WTF? Obama Wants To Expand Bush’s Faith-based Programs?

Obama for ChangeIn a Zanesville, Ohio speech at the Eastside Community Ministry, Barack Obama, the presumptive Democratic nominee whose entire campaign was based on the concept of ‘Change’, advocated the expansion of the the faith-based social programs initiated by George W. Bush. He announced plans to expand the use of federal money to support faith based social service programs. The Eastside Ministry provides clothes, food and youth based ministry programs.

“The problems we face today….are simply too big for government alone.”, said Senator Obama. Per AP and NBC offline reporting by Althena Jones, “Obama proposes to elevate the program to a “moral center” of his administration, by renaming it the Council for Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships, and changing training from occasional huge conferences to empowering larger religious charities to mentor smaller ones in their communities.” [emphasis mine]

The story notes that using that ‘Obama’s support for letting religious charities that receive federal funding consider religion in employment decisions could invite a protest from those in his own party who view such faith requirements as discrimination.’

A senior adviser to the campaign, speaking on condition of anonymity, explained that ‘…Obama does not support requiring religious tests for recipients of aid nor using federal money to proselytize, according to a campaign fact sheet. He also only supports letting religious institutions hire and fire based on faith in the non-taxpayer funded portions of their activities..

This last comment of that Obama ‘only supports letting religious institutions hire and fire based on faith in the non-taxpayer funded portions of their activities..’ is under dispute by NBC, as reported offline by NBC’s Althena Jones, AP which takes a somewhat different view. NBC reports the campaign says Obama’s plan would prevent organizations from discriminating based on faith. The AP

in light of the NBC reporting changed its wording to say, “some ability to hire and fire based on faith.” The Obama campaign says this second version is still inaccurate.

“Obama also talked bluntly about the genesis of his Christian faith in his work as a community organizer in Chicago, and its importance to him now.

“In time, I came to see faith as being both a personal commitment to Christ and a commitment to my community; that while I could sit in church and pray all I want, I wouldn’t be fulfilling God’s will unless I went out and did the Lord’s work,” he said.”

Comment: First he supports FISA as one of series of changes in positions from the campaign, now he wants to make the ‘moral center of his administration‘ the Bush Era executive action creating the federal funding for a series of faith based organizations. Obama even wants to increase the funding for programs that Bush could not get passed in Congress.

Who the hell have we nominated to run in the general election? A progressive Democrat or just another Chicago politician pandering for votes or ?

Obama’s almost evangelical comments about his own faith make me very uncomfortable. Using your personal faith in your personal life and evidencing that your committment to that faith, ‘fulfilling God’s will‘ and ‘doing the Lord’s work‘, by advocating increasing government funding for programs largely based on a single Christian point of view are two very different things.

George W. Bush started a war that has killed thousands based on using government policy to evidence his personal faith.

Note: Personally I believe this is a major development. It is the subject of much discussion in the blogsphere. Talk Left, in an article written by Big Tent Democrat, disagrees with the reporting and accepts a campaign statement at face value.

Memorandum has a large list of blog organizations that are commenting on the speech and it’s consequences.

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19 Responses to WTF? Obama Wants To Expand Bush’s Faith-based Programs?

  1. weltec2 says:

    I just have to keep rubbing my eyes with disbelief. What party does this guy belong to? Just how far does Hillary expect us to bend anyway? I feel like Tevya. “Anymore and I’ll crack.”

  2. Darrell Prows says:

    I sort of think that I understand a little bit about this as a campaign strategy, but I also wonder when the guy is going to throw a few crumbs over his left shoulder.

    I have a suspicion that this talk about “faith based initiatives” alone would have been a deal breaker in the Primary.

  3. Darrell Prows says:

    I forgot to mention that I have not heard word one from him about Mugabe and that leaves me totally scratching my head.

    Where is he coming from? Where does he really live at?

  4. Stuart O'Neill says:

    Both comments are right on, I guess my only question would be ‘What’s our alternative”?

    Sitting out the election and giving McCain another, albeit silent, vote; Voting for a third party, thereby again giving McCain another silent vote?

    If he continues this course and continues to leave his own supporters dumbfounded or contorting themselves to find justification our own hope is the uprising of the delegates at the convention and an open nomination process.

    Markos and others have mistakenly called this system ‘a brokered’ convention. That was a term when big city and state bosses controlled blocks of delegates with an iron fist.

    The very, very highly unlikely possibility I posit would be a true dogfight on the floor as hundreds reject the stances of the man they had supported months previously.

    This could only happen if generated by his own supporters. Clinton supporters and surrogates could not be seen as a motive force.

    Let Obama continue this swing to the Right and we’ll see what happens to his own support.

  5. kcowley says:

    Stuart- ” who the hell have we nominated to run in the general election?” We haven’t legitimately nominated anyone, one was selected.

  6. kcowley

    Unfortunately the way our election system is all our nominees are selected instead of elected.

  7. kcowley says:

    Yes, I do understand the election process. The giving of delegates to someone without their name on the ballot is a new twist, as is giving 4 delegates won by the votes to another. Another feature of the new politics?

  8. kcowley

    I know you understand the process and feel the process is broke. A lot of people have felt that for a long time, even before this primary cycle. I’m not sure what the answer is to be honest.

    But, regardless of Obama’s shift towards the center, which was bound to happen (Kerry did it in ’04 and met with much disapproval from the liberal blogosphere), Obama in my opinion is a far better choice than McCain.

    Last night a neighbor and I had a long talk about this issue and Obama’s “faith” playing a role in his campaign. As a longtime Obama supporter, my neighbor told me that as an agnostic that is one issue that he has always wished Obama would keep out of his campaign. I agreed. Like my neighbor though I am committed to putting Obama in the White House at this point…. I just haven’t had much time to post of late.

  9. kcowley

    P.S. I’ve been meaning to call you to see how your project turned out! We’ve had a few more Dark & Stormy’s out here in CA…

  10. kcowley says:

    The faith based incentives he is pushing now is for me just adding to the pile of reasons I will not vote for him and will work with the Pumas

    More than him though is the DNC, For the first time in my entire life I am not proud of the democratic party.

    Will wrap up the project here in a week or two. The gas is killing me at 4.79 for regular and I heat my hot water with oil too. So between coming up with the money and waiting for my wonderful yet unreliable graphic designer we haven’t finished. The name is decided though- Seafarer’s lip balm.

    Dark & Stormys sound good but personally I’m going with Pina Coladas!! Have a great 4th and glad your daughter is home.

    PS Still here, just lurking. After Obama became the presumptive nominee, some here in this posting- commenting community were too arrogant and negative for me. I got a divorce once in part because he became a republican -listened to limbaugh on the way to work. Despite their democratic standing I’m finding these commenters attitudes just as offensive. Don’t know if I read it here but it has been rampant on the net regardless, the discussion or accusation of being or not being a real democrat. In fact , the whole real woman, real man , real african american….. trend of thought is shallow, small minded and just plain boring. So I stopped commentiing. I can stay home, chat with my kids and get all the insults I need!

    .

  11. kcowley

    A couple of things…

    I think the DNC let us down long before this election cycle — look back to ’00 and ’04. Regardless my being a Democrat doesn’t rest on the party apparatus but what I feel and think in terms of the issues that matter to me. I find nothing appealing in the Repub stance on issues, and thus I keep my loyalties within the party whether or not we have the candidate I would prefer.

    And on that realm, to me, it’s a given that in supporting HRC in the primaries, I would follow her lead in the general election. If she had decided to hang on and fight for the nomination, I might well be behind that, but she decided to support Obama and work to get him elected and she did so because she believes he’s our best chance to get a Dem in the White House.

    Hillary ran hard and came close and she broke barriers for women in doing so. Yes the party let her down, but so too have the let others down. I can’t fathom 4 – 8 years of McCain because I would have preferred Hillary to be the nominee and obviously neither can she.

    I don’t know that commenters here have been all that negative… it’s been very quiet here since Hillary conceded. Many of our loyal Clinton folks have moved on because I made the choice to take my support for HRC and follow her lead in supporting Obama.

    Love the lip balm name! Gas is killing us all and business too. Mine’s at a slow crawl this summer.

  12. kcowley says:

    Well they have reached a new low which is for me undemocratic and a departure from the principles they stand for. I know the system is flawed but It was primarily the repub’s shenanigans In the previous election years, something I’ve come to expect from them. As I said ” I am for the first time in my entire life not proud of the democratic party” which is unsettling l for me.

    I understand your position and still check in. You do a great job and this site doesn’t seem to attract the many foul commenters yet there are a few gentlemen here who have an arrogance and meanness that I have chosen to live without

    Oddly enough I ran into Karl Rove last week and thanked him ( even stranger) for coming to the defense of Hillary more than once. He said” I don’t understand it, its like she just sat back and let him have it” The last half year has been weird.

  13. Docb says:

    What a stream of falsehoods…Why can these people not be bothered to check the facts before they put out their putrid lies and slime…THIS STUFF HAS NO PLACE IN THE GENERAL ELECTION. MS. CLINTON HAS REMOVED THESE CLAIMS FROM HER WEBSITE TO GET DONORS TO PAY HER DEBT…THESE PEOPLE SHOULD KNOW THEY ARE NOT HELPING HER CAUSE OR THE dem’s!!!!

    For shame…

  14. kcowley says:

    Pamela- the last two posts are a good example.

  15. Docb

    1) Your duplicate comment has been removed.
    2) Hillary Clinton’s website is still actively seeking donations to help pay down her debt.
    3) Whatever your huffy attitude is about, it doesn’t belong here.

  16. kcowley

    There have relatively few comments here with anything negative about HRC since she conceeded.

    “Docb” has never commented here before today.

    Personaly I don’t think Rove deserves any thanks for coming to HRC’s defense considering his cronies and proteges were have a grand time attacking her. Believe me, Karl Rove doesn’t do anything with out a motive.

  17. Tristan says:

    Atheists for Obama has a petition on his website against this. As a Hilary supporter i can say I told you so, but as a Democrat and American that’s little comfort. I think the most pressing issues today are health care and education, and I see little hope there. BO took universal health care off the table early in the primary system, and when he referenced education its the “keep a better eye on your kids” pablum rather than any real leadership. Once those two issues are off the agenda the Democratic side, it’s time for me to stop worrying about what candidate to support and start trying to figure out which country would be a decent place to raise kids because Chicago public schools isn’t going to happen.

  18. Tristan

    Actually, FYI, Barack Obama has taken on some of Hillary Clinton’s top policy people including members of her healthcare team and it has been speculated in the MSM that his healthcare policy may well morph into something far more like HRC’s. And I have said the same thing here myself. You will see his positions change on issues during the Dem Convention and his stance will take on some of the better points (and perhaps the worst) of the party on a whole and the other candidates.

    As for raising kids in the inner city or urban areas. I grew up in a small town in Massachusetts and raised my daughter in L.A.’s San Fernando Valley. Everywhere has their ups and downs. I miss the rural life alot and I often wish I had moved back home when my daughter was still young.

  19. Tristan

    Don’t be so quick to judge Obama on education, I think he gets it after reading this piece.