Obama Says No To Religious Discrimination

Yesterday, the AP erroneously reported that Barack Obama would permit faith based discrimination in hiring with non-taxpayers funds for organizations that would participate in his faith based initiative. Subsequently, the NYTimes erroneously reported that there was a legal basis for this position based on theDale Boy Scouts case. Apparently, the Obama campaign made clear that Obama says no to faith based discrimination:

Mr. Obama’s position that religious organizations would not be able to consider religion in their hiring for such programs would constitute a deal-breaker for many evangelicals, said several evangelical leaders, who represent a political constituency Mr. Obama has been trying to court. “For those of who us who believe in protecting the integrity of our religious institutions, this is a fundamental right,” said Richard Cizik, vice president for governmental affairs for the National Association of Evangelicals. “He’s rolling back the Bush protections. That’s extremely disappointing.”

(Emphasis supplied.) To me, that is extremely heartening. Indeed, it would have been a deal breaker for me if Obama endorsed religious discrimination. I am happy to see that Obama opposes and will not countenance religious discrimination. John McCain endorses religious discrimination -- "Mr. McCain “disagrees with Senator Obama that hiring at faith-based groups should be subject to government oversight.” McCain is simply not an option for those voters who believe in separation of church and state.

By Big Tent Democrat, speaking for me only

< Static Race: Obama By 5 | Training Interrogators to Produce False Confessions >
  • The Online Magazine with Liberal coverage of crime-related political and injustice news

  • Contribute To TalkLeft

  • Display: Sort:
    On the legal issue I discussed yesterday (5.00 / 0) (#1)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Jul 02, 2008 at 10:37:10 AM EST
    the Obama campaign understands the law perfectly, as opposed to the NYTimes:

    Martha Minnow, a professor of law at Harvard University who has written about religion-based initiatives and has advised the Obama campaign on the issue, said Mr. Obama would move to "return the law to what it was before the current administration," in other words barring the consideration of religion in hiring decisions for such programs that receive federal financing.

    "I don't think there's anything too controversial about that," said. "Any religious organization that does not want to comply with that requirement simply doesn't have to take the money."

    Even Chief Justice John Roberts must agree with that.

    Heh (5.00 / 2) (#2)
    by Steve M on Wed Jul 02, 2008 at 10:40:07 AM EST
    I'm not sure I trust an article that can't even get Martha Minow's name right.

    IMO the confusion on this issue has not been resolved yet.  There's a little too much gamesmanship in sending out an anonymous spokesman to explain your policy, and then distancing yourself from the controversial part once it's out there.


    And the Obama war room (5.00 / 1) (#6)
    by Cream City on Wed Jul 02, 2008 at 10:50:16 AM EST
    ought to have had a same-day answer, not a next-day answer, if it didn't want this, too, to be read both ways.  Or the Obama campaign is not coordinated.  Either way, it raises questions.

    And that every speech seems to raise questions may make it more work to figure out than some voters want to invest.


    To be read both ways - an advantage? (5.00 / 2) (#9)
    by catfish on Wed Jul 02, 2008 at 10:51:57 AM EST
    Maybe they wanted the ambiguity.

    I'm guessing they did. (5.00 / 3) (#10)
    by andgarden on Wed Jul 02, 2008 at 10:53:03 AM EST
    Someone in the Obama camp did (5.00 / 1) (#22)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Jul 02, 2008 at 11:00:41 AM EST
    As you can see from the changed quotes in the story - David Kuo in particular has flipped flopped.

    Kuo reviewed the policy (5.00 / 1) (#47)
    by Cream City on Wed Jul 02, 2008 at 11:32:25 AM EST
    for Obama, which is odd enough, as Kuo was Bush's guy on this.

    But Kuo reviewed it and didn't know what it meant?

    I gotta figure this out.  It's too WORM-y.


    Kuo was publicly dissatisfied with (none / 0) (#96)
    by oculus on Wed Jul 02, 2008 at 12:40:31 PM EST
    Bush's failure to follow through.  He must know all the ins and outs of faith-based initiatives.

    Apparently what he knew (none / 0) (#115)
    by Cream City on Wed Jul 02, 2008 at 01:09:20 PM EST
    when he reviewed it before yesterday is not what he knows now that he reviewed it yesterday or today.



    Yeah Obama love ambiguity (5.00 / 0) (#14)
    by talex on Wed Jul 02, 2008 at 10:57:32 AM EST
    And so does the public. That is why he has that (not so)huge 5 point lead!!!

    Yeah, that makes some sense (5.00 / 1) (#16)
    by anydemwilldo on Wed Jul 02, 2008 at 10:58:08 AM EST
    Or at least, they wanted to keep the "deal breaker" stuff out of the  news for one cycle.  Evangelical leaders, clearly, would never have been on board with a democrat anyway.  But avoiding any details means that they had to wait a day before coming up with anything specific to which they could object.

    Evangelical voters, on the other hand, are a lot more forgiving.  Some of them will follow the megachurches, but others might be swayed.  I'm starting to think this scheme might be better politics than any of us expected: note that the McCain campaign still has no answer.  Coverage of that side has focused on (1) McCain "doesn't like to talk about religion" and (2) is currently ignoring domestic issues and isn't even in the country right now.  Couple that with the Obama ads running on christian radio right now, and this might actually work...


    Exactly. Either way, it raises questions (5.00 / 0) (#18)
    by Cream City on Wed Jul 02, 2008 at 10:58:57 AM EST
    and that may work with some voters, sure.

    Others, not so much -- much as we might wish that every voter work hard to be a high-info voter.  Maybe I talk with too many would-be new voters who end up just opting out from confusion.


    "Return the law" (5.00 / 0) (#4)
    by MsExPat on Wed Jul 02, 2008 at 10:43:50 AM EST
    to what it was before the current administration is great. Glad to hear that Obama's position is not the un-Constitutional nightmare we feared it was yesterday.

    But I would be MUCH happier to hear that Obama wants to return the POLICY to what it was before the current administration.

    In other words, no taxpayer money for "faith-based" social programs. And certainly no government council institutionalizing them.

    Bill Clinton allowed federal money (5.00 / 1) (#8)
    by Pegasus on Wed Jul 02, 2008 at 10:51:33 AM EST
    to go to faith-based social work for the latter half of his term, in point of fact.

    But the '90s were bad (5.00 / 0) (#13)
    by Cream City on Wed Jul 02, 2008 at 10:56:55 AM EST
    and the president then was all to blame.  I know I heard that somewhere.

    Exactly (5.00 / 1) (#17)
    by ineedalife on Wed Jul 02, 2008 at 10:58:33 AM EST
    Obama cannot change laws but he can change policy. Saying "change the law" puts the ball in Congress' court, complete with Republican filibustering. It makes it subject to negotiation. Obama should be talking about what he is going to do if he gets elected President, not his legislative goals when he goes back to the Senate.

    Hmm can former pres hold senate positions? (none / 0) (#32)
    by Thanin on Wed Jul 02, 2008 at 11:10:45 AM EST
    Yes. (none / 0) (#33)
    by Pegasus on Wed Jul 02, 2008 at 11:12:14 AM EST
    Former presidents are citizens, and can run for whatever they want.  JQ Adams, IIRC, went to the House after being president.

    ANd (none / 0) (#132)
    by tek on Wed Jul 02, 2008 at 01:39:08 PM EST
    as president he could issue Executive Orders as Bush did.

    Exactly (5.00 / 2) (#30)
    by ks on Wed Jul 02, 2008 at 11:06:26 AM EST
    Obama's playing the appeal to everybody game.  He's proposing an expansion of the "faith based" programs in order to appeal to the evangelicals and religious organizations while throwing liberal civil libertains a bone by saying that those organization's can't discriminate by hiring only within their religious group which is a change from Bush's current program which allows them to "consider" religious affiliation when hiring.  

    The practical problem is that while it's good that it will be on the books, it's very unlikely that the proposed prohibition will be enforced in any real manner, and as others have pointed out here in other threads on this subject, religious organizations have several ways of getting around the prohibition.

    The real issue is what MsExPat points out.  The bigger problem is the bad policy itself and not returning the bad policy to the law which is helpful but begs the overall problem.  


    Problem with this policy is that (none / 0) (#144)
    by The Realist on Wed Jul 02, 2008 at 02:16:28 PM EST
    Federal non-discrimination act excludes LGBT's. The only bone he's throwing the LGBT community is "F" you with a pretty,big, red bow tied around it.

    Policy for 40 years (none / 0) (#114)
    by Tom Hilton on Wed Jul 02, 2008 at 01:09:19 PM EST
    The Great Society relied extensively on community-level organizations, including churches and church-affiliated groups; the Federal government has been funding religious organizations ever since.  The Bush difference was removing Federal standards from the funding; Obama would put those back.  This isn't anything new.  

    Loophole (5.00 / 1) (#5)
    by waldenpond on Wed Jul 02, 2008 at 10:44:52 AM EST
    If it's true that the law applies to orgs with 15 or more employees, this is easy to work around.  We have empty public schools of which charter schools are renting space.  An org just needs to have separate schools for grades (or some other criteria) or combine with other orgs and it would be easy to get around this in CA.  Our new law of requiring a credentialed teacher...? I am curious if it requires a full-time teacher.

    I support quality public education so I tend to look at this policy through my narrow bias.

    Exactly how schools and other orgs (5.00 / 2) (#11)
    by Cream City on Wed Jul 02, 2008 at 10:54:56 AM EST
    get around it already in my state -- several small "schools" under one roof, with one "principal" pocketing the fed funds as the owner but not paying (non-certified) teachers, not buying books for students, etc.

    I will not vote for vouchers.  Or for continuance of any other end-arounds the separation of church and state.  In addition to principles, the pragmatic result is too often poor results plus a bankrupting of public services to the poor.


    Nothing New (5.00 / 1) (#27)
    by squeaky on Wed Jul 02, 2008 at 11:05:19 AM EST
    Title VII was written in 1964, an employer is defined as someone who has 15 or more employees that work full time for at least 20 weeks of the year.....

    Religious organizations and (none / 0) (#137)
    by Valhalla on Wed Jul 02, 2008 at 01:53:43 PM EST
    religious schools are exempt from discrimination based on religion.

    See the 'EXEMPTION' section in the link.

    Title VII alone doesn't address the issue of federal funding to one program within a religious organization with respect to discrimination in employment.  (I imagine there's plenty of case law and regs that do, and, as someone said yesterday, there are state and local laws that apply).

    But even assuming Obama's proposal is that no federal funds go to a specific program that discriminates in employment, there's still the fact that federal $ going to a church's nondiscriminatory program offsets the funds needed for discriminatory parts.

    And that still bothers me.  I don't care whether either of the Clintons supported it.

    The offset argument from the other side has long been successful in denying federal funds to Planned Parenthood, and hospitals and clinics, etc. etc.

    When Obama promises a reproductive health based initiative to give federal funds to support PP et  al, then maybe I'll reconsider my objection.  Maybe.

    Cream's point about the shell games with accounting is an excellent one, but I don't even have to go there.


    I Agree (none / 0) (#147)
    by squeaky on Wed Jul 02, 2008 at 02:18:45 PM EST
    About federal funds being given to religious organizations who can hire based on religious criteria. As far as I can tell it has been going on since 1996. I think Clinton vetoed Charitable Choice two or three times before signing it into law, but it was very popular, even Wellstone voted for it.

    And the fact that Hillary was 100% behind it does not make it any more palatable to me either.

    I am glad that Obama has cleared up his position and stood up against an unconstitutional practice that has been going on for the last 12 years that had wide bipartisan support. Seems like a hat tip to progressives to me, and something to be celebrated.


    I would only be delighted (none / 0) (#169)
    by samanthasmom on Wed Jul 02, 2008 at 04:28:53 PM EST
    if he stopped the program altogether.

    You Mean With A Signing Statement? (none / 0) (#171)
    by squeaky on Wed Jul 02, 2008 at 05:02:16 PM EST
    Or executive order? It is a law passed by congress, I do not think that the president can just erase it.

    Trust (5.00 / 2) (#7)
    by nellre on Wed Jul 02, 2008 at 10:51:29 AM EST
    Obama does not have my trust. His pandering to the religious right has unnerved me.
    The AP story was a total invention? I don't think so.

    I do not want to hear these words from my President to be:

    While I could sit in church and pray all I want, I wouldn't be fulfilling God's will unless I went out and did the Lord's work," he declared.

    I do not want basic human services managed and delivered by organized religion. I do not want my government giving organized religion money.

    I've often though Bush was the emperor with no clothes. Obama seems to be ready to take over that role.

    heh (5.00 / 1) (#15)
    by Alec82 on Wed Jul 02, 2008 at 10:57:44 AM EST
    I do not want basic human services managed and delivered by organized religion. I do not want my government giving organized religion money.

     That ship sailed about a decade ago, unfortunately.  As did constitutional arguments against it.

     Oh, and Democratic will, as well.


    Decade? (5.00 / 1) (#24)
    by anydemwilldo on Wed Jul 02, 2008 at 11:01:32 AM EST
    Try a dozen centuries or so.  Ministering to the poor is a central tenet of christianity (and a rather pleasing one, even to this atheist's eyes).  This country is a little weird in that they've never been able to use government funds to do it, but church-run charities are far older than america is.

    Except it isn't (5.00 / 3) (#31)
    by Alec82 on Wed Jul 02, 2008 at 11:09:12 AM EST
    We're talking about government funding, here, which presents all sorts of bad entanglement issues.  There was a reason the Salvation Army was pushing for a special status when it received the funds....one of the forgotten scandals of the pre-9/11 Bush administration.  

     One of the many reasons vouchers are problematic as well (and Gore flipped on that one quite a bit in 2000).

     Fact is, though, that the Democrats have ceded quite a bit of ground on this point.  There were always bound to be problems with this.  


    Not just christianity (none / 0) (#35)
    by DFLer on Wed Jul 02, 2008 at 11:13:18 AM EST
    also tenet of every major organized religion, right?

    The church WAS the government (none / 0) (#45)
    by dianem on Wed Jul 02, 2008 at 11:25:33 AM EST
    For a dozen or so centuries, the church and the government shared power. The United States was designed to break that mold, which is why we have so many constitutional protections about separation of church and state. The tradition of church and state sharing power is very old, but that doesn't make it right for us.

    Well... (5.00 / 1) (#50)
    by Alec82 on Wed Jul 02, 2008 at 11:34:44 AM EST
    The actual history is a bit more complicated.  The federal government was areligious to the core...and the Founders were heathens by modern evangelical and fundamentalist standards (Remember when Ralph Reed touted Jefferson's social gospel...devoid of miracles, as it were? too funny).  But religious tests in state government were hardly unheard of.  

     Actually, I've always thought that the church state divide in the US prevented us from going down the path of our Western cousins.  Religious affiliation is absurdly high in comparison to, you know, the bulk of our allies...who, surprise surprise, tend to have state-sanctioned churches.  


    Greenwald said it still funds discrimination (5.00 / 2) (#19)
    by catfish on Wed Jul 02, 2008 at 10:58:57 AM EST
    it funds institutions who discriminate. How is oversight achieved here? Do auditors check that the funds you received are spent on the right activities?

    Why must this program be expanded?

    I hate this whole thing. As somebody else said, it's very easy to convert somebody who is starving. "I believe, now give me some soup."


    Greenwald and I (5.00 / 1) (#25)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Jul 02, 2008 at 11:02:55 AM EST
    were questioning the AP report.

    Today the answer is clear - an on the record quote from an Obama advisor - Minow.


    It's not clear to me. (5.00 / 1) (#34)
    by LarryInNYC on Wed Jul 02, 2008 at 11:12:36 AM EST
    I don't know the ins and outs of the law (or whatever regulations govern this issue) as it existed before Bush and after Bush, but a reasonable reading of the article you linked is that discrimination will be barred in the federally funded program only, not the other activities of the religious organization that's getting the money.

    Although that doesn't sound unreasonable to me, I understood your original position to be that recipients of federal money must not be allowed to discriminate even in their non-federally funded activities.


    The organization receiving a federal contract (none / 0) (#38)
    by Pegasus on Wed Jul 02, 2008 at 11:16:48 AM EST
    must, in my understanding of the policy, be separately incorporated -- separate and independent budget, staff, etc. -- from any organization that uses religious considerations in hiring.

    I think Greenwald et al were afraid that wouldn't be the case, and now it's been clarified.


    Which is why religious organizations (none / 0) (#63)
    by Cream City on Wed Jul 02, 2008 at 11:56:00 AM EST
    put lawyers on their boards to do these sorts of separate incorporations -- of foundations and the like -- for free.

    Boards look for lawyers and PR pros to get lots of pro bono work as well as advice on how to get around the law and make it look good. Speaking as one who served on many a board and had to repeatedly refuse to turn pigs' ears into silk purses, until it just got too tiresome to be used and abused.


    Well it's not so clear (none / 0) (#46)
    by talex on Wed Jul 02, 2008 at 11:28:08 AM EST
    As anyone who thinks about it can see, and as Greenwald pointed out late yesterday the churches can still discriminate in hiring in non-federal funded activities.

    So what happens when a small church use people hired based on religion as regular staff and then use those people in the activities that are federally funded? Discrimination that is federally funded.

    What happens when funds are co-mingled? Discrimination that is federally funded.

    To pretend that Obama does not know, wink wink - nod nod, that things like this will not be going on is well you know.

    As an aside:

    "McCain is simply not an option for those voters who believe in separation of church and state." - BTD

    Although I agree in not federally funding activities that hire based on religion - that is a big stretch to suggest to do other wise violates the separation of church and state don't you think. It's not exactly The Church of England you know.


    Conservatives (none / 0) (#112)
    by MKS on Wed Jul 02, 2008 at 01:06:11 PM EST
    may fear the opposite:  an overreaching Federal government interferring in hiring practices having nothing to do with programs that receive federal funds....

    One of the more interesting arguments I have heard against gay marriage involves a rather paranoid version of the slippery slope argument.  If gay marriage is allowed, then the federal government may impose sanctions on those entities that do not recognize them, and withhold federal benefits....or even refuse to let religious groups that do not recognize gay marriage reserve spots in parks for religious activities, just the way it happened to the Boy Scouts....The federal government will require churches to perform gay marriages....And, so the thinking goes...

    A distinction can be made between running soup kitchens and running Sunday School classes. The details can be worked out.  


    If it's clear that this does not expand (5.00 / 1) (#51)
    by Cream City on Wed Jul 02, 2008 at 11:37:43 AM EST
    beyond the legal limits, it still doesn't reassure me -- since it's still an expansion of public funds, my money, for religious organizations.

    That still feels wrong, even if lawyers say it's okay.  Some lawyers, I gather, since lawyers can be found to side with Bush on anything.  See my USAA.


    Not just trust (5.00 / 4) (#43)
    by waldenpond on Wed Jul 02, 2008 at 11:23:03 AM EST
    I want separation of church and state also.  I am p!ssed that my tax dollars will go to churces who give multi-million dollar homes for 'retired' pastors as an appreciation for their service.

    This move was to be expected given the 3-5 million in earmark requests for religious programs and schools by Obama.

    The Obama campaign always reminded me of Bush.


    Bush was (5.00 / 1) (#173)
    by jondee on Wed Jul 02, 2008 at 05:09:36 PM EST
    the clothes with no emperor.

    obama is way to willing to take over the (4.25 / 4) (#23)
    by PssttCmere08 on Wed Jul 02, 2008 at 11:01:05 AM EST
    "emperor has no clothes" role....and this faith based program is just a continuation of another gwb debacle.  When people compare obama to gwb, it is a legitimate comparison.

    It's not a GWB program, originally. (5.00 / 0) (#26)
    by Pegasus on Wed Jul 02, 2008 at 11:03:48 AM EST
    Faith-based initiatives originated with Bill Clinton in 1996.  Bush stripped out most of the 1st Amendment protections, and Obama seems to want to restore them.  Which is why this is a "deal-breaker" for the hard evangelical right.

    Originated with Sen. John Ashcroft (5.00 / 1) (#109)
    by DFLer on Wed Jul 02, 2008 at 01:04:02 PM EST
    would more accurate, I think...tacked on as an amendment to Welfare Reform Act of 1996 by Ashcroft, and signed into law by Clinton.

    Welfare Reform Act and Ashcroft Amendment (1996)
    The 1996 Welfare Reform Act, signed by President Clinton, enabled some houses of worship to receive tax dollars for delivery of social services, due to an amendment sponsored by then Senator, now Attorney General, John Ashcroft. Prior to that year, government funds could go to religious groups for social services, but the institutions were required to have separate, secular nonprofit entities to administer the programs. With the "charitable choice" provision of the 1996 act, religious charities were permitted to compete for government welfare dollars.

    Some groups fear that the ramifications of adding religious groups to the federal welfare equation are far-reaching. The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force complains that the 1996 Welfare Act also "allowed religious institutions to discriminate in their hiring practices on the basis of religious belief, gender, race and ethnicity, and other factors. Moreover, the 1996 law eliminated safeguards that were intended to prevent recipients from being subjected to unwanted proselytizing, the display of large religious icons in areas where services were provided and other forms of captive-audience religious expression."



    Right -- I didn't mean to imply (none / 0) (#113)
    by Pegasus on Wed Jul 02, 2008 at 01:09:07 PM EST
    that it was Clinton's idea.  But it originated during his presidency, and he signed off on it.  And Gore embraced the concept in 2000.  So it's unfair (not to mention incorrect) to associate it solely with Bush II.

    In Fact (none / 0) (#139)
    by squeaky on Wed Jul 02, 2008 at 02:00:01 PM EST
    Hillary was also 100% behind faith based initiatives, and I do believe that they were allowed to hire whoever they wanted, seemingly in contravention to Title VII.

    Good that Obama is reversing this practice.


    trudat (none / 0) (#145)
    by DFLer on Wed Jul 02, 2008 at 02:17:38 PM EST
    re HRC's support of FBI...not so sure whether hiring practices would be as you say re candidate Clinton's positions.

    Burns Strider, Sen. Hillary 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

    aarrgghh (none / 0) (#148)
    by DFLer on Wed Jul 02, 2008 at 02:19:58 PM EST
    meant to add.....I agree with previous poster, don't care if Clinton (either one)is for this...I'm not. But then again, neither Clinton is running at this time.

    Yes That Is What Obama Said Too (none / 0) (#159)
    by squeaky on Wed Jul 02, 2008 at 02:45:54 PM EST
    But it allowed business as usual, which means that according to

    the charitable choice law is its explicit provision that accepting government funds does not entail loss of a religious organization's right to choose to hire staff who share its religious beliefs.


    My understanding is that Obama is now taking the bold step of reversing this aspect of the Charitable Choice law.


    good link - thanks (none / 0) (#160)
    by DFLer on Wed Jul 02, 2008 at 02:58:52 PM EST
    Still, my understanding is that the Bush administration were the ones to use and abuse all this....If Sen. Obama wants to reverse those abuses, whether by statutory or in practice, more power to him.

    On the other hand, let's just get rid of FBI altogether, in my book.


    Yes Bush Played Dirty (none / 0) (#163)
    by squeaky on Wed Jul 02, 2008 at 03:14:07 PM EST
    Which should come as no surprise. I think it had more to do with how he funneled the $$ to corrupt Mega churches that returned GOP votes as quid pro quo.

    But as I understand it the 1996 law and three other ones Clinton signed after that, provided a loophole for title VII.

    Many, I guess including Wellstone, saw that most of good work helping the poor was done by the small religious organizations across america, and that was a good thing. The gift to them was to allow them to hire people based on religion who would do the federally funded charity work. There was certainly some grey area in title VII. As someone pointed out in the other thread, a janitor, bookkeeper, etc did not have to share the faith, but some could be hired based on religion, clergy for example.


    Actually (none / 0) (#87)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed Jul 02, 2008 at 12:22:16 PM EST
    there's really not anything wrong with what he said but once again it gets down to the tone. It always comes off as sanctimonious.

    Not New At All (none / 0) (#91)
    by daring grace on Wed Jul 02, 2008 at 12:30:44 PM EST
    It's been happening in my area for at least a hundred years.

    Aside from hospitals, nursing homes, and other kinds of social services we have today, religious organizations here used to operate orphanages and minimum security correctional facilities--'reformatories' for women and underage offenders, financed by the churches and the local, county, state and federal governments.


    Can Atheists apply for these funds? (5.00 / 1) (#36)
    by catfish on Wed Jul 02, 2008 at 11:14:54 AM EST
    Just curious.

    No, that's the Faithless Based Initiative. (5.00 / 6) (#37)
    by LarryInNYC on Wed Jul 02, 2008 at 11:16:22 AM EST
    Different program entirely.

    We need a Misplaced Faith Initiative (5.00 / 1) (#53)
    by Cream City on Wed Jul 02, 2008 at 11:39:32 AM EST
    for all the folks who may have buyers' remorse about voting for Bush.  Or others.

    LOL I predict a flood of (5.00 / 1) (#146)
    by Valhalla on Wed Jul 02, 2008 at 02:17:51 PM EST
    applicants for MFI funding.  Slogan:  We're Under the Bus, Are You?

    Absolutely (5.00 / 1) (#93)
    by daring grace on Wed Jul 02, 2008 at 12:35:35 PM EST
    His proposal is called the "Council for Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships."

    The emphasis in the media coverage has been on the faith based element, but in describing it Obama said:

    "I still believe it's a good idea to have a partnership between the White House and grass-roots groups, both faith-based and secular."


    I don't get this part: (5.00 / 1) (#39)
    by DFLer on Wed Jul 02, 2008 at 11:17:23 AM EST
    from the cited Times article:

    In one example of how he would use the approach to carry out a policy goal, Mr. Obama proposed $500 million per year to provide summer education for one million poor children, with a goal of closing the achievement gaps between wealthy students and poorer ones. The campaign did not provide a cost proposal for the full program, but said the educational piece could be financed by reducing the growth in the federal travel budget and streamlining the management of surplus government property.

    Provide summer education through public schools, or through churches?  How will a parocial school, of any faith, run a summer school, and not teach religion? Why not fund public school programs etc.?

    Why not.... (5.00 / 1) (#49)
    by waldenpond on Wed Jul 02, 2008 at 11:34:38 AM EST
    because you wouldn't be able to support your church industry nor sell off govt property to your friends.  This makes no sense for separtion of church and state nor fiscally when a financial incentive must be built in to 'encourage' the org to take on the program.  Also, I wonder if the surplus property includes.... you know... land and who is in line to get those deals.

    Yes there are a lot of existing Public Schools (5.00 / 1) (#52)
    by MO Blue on Wed Jul 02, 2008 at 11:39:29 AM EST
    that could be funded to provide this program. No need at all to get religion involved.

    No Need Except (none / 0) (#98)
    by daring grace on Wed Jul 02, 2008 at 12:41:02 PM EST
    there are also pre-existing effective programs that are operated by religious organizations.

    If they are not using the program to promote religion, why not provide some public funding to help continue their good work?

    And there are some places where these kinds of programs exist because of deficits in the public system.

    It seems to me a win/win to reward existing successful programs whether public or privately managed.


    If they are already running the programs (5.00 / 1) (#111)
    by MO Blue on Wed Jul 02, 2008 at 01:05:15 PM EST
    as part of their religious charitable activities, why give them government money at all? Doing "good works" is part of their religion and there is no need for them to be turned into "for profit" centers. Why not use government money to fix the deficits in the public system for those who do not want to participate in a religious sponsored service or where no service is available at all?

    Gotta Admit I'm A Little Cynical (none / 0) (#120)
    by daring grace on Wed Jul 02, 2008 at 01:20:42 PM EST
    about this.

    I'm all for fixing the deficits in the public systems and even in funding new initiatives in the public sphere to address problems which are already being effectively handled by private (and yes, sometimes religious run). To me, a collaboration is the best of all worlds.

    Something that has really outraged me, on a local level though, has been to see mismanaged public institutions which are not getting results sucking up all the tax dollars year after inept year while underfunded private community programs that are working, struggle and (often) die for lack of a few paltry bucks.

    I don't mean this to be a generalization. There are great public services and there are private or religious based ones that don't pull their weight. Would like to see a working collaboration.


    Money is always going to be wasted (none / 0) (#157)
    by MO Blue on Wed Jul 02, 2008 at 02:36:40 PM EST
    if no oversight is done or if there is no accountability based on results. I would prefer to fix public institutions rather than outsource the money to religious entities that may have the same problems. There is also IMO an alternative in many cases to giving money directly to a religious organization.

    I have no problem with allowing an individual the choice on where to get various services that could be paid for by taxpayer money. Drug rehab, for example, paid for or subsidized by the taxpayer could allow the choice of going to a religious based provider providing they met the same criteria as a secular one. Any number of services could be handled in this manner which could help the smaller community programs. If they are struggling to survive now doesn't that speak to the fact that they are not the ones getting taxpayer funds.

    A lot of the faith based money is now going to big box, cash rich churches or distributed based on politician patronage in exchange for politician support.


    As You And I Engage On These Issues (5.00 / 1) (#167)
    by daring grace on Wed Jul 02, 2008 at 04:04:34 PM EST
    on this thread and the other, I get the feeling we may disagree but also that we aren't far apart.

    I confess(!) I'm not well informed about where the federal money goes (i.e. big box churches etc.) I'd expect that in the last seven and a half years a lot or most of it has gone to places I wouldn't approve of. That's another discussion.

    I appreciate your point of view.


    if there is a pre-existing program (5.00 / 2) (#143)
    by TimNCGuy on Wed Jul 02, 2008 at 02:16:23 PM EST
    that a faith based org runs, then providing them with fed funds can very easily be turned into fed funds for their religious activities as well.

    If this faith based org currently spends 50% of it's budget on promoting religionn and the other 50% on non-religious social programs, then they get fed funds for their social programs, it just allows them to transfer that portio of their budget back to religious activities that was replaced by fed funds.

    So, if the org didn't INCREASE their social program by the amount of the fed funds, the govt just helped them increase the funding of their religious activites.


    Yes (5.00 / 2) (#40)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Wed Jul 02, 2008 at 11:18:18 AM EST
    Until the "fact sheet" that the AP based their article on comes out, I will believe that Obama deliberately wanted to be on every side of this issue.  Therefore, you can't come to any conclusion about what the Obama campaign will do based on statements made one day that contradict statements made on a different day.

    This is yet another Obama inkblot, just as with many, many other Obama inkblots, where whatever you believe, there's a piece of that in his policy for you.  

    The ambiguity is deliberate.  I only hope others get as sick of it as I did early on in his campaign.

    And BTW, regardless, extending "faith based" programs in any way is BAD, really, really BAD policy. I can't believe Democrats defend something that was so objectionable when Bush did it.

    It is a return to the status quo pre-Bush (2.00 / 1) (#64)
    by SpinDoctor on Wed Jul 02, 2008 at 11:57:19 AM EST
    Obama's position mirrors that of Bill Clinton's administration.  All he is doing is reversing the policies of Bush and restoring the faith based program polices to those initiated by Bill Clinton.

    But with even more funding (none / 0) (#71)
    by Cream City on Wed Jul 02, 2008 at 11:59:58 AM EST
    than under Bush?  Even more of my money?  Then it's not quite the same -- it's a limited program vs. a greatly expanded program.

    Besides, Obama said the '90s were bad.  And he wouldn't say different things at different times to different people.  That would be old politics.


    Citation please (none / 0) (#75)
    by SpinDoctor on Wed Jul 02, 2008 at 12:03:52 PM EST
    Can you please provide a link to where Obama said that the decade of the 90s were bad?  Also, would you have any objection to Obama's programs if they mirrored Clinton's in size and scope?

    We don't do redundancy here (none / 0) (#79)
    by Cream City on Wed Jul 02, 2008 at 12:08:17 PM EST
    at the request of the host, repeating lengthy discussions already held here, but the site has a good search function, so you can find those -- if you were out of the country and really didn't hear all the '90s bashing by the Obama campaign.

    Limited size and scope of this, to what it was pre-Bush, would help with me.  But I'd still want a lot more answers, owing to the marked religiosity of Obama.  (Just as I would not settle for vague answers from McCain about proposals for the military.  Candidates have their histories.)


    "That is simply false" (none / 0) (#121)
    by DFLer on Wed Jul 02, 2008 at 01:27:47 PM EST
    faith based program polices to those initiated by Bill Clinton.

    As I pointed out previously, that was initiated by Sen. John Ashcroft as an amendment to the Welfare Reform bill. Clinton did sign it.

    It is a bit of a spin, doctor, to say that faith based programs were initiated by Clinton.


    AP: he'll give larger religious orgs more power (5.00 / 2) (#41)
    by catfish on Wed Jul 02, 2008 at 11:18:26 AM EST
    What to make of this:
    Obama proposes to elevate the program to a "moral center" of his administration, by renaming it the Council for Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships, and changing training from occasional huge conferences to empowering larger religious charities to mentor smaller ones in their communities.

    This just reeks of Chicago to me. What if my Atheist group is a smaller org?

    Of course, Christians tend to be (5.00 / 1) (#54)
    by Cream City on Wed Jul 02, 2008 at 11:40:09 AM EST
    the ones with the largest organizations, don't they?

    Fastest way to kill it... (none / 0) (#56)
    by Alec82 on Wed Jul 02, 2008 at 11:44:40 AM EST
    ...might be to remind voters that funding will go to mosques as well.

     Or better yet...madrassas.  That word seems to frighten the right the most.


    Ouch. But accept maybe in Dearborn (none / 0) (#60)
    by Cream City on Wed Jul 02, 2008 at 11:51:18 AM EST
    in Michigan, I doubt that mosques are the largest congregations anywhere.  See bolded part of quote in comment above.  So I repeat, it looks like that would mean Christian organizations getting my money to mentor smaller organizations, of other faiths.

    cx: except maybe in Dearborn (none / 0) (#65)
    by Cream City on Wed Jul 02, 2008 at 11:57:28 AM EST
    and I must need more coffee.

    I think... (none / 0) (#68)
    by Alec82 on Wed Jul 02, 2008 at 11:59:08 AM EST
    ...it is competitive bidding that usually seals the deal.  And of course organizational clout.  But the mosques in Dearborn are quite active, as far as charities go.  This was an issue at some point not too long ago, if I remember correctly.

     The tactic is Rovian, but surprisingly effective.  There are large numbers of fundamentalist Protestants who can't fathom giving money to the Roman Catholic Church, to say nothing of mosques.



    Not sure I understand the relevance (none / 0) (#76)
    by Cream City on Wed Jul 02, 2008 at 12:04:10 PM EST
    of the last graf -- as both Catholics and Protestants are Christian, so it still would be Christians "mentoring" those other, misguided faiths.:-)

    Catholics are Christians? (none / 0) (#80)
    by Alec82 on Wed Jul 02, 2008 at 12:09:42 PM EST
    That'd be interesting news to many fundamentalist Protestants, who remain convinced that they worship the pagan goddess Mary.

     (really, I'm not kidding, there are lots of them out there)


    Ah, it was snark -- and good snark (none / 0) (#85)
    by Cream City on Wed Jul 02, 2008 at 12:20:09 PM EST
    that I missed, sorry.  Yes, as a former Cat'lic who once married into a Prot clan -- of many denominations, including several sorts of Lutherans alone -- I learned to not reminisce about my years in May processions, singing songs about Mary.  It really freeks the Prots.  And then I became one, and I find hymnals full of my old Mary songs but with different lyrics.  

    So I get to laugh at the Prots no knowing they're singing my old Mary songs.


    Hell yeah (none / 0) (#150)
    by Valhalla on Wed Jul 02, 2008 at 02:25:30 PM EST
    I never would have believed it, having grown up in heathen pagan communist Massachusetts.  Then I lived in Wisconsin and had more than one conversation on this very topic.  An eyeopener in more ways than one.

    I fall into that broad 'lapsed Catholic' category, with a long and solid list of complaints against the CC, but found myself defending it in many a conversation.

    But your definition is the most concise summary I've heard.


    Btw, the code word is (none / 0) (#178)
    by Cream City on Wed Jul 02, 2008 at 06:12:18 PM EST
    "Romans."  I was a former "Roman" to the Lut'rans.

    Never could figure out what that was about.  Or the Mary-as-pagan-fertility-goddess freekout or whatever.


    Or kill it by saying (none / 0) (#135)
    by samanthasmom on Wed Jul 02, 2008 at 01:45:07 PM EST
    that a "big church" that would be asked to mentor other churches would be the one headed by the good Reverend Wright.

    "moral center" (5.00 / 1) (#152)
    by Valhalla on Wed Jul 02, 2008 at 02:27:12 PM EST
    While I'd applaud any sign of core principles in BO at this point, this made me vomit a bit.

    This part really troubles me: (5.00 / 5) (#42)
    by DFLer on Wed Jul 02, 2008 at 11:21:37 AM EST
    from same article:

    The program would "be central to our White House mission," he said, and would consider elevating the director of his Council for Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships to a cabinet-level post.


    Secretary of Faith?  no thanks.

    Secretary of Charity, too (5.00 / 2) (#55)
    by Cream City on Wed Jul 02, 2008 at 11:42:26 AM EST
    instead of Secretary of Health and Human Services?

    Faith and Charity.  Secretary of Hope, of course, would be redundant with Obama as president. :-)


    Maybe they could (none / 0) (#62)
    by tree on Wed Jul 02, 2008 at 11:53:37 AM EST
    rename the Treasury Secretary to Secretary of Change?

    LOL! (none / 0) (#129)
    by tek on Wed Jul 02, 2008 at 01:35:55 PM EST
    Yikes!! (5.00 / 1) (#92)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed Jul 02, 2008 at 12:32:11 PM EST
    is right. I'm a mainstream Christian and this is what we deal with daily down here. You're not a real Christian unless you become some sort of evangelical/fundamentalist. The last thing we, or frankly, most christians need is the WH to turn into one huge evangelical congregation. Good grief, these people have been on the run since Terri Schiavo and now Obama wants to give them more clout? No thanks. I warned people about the fundamentalists but no one wanted to believe me. Now they do. Have we learned our lesson from Bush? Perhaps the voters have but honestly this is a really, really bad idea.

    See (none / 0) (#130)
    by tek on Wed Jul 02, 2008 at 01:37:46 PM EST
    this is what Obama means by "reaching across the aisle."  Adopt Repulican policies to get Republican votes.

    That's why he didn't like Hillary and Bill just working with Republicans and forging compromises and having a Republican in the Cabinet.  No, Obama is going to morph INTO a Republican.


    Even W didn't go that far (none / 0) (#72)
    by MO Blue on Wed Jul 02, 2008 at 12:00:21 PM EST
    Exactly what party is it that is suggesting a Secretary of Faith? Please can we get the old Democratic Party that believed that separation of church and state was a good thing back. The New Democratic Party policies just makes me nauseous.

    This whole fiasco (5.00 / 3) (#44)
    by eric on Wed Jul 02, 2008 at 11:23:32 AM EST
    is an example of something greater that has happened over the last 8 years.  It seems that the media - and many of the rest of us - seem to be willing to believe that the President has the power to unilaterally change the law.  When Obama was (erroneously) reported to have said that he would allow hiring and firing based upon religious determinations, everyone seemed to believe that he could even do this.  The truth is, he couldn't.  There are laws against this sort of thing.  Not to mention the Constitutional implications.

    Why are we so willing to believe that a President could just set a policy when it is contrary to law and precedent?  Because people have gotten used to this under the current administration.  The President and his administration have, in too many ways to list, simply disregarded law and precedent repeatedly.  It has decreed that treaties don't matter.  It has issued signing statements that it has decreed to be the law.  It has rather blatantly disregarded FISA and the Fourth Amendment itself.  On and on.  And nobody - not the courts not the Congress - have stepped forward to stop this.

    The result is that we are left us with a sort of banana republic mentality.  We think the next dictator to step in the office will have the power to do what he wants.  But that isn't and shouldn't be the way things are.  The number one thing that Obama should do is to restore the rule of law.  We can't continue on this course.

    The problem is (5.00 / 1) (#154)
    by Valhalla on Wed Jul 02, 2008 at 02:30:13 PM EST
    this particular crop of Democrats in Congress.  They  won't even stand up to the Republicans even when they have the public overwhelmingly on their side.  Why would anyone think they'd vet or deny Obama anything?

    You negate your own argument (none / 0) (#58)
    by Cream City on Wed Jul 02, 2008 at 11:46:54 AM EST
    by pointing out that this president (and many a president, of course, in the course of our history as a country) unilaterally changed the law.

    Until challenged, if challenged, and told to stop by the courts -- after several years go by under the unilaterally changed law -- executive orders and just deliberate end-arounds or even defiance of the law lets presidents get away with a lot.

    Is it possible that this presidential wannabe is telling you what he wants to get away with?


    Some entities that have or had religious (5.00 / 2) (#48)
    by MO Blue on Wed Jul 02, 2008 at 11:32:28 AM EST
    affiliations provide great and necessary services. Some of the really best hospitals and nursing homes in my state either started out being a religious affiliate or retain their affiliation still. I have no problem with taxpayer money going to these entities for services rendered (i,e. Medicaid recipient choosing a religious nursing home).

    I do object to taxpayer money going directly to a religious organization. Most religions require charitable works as part of their doctrines. Don't see why these activities need to become  government paid for profit events. Also, there has not been enough data to prove that these organizations are better than secular organizations in providing services and too many ways that this type of direct funding can be abused. I agree with Rev. Lynn's position.

    But the Rev. Barry W. Lynn, executive director of Americans United for Separation of Church and State, criticized Mr. Obama's support of a program that Mr. Lynn said had undermined civil liberties and civil rights. "I am disappointed that any presidential candidate would want to continue a failed policy of the Bush administration," Mr. Lynn said. "It ought to be shut down, not continued."

    Respectfully Disagree (5.00 / 0) (#105)
    by daring grace on Wed Jul 02, 2008 at 12:54:37 PM EST
    with Mr. Lynn with whom I'm usually in agreement.

    I do agree with your first paragraph. I have seen the same situation with religious managed services in my area.

    The reason I disagree with Lynn on this is that I think the larger point of Obama's proposal is being missed in the (more media provocative) hoopla over religion.

    To me, it seems Obama is expanding this initiative in a positive manner by including secular service providers in the mix. I think it hearkens back to his respect for grassroots efforts.

    Bush focused (and meant the focus) to be on faith based support only. His plan was exclusive and values based. I think Obama is saying, as long as religion isn't promoted with public funds, who cares who is doing the effective work in our communities? It's time for locally managed efforts to be rewarded. And he explicitly includes non faith based groups in his proposal.


    One more thing from me. (5.00 / 1) (#61)
    by DFLer on Wed Jul 02, 2008 at 11:52:43 AM EST
    I really don't think of all this as pandering by the Obama campaign to get the votes of evangelicals, or anything like that (or intended to be a shout out to those who think he's Muslim). I think Mr. Obama sincerely believes in all this, and in the importance of "faith". He is, after all, a self-proclaimed born-again-in-Jesus man.

    While he is of course entitled to those beliefs, which are shared by many Americans according to the "polls", I am uncomfortable with all this. I see in it a slippery slope towards intolerance and a crumbling of the walls separating church and state.

    I agree that it appears to (5.00 / 1) (#73)
    by tree on Wed Jul 02, 2008 at 12:01:27 PM EST
    be an indication of Obama's truly held position, and not pandering. I suspect that most of his pandering happened during the primary and progressive don't want to face up to this.

     His position on this, and his belief in privatizing government subsidized housing, as well as his U of Chicago advisors worry me in regards to the issue of social security privatization. I don't agree with what I think are his true beliefs on any of these privatization issues.


    The Wall has effectively dissolved (5.00 / 1) (#78)
    by Alec82 on Wed Jul 02, 2008 at 12:05:58 PM EST
    We're just designing parameters for the new fence.

     I gave up any hope that this trend could be reversed some time ago.  There are some safeguards.  For example, limits on faith-based initiatives in the area of criminal sentencing.  

     And to think that Eisenhower was baptised after he became president...he'd be toast today.



    McCain has not been baptized (none / 0) (#118)
    by cannondaddy on Wed Jul 02, 2008 at 01:18:35 PM EST
    Last I heard... He's even a maverick in church!

    McCain (none / 0) (#123)
    by Molly Pitcher on Wed Jul 02, 2008 at 01:31:03 PM EST
    came from an Episcopalian family, so he would have been christened as a baby.  If he was confirmed also, as is likely, then he would be accepted in my Baptist church by a simple confession of faith and transfer of membership.  However, he attends a Southern Baptist church, which probably insists on immersion.  To my mind, sprinkling is as good as immersion if belief is there.  In any case, a matter between him and his God.

    Still waiting (none / 0) (#166)
    by jondee on Wed Jul 02, 2008 at 03:59:05 PM EST
    to hear what he's been doing that was so "maverick" these last 8 years.

    Pretty laughable that not following the hard Right to the letter, only ALMOST to the letter, is e enough to qualify one as some kind free-thinker in some eyes.

    McCain, like James Garner, mostly plays a maverick on t,v.


    Alec (none / 0) (#155)
    by Valhalla on Wed Jul 02, 2008 at 02:32:40 PM EST
    Can you explain the criminal sentencing thing?  What is that about?

    Sure... (none / 0) (#183)
    by Alec82 on Wed Jul 02, 2008 at 07:41:46 PM EST
    ...there are limits to faith based alternatives to criminal sentencing (i.e., alternatives to prison).  This is where the element of coercion is likely to be the strongest.

     For example, my father handled a case where a guy, who was Roman Catholic, opted to participate in a county drug diversion program as opposed to a prison term.  The only program that was offered at the time (for him, at least) was contracted out to the Assembly of God, a Pentecostal Church.  It was a residential program.

     Well...this guy had a very devout grandmother, who gave him a rosary to keep with him while he was in the program.  Turns out the Pentecostals thought that was a, and I quote, "an item of witchcraft," so they confiscated it.  When he objected to other parts of the program (including renouncing his faith to be, you guessed it, born again...presumably as a real Christian this time) and sought to participate in a secular alternative (which wasn't county approved), the trial court judge revoked his diversion and sent him off to prison.  Long story short, that was an unconstitutional set up.  It took the man seven years to be vindicated, but he was.

     So presumably those faith based programs are off the table...but you'll note that program was in operation for a while.  Prof Berman at Sentencing Law and Policy writes about it quite a bit.  He seems to approve.  I'm far more skeptical about the dangers of these county initiatives on the ground.


    It Reflects More Obama's Belief (5.00 / 0) (#107)
    by daring grace on Wed Jul 02, 2008 at 12:58:55 PM EST
    in the potential power and effectiveness of grassroots efforts.

    He wants to expand Bush's plan to include secular groups as well, calling it the Council for Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships.


    That is simply false (none / 0) (#69)
    by SpinDoctor on Wed Jul 02, 2008 at 11:59:35 AM EST
    Barack Obama has never proclaimed to be "born again".    Disagree with his policies, but please do not distort the truth for propoganda purpoes.  That should remain the purview of the Republicans.

    I'm sorry (none / 0) (#77)
    by DFLer on Wed Jul 02, 2008 at 12:04:22 PM EST
    I thought that he has said that in his biography...having found Jesus and that saving him. Am I wrong?

    I don't know that I would call him born again (none / 0) (#84)
    by Alec82 on Wed Jul 02, 2008 at 12:14:41 PM EST
    His religious conversion sounds similar to what my parents experienced.  Part spiritual, part cerebral.  He uses lofty language to describe it, but he's that kind of guy (a good thing, IMO).  

     If he's born again then I was at some point (I was, after all, baptized and confirmed as a Methodist).  And trust me, this agnostic is not a believer. Plus, non-evangelical Christians don't really embrace that term these days.  A little too much baggage comes with it.  


    googling results (none / 0) (#86)
    by DFLer on Wed Jul 02, 2008 at 12:20:32 PM EST
    I put the born again thing in small letters.....I meant that he has testified to a personal relationship with Jesus....which is one way of describing being born gain in Jesus...why did the previous poster callt his a GOP slur?

    At the time, Obama said he was a Christian, that he has a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, that he reads the Bible regularly and prays constantly. He described his conversion experience in his mid-20s, how he walked the aisle at Trinity United Church of Christ one Sunday in a public affirmation of his private change of heart. But we didn't talk labels, I didn't ask him for one, and he didn't offer.

    suntimes newspaper

    AP - 3/27/2008 8:00:00 AMBookmark and Share

    GREENSBORO, N.C. - Senator Barack Obama has told an audience that although he believes Christ died for his sins, those who reject that teaching can also be children of God.

    Barack ObamaDuring a campaign stop yesterday in Greensboro, North Carolina, Senator Obama told the audience that he believes he "can have everlasting life" because Jesus Christ died for his sins. But he then told a questioner that he believes Jews and Muslims who live moral lives are just as much "children of God" as he is.

    ap story posted on someone's site

    ah... (none / 0) (#89)
    by Alec82 on Wed Jul 02, 2008 at 12:25:05 PM EST
    ...I remember that story.  This part, though:

    although he believes Christ died for his sins, those who reject that teaching can also be children of God.

     That sets him apart from the current born again crowd. Not that a Democrat could ever say anything different, but it is consistent with beliefs held by most UCC members.


    I think (none / 0) (#95)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed Jul 02, 2008 at 12:36:03 PM EST
    you are confusing born again with fundamentalists. Fundamentalists don't believe that anyone is a "child of God" other than people who believe exactly as they do. Jimmy Carter would probably have those same views and he considers himself "born again".

    I don't think... (none / 0) (#97)
    by Alec82 on Wed Jul 02, 2008 at 12:40:49 PM EST
    ...I'm confusing much of anything.  It is a blankslate term co-opted by fundamentalists in recent years.

     And I don't really think President Carter shares many views with them.  He left the SBC and he was waaaaaaay too liberal for many fundamentalist tastes.


    I think (none / 0) (#100)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed Jul 02, 2008 at 12:47:09 PM EST
    you missed my point. Jimmy Carter is "born again" but thinks that others would be considered a child of God. Fundamentalists would not. Hence your confusing statements on religion.

    Let me be clear: (none / 0) (#103)
    by Alec82 on Wed Jul 02, 2008 at 12:53:40 PM EST
    At one point, describing oneself as born again would not come with the baggage of Protestant fundamentalism.

     That point has passed.

     Today, those who would describe themselves as born again christians probably believe the bible is inerrant and all "non-born again" people are on a one way trip to eternity with Satan, among other things.  They're not preaching a gospel of universalism.  


    That point has not passed. (5.00 / 1) (#131)
    by Molly Pitcher on Wed Jul 02, 2008 at 01:38:48 PM EST
    "Born again" is an acceptable term for any Christian whose sprinkling or immersion took place after (or was confirmed at) the age of consent. Does not even need the water, just the statement of faith. Inerrancy and a belief in exclusive salvation do not necessarily track with 'born again.'

    I really like what Obma is doing here (5.00 / 1) (#99)
    by samtaylor2 on Wed Jul 02, 2008 at 12:44:07 PM EST
    I know so many christians who hate the fact that there relgion has been co-opted by the right and transformed into something they don't recognize.  I really hope he can change that perception.  Christian organizations have done so many amazing things for this country, it would be great to be able to equate christianity with the left.

    I Do Too (5.00 / 1) (#116)
    by daring grace on Wed Jul 02, 2008 at 01:09:26 PM EST
    In the sixties and seventies, religious groups could be and were a source of dynamic change in this country--civil rights, anti war, anti poverty movements. I grew up thinking of religious engagement as a left leaning thing.

    I've been waiting for people of faith to reclaim that place in the mainstream political discourse. It seemed lke last year some people were starting to. I'm hoping Obama's doing this might galvanize them.

    I also like the emphasis on secular grassroots efforts,


    The (5.00 / 1) (#126)
    by tek on Wed Jul 02, 2008 at 01:34:32 PM EST
    zinger in all of this talk is that churches might be a positive force in their locales, but there is absolutely no reason why any of them should get money from the government, or any assistance of any kind from the government.  Their whole raison d'etre is to do good.  They raise millions of dollars privately to this end.  They don't need Americans' hard earned tax dollars.  Do an experiment, drive around the U. S. and look at the most poverty stricken areas in the country.  What is the one building that is new and beautiful and in the black?  The churches.  The rest of a community may be crumbling but the churches are always in great shape.  They don't need our money.  

    If they do need our money, then they aren't fulfilling their mission.


    I'll Take That Drive (none / 0) (#142)
    by daring grace on Wed Jul 02, 2008 at 02:11:29 PM EST
    When I visit impoverished communities--I've lived in one for more than 30 years that is now newly gentrifying--some of the most street-level useful and effective service providing entities have faith based connections, notably, Catholic, Episcopal, Methodist, Baptist and Jewish.

    In my neck of the woods, the churches aren't the new buildings. They're the ones closing parishes and selling buildings for dwindling membership and STILL devoting resources to food pantries, day care, homeless respite etc.

    I don't begrudge them the pennies in public money they get to do this good work that is not being done or not being done enough or not being done as effectively by the public sector, espcially since there is a long history of zero dogma seepage into the process.


    You live in Detroit? (none / 0) (#149)
    by samtaylor2 on Wed Jul 02, 2008 at 02:22:35 PM EST
    Me to :)

    No, Upstate New York (none / 0) (#170)
    by daring grace on Wed Jul 02, 2008 at 04:32:53 PM EST
    Isn't it amazing (or maybe not so much) how much our old decaying rust belt urban areas resemble one another?

    More power to you in Detroit. You all have some powerful challenges out there. And some beautiful architecture.


    Forced tithing (5.00 / 3) (#133)
    by waldenpond on Wed Jul 02, 2008 at 01:40:19 PM EST
    Using the tax dollars of people who don't belong to a particular religion or are atheists is government enforced and legislated tithing.

    That's the I look at it, too. (none / 0) (#136)
    by samanthasmom on Wed Jul 02, 2008 at 01:50:37 PM EST
    For the life of me, I do not understand why (5.00 / 4) (#117)
    by Anne on Wed Jul 02, 2008 at 01:15:12 PM EST
    anyone should be reassured by anything Obama says, as he is apt to change his mind, change his position, straddle competing positions, and speak in ways that so completely muddle the picture that it's impossible to tell what the heck he thinks or what his position is; his middle name might as well be "Say Anything."

    I am extremely - and I cannot emphasize that word enough - extremely uncomfortable being lectured about faith and religion and God and calls to service by a freakin' politician who wants to hold the reins of power of the government.  

    I think religious and other charitable organizations have always done important and meaningful and much-needed outreach and assistance for those in need; that work should be applauded and respected.  But someone will have to explain to me why the government can give grants to Church X for its feed-the-homeless program, but can cut services that it offers for the same purpose.  If there is need, and the government is prepared to help another organization provide it, why is it unwilling to meet that need itself?  The message that the private sector can always do it better is one we have been hearing for years from the Republicans who want to kill government, and I do not believe it is a place I want a Democratic president to be running toward.

    The more I hear politicians sermonizing on the campaign trail and in the halls of power, the more I tune them out.

    As far as Obama is concerned, unless and until he finds a consistent message on anything, I will continue to withhold my trust and my vote.

    What (none / 0) (#127)
    by tek on Wed Jul 02, 2008 at 01:35:01 PM EST
    you said.

    The government should provide the service (none / 0) (#128)
    by sassysenora on Wed Jul 02, 2008 at 01:35:25 PM EST
    I completely agree that if the government is funding a service, it should provide it itself. There is more control over the program and how its run. I think the Republicans not only want to kill government, they want to be able to steer the money to their supporters. They have converted good programs into a spoils system. Based on Obama's actions in Illinois, I think he wants to make a bigger spoils system.

    I think that there might be some role for government money for small programs to determine which approaches work best. But once need need for a program and the general methods of addressing the need are established, I think the government should either run the program or stay out of it completely.


    Distinction without a matierial difference (5.00 / 2) (#125)
    by Exeter on Wed Jul 02, 2008 at 01:32:06 PM EST
    By nature religious organizations discriminate based on religion. That's why they are are a RELIGION and not a nonprofit. OK, fine, say that churches can't discriminate based on religion. Legally speaking, discrimination is one of the most difficult things to prove unless it is very, very blatant.  

    yes (none / 0) (#162)
    by jedimom on Wed Jul 02, 2008 at 03:04:59 PM EST
    yes I completely agree

    there is NO distinction IMHO

    this is someplace DEMS should NOT be going


    boy scouts (5.00 / 1) (#161)
    by jedimom on Wed Jul 02, 2008 at 03:03:47 PM EST
    so if boy scouts apply for these funds, and SCOTUS has upheld they may bar gay people frm joining, and Obama gives them taxpayer funds to keep 1 million children out of gangs in summer like he says isnt that promoting discrimination?

    we should not be promoting tax dollars to ANY faith based initiative IMHO.

    Does Obama's position permit.... (none / 0) (#3)
    by p lukasiak on Wed Jul 02, 2008 at 10:40:20 AM EST
    ...discrimination based on doctrinal considerations?  (i.e. can religious organizations discriminate against lesbians and gays?)  

    This is all a cahrde on Obma's part (none / 0) (#28)
    by talex on Wed Jul 02, 2008 at 11:05:36 AM EST
    But then what isn't? I digress.

    The fact is that Obama can't police hiring discrimination of any kind in churches. And the churches will be very careful so as to not get caught. And easy out is always we hired 'a better fit'.

    I'd still like to see the 'fact sheet' that AP based it's original reporting on. that would answer a lot of questions on Obama's original intent whatever that was.


    What is a carhdre? T/U (none / 0) (#164)
    by jawbone on Wed Jul 02, 2008 at 03:17:42 PM EST
    I'm guessing (none / 0) (#165)
    by tree on Wed Jul 02, 2008 at 03:32:15 PM EST
    its errant typing fingers messing up the word "charade".

    Did the times just get it wrong, (none / 0) (#12)
    by zfran on Wed Jul 02, 2008 at 10:55:50 AM EST
    and no one bothered to check on this rather important piece of this initiative, or was this intentional...

    It was clearly intentional (5.00 / 3) (#20)
    by Steve M on Wed Jul 02, 2008 at 11:00:22 AM EST
    The Obama campaign could have rolled out this initiative in any number of ways.  They chose to send a senior advisor to "anonymously" brief the press on the details of the program.  That's exactly how you do it when you want to maintain plausible deniability.

    I vote for intentional (5.00 / 3) (#21)
    by catfish on Wed Jul 02, 2008 at 11:00:27 AM EST
    What a crock of crap. (5.00 / 2) (#29)
    by lilburro on Wed Jul 02, 2008 at 11:06:08 AM EST
    Really, what is the point of all this confusion?

    WORM works. (5.00 / 1) (#59)
    by Cream City on Wed Jul 02, 2008 at 11:48:08 AM EST
    He got the votes needed for the nomination this way.

    but the DNC (none / 0) (#67)
    by sancho on Wed Jul 02, 2008 at 11:58:39 AM EST
    was already voting for him. they understood WORM before it was a catch-phrase. he has not proved he can win over live voters against a live opponent in an election that is one vote, one person.

    clearly, i this case he is hoping that people see what they like and want in his conflicting statements. he's exploiting the stenographer culture of the media.

    personally, i fear obama really may think that the Lord is on his side. heaven help us.  


    Bush said the same thing (5.00 / 1) (#74)
    by Cream City on Wed Jul 02, 2008 at 12:01:46 PM EST
    -- that God picked him to be our president for 9/11, since God knew it was coming, as God knows all things, etc., etc.

    And no, despite Bush saying what God said to him, heaven didn't help us.  See the hell of the last seven and a half years.


    God always has a wicked sense of humor. (5.00 / 1) (#81)
    by tree on Wed Jul 02, 2008 at 12:10:16 PM EST
    And oftentimes we're the butt of the jokes.

    Well according to his pamphlets (5.00 / 1) (#83)
    by MO Blue on Wed Jul 02, 2008 at 12:13:24 PM EST
    he is "A committed Christian called to serve."

    I really object to politicians using God as just another political tool.


    i do too, (none / 0) (#88)
    by sancho on Wed Jul 02, 2008 at 12:25:04 PM EST
    especially since God died in the 19th century--perhaps coincidentally about the time the US rose as an Empire.

    A statement from Obama's (none / 0) (#57)
    by my opinion on Wed Jul 02, 2008 at 11:44:47 AM EST
    campaign is worthless. He changes positions almost on a daily basis.

    good for him (none / 0) (#66)
    by Edgar08 on Wed Jul 02, 2008 at 11:58:17 AM EST
    I still think obama and this party driven neo-evangelical outreach crosses a line.

    I would invite obama to take the jay-z off the playlist and put on some David byrne.

    -- and the laws of man are not the laws of heaven
    -- and an angel's breath is like the desert's wind
    -- and the terrorists are acting out of love sweet love
    -- to bring us home again

    Organizational outreach is great.

    Great returns to "moral centers" are worrisome.

    I don't see the need to disrespect people of faith by comparing god to Santa claus but we should do things because it is rational to do them not because religion approves.

    Religion can be made to approve anything.
    I don't see the need to needlessly denigrate

    This is just Obama being Obama (none / 0) (#82)
    by MO Blue on Wed Jul 02, 2008 at 12:11:15 PM EST
    Obama gave Father Pfleger an earmark of $100,000. I, for one, am not particurly thrilled that taxpayer money went to that man and what he represents.

    Hasn't he done great things for his community? (none / 0) (#94)
    by samtaylor2 on Wed Jul 02, 2008 at 12:35:40 PM EST
    If he efficienctly helps his community who cares what he said?  If someone is a jerk, but gets the job done, isn't getting the job done more important?

    What he says while performing (none / 0) (#101)
    by MO Blue on Wed Jul 02, 2008 at 12:48:42 PM EST
    community activities could possibly do more harm than good especially when dealing with young people. So IMO you have to look at the whole picture.

    Having said that, I'm still opposed to having taxpayer money going directly to ANY religious organization even if the paster or minister is a proven saint.


    We need a new box on our tax forms (5.00 / 1) (#102)
    by nycstray on Wed Jul 02, 2008 at 12:53:32 PM EST
    to check if we are ok with our money going to religious orgs.

    Good point (none / 0) (#106)
    by Florida Resident on Wed Jul 02, 2008 at 12:55:01 PM EST
    Agree but (5.00 / 1) (#108)
    by samtaylor2 on Wed Jul 02, 2008 at 01:01:07 PM EST
    I wrote about this yesterday, but in so many cities the only institution that is left and that people are connected to are churchs.  How do you not use these organizations to uplift these communities???? But obviously the slippery slope is just very steep.

    See to me I think the money needs (5.00 / 2) (#134)
    by MO Blue on Wed Jul 02, 2008 at 01:43:50 PM EST
    to be used to provide good old fashioned secular Community Centers.  I lived in what was then known as "the projects" back in the late 50s in a mixed racial neighborhood.  The Community Center was one of the best things in that neighborhood. It provided activities for all age groups and provided productive activities especially for the youth in the area. One of the major benefits was that it helped promote racial understanding in the neighborhood especially among the young people.

    From the looks of it Obama's church is very affluent and if they can afford to buy their paster a home in a gated community, they don't need government funds. The big box churches that run some of the programs that currently get money are also in most cases cash rich. Father Pleuger's church IIRC has some very rich patrons. Does it really need taxpayer money? When charitable activities become government paid events doesn't that  eliminate them from being charitable activities.

    I'm all for uplifting poor communities both in the intercity and in rural areas. God knows I benefited from those very types of efforts. I just would prefer that they be done on a secular basis.


    Yes indeed MO (5.00 / 2) (#141)
    by DFLer on Wed Jul 02, 2008 at 02:05:09 PM EST
    Add to that rec centers, parks and sports fields,
    and most importantly libraries...all of which have taken huge budget hits, whether from local, state or Fed budget cuts.....we could put some of that money back there to help neighborhoods.

    Unity? (none / 0) (#90)
    by mmc9431 on Wed Jul 02, 2008 at 12:28:24 PM EST
    For a candidate that is running on the unity ticket, I think extolling religion in government, abstinence only funding, and school vouchers is a dangerous path. We've had religion in the forefront in this country for 8 yrs with Bush. I would think most American's would prefer to see it go back to a personal preference rather than an offical doctrine.

    I have one question for Obama (none / 0) (#104)
    by Florida Resident on Wed Jul 02, 2008 at 12:54:25 PM EST
    Will this faith based initiative include Muslim religious groups or any other non-christian faiths?

    yes (none / 0) (#153)
    by DFLer on Wed Jul 02, 2008 at 02:27:33 PM EST
    re Muslims...specifically mentions mosques, right?

    I have no idea... (none / 0) (#110)
    by OrangeFur on Wed Jul 02, 2008 at 01:04:37 PM EST
    ... what Obama's position is, or what it was when the AP ran its article.

    I have the same problem with his position on the DC gun ban, NAFTA, and telecom immunity.

    I'm beginning to think that this is a deliberate strategy on his part. When someone says he'll (for example) take public financing, then rejects it, and then says he's had the same position the whole time, well, you start to wonder exactly what he means.

    Speaking (none / 0) (#124)
    by tek on Wed Jul 02, 2008 at 01:31:10 PM EST
     for me only, Obama needs to get away from faith based terminology and thoughts.  The idea that Obama's going to steal Bush's evangelicals away from the Republicans is just crap.  He'll end up alienating Democrats.  The fundies would have gone for Hillary without any concessions, but they are afraid of Obama.  I have these people in my family.

    I'm Not Sure (none / 0) (#138)
    by daring grace on Wed Jul 02, 2008 at 01:59:31 PM EST
    if Obama believes grassroots efforts alone are better than government-led efforts.

    What I think he is promoting is greater support and (maybe) greater exploration of the successful ones.

    Maybe he believes (as I do) that what often works best is a blend of larger efforts with smaller ones. And, I'm also not sure that the term 'grassroots' precludes government management. Maybe it would mean more local gov't engagement.

    Again, I'm not convinced at all he's advocating 'enlarging the role of religion.' What I take from this is that he wants to enlarge the role of the grassroots, some of whom are religious.

    He's calling for expanding the role (5.00 / 1) (#151)
    by sassysenora on Wed Jul 02, 2008 at 02:25:37 PM EST
    of religion. The article above says "Senator Barack Obama said Tuesday that if elected president he would expand the delivery of social services through churches and other religious organizations, vowing to achieve a goal he said President Bush had fallen short on during his two terms."

    Since Bush expanded the role of religious institutions compared to Clinton and Obama wants to expand it compared to Bush, I think it's pretty clear that Obama wants a greater role for religious institutions than Clinton had.

    Obama also wants to expand the role of religious institutions within his administration. According to the Christian Science Monitor:

    "The Obama plan would create a new President's Council for Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships in the White House and retain the offices in various federal agencies that oversee grants to faith-based and other community groups. The council would launch a training effort - by which larger charities trained smaller local organizations . . . .In his (Obama's) view, the Bush program was consistently underfunded. . . ."



    Nice Twist (5.00 / 1) (#156)
    by squeaky on Wed Jul 02, 2008 at 02:34:23 PM EST
    Bush gave the money to the mega churches and skipped all the smaller religious organizations that the program was set up for in the first place.

    Dobson and Robertson supported Bush's corruption of the program. As long as the money did not go to muslims and other small religious organizations that were actually helping the poor, BushCo and the Mega Churches were all for Faith Based Initiatives.


    Not Calling For Expanding the Role of Religion (none / 0) (#168)
    by daring grace on Wed Jul 02, 2008 at 04:24:58 PM EST
    but rather he's calling for expanding the role of religious based AND secular grassroots groups' in providing some gov't funded services.

    I don't understand your point (none / 0) (#174)
    by sassysenora on Wed Jul 02, 2008 at 05:27:33 PM EST
    If he's calling for an expanded role for religious groups, how is that not calling for an expanded role for religion?

    No one is disputing that he may also be calling for an expanded role for other grassroots organizations. But if you increase A (role of religious orgs) and as well as B (role of other grassroot orgs), you're still increasing A. You seem to keep saying it's not increasing A because it would increase both A and B.


    Two Reasons (none / 0) (#177)
    by squeaky on Wed Jul 02, 2008 at 06:05:55 PM EST
    Expanded role for the grants to smaller organizations may in fact be reducing the number of religious people involved. As of now mega churches are the main beneficiaries. Obama is calling for spreading out the money more equitably. Debatable as to the end numbers of religious people getting federal money, we will not know until that has been seen.

    Second the social services imparted by the groups are non religious. They are not allowed to preach or indoctrinate while providing social services. So what is being spread is charity not religion.


    I disagree (none / 0) (#185)
    by sassysenora on Thu Jul 03, 2008 at 01:47:51 AM EST
    Obama didn't (just?) say he wanted to expand the role for smaller organizations. He said he wanted to expand the delivery of social services through churches.

    Senator Barack Obama said Tuesday that if elected president he would expand the delivery of social services through churches and other religious organizations, vowing to achieve a goal he said President Bush had fallen short on during his two terms.

    His plan would overhaul and expand the controversial faith-based initiative that was an early cornerstone of President Bush's domestic program, which Senator Obama said had "never fulfilled its promise.

    I don't see how that could mean "reducing the number of religious people involved."

    He may or may not be trying to spread the money more equitably. He's clearly trying to give more money, publicity, and power to churches and other religious institutions.


    Helping religious groups is helping religion (none / 0) (#186)
    by sassysenora on Thu Jul 03, 2008 at 02:06:48 AM EST
    the social services imparted by the groups are non religious. They are not allowed to preach or indoctrinate while providing social services. So what is being spread is charity not religion.

    i think that if you provide services through religious organizations, you are promoting that religion. at the very least, you are providing positive publicity, exposure for that religion, and a means of getting people to interact closely with the religious groups (all on the taxpayers' dime). i think churches think so too. i think that's why many churches see helping others as part of their ministry: for many, it is a way to bring people to God.

    Obama's proposal would force people who would rather not be associated with a religious group (whether a particular religious group or religious groups in general) to associate with that religious group or forgo services that they might desperately need. (which, if people accept the services, seems to violate the 1st Amendment guarantee of freedom of association or, if people forgo the services, it provides services on the basis of religion).

    there is no way to effectively police discrimination (in either hiring or the provision of services) or proselytizing. if you think that there will be little proselytizing or favortism, i think you are naive.


    Well That Is Your Opinion (none / 0) (#188)
    by squeaky on Thu Jul 03, 2008 at 11:18:52 AM EST
    But not the opinion of most of congress, including Hillary and Obama.

    The argument is clear that these groups are helping the poor anyway, and they are much better at it than the federal government, or state government.

    I do not like the church and state conflict as it stands now. Bush and Clinton broke that barrier down imo, with the looophole for hiring discrimination. If the hiring is in accord with Title VII and there is strict monitoring (no proselytizing), and equal distribution not favoring one religion over another, I am OK with these organizations receiving money to help the poor.

    I think Obama did a good thing regarding his position on eliminating hiring discrimination, because faith based initiative is not going to go away.


    has anyone been able to determine yet (none / 0) (#140)
    by TimNCGuy on Wed Jul 02, 2008 at 02:01:17 PM EST
    whether the AP actually did report anything erroneously yesterday or not?

    Did the AP erroniously report what they were told by the "anonymous" source?

    Or, did the AP accurately report what te "anonymous" source told them, but the "anonymous" source gave the AP bad information?

    Excellent question n/t (none / 0) (#158)
    by Valhalla on Wed Jul 02, 2008 at 02:41:27 PM EST
    Yes (none / 0) (#172)
    by squeaky on Wed Jul 02, 2008 at 05:05:45 PM EST
    your link doesn't tell me (none / 0) (#175)
    by TimNCGuy on Wed Jul 02, 2008 at 05:43:59 PM EST
    whether the senior Obama adviser who spoke anonymously to the AP was misquoted by the AP or whether the anonymous adviser gave the AP the wrong information.

    Since (none / 0) (#176)
    by squeaky on Wed Jul 02, 2008 at 05:57:34 PM EST
    Your second and third questions are the same, let's just say that your comment is 50% answered by the link I provided. The second and third questions are minutia or trivia compared with the answer to the first question, which is the bottom line on the issue. Case closed.

    Second and third questions are not the same (none / 0) (#179)
    by tree on Wed Jul 02, 2008 at 06:16:16 PM EST
    unless one is swilling Kool-Aid.

    Trivia At This Point (none / 0) (#180)
    by squeaky on Wed Jul 02, 2008 at 06:31:36 PM EST
    Nonetheless, unless you are drinking cool aid.

    Obama has taken a stand on reversing 12 years of practice that was in direct contravention of Title VII. In particular reversing the practice of allowing beneficiaries of federal faith based initiative grants, to no longer be able to hire employees based on religious discrimination. The senate closed the loophole in President Clintons Charitible Choice with S. 476 (CARE Act) but Bush's  Executive Order 13279 reverses that and is todays standard allowing for hiring based on religious discrimination.

    This is the bottom line and a huge win for progressives. The rest is trivia, but knock yourself out and get to the bottom of who from the Obama team or the AP got it wrong.


    my questions have NOTHING to do (none / 0) (#181)
    by TimNCGuy on Wed Jul 02, 2008 at 07:27:59 PM EST
    with what Obama's position is.  BTD has made a claim that the AP has reported something erroneously.  For that claim to be true, the unnamed Obama source that spoke with the AP must have told the AP accurate informationand then the AP reported something different than the source told them.

    But, if te AP accurately reported what the unnamed source told them, then the AP didn't file an erroneous report.  In this case it would have been the unnamed source who gave the AP erroneous information.

    So, case NOT CLOSED.

    I don't particularly care what Obama's position on this is.  In this case I care about whether the AP has been falsely charged with filing erroneous reports.

    Now, if you want to get into conspiracy theories, youcould always go with one that says the unnamed source intentionally gave the AP the data they reported as a trial balloon.  Then when it didn't go over very well, Obama came out with a different position.  But, had the trial balloon gone better, Obama may well have come out with the position that matched what the AP reported.  Isn't that usually the reason for sending out unnamed sources to leak information to the press?


    I can't agree with this as I didn't also (none / 0) (#184)
    by thereyougo on Thu Jul 03, 2008 at 01:03:38 AM EST
    agree with Bush's faith based proposals.

    It does matter that a more disturbing picture emerges about Obama. He is making Democrats out to  consider religion in the context of another failed Bush policy. Obama looks to be justifying it. More disappointment from candidate Obama.

    I never believed GWB was totally on board the religion thing. Its not a huge constituency, but  GWB gave it more attention than it deserved.

    As Democrats we should stay out of trying to be everything to everyone as it is an impossible task.

    Plus I don't want to fund ANY religion from hard earned tax dollars. Seperation of church state works fine for me like it was prior to GWB.


    Great article on counterpunch titled: Holly Obama (none / 0) (#187)
    by suzieg on Thu Jul 03, 2008 at 06:07:32 AM EST


    In any event, now we know what Obama was talking about when he preached his daily sermon on "hope" and "change." You thought he was talking about peace in Iraq, health care for everyone, and other leftist nonsense. In reality, Brother Obama hopes to change all of you into evangelicals. He and George Bush are old pals. God told George to invade Iraq. What will God tell Brother Obama?

    Our founding fathers (we had no founding mothers) got it all wrong. They believed in the separation of church and state. Evangelicals want to separate the state from your tax money by turning Sunday's collection over to certain religious groups that will use it for "faith-based initiatives."

    read more....