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.