Sunday, May 10, 2009

It's time for Obama to listen to his mama

The president has promised to increase religion's influence on policymaking. He should honor the late Ann Dunham by strengthening the wall between church and state instead.

By Frances Kissling

May. 10, 2009

I have a wish for Mother's Day: I'd like our president to listen to his mother and adopt a modicum of skepticism regarding the role of religion in government. Barack Obama's own religious background, as he noted at the annual National Prayer Breakfast in early February, includes a father who was a Muslim and became an atheist, "grandparents who were non-practicing Methodists and Baptists, and a mother who was skeptical of religion." But I've watched with some alarm as the president engages in a full-court press to prove that Democrats can use religion just as inappropriately as Republicans. He seems hellbent on establishing in the West Wing of the White House a religious intrusion into public policy that would make Karl Rove proud.

Yes, it was a Democrat, Bill Clinton, who started it all. In his welfare reform bill, Clinton included an expanded opportunity for religious groups to win federal funds for social services without meeting standards for not discriminating in employment and not proselytizing the people they served. A Republican, the second President Bush, opened the gate wider. He established the Office of Faith-Based Initiatives. It was controversial, and it was, transparently, an effort to steer money toward the GOP's religious base, but it had only one task, which it pursued aggressively. It guided religious groups through the federal funding process and ensured that they got a share of federal and state monies.

complete at:

No comments:

Post a Comment

Americans United for Separation of Church & State/Oklahoma City Chapter welcomes civil discussion about the stories posted on this blog. To that end we moderate comments first before posting. We will do this as quickly as possible after the comments are submitted.

The comments function can also be used to send us your questions about activities or membership in AU.