Keeping the Faith

I’m going to get political once more, so bear with me here. Much fluff was thrown around in the recent Presidential election about how Obama’s Muslim roots would be a threat to our nation. However, the Obama family were certainly practicing Christians, and much more was thrown around in the media regarding their former pastor. However, our President has said some encouraging things about the separation of church and state, and the American Humanist Association praised his “secular humanist upbringing” in an ad after the inauguration. They may have celebrated too soon.

Obama is now expanding the Faith-Based Initiative that was started under President Bush, which has been highly criticized in the secular community for linking church and state and allowing federal tax dollars to be used for proselytizing and discriminatory hiring practices. The goal of using community organizations to combat poverty seems reasonable to me, which is why it should be scrapped and restarted as a “community-based initiative” without preference to religions. D.J. Grothe from the Center for Inquiry gives a good breakdown of the problems with the initiative, and James Randi is similarly peeved.

3 comments for “Keeping the Faith

  1. Richard Drumm The Astronomy Bum
    February 10, 2009 at 14:55

    I agree! We must all put pressure on Obama to make this initiative non-faith. I wonder what the best way is to get through to him? I’d -LOVE- to see a “Million atheist march.” but I won’t hold my breath…
    Rich

  2. Nicole
    February 10, 2009 at 15:11

    If you are good at herding cats, I’d like to see it happen!

    It’s bad enough that the term atheist describes people by what they DON’T believe, so you get a very wide-range of personalities, experiences, and beliefs in that group. But many of us, or at least the outspoken ones, do tend to be stubborn, independent thinkers.

  3. Seth Goldin
    February 13, 2009 at 01:13

    Maybe government should minimize the amount of involvement, to the minimum amount possible. If it’s not legitimate to fund churches, it’s not legitimate to fund secular activities either. I couldn’t help myself; I had to make this point.

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