Bipartisan Theocracy

As if the federal government weren’t already big enough. As if the moral domain of the federal government weren’t already broad enough.

Federal government?

More like Central government.

We now have both so-called-liberals and so-called-conservatives supporting the use of tax dollars to fund religious organizations.

I suppose this means I can save a check. Rather than donating to the church of my choice, I can simply direct all my donations to the IRS, and I can rest assured that Mr. Obama will direct my earnings to the most deserving causes.

Well now, isn’t that special.

WSJ: Obama’s Faith-Based Mission

CNN: Crime on McCain agenda, while Obama focuses on religion

5 comments on “Bipartisan Theocracy

  1. Roy McKenzie says:

    Mmm, just read your comment on my blog and came to look at yours as I figured you would be talking about this issue (Obama and the faith based initiatives).

    I just read the article on the WSJ and I do have to say, it is rather disappointing.

  2. Roy McKenzie says:

    Hey I just read this over at the Friendly Atheist. Obama’s plan involves funding for secular programs only and cannot be used for proselytizing.

    Here are some details

    Obama’s initiative will be governed by a set of core principles for federal grant recipients. In order to receive federal funds to provide social services, faith-based organizations:

    Cannot use federal funds to proselytize or provide religious sectarian instruction.
    Cannot discriminate against nonmembers in providing services. They must remain open to all and cannot practice religious discrimination against the populations they serve.
    Must comply with federal anti-discrimination laws, including Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Religious organizations that receive federal dollars cannot discriminate with respect to hiring for government-funded social service programs.
    Can only use taxpayer dollars on secular programs and initiatives.
    Must prove their efficacy and be judged based on program effectiveness. They will be expected to demonstrate proven program outcomes to continue to receive funding. Obama will fund programs that work and end funding for programs that do not — whether they are large or small, well-established or new, faith-based or otherwise.

  3. Dan Jensen says:

    Thanks, Roy.

    I am very skeptical about the red tape here.

    It may mean that religious organizations can further dedicate non-federal funds to proselytization, and redirect non-evangelical activities to federal funds. That is, if they don’t simply define evangelical activities to satisfy the red tape.

    It will only support those religions that satisfy federal regulations. That’s fine if one supports all federal regulations, but remember, our federal law was once pro-slavery. This is just more church-state entangling that threatens both church and state.

    I was raised in a religion that claims that they don’t proselytize, but they do it all the time. Proselytization is what they’re all about, yet they could probably satisfy the formal criteria.

    I wish the federal government would stay out of the religion business. To me, this only means a bigger church-state bureaucracy. I am trying to keep some realpolitik sense about all this and not swear off Obama, but it isn’t easy.

  4. Roy says:

    I think I was a little quick to take offense on my blog and I apologize. I totally get it. I get what your saying. I wish the same thing. The only thing I suppose I could hope for is that the churches screw up and that oversight is strict regarding them not following guidelines. I suppose once that happens, hopefully we could abolish the program all together since they can’t be trusted. You bring up a great point about the churches being able to direct more of there funds to proselytization since they are getting more money for there social programs.

    As noble and naive as it may seem, maybe it is part of a bigger plan to put the country’s poor and underprivileged back into functioning society. It sounds super naive and idealistic.

  5. Dan Jensen says:

    Hi Roy. When I wrote the comment, I was a bit concerned that it would sound accusative, but the intent was commiseration as a fellow Obama supporter. I’m sorry if it didn’t come out right.

    If this could all turn out like Denmark, and religion became an impotent arm of the state, I would not mind that much (I don’t think it’s likely in this den of evangelism), but I would prefer that the American experiment continue, because I believe government should be kept as far as realistically possible from issues of morality and spirituality. Kierkegaard the Danish Christian appeared to wish the same for Denmark.

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