There is no question about it, faith based organisations are constantly challenging the very basis of the Constitution in America they want the Constitution to be changed to favour Christianity when they understand perfectly that the founding fathers deliberately made the fact plainly that America is not a Christian country or any other religion either. I think no religious organisation should receive federal funding and if they must then the absolute safe-guarding of minority rights such as ours must be written in to any funding initiative that benefits any such organisation. Religion is bad for democracy and bad for the progression of civil rights.
Obama did create the office he just changed the name. The office was created as the “Office of Faith-based Initiatives” by G. W. Bush. Obama is, unfortunately, just continuing Bush’s disgusting program under a modified name and with very few changes.
Sorry, I meant to say that, “Obama did NOT create the office…”
Zeke, the original idea to use federal funds to bribe mendacious clerics, called faith based funding, is the brain child of US Senators Rick Santorum, a blustering Republican bigot and Hillary Clinton, a quietly bigoted Democrat who opposes same sex marriage. While in the senate both were members of the Fellowship, the US prot version of Opus Dei.
Their bipartisan concept was perfected first by Karl Rove, Bush’s advisor who used it to whip up a storm of anti-GLBT sentiment around same sex marriage that was used against us in every election since 2000. Now it’s being refined by Obama and his Minister of Pandering Joshua Dubois, who like Leah Daughtry, head of the Democratic National Committee, is an anti-GLBT ordained pentecostal cleric.
Joshua Dubois organized the religious support groups for Obama’s presidential bid that began with a series of revival meeting like rallies for Obama featuring anti-GLBT christers like ex-gay Rev. Donnie McClurkin. Obama’s campaign ended with Obama’s sanctimonious statement during the recent fight over same sex marriage in California that “god’s in the mix” at Warren’s southern baptist venue. Those four words, repeated millions of times by Yes on 8 doomed our chances of defeating Prop 8.
Now Dubois will repeat, and this time with even more money, Rove’s goal of harnessing religion to politics. The problem is that in practice, as we’ve seen, it’s the other way around: politics are harnessed to religion, while greedy parsons and priests smile all the way to the bank. Faith-based cults received federal grants totaling more than $10.6 billion during the Bush administration, enough to buy lots of new mansions, luxocars and condos for the mistresses or rentastuds they keep on the side.
Tricky – Obama has stated clearly his support for gay rights – he also has an understanding of the longterm role church has in maintaining community in many of the black ghettos accross America. He writes about this in his book – the constant failure of local city governements to penetrate poor neighbourhoods par-se & where they have – always subject to corruption – but where the church base remained the strongest contributor in such neighbourhoods.
Supporting a faith based presence in the White house may be part of a manouvre to pump inner city regenerational budgets directly via local church based organisations that have a long term influence and a history of building community. Obama sees these as the corner stone of his on the ground / from the bottom up transformation of opportunity for the poor. He has a black perspective about local government channels – usually white & corrupt with a long term record of failure to regenerate poor (non-white) neighbourhoods.
He may be attempting to build a politcal structure that would bypass local government as a fund distributor and allow for direct funding to the most effective on the ground organisations in many of the inner city areas with long term deprevation – & which happen to be religious in the majority of cases. Doing this would effectlivly fast track his ‘experiement’ to change the rules of the game and make a difference to America and to black Americans within a timescale fitting to the limits of his terms in office.
The danger of course, is religion is abstract and unwieldly a power in the minds of people. Once he establishes it’s presence as a successful contributor to both government and society, he may well lay the framework for future rightwing leaders to turn the logic on it’s head & use it to manifest tyrannical and undemocratic religious based administration. It’s certainly a pandora’s box.
Faith based funding has always been used to bribe cult leaders for political support. It works and that’s why Obama is increasing it’s funding and put his Minister of Pandering in charge.
What will help all workers in the US is a crash program investing trillions of dollars in good housing, good education, green-union jobs, socialized medicine, new and reparative infrastructure projects, adequate levels of welfare, retirement and unemployment, a crash program to cure AIDs and cancer and pulling all US troops back to home bases.
Obama, the Democrats and their Republican cousins won’t do that in a million years and African American communities as well as all working people will suffer for it. But the pastors will get rich, which is why they chose that scam in the first place.
Don’t turn into another lip service president Obama we fought to get you in now don’t leave us out in the cold .