Obama and Romney on Faith-Based Programs

Earlier today I looked at Obama’s views on faith-based programs. Obama discusses this further in an interview in Christianity Today. In the past I’ve criticized Mitt Romney’s views on religion and government. The Washington Independent shows that as governor Romney actually acted along the guide lines discussed by Obama:

During Mitt Romney’s time as governor of Massachusetts, he took only a few steps to help faith-based groups increase their access to public contracts to provide social services.

But the governor made one high-profile move that showed his commitment to the issue: Romney appointed his wife, Ann, in 2005 as an unpaid liaison to religious and community groups in the state. Her job was to help them compete for federal funding.

“I work with inner city at-risk youth,” she told ABC News last year, “and we find that a lot of the black churches in the inner city have been very, very helpful in being there on the ground, helping these kids, really making a difference in their lives. I’m very supportive of that, of trying to find anyone that’s helping, give them a hand, as well.”

Romney, a Mormon, has faced difficult questions about the role his religion might play in his public life. While he said some faith-based groups do a better job at helping poor families than some government social service agencies, he made clear that his support for such groups is limited to their secular work. “Helping them in a religious role… would be unacceptable,” he said in the same ABC interview, appearing with his wife in the early stages of his presidential campaign.

It is good to see that, at least in this case, at least one Republican candidate is showing some respect for separation of church and state.

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