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So lets have it out. Obama wants to take the 'faith-based', program started by Bush, to the next level. Obama Creates Faith Based Council

As Barack Obama has said many times, he believes that change comes not from the top-down, but from the bottom-up, and few are closer to the people than our churches, synagogues, temples, and mosques. And many of the challenges we face today—from saving our planet to ending poverty—are simply too big for government to solve alone. We need all hands on deck.

I don't know how I feel about this. In Bush's hands this program sounded really scary but I trust a Democrat to see that it is not a slippery slope. That fact is that the US already funds religion (through tax breaks) why not organize and get more of a benefit for our money.

The key slippery slope safeguard of the program (from the comments - dansac)

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

   Second, federal dollars that go directly to churches, temples, and mosques will only be allowed to go toward secular programs. And Obama will ensure that taxpayer dollars only go to those programs that actually work.

Updated - 6/1/08 12:16pm - goObama
The Salon War Room has an entry that puts my mind at ease. ...Obama's Way Isn't Bush's Way

Re...Bush's Faith Based Initiative .vs. Obama's

So what happened? George W. Bush decided he wanted to rewrite the rules. His White House identified those safeguards and renamed them "barriers." To protect the First Amendment and the interests of taxpayers, the president said, was to stand in the way of churches helping families in need. The safeguards, Bush insisted, had to be eliminated.

Obama has identified the pre-Bush safeguards and wants to strengthen them, not abandon them.

Originally posted to goObama on Tue Jul 01, 2008 at 07:54 AM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Here's the key part of his speech today (20+ / 0-)

    "Now, make no mistake, as someone who used to teach constitutional law, I believe deeply in the separation of church and state, but I don't believe this partnership will endanger that idea - so long as we follow a few basic principles. First, if you get a federal grant, you can't use that grant money to proselytize to the people you help and you can't discriminate against them - or against the people you hire - on the basis of their religion. Second, federal dollars that go directly to churches, temples, and mosques can only be used on secular programs. And we'll also ensure that taxpayer dollars only go to those programs that actually work."

    LINK

    "They're trying to fool you. They're trying to scare you. And they're not telling you the truth." Obama '08

    by bawbie on Tue Jul 01, 2008 at 07:56:42 AM PDT

    •  Skating on a Razor (12+ / 0-)

      or ... splitting the baby

      i, for one, would be a hell of a lot more comfortable if he just eliminated what is a clearly unconstitutional program ...

      •  I don't see what's unconstitutional about it... (9+ / 0-)

        ... provided that one faith isn't given preference over another.

        Keep working! Dozens of inept CEOs are depending on your taxpayer-funded corporate bailout.

        by droogie6655321 on Tue Jul 01, 2008 at 08:02:21 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  HA! How can it never be? That's part of what's (5+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          rick, josephk, vacantlook, ignatz uk, statistic

          so sick about this. Are the Zoroastrians getting money...

          Y'know, I just had a chill. The "grow up" and "get over it" crowd is huge for this candidate, and have the ability to move Overton's Window, for Dems, miles - miles - to the right. How fucking weird would that be.

          •  What are you talking about? (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            bawbie, Catte Nappe

            Have any Zoroastrians asked for money? Because if they had a worthy charity (which, for all I know, they do), then they could get funding.

            Keep working! Dozens of inept CEOs are depending on your taxpayer-funded corporate bailout.

            by droogie6655321 on Tue Jul 01, 2008 at 08:14:32 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Reverse it. christian groups are going to (0+ / 0-)

              ask the most and get the most. And this is okay in a secular democracy how?

              •  If it helps someone out... (3+ / 0-)

                ... I don't care if the group doing the charity work is Jewish, or Christian, or Muslim or whatever.

                Keep working! Dozens of inept CEOs are depending on your taxpayer-funded corporate bailout.

                by droogie6655321 on Tue Jul 01, 2008 at 08:22:56 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  See I think some would rather ppl stay sick (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  LogicaLizE

                  or homeless, that for those ppl to be helped out.

                  The definition of insanity is voting the same way and expecting a different result. I'm talking to you FL,OH, KY, WV!

                  by Shhs on Tue Jul 01, 2008 at 08:27:25 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Al Gore supported faith-based charities (4+ / 0-)

                    when he ran in 2000. This is nothing new. We should applaud Obama for trying to win the evangelical vote, or at least keep it close.

                    That's what we have to do to win a supermajority. Go after the Republican base and steal a good chunk of them. Good for Obama.

                    And I'm saying this as a very non-religious person.

                    Old Man McCain.com - the best McCain attack blog on the web!

                    by existenz on Tue Jul 01, 2008 at 08:37:09 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  and Gore failed to win (0+ / 0-)

                      because he was perceived as too moderate.

                      •  There were a lot of reasons Gore lost (0+ / 0-)

                        Being a wooden speaker and perceived as a panderer didn't help, either.

                        Never give up! Never surrender!

                        by oscarsmom on Tue Jul 01, 2008 at 08:48:00 AM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  Three major reasons/handicaps (0+ / 0-)

                          Gore had to overcome were:

                          1. Clinton scandal fatigue
                          1. Media smears (pre-netroots)
                          1. Nader factor

                          Those factors were overwhelming in terms of straining Gore. He actually fought back from whopping and sustained double digit deficits he inherited from Clinton scandal fatigue and won the popular vote, a net 16% turnaround during the course of his campaign. He also outpolled C/G'96 among both Dems and Indies. Where he lost compared to C/G'96 were crossover Republicans and that has a lot do with Clinton's behavior.

                          "Being a wooden speaker"

                          Gore isn't really wooden. He's somewhat reserved in personality. But, he's actually a powerful orator (Obama is a powerful orator too), he gave a ringing convention speech and he gives invigorating stump speeches.

                          Where I think this "wooden" smear comes from is that in 2000 he became self-conscious when on TV. My theory is that he became that way because the national made it a pastime out of smearing Gore throughout 1999 and 2000, picking on any and every damn thing, real or imagined. I think he grew weary and distrustful of the national media and talking heads because of that. There were no netroots back then to keep the media in check as we can do today to some degree or the other.

                          "and perceived as a panderer"

                          That's yet another vacuous smear by his opponents and the media.

                          Please consider helping retire Gilda Reed(D-LA-01)'s campaign debt by contributing here. Thanks!

                          by NeuvoLiberal on Tue Jul 01, 2008 at 09:22:07 AM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                    •  Gore didn't sell faith (0+ / 0-)

                      and I don't think Obama is doing that either, based on the quotes given by the diarist:

                      From Gore's platform here is what he said:

                      Faith-based and community-based organizations have always been at the forefront in combating the hardships facing families and communities. Democrats believe it is time that government found ways to harness the power of faith-based organizations in tackling social ills such as drug addiction, juvenile violence, and homelessness.

                      However, in contrast to the Republicans, Democrats believe that partnerships with faith-based organizations should augment - not replace - government programs, should respect First Amendment protections, and should never use taxpayer funds to proselytize or to support discrimination.

                      Similar to what Obama is saying. Religious organizations do play a crucial role. The Black church, which is an integral part of the fabric of the black community and helps the community in many ways, is an outstanding example of that.

                      Please consider helping retire Gilda Reed(D-LA-01)'s campaign debt by contributing here. Thanks!

                      by NeuvoLiberal on Tue Jul 01, 2008 at 09:30:09 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                •  I don't care wither. i do care that my (0+ / 0-)

                  money is helping their church continue.

                  •  The money... (4+ / 0-)

                    ... is NOT for supporting church activities outside of charity work.

                    Keep working! Dozens of inept CEOs are depending on your taxpayer-funded corporate bailout.

                    by droogie6655321 on Tue Jul 01, 2008 at 08:29:34 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  the money would be coming from their own funds (2+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      josephk, vacantlook

                      if they weren't getting it from the government. It is therefore helping them exist.

                      And why would I trust them with my money? why am I even being asked to?

                      •  Why (0+ / 0-)

                        To help people! I thought we'd established that.

                        Keep working! Dozens of inept CEOs are depending on your taxpayer-funded corporate bailout.

                        by droogie6655321 on Tue Jul 01, 2008 at 08:32:49 AM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  To help people? Fine. Give tax dollars to (1+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          ExStr8

                          secular charities that help people.

                        •  And another why (0+ / 0-)

                          I'm being asked to give to Catholic programs. Just for one. how do you defend that?

                          •  There's nothing inherently wrong with that. (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            TNdem, Catte Nappe

                            Maybe if you'd ever been helped by a religious charity, you'd feel differently about it.

                            A charity called Angel Food helped my family through some difficult times by providing us with inexpensive groceries -- all without hassling us or proselytizing.

                            Keep working! Dozens of inept CEOs are depending on your taxpayer-funded corporate bailout.

                            by droogie6655321 on Tue Jul 01, 2008 at 08:41:23 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  That part of the Catholic church does (0+ / 0-)

                            good work - dude, I grew up Catholic. I know. It doesn't change the fact that they also protected pedophiles for decades, or that they own a city of gold. why am I giving them money again?

                          •  asdf (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            bawbie

                            And the United Way has been criticized for skimming off the top and supporting homophobic groups. But it doesn't change the fact that they've done a lot more good through their charities than harm.

                            No group the size of the Catholic Church is going to be free of wrongdoing.

                            Keep working! Dozens of inept CEOs are depending on your taxpayer-funded corporate bailout.

                            by droogie6655321 on Tue Jul 01, 2008 at 08:45:05 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  The money isn't going to the church (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            droogie6655321

                            it's going to the charity.

                            "They're trying to fool you. They're trying to scare you. And they're not telling you the truth." Obama '08

                            by bawbie on Tue Jul 01, 2008 at 08:45:40 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  The logic here, Bawbie... (0+ / 0-)

                            ... is that because money is helping the church with charity work, that's money that the churches won't have to spend in other areas.

                            I think the user resents the fact that churches exist at all -- even after I provided an example of a religious charity that helped my family.

                            Keep working! Dozens of inept CEOs are depending on your taxpayer-funded corporate bailout.

                            by droogie6655321 on Tue Jul 01, 2008 at 08:46:52 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Was i wrong about the money? (0+ / 0-)

                            And trying to shift this to my personal feelings about churches is a pretty sad ploy.

                            And the fact that I'm even having to argue this on Daily Kos is just so fucking disappointing.

                          •  Money that goes to FBI programs helps (0+ / 0-)

                            those churches directly and indirectly. And it helps established churches more, based only on the fact that they are already established. Got a new church? Too bad. In America we favor established churches (apparently).

                          •  Besides, (0+ / 0-)

                            By that logic, you shouldn't support the welfare programs of the US government because some people in that government have committed sex scandals of their own.

                            Keep working! Dozens of inept CEOs are depending on your taxpayer-funded corporate bailout.

                            by droogie6655321 on Tue Jul 01, 2008 at 08:45:51 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  You are saying that the Catholic church's (0+ / 0-)

                            at leadership levels, active covering up of many, many pedophiles and keeping them in postions of power with children is somehow equal to your invented scenario? That is deeply offensive.

                      •  Nope (0+ / 0-)

                        If they weren't getting government money they would close or scale back their programs. Typically a city, county or state comes to them and says - we need  a homeless shelter; we need someone to manage rent payments for elderly alzheimers patients, who will do this?  And Lutheran Family Services, or Catholic Charities, or The Salvation Army say "We'll take that on".
                        If "Little" stepped up and said "my group will take that on" would Little then keep the program going with his/her own money if the government funding was later withdrawn?

                        "My country, right or wrong; if right, to be kept right; and if wrong, to be set right." Sen Carl Schurz 1872

                        by Catte Nappe on Tue Jul 01, 2008 at 09:04:39 AM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

              •  There are more Christian groups to ask. Duh! (0+ / 0-)

                See, you or someone else would just turn it around and say it was unfair if Jewish Groups or god forbid Muslum groups got most of the money given that they are statistically smaller in number.  It's stupid test anyway.  The worth of the program that is proposed is the only real measure that matters.  If I'm a young girl selling my body on the street to survive and someone offers me a hand up then WTF do I care what their religion is.  The whole point is that the charity can't use the money to promote their religious agenda anyway.

                "Vote Your Hopes Not Your Fears."

                by YellerDog on Tue Jul 01, 2008 at 10:35:40 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

        •  What it means is (0+ / 0-)

          that all of the faith-based fed money will now most likely be given to new groups of people that the new administration promotes and approves of. Primarily left-wing type organizations rather than right wing type ones. I really doubt that it will make much difference to anyone over the long run, except for the administrative recipients of the funds who will make all of the decisions about who gets what, and well, the work really hard and have bills to pay too, don't they?
          Maybe birth control and clean needles and drug rehab help will be a bit more available over the next few years though.

          "God is not on the side of the heavy battalions, but of the best shots."- Voltaire

          by armenia on Tue Jul 01, 2008 at 09:09:22 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  He's funding charities that are effective (6+ / 0-)

        it just so happens some of the most effective ones are run out of religious organizations.  

        Absolute Horror: The Best in Bad Horror Movies

        by dansac on Tue Jul 01, 2008 at 08:04:03 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Not unconstitutional if (8+ / 0-)

        no preference based on faith and no religious indoctrination required to receive services.  That's where Bushie fucked it up.  

        My dogs think I'm smart and pretty.

        by martydd on Tue Jul 01, 2008 at 08:04:31 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  With this, the program could be great (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      bawbie, Little

      as long as the anti-discrimination regs are like Dansac's comment describes them rather than just on the basis of religion.

      " Every Thanksgiving, Bill Clinton stuffs a kitten inside a puppy inside a chimp inside a dolphin. It's like a turducken, only more evil. " balancedscales

      by buddabelly on Tue Jul 01, 2008 at 08:07:16 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Agree with josephk - (6+ / 0-)

      A very fine distinction, indeed.

      Would a gay person, a single-mother, a nonbeliever, or a Jew apply for a job with a state or nonprofit social service agency?  Would they apply for the same job at a megachurch?  By channeling funds through religious organizations, government is clearly advantaging certain groups - often the majority - against minorities.

      In the last days of segregation, Southern states, in their zeal to preserve "separate but equal" poured funds into the black schools - often at levels surpassing the per student funding of white schools.  New black schools were constructed with modern facilities equal to those at white schools.  Teacher pay was equalized.  Yet, the Supreme Court ruled that segregation was inherently unequal - not because of the facilities - but because of Thurgood Marshall's compelling argument that it created a mentality of second-classed citizenship among African American children - regardless of the standard of the facilities.

      Faith-based initiatives do precisely the same -
      regardless of the qualifications that advocates add.

    •  I don't believe it will work. (0+ / 0-)

      The Boy Scouts are recipients of federal support in a fairly indirect way - they are sponsored by the Department of Defense and are allowed to use military bases for their events. That had been stopped and then Congress voted to restore it - and did so by a 98-0 vote.

      The Boy Scouts do discriminate on the basis of religion. They also discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation. Most people would assume that the scouts are secular (the Girl Scouts are BTW) but their main sponsor is the Church of Latter Day Saints and the LDS church will not allow the Scouts to stray that far. I can't imagine that the government will be able to resolve these kinds of issues.

      -6.00, -7.03
      Obama '08

      by johnsonwax on Tue Jul 01, 2008 at 08:40:23 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Yup (6+ / 0-)

      This is consistent with his principles and it's something he genuinely believes in. I am not surprised nor upset by this.

      •  Not only am I not upset - I think it is quite (9+ / 0-)

        brilliant a move.   He's going to split the evangelicals who are already ambivalent about McCain.

        Here's the essential part of the program:

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

        Second, federal dollars that go directly to churches, temples, and mosques will only be allowed to go toward secular programs. And Obama will ensure that taxpayer dollars only go to those programs that actually work.

        Absolute Horror: The Best in Bad Horror Movies

        by dansac on Tue Jul 01, 2008 at 07:59:02 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  I refuse. NO WAY (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ExStr8, SheriffBart, Little, statistic, Jacques

      Not a penny for any church or sect. NEVER. It only provides them with even more unnecessary funding.

      What we call god is merely a living creature with superior technology and understanding. If their fragile egos demand prayer, they lose that superiority.

      by agnostic on Tue Jul 01, 2008 at 08:04:11 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Even if the money is going to secular charity (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        democrattotheend

        work that actually is helping people?  

        Obama is funding effective charities - as he learned from his experience in Chicago, some of the most effective charities happen to be affiliated with religious organizations.

        I don't want to throw the baby out with the bathwater.

        Refusing money to good charities because they happen to connected to churches is purity trolling of the highest kind.

        Absolute Horror: The Best in Bad Horror Movies

        by dansac on Tue Jul 01, 2008 at 08:06:10 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  agnostic, (0+ / 0-)

        I understand you might be ideologically opposed to churches and other religious institutions, but they can accomplish good things without proselytizing people.

        Thanks to a ministry called Angel Food, I was able to afford groceries while going to college. And those people never once harassed me.

        And besides, under the law:

        And groups will be required to comply with federal anti-discrimination laws in their hiring practices—including Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits employment discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, or national origin.

        What's wrong with that?

        Keep working! Dozens of inept CEOs are depending on your taxpayer-funded corporate bailout.

        by droogie6655321 on Tue Jul 01, 2008 at 08:07:29 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  If everything goes exactly according to plan (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          tle

          then this program won't be corrupted until the next time we get a conservative government.

          I would prefer that the government help people directly than work through charities. If we must work through charities, I prefer a really high and rigid wall of separation between church and state, i.e. a total ban on government funding of faith-based charities.

          This program may be able to skirt the entanglements on paper, but I believe it's a dangerous path to tread, rife with potential for abuses which will be very difficult indeed to reverse.

          •  Any aide program... (0+ / 0-)

            ... is rife with potential for abuse. That doesn't mean we shouldn't try to help people who need it. This is what Democrats are all about.

            Keep working! Dozens of inept CEOs are depending on your taxpayer-funded corporate bailout.

            by droogie6655321 on Tue Jul 01, 2008 at 08:24:26 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Not EQUALLY rife, hence my order of preference. (0+ / 0-)

              I'm all for helping people; I want more of that in government. I prefer the government not outsource it to private charities at all, but I recognize that that may be necessary sometimes.

              I'm also a very strong believer in the wall of separation between church and state. This program may not actually breach that wall, but it certainly makes it more vulnerable to assault later on.

              I think we can help people without introducing that kind of vulnerability to entanglement.

        •  They will ALWAYS prozelytize. (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          johnnygunn, ExStr8, SheriffBart

          Whether is is a coversation in the hallway, a conversation while delivering food, etc.

          It is forcing people into social contact with people who want to spread their faith and they will.

          Do the benefits outweigh this?  Maybe.  Haven't decided yet, but saying there will be no proselytizing is impossible.

          It is also wasteful to have 1000 organizations providing the safety net, when 1 well run one could.  I tend to think it is.  But, you will get many more volunteers instead of paid employees if a church runs it, so maybe that is a wash as well.

          Leaning against, but I am glad to see his caveats in there.

          Rick
          08 Preference - Obama
          -9.63 -6.92
          Fox News - We Distort, You Deride

          by rick on Tue Jul 01, 2008 at 08:27:41 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Please use commas in tags. Here are the tag (0+ / 0-)

      guidelines.

      I'll believe it's constitutional when a wiccan food pantry gets $250,000. Until then, this is just another way to funnel tax dollars to people who believe your invisible friend in the sky is right, and no one else's.

      This space to let. Reasonable rates. -8.25, -6.21

      by Jacques on Tue Jul 01, 2008 at 08:11:05 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Two volunteer events in 2004 (0+ / 0-)

        The site you link to lists two volunteer events that occurred in 2004. Where is the Wiccan food pantry? I live in a town desperate for social services and there is only one soup kitchen and no food pantry that I've discovered.

        The only soup kitchen in my town is a rescue mission and actively proselityzes (sp). For this reason, I've elected not to volunteer there but I'm glad they exist in our community. These are vital services and the reality is there are very few groups committed to providing them. Any group that will actively contribute to their community is alright in my book whether they are Wiccan, Christian, Jew, Muslim or totally secular makes no difference; I just notice that the Christians tend to do a bit more to reach out to the "least of us" than some other groups do.

        I guess this is a long way of saying that, while I don't ever want to see the government actively running a soup kitchen, those who help others deserve some assistance (as do their clients). Until individuals start systematically giving money from their pockets directly to aid agencies (like many Christians do) I guess we'll just have to settle for watching our tax dollars be diverted to help our neighbors against our will. Boo Fucking Whoo.

    •  believe it. (0+ / 0-)

      It's a good initiative in my view.

      Also there's a correction to the AP's incorrect reporting on this:

      http://firstread.msnbc.msn.com/...

  •  He has always been for (6+ / 0-)

    Faith based Initiatives, always.  

  •  I'm not surprised or upset (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    droogie6655321, nycwahoodem, soms

    And this is not a flip-flop...he risked angering liberals before he ran for president with his speech about the need to reach out to religious voters and not be so adverse to talking about religion. Given that he got his start as a church-based community organizer, I think this is something he genuinely believes in and not just a ploy to win votes. So I respect him for it even if I disagree, and I am not even sure I disagree...it depends on some of the details.

    Also, I don't think Obama is proposing giving more latitude to religion than already exists.

  •  A Democrat acknowledges that some have faith (7+ / 0-)

    Mercy! I do believe I've got the vay-puhhs.

    Keep working! Dozens of inept CEOs are depending on your taxpayer-funded corporate bailout.

    by droogie6655321 on Tue Jul 01, 2008 at 07:58:29 AM PDT

  •  and thats Chicago politics (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    dansac

    Pretty familiar to those who live in Chicago.
    In Chicago there are numerous pastors who are also U.S. representatives and state legislators.

    The state gives tons of money to churches to build new facilities etc. In return the pastors politically support the politicians.

    Many of these pastors and preachers have more political power than the elected politicians.

    So Barack is just doing what he has learned in Chicago.

  •  barf (21+ / 0-)

    I hated this program when Bush pushed it through and I'm not going to support it now just because Obama is now pushing it.  What happened to the separation of church and state?  Our tax dollars should not go to religious institutions.

    "The only way Democrats will win elections is if we stand up for what we believe in" ~ Howard Dean

    by the awful truth on Tue Jul 01, 2008 at 07:59:35 AM PDT

    •  Read this from Obama's camp: (6+ / 0-)

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

      Second, federal dollars that go directly to churches, temples, and mosques will only be allowed to go toward secular programs. And Obama will ensure that taxpayer dollars only go to those programs that actually work.

      Absolute Horror: The Best in Bad Horror Movies

      by dansac on Tue Jul 01, 2008 at 08:01:23 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  thank you for the reasonable reply (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        rick, TracieLynn

        My problem is that by giving this aid, you are subsidizing the church so that funds that would have otherwise went to this type of aid are now available for non-secular programs that do include proselytizing, etc.

        Please note that it describes "programs" and not groups.

        "The only way Democrats will win elections is if we stand up for what we believe in" ~ Howard Dean

        by the awful truth on Tue Jul 01, 2008 at 08:06:55 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  That's not how I see it (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          the awful truth

          The services provided now are greatly limited by the amount of contributions.  If our local Interfaith Ministry organization has funding for 40-50 families a month, that is good.  But now 250 families have applied.  Funding is somewhat down as good people are struggling to pay their own bills.  Only a fraction can be helped and it hurts to turn people away.

          There will likely never be enough money to fund all the needs in our communities.  I don't think churches will decide to quit funding their own programs and divert those funds to other purposes.  

          The truth always matters.

          by texasmom on Tue Jul 01, 2008 at 08:27:01 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  issues of fairness (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            texasmom, agnostic

            It sounds like you have some experience with this so I would love to know your thoughts about the fairness of how to distribute these funds across programs.  Under Bush, 98.3% of the funding went to Christian groups, 1% to Jewish groups, 0.34% to Muslim groups, and 0.16% to interfaith groups.  I have several friends that work for secular non-profit groups that help needy families, and they could desperately use this funding as well.

            "The only way Democrats will win elections is if we stand up for what we believe in" ~ Howard Dean

            by the awful truth on Tue Jul 01, 2008 at 08:38:36 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I have no idea how the Bush administration (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              the awful truth

              justified that - surely they must have had some written criteria, even if they ignored it.  I would hope with Obama's skill at administrative organization, his administration would publish guidelines, choose groups who follow them and allocate resources fairly.

              FYI, our larger community formed an Interfaith Ministry in the 70's after a massive F4 tornado cluster injured 1700+ and left 20,000 homeless locally. It was just too much for individual churches to handle. (Also, a number of "duplicate claims" were submitted, which is another sad story.)

              IM here is supported by many local churches, along with numerous individuals. Our church, for instance, allocates a set percentage of the budget each year straight to IM. Combining the resources, storage space, administration and staff (2 or 3 paid, the rest volunteer) has been an incredibly efficient means of distribution.

              That's why I see some good possibilities for such a program, in the hands of a competent and fair administration.

              The truth always matters.

              by texasmom on Tue Jul 01, 2008 at 08:51:45 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  what is writ on paper is no better than our (0+ / 0-)

                constitution, in practice. THAT is the real reason to worry. Not that Obama will abuse this program, but that the program exists at all, because the future is something very unpredictable.

                What we call god is merely a living creature with superior technology and understanding. If their fragile egos demand prayer, they lose that superiority.

                by agnostic on Tue Jul 01, 2008 at 10:26:44 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  That is true of most everything (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  agnostic

                  our courts, our elected representatives, future presidential administratons, heck - even our own priorities can become misguided if we are not vigilant and accountable to one another.

                  That's why I feel so strongly about a return to a system of checks and balances.  The restraints imposed by separation of power are a great thing.

                  The truth always matters.

                  by texasmom on Tue Jul 01, 2008 at 10:56:58 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

          •  I see (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            texasmom

            that as the reason we have government and churches aren't taxed.  It used to be that the theory was that we provided our tax dollars so the government could provide a social safety net to its citizens.  We made churches tax-free because we thought they provided a benefit to society.  It was a system that used to work pretty well until those kids who like to shrink stuff and put it in the bathtub came along.

            The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people. - 9th Amendment

            by TracieLynn on Tue Jul 01, 2008 at 12:04:46 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  So what? (5+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        TracieLynn, ExStr8, agnostic, Little, statistic

        Scientologists have a reasonably successful drug program called Narcanon.  The LDS Church has an excellent welfare system.  These programs would clearly qualify under BHO's program.  Where do you think the money they save from having the Gov pay for these programs (which BTW promote their faiths) will go?  That's right, promoting their distorted view of the world.

        Bad, bad, bad idea.

        "Bipartisan usually means that a larger-than-usual deception is being carried out." - George Carlin, R.I.P. (1937-2008)

        by Alfonso Nevarez on Tue Jul 01, 2008 at 08:34:04 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  the narconon claim (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          agnostic, voila

          is not at all well-sourced or well-established.

          clarity is as important as accountability and narconon has neither.

          _______________

          it's their screen name because they couldn't figure out how to spell "moran."

          -9.75 (e), -7.18 (s)

          by dadanation on Tue Jul 01, 2008 at 09:43:51 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Nearly all faith based programs (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            dadanation, TracieLynn, agnostic

            have zero accountability.  The reason?  Very little valid quantifiable data to support their claims of success.

            All you get is estimates on the number of people served - nothing quantifiable on how these services impacted communities, or whether the service those people received was adequate.

            Take Access to Recovery grants where "more than 170,000 people with substance abuse problems have received treatment and/or recovery support".  how many actually stopped using drugs, and for how long?  No data.  There is an administrative firewall between the government and religious organizations that does not exist in the non-profit sector.  Non-profits are constantly providing the government data on their effectiveness in order to receive funding, while churches need only rely on their membership to exert political pressure.

            "Bipartisan usually means that a larger-than-usual deception is being carried out." - George Carlin, R.I.P. (1937-2008)

            by Alfonso Nevarez on Tue Jul 01, 2008 at 10:07:47 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  under the current construct (0+ / 0-)

              yes, the accountability measures are as precise as they were under the reagan/stockman block grants, meaning there are little to no accountability measures whatsoever.

              the original incarnation of the faith-based initiatives, however, was different.  when it was a program run out of the CDC in the late 1980s, it was measured, held accountable and tracked (it was one of the original funded programs by congress for hiv prevention).

              not only has bush eliminated common sense but he has replaced it with a blank check.

              and that is frightening.

              _______________

              it's their screen name because they couldn't figure out how to spell "moran."

              -9.75 (e), -7.18 (s)

              by dadanation on Tue Jul 01, 2008 at 03:08:17 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

      •  Whew! (0+ / 0-)

        Thank God Obama or another Democrat is going to be President forever so we don't have to worry about this being abused.

        The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people. - 9th Amendment

        by TracieLynn on Tue Jul 01, 2008 at 12:01:30 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  stop lying (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      slinkerwink, houyhnhnm, martydd, soms

      we can't choose how we read each different amendment.

      it doesn't prevent this. Bush has used it as a recruitment and funding tool for those who agree with his evangelical views.

      A democrat, especially a faithful one like Obama, would use this as it should...a pre-existing network of providers who can do good because communities trust them. and it saves money, by not having to establish new providers and networks.

      I work in city government and I know that we contract a lot of religiously affiliated groups because they are the ones who step up. They aren't allowed to teach religion or discriminate. it's not that hard or controversial.

      oh, by-the-by, i'm agnostic.

      •  great (4+ / 0-)

        thanks for the TR buddy.  You don't know how to use this website properly.

        "The only way Democrats will win elections is if we stand up for what we believe in" ~ Howard Dean

        by the awful truth on Tue Jul 01, 2008 at 08:04:50 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  wtf? (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          soms

          it's not a valid comment. it is meant to inflame.

          •  cite your reasoning? (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            boran2, droogie6655321

            You really think stating an opinion is meant to inflame?  

            Where in the FAQ does it justify your rating?  

            You're wrong in your rating.  You can remove it by simply clicking the hide rating again.

            "Treat them with humanity. Let them have no reason to complain of our copying the brutal example of the British army."

            by otto on Tue Jul 01, 2008 at 08:07:25 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  how this (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              soms

              1 - Bush didn't push it through, it started with Clinton. Bush just corrupted it.

              2 - I'd wager 90% of constitutional scholars would say the concept of social services in exchange for funds is not a violation of anything.

              therefore, the basis of the post is incorrect and inflammatory. if we can make comments without any backing and not be troll-ish, then why not have people making all sorts of claims, and just say "well, it's my personal comment."

              but again, as Obama showed, if it is going to distract from the actual issue, i'll remove it.

              •  Neither of your reasons are valid (0+ / 0-)

                If someone is incorrect in what they have posted, then it should be corrected factually.  If you have a particular wager on whether or not your position is supported, you should seek the supporting links online and share them.  

                You can use whatever justification you wish for removing the rating.  

                "Treat them with humanity. Let them have no reason to complain of our copying the brutal example of the British army."

                by otto on Tue Jul 01, 2008 at 08:12:06 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  thanks (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                TracieLynn

                I appreciate the removal of the HR.  It looks like Bush actually did push it through though.

                The White House Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives (OFBCI) is a department under the Office of the President of the United States that was established by President George W. Bush through executive order[1] on January 29, 2001, and which represents one of the key domestic policies of Bush's campaign promise of "compassionate conservatism." The initiative seeks to strengthen faith-based and community organizations and expand their capacity to provide federally-funded social services, with the idea being that these groups are well-situated to meet the needs of local individuals. As Texas governor Bush had used the "Charitable Choice" provisions of the 1996 welfare reform (which allowed "faith-based" entities to compete for government contracts to deliver social services) to support faith-based groups in Texas.

                "The only way Democrats will win elections is if we stand up for what we believe in" ~ Howard Dean

                by the awful truth on Tue Jul 01, 2008 at 08:15:23 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  he created (0+ / 0-)

                  the department. clinton started the practice.

                  •  do you have a link? (0+ / 0-)

                    I would like to read more about this. thx.

                    "The only way Democrats will win elections is if we stand up for what we believe in" ~ Howard Dean

                    by the awful truth on Tue Jul 01, 2008 at 08:20:11 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                  •  no, clinton did not start the practice (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    TracieLynn, voila

                    for someone who insists that people be accurate with the facts, you certainly are not following your own guidance.

                    the faith based initiatives did NOT begin with clinton.

                    unless he was president in 1988.

                    cdc began funding their faith based initiatives in 1988:

                    [snip]

                    CDC works to involve faith and religious leaders and institutions in HIV prevention, with particular emphasis on stigma reduction, intervention development, counseling and testing, and capacity building assistance. CDC first engaged the faith community in 1988 by funding 11 organizations through the National AIDS Information and Education Program to address HIV prevention and AIDS services at the national, regional, and local levels. Between 1999 and 2000, CDC funded 23 faith-based organizations to conduct HIV prevention activities including direct services, capacity building assistance, and development of a training program for religious leaders serving disproportionately impacted communities. In 2004, CDC funded nine faith-based organizations to deliver HIV prevention services and capacity building and technical assistance

                    _______________

                    it's their screen name because they couldn't figure out how to spell "moran."

                    -9.75 (e), -7.18 (s)

                    by dadanation on Tue Jul 01, 2008 at 09:35:53 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

        •  oh (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          soms

          and please lecture me again on how to use this website.

          i get 5 a day. i use them when i see people outright misleading or lying to inflame a conversation.

          •  I'll let the Kos FAQ lecture you (0+ / 0-)

            Many users believe that the rating system is intented to be an opportunity to express agreement or disagreement with a post, or with the poster themself. This is not accurate; ratings are intended to help elevate those posters that consistently make clear, good arguments and points, regardless of content, and to prevent trolls from invading the message board. Downrating commenters on the basis of agreement or disagreement with their arguments leads to a monolithic forum, free of new ideas and input.

            So, please don't downrate comments just because you disagree with them!

            "The only way Democrats will win elections is if we stand up for what we believe in" ~ Howard Dean

            by the awful truth on Tue Jul 01, 2008 at 08:12:38 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  no (0+ / 0-)

              it wasn't cause i disagreed, it because it wasn't based on reality. i'm not going to sit by and watch people make statements out of thin air that will only serve to incite further discussions not related to the post.

              •  you make comments out of thin air (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                voila

                why are yours any different?

                i.e the faith based initiatives began under clinton.  

                not true.

                _______________

                it's their screen name because they couldn't figure out how to spell "moran."

                -9.75 (e), -7.18 (s)

                by dadanation on Tue Jul 01, 2008 at 09:36:56 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

    •  wow (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      agnostic

      thanks for the first TR since I have been reading since 2003.  Not sure how this is trolling...sign of the times.

      "The only way Democrats will win elections is if we stand up for what we believe in" ~ Howard Dean

      by the awful truth on Tue Jul 01, 2008 at 08:04:09 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Hide this? (8+ / 0-)

      Why would someone hide rate this comment?  

      Uprated to offset the HR.

      "Treat them with humanity. Let them have no reason to complain of our copying the brutal example of the British army."

      by otto on Tue Jul 01, 2008 at 08:04:22 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  why the TR? (5+ / 0-)

      many of us feel the same damned way. TR me, too then.

      What we call god is merely a living creature with superior technology and understanding. If their fragile egos demand prayer, they lose that superiority.

      by agnostic on Tue Jul 01, 2008 at 08:05:58 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Tipped to offset the HR (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      the awful truth, TracieLynn, otto

      why is this comment HR'd?  It's legitmate.

      I also detest government funded faith based initiatives.  Good golly, funding the religious right, the outspoken group that'd like me and every GLBT American to, at the very least, live in the closet, who demonizes me and works hard to raise funds to keep my rights from me.  

      I was hoping funding faith based initiatives would cease to exist with a democratic president.

      'It's not the greenhouse gases, it's the white house gases' - David Letterman

      by perky mcjuggs on Tue Jul 01, 2008 at 08:11:36 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  faith based initiatives in HIV prevention (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      voila

      pre-date clinton.

      they go back to the reagan/bush era, 1988 to be precise.

      the current president however, derailed that program and lumped int into the executive order-created monster that is the White House faith based initiative entity.

      it is essential to note that bush's faith based initiatives capitalize on the 1996 welfare to work bill and then go further and erase traditional lines of separation between church and state (including property acquisition and barring discrimination in hiring because of religious views being now allowable under these moneys).

      technically, for obama to support a faith-based initiative in public health activities would not be wrong or bad or even kowtowing to any one religious influence etc.

      there is a history of using religious organizations, provided they have a 501(c)3.

      obama would do best to clearly delineate which type of faith based initiative he supports -- one with controls, accountability and measurable outcomes (like the old ones that cdc funded) or the bush kind which do not require such measurable outcomes but instead blur the once-clear lines that separated church and state.

      _______________

      it's their screen name because they couldn't figure out how to spell "moran."

      -9.75 (e), -7.18 (s)

      by dadanation on Tue Jul 01, 2008 at 09:27:34 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  it's true (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    gchaucer2, soms, synchronicityii

    and if you want to lose even more elections, everyone here will knee-jerk that all religion is bad and can't possibly be used for good. Most people in this country are religious and see this as something that makes sense.

    The Constitution does not prevent the government using religious organizations from receving funds in exchange for services. it simply doesn't. It prevents the government funding a national religion or telling a religion how it has to practice its beliefs. that's it. if you want a strict reading of #2, you have to strict read them all.

    yes, this program is a bad idea when it is funneled to exclusively evangelical christian groups or groups that require belief to participate.

    this should not be a surprise to anyone. how do you think he organized in neighborhoods in chicago? with places of faith, duh (thank you 1980s).

    •  all religion IS bad. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ExStr8

      it corrodes the mind, rots the teeth, causes breasts to sag, give you hemorrhoids, makes you sterile and impotent, gives incurable athlete's feet and halitosis, while making women bald, and men fat.

      What we call god is merely a living creature with superior technology and understanding. If their fragile egos demand prayer, they lose that superiority.

      by agnostic on Tue Jul 01, 2008 at 08:08:29 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Wow. (0+ / 0-)

        Agnostic, I generally consider you to be a voice of reason around here, but your intolerance is showing.  

        Do you care how many fellow Democrats/Kossacks you alienate with comments like that?

        •  So does my slip, that's why my (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          TracieLynn

          skirts are so long.  I would have thought that the snark meter would have been ringing away. I know. I should have added prioprisms. THAT would have given it away.

          In all seriousness, I support everyone's right to choose whether and how to practice their beliefs. You'd be surprised how strongly. (so might I at times) But I also strongly object to the separation of church and state being eradicated, drip by drip.

          Here's one example.

          Let's agree on a couple of things, hypothetically.
          Bush's Faith based initiatives were both a success and a failure. They succeeded in killing of thriving, important, existing federal programs. They failed, in that politics intruded, and despite early promises, politics imprinted all of these programs. Or perhaps, Bush viewed that as a success, as well. No matter.

          Let's also assume that Barack's good intentions do not pave some way to hell, but rather, correct a listing ship, pump out the bilges, and set a proper course on which we can all agree

          Barack will not be president forever. And when he is gone, naturally, by elections, or by lead poisoning (a consideration modern society imposes on us, unfortunately, since Abe's early demise) our society will have had both a GOP and a Dem administration, which not only accepted the destruction of the wall of separation, but institutionalized its destruction.

          Can we agree that the religious torture that takes place, as a matter of policy, within the Colorado Springs Air Force Academy is a symptom, not simply a singular event?  With this background, let's say that Barack's successor manages to catch one of those revivalist waves that periodically swamp this country, almost every 40 years or so. And let's imagine that a new president is caught up in the same wave, AND that the entire military leadership believes in the same sect and Dominionist theory.

          How far a stretch does it take before we seriously have to consider a growing infiltration and control over government by a religious sect? Worse yet, enforced by our military?  We are still trying to get rid of one, the neoconman sect, and I think a cure may take a decade or more.

          It is not so much what or how Barack proposes to do, it is the horrible future that this program can lead to that causes my most strongest objections.

          What we call god is merely a living creature with superior technology and understanding. If their fragile egos demand prayer, they lose that superiority.

          by agnostic on Tue Jul 01, 2008 at 10:01:09 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Wow. I guess I should be dating athiests. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        agnostic

        They've got to be better looking!

        My dogs think I'm smart and pretty.

        by martydd on Tue Jul 01, 2008 at 08:22:00 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  So how much are athiest groups getting? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      TracieLynn, ExStr8

      You and so many here are putting up false arguments. Programs like these will always put one or some religions over another. Will christian churches get more than others? Of course they will. You'll argue that they should, because there are more Christians in this country...

      And then even the person making that aregument might realize how sick that is.

  •  As long as he keeps supporting funds for NGO's (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    soms

    and the programs are correctly reviewed, I guess it's OK. But it seems to me that churches should have to go through the same screening and evaluation processes as NGO's.

    •  It sounds like the (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      texasmom, buddabelly, fezzik, martydd

      programs will go through a screening process.  I'd love to see a particular Catholic Church in Hartford, CT get funds for their soup kitchen, homeless shelter, AIDs program, teen programs, etc.  These priests would no more think of proseltyzing than voting for George Bush.

      My faith in the Constitution is whole, it is complete, it is total. Barbara Jordan 1974

      by gchaucer2 on Tue Jul 01, 2008 at 08:04:44 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  This issue is not a left or right issue (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    texasmom, droogie6655321, gchaucer2, soms

    So those who claim it's "moving to the right" or "center" are way off-base.

    Just because the idea originated from Bush doesn't mean it's all bad - we should fix the separation of church/state issues (which Obama does), and then move on.

    The key reason to support this is it is the most efficient way to get help to people - you don't have to build new programs from scratch, but take advantage of existing infrastructure.

    Absolute Horror: The Best in Bad Horror Movies

    by dansac on Tue Jul 01, 2008 at 08:00:56 AM PDT

    •  People are so quick to forget (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      texasmom, martydd, synchronicityii

      that there are left-of-center religious organizations, namely those DFH's who help the poor and needy etc.

      Sarcasm: It beats killing people...

      by Dreggas on Tue Jul 01, 2008 at 08:04:34 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  excuse me, but we HAD such an infrastructure (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ExStr8

      It was demolished by Bush to send the money to his baptist, bible-beating fiends. What you propose is to put the final nail in the coffin of the dying federal programs. Privatizing charity, and allowing religions to profit from it.

      That is totally unacceptable.

      What we call god is merely a living creature with superior technology and understanding. If their fragile egos demand prayer, they lose that superiority.

      by agnostic on Tue Jul 01, 2008 at 08:10:57 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  "Allowing religions to profit from it" (3+ / 0-)

        That statement is mad passion without any facts or reason to back it up

        Absolute Horror: The Best in Bad Horror Movies

        by dansac on Tue Jul 01, 2008 at 08:12:37 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  and from where will the administrative costs come (0+ / 0-)

          and who will pay or infrastructure, bodies, accounting, lawyers, and more, ALL OF WHICH WE HAD before bush started this insane project?

          And who benefits most from being the "funnel" from the federal government to those in need? some stupid religious sect.

          Remember the "administrative" costs in the late 90s that the American Red Cross had? 87% of their income, at one point. And that was the bloody red cross. I can only imagine the administrative costs that some greedy southern baptists will charge so they can justify their second corporate jet.

          boy, when it comes to religion, some people here see no evil, think not evil, and (oh my) spaketh no evil.

          What we call god is merely a living creature with superior technology and understanding. If their fragile egos demand prayer, they lose that superiority.

          by agnostic on Tue Jul 01, 2008 at 09:41:17 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  I think that efficiency is a great advantage (0+ / 0-)

      Our local Food Bank and Interfaith Ministry outreach provide help to a phenomenal number of people with a minimal staff of mostly volunteers.  Everything is streamlined.

      I think most of these organizations have very little wasted effort - a vast difference from most governmental entities.

      The truth always matters.

      by texasmom on Tue Jul 01, 2008 at 08:13:34 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  People need to calm down (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    dansac, Inland, soms

    Yes, he is trying to get some of the evangelical vote. He is going to have to say a few things to do that. Now how it will look on the other end is another question. I can guarantee he will not actively support discrimination based on faith. He is aware of constitutional law.

    •  I know I've posted this a lot, but it bears (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Dreggas, hhex65, gchaucer2, soms

      repeating:

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

      Second, federal dollars that go directly to churches, temples, and mosques will only be allowed to go toward secular programs. And Obama will ensure that taxpayer dollars only go to those programs that actually work.

      Absolute Horror: The Best in Bad Horror Movies

      by dansac on Tue Jul 01, 2008 at 08:02:10 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yep people are so busy.. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        soms

        ..talking about their disappointment, they don't want to see facts. Now all we need is another post from Kos, chastizing him, that's real productive 4 months away from the general election.

        •  give me a fucking break (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          ExStr8

          BUSH had the same damned language and the programs did not work.

          All Obama will do is increase funding of this crap. Dangerous, unconstitutional crap, I may add. OH, yes, he will allow those organizations to fire your ass because you don't believe in the same fairy tale.

          This is progress? yeah, I have a bridge to sell you.

          What we call god is merely a living creature with superior technology and understanding. If their fragile egos demand prayer, they lose that superiority.

          by agnostic on Tue Jul 01, 2008 at 08:12:30 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  I had, and still have, problems with (5+ / 0-)

    faith based initiatives.  I never thought it was the best idea in the world, but hey, if a new approach does some good, then why not.  

    I do have big problems with the way Bushie handled it.  Faith based came to mean a certain faith based.  Christian only, and the more conservative the better.  It turned into a barely transparent way for him to reward his fundie supporters.  

    Maybe there's still some good that can be salvaged.  I'm willing to give Obama a chance.

    My dogs think I'm smart and pretty.

    by martydd on Tue Jul 01, 2008 at 08:01:19 AM PDT

  •  And we of course have to make an act of faith (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    perky mcjuggs, statistic

    in Obama, that no matter what he does on anything he knows best? So we the sheeple, must be pragmatic and follow blindly?

    We're shocked by a naked nipple, but not by naked aggression.

    by Lepanto on Tue Jul 01, 2008 at 08:01:45 AM PDT

  •  Just a continuation of Clinton's policies... (4+ / 0-)

    ...actually. Bush changed a little bit of the language and touted it.

    The faith-based initiative simply lets churches to set up a separate non-profit -- that can't engage in proselytizing -- and apply for federal grants like any other social service group. They have to keep two separate accounting books. They have to adhere to all federal laws on the non-profit side.

    So, all it did was say, loudly, "hey religious people, you can start a non-profit group and apply for already existing federal grants." Who cares? It's nothing.

    Obama is a secret ultra-Liberal Republican messianic Antichrist who will institute a socialist regime that will sell out all our resources to the corporations!

    by Addison on Tue Jul 01, 2008 at 08:02:35 AM PDT

  •  I never had a problem with the concept (8+ / 0-)

    of faith based initiatives. What I had a problem with was how they were conducted and used by Bush not only as a political pander and buyout of religious organizations but also the loopholes left for the likes of Hagee and Robertson to get money from the federal trough all the while using it for blatant proselytizing.

    I saw the headline and was shaking my head, initially, thinking we'd see more of the same but after reading what Obama plans to do, I can get behind his plan because it is more in line with what I envision when I think of Faith based initiatives.

    Churches and other organizations are well positioned to do more to help the poor and if the funding of these programs is regulated then they have to play by the rules to secure funding. No more "here's a bunch of money do what you want".

    If the churches want to partake of the gifts of Mammon they must abide by the rules of Mammon so to speak.

    Sarcasm: It beats killing people...

    by Dreggas on Tue Jul 01, 2008 at 08:02:59 AM PDT

  •  Well... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TracieLynn, Van Buren, Richard Lyon

    Full disclosure: I'm an unrepentent, Hell-bound atheist and proud of it.

    The reason I'm 100,000,000% AGAINST this is simply that, for the last eight years, we have given pallets and Brinks trucks full of money to "faith-based" community organizations and not gotten one atom of public good from it. But the faith-based groups have quietly accumulated lots and lots of my tax money, and boy they're driving nice cars, aren't they? Meanwhile, the inner cities burn and poor, stupid teenage kids are still getting knocked up since the faith-based family planning programs won't discuss contraception....

    Barack, Barack, you don't have to pander to the right wing. They're increasingly irrelevant. People are waking up and realizing the Religious Right have been bilking everybody out of every free cent they have. ENOUGH. Religion has been a tool of evil for far too long in this country, and I'm sick of it. Hallelujah! Who wants to witness?

    Yes we can. Yes we can. Yes we CAN.

    by CajunBoyLgb on Tue Jul 01, 2008 at 08:04:21 AM PDT

  •  It's fine - Obama sets key limits (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    democrattotheend, soms

    Obama's approach is fine because he sets limits on what faith-based groups can do with federal money. And money can't be used to discriminate in hiring decisions.

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

    Second, federal dollars that go directly to churches, temples, and mosques will only be allowed to go toward secular programs. And Obama will ensure that taxpayer dollars only go to those programs that actually work.

    Obama memo on faith

  •  The Methodist Children's Home here in Decatur (6+ / 0-)

    fired a highly rated counselor solely because
    they found out she was a lesbian... She had been
    rated superb on all her evaluations.

    The same "home" also told a Jewish applicant that
    he was perfectly qualified for a job but that they
    didn't hire Jews--they usually just threw
    applications from Jews in the trash.

    Also: The "home" wanted to use aversive "therapy"
    on the gay and lesbian kids! That's called
    faith-based child abuse!!!

    And the "home" required all children to go to
    Methodist "sunday school" and church services.

    Thank your Queer dollars for Lambda Legal which sued
    the damned church institution and won! (The state
    of Georgia supplies half the income of the children's
    home.)

    I'm not saying that Barack supports the above, but
    that is where the camel's nose is going!!!

  •  No Thanks (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TracieLynn, ExStr8, statistic

    We still need to define the faith based communty's role.  There still seems to be some confusion on its part as to whether it should have a lobbying voice in goverenment.

    I say not unless you pay taxes.

    In the recent past they seem to have said "Eff you, we'll do what we want and thank you very much for the money."

    Until this is worked out, I think religion should continue to be marginalized and kept out of politics.  I don't care what benefits they can offer.  I really don't.  Fuck 'em.

  •  It's the part about hiring based on faih (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ExStr8

    that bothers me. I once worked for a church operated social service agency that got most of its money from government contracts. Personnel policies were not as neat and tidy as they were supposed to be. The government agencies  charged with dealing with problems were not very interested in dealing with problems.

    I am an Obama supporter who is very concerned about this statement.

    •  that part is INACCURATE (5+ / 0-)

         The Obama campaign says the AP's first report this morning that Obama supports "their [faith-based organizations'] ability to hire and fire based on faith" is incorrect. In fact, Obama's plan, they say, would prevent organizations from discriminating based on faith.

         Note: The second version of AP story says Obama would support "some ability to hire and fire based on faith."

         The change is of one word, from "their" to "some."

         But the campaign says the second version is still inaccurate.

      And groups will be required to comply with federal anti-discrimination laws in their hiring practices—including Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits employment discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, or national origin. Second, federal dollars that go directly to churches, temples, and mosques will only be allowed to go toward secular programs. And Obama will ensure that taxpayer dollars only go to those programs that actually work.

      Purity knee-jerkers need to get the facts before they throw another hysterical hissy fit.

      A blogger who never donated a penny to candidate can't claim to have brought that candidate to the dance.

      by KlausFraktal on Tue Jul 01, 2008 at 08:07:55 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  And where do you suggest (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ExStr8

        that people get facts from other than press reports? If the press reports are indeed incorrect, then i am certainly willing to listen to that information. However, I want to know if they were incorrect to begin with or if the Obama campaign decided to change their tune.

        If being concerned about people's civil rights is too much purity for you, I doubt that I'll lose much sleep over your opinion.

    •  THAT'S NOT TRUE! (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      soms

      The Obama camp already specifically pointed out that the AP story on this was untrue:

      http://firstread.msnbc.msn.com/...

      Absolute Horror: The Best in Bad Horror Movies

      by dansac on Tue Jul 01, 2008 at 08:09:54 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  as much as I enjoyed this morning's knee-jerking (10+ / 0-)

    diary about how Obama is a heterosexist and anti-semite, it turns out that the purity trolls were wrong:

    The Obama campaign says the AP's first report this morning that Obama supports "their [faith-based organizations'] ability to hire and fire based on faith" is incorrect. In fact, Obama's plan, they say, would prevent organizations from discriminating based on faith.

    Note: The second version of AP story says Obama would support "some ability to hire and fire based on faith."

    The change is of one word, from "their" to "some."

    But the campaign says the second version is still inaccurate.

    And again:

    And groups will be required to comply with federal anti-discrimination laws in their hiring practices—including Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits employment discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, or national origin. Second, federal dollars that go directly to churches, temples, and mosques will only be allowed to go toward secular programs. And Obama will ensure that taxpayer dollars only go to those programs that actually work.

    Again, funding will be conditional on compliance with  standard anti-discrimination laws and application of all tax dollars to secular problems.

    Given that Obama got his start working as an agnostic community organizer as part of a "faith-based initiative," it should come as no surprise that Obama is willing to work with churches to reach downtrodden communities.

    A blogger who never donated a penny to candidate can't claim to have brought that candidate to the dance.

    by KlausFraktal on Tue Jul 01, 2008 at 08:06:25 AM PDT

  •  Not good (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ExStr8, statistic

    But i guess true believers will believe..anything.

    Using religious organizations for something that non-religious organizations can do just as well (without the hate) is a bad choice.

    He loves you, and He needs money! He always needs money! He's all-powerful, all-perfect, all-knowing, and all-wise, somehow just can't handle money! Religion takes in billions of dollars, they pay no taxes, and they always need a little more. Now, you talk about a good bullshit story. Holy Shit!
        -- George Carlin Politically Incorrect, May 29, 1997

    I'm just waiting to see what groups are going to be abandoned. My money is evenly split on atheists and gays.

    Just say no to Larry C. Johnson

    by allmost liberal european on Tue Jul 01, 2008 at 08:21:40 AM PDT

  •  Read my sig line. (3+ / 0-)

    The way to see by Faith is to shut the Eye of Reason. -Benjamin Franklin

    by HairyTrueMan on Tue Jul 01, 2008 at 08:24:19 AM PDT

  •  This is not good (0+ / 0-)

    It is implicitly discriminatory and undeniably unconstitutional.

    Barack, can you please give us a break?  We're defending you left and right, but this is coming fast and furious.  It's almost as if there is an intentional effort by the campaign to offend every last one of us.

    "Bipartisan usually means that a larger-than-usual deception is being carried out." - George Carlin, R.I.P. (1937-2008)

    by Alfonso Nevarez on Tue Jul 01, 2008 at 08:27:59 AM PDT

    •  It's not unconstitutional (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Catte Nappe

      as long as he doesn't favor a specific religion with it.

      The seperation of church and state clause says the US government will not endorse any specific religion. From what I read, Obama's initiative targets all religions and religious organizations.

      •  Everyone knows that 99%+ of these funds will be (0+ / 0-)

        going to Abrahamic religion, 95%+ Christianity in particular.

        The fact that the money is designated for religious programs, is in and of itself discriminatory, and favors the religious over the non-religious.

        "Bipartisan usually means that a larger-than-usual deception is being carried out." - George Carlin, R.I.P. (1937-2008)

        by Alfonso Nevarez on Tue Jul 01, 2008 at 08:46:53 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Its not unconsitutional. (0+ / 0-)

      http://politicz.wordpress.com/

      by GlowNZ on Tue Jul 01, 2008 at 08:55:19 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  It has and will continue to violate the (0+ / 0-)

        religious test clause.  The fact is that for most religions, those who do not belong to a religion cannot be clergy, and only clergy have managerial and fiduciary responsibility.  Therefore, the religious test violation is built in to any faith based program.

        "Bipartisan usually means that a larger-than-usual deception is being carried out." - George Carlin, R.I.P. (1937-2008)

        by Alfonso Nevarez on Tue Jul 01, 2008 at 09:34:45 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Well (0+ / 0-)

    this is the last time I trust the people on this site's judgements on a candidate. You guys were WAY OFF with Obama.

  •  So long as separation of church & state (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    QuestionableSanity

    comes first, I have no problem with it.

    I agree, we need all hands on deck.  It is part of Obama's greater agenda of empowering the people to take an active part in improving their own country.
    And churches often act as little communities, making people feel safer to act as part of a group.

    I say, go for it.

    Never give up! Never surrender!

    by oscarsmom on Tue Jul 01, 2008 at 08:44:40 AM PDT

    •  A group that acts in lockstep.... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      play jurist

      ...with the pastor, preacher, father, imam.  Do these people really need a larger audience?  I think not.

      Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable. - John F. Kennedy

      by gunny6247 on Tue Jul 01, 2008 at 08:53:00 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  This is NOT new (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    goObama, texasmom, GlowNZ, virginwoolf

    It's not new with Obama, it was not new with Bush. Faith-based organizations have been getting Federal and State money to provide community social services for decades. I worked in such a program in 1976.

    What Bush did that was new was allow faith-based organizations to by-pass normal requirements for quality service delivery. For example, instead of requiring a faith-based drug treatment program to meet all the normal requirements, professional licenses, and proven treatment methodologies; he allowed them to "create" their own "Bible based" approaches. I think we can trust Obama not to continue that idiocy.

    "My country, right or wrong; if right, to be kept right; and if wrong, to be set right." Sen Carl Schurz 1872

    by Catte Nappe on Tue Jul 01, 2008 at 08:48:01 AM PDT

  •  Ugh (0+ / 0-)

    I know he needs to get elected, but my enthusiasm is dwindling.

  •  The problem many here have with this is... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    gtghawaii, statistic

    ...that even if the people providing the service to the poor and downtrodden don't mention the word Jesus or Mohammed or Buddha there is still someone to be grateful to.  "Those wonderful christians at the church gave me some food."  When in fact the wonderful christains didn't give you jack shit.  They gave you some sandwiches that they bought with money you paid in taxes.  I, as a non-religious person, think that stinks to holy hell.  

    If a church raises $1,000,000 from it's parishioners and then decides to spend that $1,000,000 building a new church or feeding the homeless that is their business.  Now under this program we give them $500,000 to feed the homless and all of a sudden they are flush with cash and have an extra $500,000 to fund attacks on gays, stem cell research, planned parenthood, etc., etc., the list goes on and on.

    Don't give me the crap about how they will all be vetted and only the good ones will get money.  Who defines good?  Because they are not like the ones that got money under Bush?  This make us as discriminatory as they are.  It is a bad idea all around.  If the government is going to give money to the poor it is better served to do it itself.  I think this country's experiment with privatization of services has been a disaster.

    Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable. - John F. Kennedy

    by gunny6247 on Tue Jul 01, 2008 at 08:50:09 AM PDT

  •  I have no problem with "faith based services" (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Catte Nappe

    as long as they do something and money is not just funded for them to go into their pockets.    I myself am am atheist but there is a place in society for BOTH secular and faith based services to help society.  I would not have a problem if ALL FAITHS got some money not just christanity.  

    http://politicz.wordpress.com/

    by GlowNZ on Tue Jul 01, 2008 at 08:50:46 AM PDT

  •  This is a bullshit move. (0+ / 0-)

    I am really close to canceling my monthly donation to the campaign.

  •  From a political perspective (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Catte Nappe, GlowNZ

    this is a brilliant move.

    It chips away at a key support group that the Republicans have long abused, while at the same time showing Obama in a different light to groups that are coming into this election with suppositions that have them in knee-jerk support of McCain (despite misgivings they already know about concerning him).

    It puts a fissure in the faith-based community exactly where you want it to be -- those who are religious, but also compassionate and want to do good works based on their value to creating a better society, will look favorably upon this position Obama is taking. Those who are religious, but insist on interjecting their zealotry or own agenda into any "charitable" effort they undertake, will not find this to be appealing.

    As an American, I think that's exactly where I want to see the line drawn when it comes to this issue. The fact that it also strengthens Obama's political hand has to be considered a great recognition of political reality by his campaign.

    Finally and ultimately, it has the effect of being viewed as a strong pro-Christian stance on his part, which will also work against the "closet Muslim" whispers circulating through the darker corners of the evangelical community.

    It would have been easy just to toss this issue onto the scrap heap because it was identified with Bush and his cronies. But the fact is, while some here won't be totally comfortable with it, it is mainstream, pragmatic and great recognition of an opportunity by the Obama camp.

    The Republican Party: Reinventing government, the same way they reinvented New Orleans

    by QuestionableSanity on Tue Jul 01, 2008 at 09:03:33 AM PDT

  •  I don't like it. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    gtghawaii, statistic

    I don't think he's quite translated the motivation for this into secular terms.  I don't see why public services should be provided by churches.  I don't want fire protection from a church.  I don't want churches to build roads.  I certainly don't want them to run schools.  Why rehab programs?  How can blurring the line between pastor and social worker not violate separation?  I don't quite see how this isn't a state subsidy of "come to the Lord" moments.  

  •  This is real pragmatism - enriching Civil Society (0+ / 0-)

    Obama is a true pragmatist, and this is maybe the best example. The one thing we often overlook about religious groups, especially evangelicals, is that it was the superiority of their analog networking and organizing activity that propelled Bush to the Presidency. We now have a formidable competitive infrastructure on the left, but these groups were well organized enough to make that tard Bush president. That's quite a feat. I think what Obama sees here is a way to take advantage of already-networked groups who are already volunteer-minded and utilize them in the big push he is making for increasing public service in his administration. No need to create a bunch of new Peace Corps style groups if we already have so many organized groups. This is how he's organized his campaign. This is how he will encourage public service and simultaneously prove to faith communities that Dems don't fear religion - we fear theocracy.

  •  Say NO to outsourcing gov. work to charity/church (0+ / 0-)

    I see both sides on this argument but they are the lesser of two evils. Obama in Iowa talked about bold initiatives. He talks about Kennedy sending a man to the moon. He said Yes We Can. So what the heck is happening now?

    Now he is resorting to the most timid of options. To substitute government's responsibility to the weak by rationing pitons to the hungry and on the side push faith-based initiatives many of questionable morality by the teachings of his own faith.

    This conservative idea of "charity-work" for something the government is responsible for, the provision of equal opportunities to its citizens, is striking this European-educated blogger as a major reversal in the thinking of the Senator.

    "Mr. Obama is proposing $500 million per year to provide summer learning for 1 million poor children to help close achievement gaps for students." the NYTimes report. Achievement gaps in WHAT?

    Even as I was knocking doors in Iowa for him I was concerned with Obama's chatter about god as well as his proposal to increase the numbers of the military.

    Senator Obama, you are stretching the limits of the enthusiasm gap your volunteers maintain.

  •  Wednesday: still reading this? (0+ / 0-)

    I think Obama's harnessing the black community through their customary way. Whether and how that plays out among white evangelicals is going to be interesting, but if their churches' doors remain open on weekdays, or their social centers, IMO they'll like that. They have no one else to turn to anyway.  

    can we handle the power of change?

    by bob zimway on Wed Jul 02, 2008 at 02:38:20 PM PDT

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