -- begun with startup funds from Obama's friend Ayers' foundation, when Obama chaired the board, btw.

    The results of the program are disastrous, and not just for the students, as scores have plummeted here.  It has bankrupted the city.  Imagine the costs for us of paying taxes for two school systems.

    But it has been very beneficial for the religious schools, many of which were on the brink of closing until the school voucher program.  Now they've built new annexes, while the public schools crumble.

    Of course, those are the religious schools already in place.  The storefront schools that popped up here, like Alex's Academee of Xcellence (I do not make this up), had no books for years -- and of course, religious schools do not require teachers to have certification -- but the "principals" bought a lot of Mercedes Benzes and big McMansions in the burbs.

    I cannot go on, the stories are so disgusting.  But they're on jsonline.com.


    I did a some research (none / 0) (#174)
    by samtaylor2 on Tue Jul 01, 2008 at 11:33:50 AM EST
    THere are 2 major studies on the Milwaukee charter system.  They both show pros and cons, though it seems most people supported the Duke study (vs. the Harvard study), saying that the the charter school program in FL was better.  There were a lot of positive things and negative things about the MIlwaukee program.  There were examples that you gave of a rapist and relgious organizations opening schools (not equivalent), but there were examples of improved performance as well.  There was no mention of Ayers as the architect of this program though.  He did have a paper that is quoted in many articles from various persectives on the class size called,  the "Ulimate Education" by William Ayers, Gerald Bracey, and Greg Smith.  Furthermore, the Democrats are expanding the program.  Am I missing something?  P.S. I don't think charter schools are the answer, but I don't have much room to talk about it as my parents sent my to private schools, as the my public high school in SF had a race war (asians vs. blacks that turned on the police when they showed up) the year before I came.

    Charter Schools State-by-State (none / 0) (#183)
    by Carolyn in Baltimore on Tue Jul 01, 2008 at 11:45:27 AM EST
    Charter schools are vastly different depending on the state and the implementation. Here in MD, Charter Schools are part of the public system: teachers are union and qualified, kids get free lunch programs, teachers get pay and benefits and the schools are secular.
    Many are performing very well. Some that are worse are still outperforming the local public schools. And they are successful enough that the new Baltimore City Superintendant (Alonzo) is reworking the other public schools to be more like the charters and provide more school choice within the public system.
    Please do not assume one city's model reflects on other localities. Charters can improve and democratize the system.

    And see studies on impact on public schools (none / 0) (#185)
    by Cream City on Tue Jul 01, 2008 at 11:48:27 AM EST
    in Milwaukee.  Devastation.  And again, think about how much my property taxes have soared -- because I am committed to my city so have stayed -- to support two publicly funded school systems.  Etc.

    Sorry I can't expand more on this today, I've gotta get some work done -- to get ready for all those students with such varying levels of preparation to land in my classes in only two months now.  I appreciate that you are taking this seriously and trying to find out more.  And I'll try to find time to go through my efiles and find more later, Sam.

    One thing, one tip, for searching -- the reporter on this the most on jsonline.com is Alan Borsuk.  But see his latest stuff, as he has been a bit disillusioned recently, after being an early booster through the bully pulpit of the major paper in the state.  That his congregation greatly benefited from vouchers, as did his kids, has nothing to do with it, of course. :-)


    Good luck with the prep (none / 0) (#191)
    by samtaylor2 on Tue Jul 01, 2008 at 11:53:53 AM EST
    Keep up the good fight :)

    The update is the requisite WORM by the campaign-- (none / 0) (#133)
    by jawbone on Tue Jul 01, 2008 at 10:40:30 AM EST
    What Obama Really Meant.

    Get used to it.

    mmm. (none / 0) (#148)
    by Faust on Tue Jul 01, 2008 at 10:54:37 AM EST
    I'll have to wait for more info on this hiring and firing business in the non-taxpayer funded "portions" of the religious institutions.

    However, as someone who is quite sympathetic to religion in general, but who is ALSO vehemently opposed to union between church and state (because it's just as bad for the religion), I find this plan to continue the Bush program very disapointing.

    Not suprised at the general trend though. He's been quite clear he wants to generate a religious wing inside the democratic party. I can even see it being successful politically if done in the right way.

    For me personally however, it is not something I like at all.

    I you dont like that (none / 0) (#162)
    by Capt Howdy on Tue Jul 01, 2008 at 11:17:14 AM EST
    you are not going to like this:

    Obama's for Equal Pay, Yet Pays Female Staffers Less Than Males


    WHere is the evidence (4.00 / 2) (#175)
    by samtaylor2 on Tue Jul 01, 2008 at 11:35:13 AM EST
    If you are going to make claims like that please provide some evidence.

    Someone posted this yesterday (none / 0) (#194)
    by tree on Tue Jul 01, 2008 at 11:56:46 AM EST
    I actually got it from (none / 0) (#199)
    by Capt Howdy on Tue Jul 01, 2008 at 11:59:41 AM EST
    No Quarter but I did not post the link because I expected the discussion to become about the messenger and not the message.
    and I did not particularly want to give CNS any hits.

    this is the part of ben smith's (none / 0) (#154)
    by cpinva on Tue Jul 01, 2008 at 11:04:26 AM EST
    post i found most intriguing:

    (Indeed, the current "flip flop" meme is overstated: He's shifted on a number of issues over his career, but many of the ones he's now getting hit for are years old.)

    are we now going to get a list of all these items, or is it going to be left to the republicans (and their 527's) to call him out?

    the whole "faith based" thing was a sop to the religious right, with no economic evidence to support it whatever. it should be shut down immediately, as it's clearly violative of the church/state separation required by 1A.

    that sen. obama (or clinton, for that matter) would seek to expand it is problematic on its face. i would like to see some concrete evidence, supporting tben's assertion that sen. clinton maintains the same posture on this issue as sen. obama has publicly stated.

    sen. obama's self-defined "blank slate" would appear to be true only up to a point: once the disappearing ink starts coming up, his slate no longer seems completely clean.

    Hillary supports faith based initiatives (none / 0) (#181)
    by MyLeftMind on Tue Jul 01, 2008 at 11:44:05 AM EST
    Obama's not the only Dem hunting for votes in this traditionally Republican backyard.

    Bush initiated the programs, and now they're an established, expected system of funding for religious organizations.  If you want to do something to stop them, have at it, but it's naïve to criticize any Dem using these programs to garner votes.  More than thirty states have their own faith based initiative programs already.  

    Yes, the more we fund good social programs through religious organizations, the more we undermine the separation of church and state.  Churches beef up their communications channels (mailing lists, computers, the works) with tax money while using their own money for their proselytizing and political work, much of which is anathema to our values and issues.  (e.g. the Catholic Church fighting equal rights for gays.)   They can easily show that the money that came in went to a project that it was intended for, and still use the tax money to backfill their organization.  When you pay someone's salary to coordinate a program, that doesn't stop them from spending their time doing whatever else the organization wants done.  Since the initiatives fund good work for society, they're not going to be scrutinized on the level that needed to stop or prevent abuses.  Unfortunately, they also out compete other not for profit organizations because church groups are also funded through regular donations, other grants, etc.  

    Distributed allocation of tax money makes it harder to prove churches use the money for purposes we don't want them to, and if you catch them, so what, it's easy to fire (or move) an employee that broke the rules and just continue.  

    Government programs are notoriously hard to stop once they're in place in society.  Clearly, faith based initiatives are problematic, and yet still good for society.  However, now that Bush has established the initiatives, Democratic candidates can't go against it.  Which is why even Hillary Clinton said she'd support and even expand the faith based initiatives.  Going after Obama on this issue is a waste of time.  He's chosen to use/expand/change/co-opt Bush's current system, and he'll definitely get votes out of it because when churches see the lure of big money on the horizon, they tell their obedient members voters how to vote.  It's that simple.  

    Just curious... (none / 0) (#197)
    by pmj6 on Tue Jul 01, 2008 at 11:58:50 AM EST
    If not Obama, whom would you support?

    if your claim is that the AP got it wrong..... (none / 0) (#201)
    by TimNCGuy on Tue Jul 01, 2008 at 12:06:01 PM EST
    are you claiming that the AP

    inaccurately reported what the anonymous source told them?


    that the anonymous source gave them inaccurate information.

    In scenario 1, the AP would have gotten it wrong.
    In scenario 2, the anonymous source got it wrong, but the AP accurately reported what the anonymous source said.

    Since you don't know who the anonymous source is, you can't know which scenario, if either, is what happened.

    If he thinks these "Faith Based" groups (none / 0) (#209)
    by The Realist on Tue Jul 01, 2008 at 12:19:27 PM EST
    won't take advantage, think again.

    charter schools in texas have a (none / 0) (#210)
    by hellothere on Tue Jul 01, 2008 at 12:33:38 PM EST
    mixed history. there has been evidence of religeous based schools also being closed due to mismanagment. of course we also have a school district in houston that has so many financial issues and scandals. i look for it to be included in another district down the road.

    Discrimination in shelters (none / 0) (#211)
    by just victory on Tue Jul 01, 2008 at 12:34:04 PM EST
    Last year there was a story in the Chicago Tribune about a homeless shelter staffer that denied a lesbian space in the shelter, even though there were two beds available. This took place in Chicago's Rogers Park neighborhood at the New Life shelter run by a Christian ministry. The pastor apologized, saying that some of his staff were just uncomfortable with gays. The ACLU sued, I believe.

    But imagine being this woman. She'd been thrown out of her apartment by an abusive partner. She had the choice of lying about who she was or spending the night in the cold. And when she was honest about what happened to her and who she was, they denied her a bed because they were "uncomfortable" with her.

    I had counted on the fact that this faith-based stuff would be gone along with Bush. Apparently not.