Thursday, October 1, 2009

Double Standard of Faith-Based Initiatives

During the last President's term, there was much consternation in the press about President Bush's faith-based initiatives. President Obama has continued the program virtually unchanged, but the media seems to have forgotten they ever had a problem with such a program. Pew Charitable Trusts did a study and found that there has been about seven times as much coverage as the program under President than there has been under President Obama. But far beyond that, Americans United for Separation of Church and State (AU) also notes that, "the office has become a major hub of political outreach."

Now, I have posted before in this blog that I am not against an office of faith-based initiatives and I still feel that way. The reason I am posting about this is that the imbalance in the media has become more obvious. They should have as much need to fret now as they did in the last eight years. One could argue that it is less newsworthy now that it is not so new. Fair enough. But when a candidate talked about change; when his campaign was strongly supported by groups like AU, who are on a hair trigger about such things; and when The Nation magazine complains that this administration's rendition "is plagued by a lack of transparency and accountability and has seemingly already been exploited as a tool for rewarding religious constituencies with government jobs" -- when all that is true one would expect more of an uproar. One would be disappointed.

Read the whole article here:

Faith-Based Double Standards


4 comments:

TRESTIN MEACHAM said...

I am a religious person that is disturbed by the faith based initiatives. My fear is not religion getting involved in government. My fear is government getting involved in religion. It is only a matter of time before the government tries to regulate what a church can and can not teach.

History Matters said...

T.M. - that's a fair comment and a valid worry. Before this year, who would have thought that the Executive Branch would have the power to (effectively) fire the CEO of an auto company? You may notice I have mentioned/quoted Hillsdale College several times in this blog, which follows the unusual path of accepting NO government money, even in the form of student loans. Perhaps they share your concern!

Dirk said...

TM & HM: We already have it. If a church has 501(3)(c) status, a church is prohibited from criticizing the government or any of its policies in any way. That's why Larry Burkett was so adamant about churches not seeking 501(3)(c) status, & strongly urged those that did to drop it. Fascist? You betcha!

History Matters said...

Right, and that's why some pastors have been willing to fight government censorship. See this post, although there are several others on the blog talking about this movement:

IRS Passes on Taking Church to Court