In 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.