Barry Lynn Criticizes Obama For Not Doing Enough To Change Bush Policies On Faith-Based Initatives

This is disappointing. Despite earlier promises to radically change the manner in which faith-based programs are handle, Barry Lynn of Americans United for Separation of Church and State argues that Obama has maintained far too many of George Bush’s policies:

In a July 2008 Zanesville, Ohio, speech, Obama flatly promised to repeal Bush-era rules that let publicly funded faith-based groups discriminate in hiring on religious grounds. He also vowed to make sure that these groups do not proselytize the folks who come to them for help.

Obama could not have been clearer. “If you get a federal grant,” he said, “you can’t use that grant money to proselytize to the people you help and you can’t discriminate against them – or against the people you hire – on the basis of their religion. Second, federal dollars that go directly to churches, temples, and mosques can only be used on secular programs. And we’ll also ensure that taxpayer dollars only go to those programs that actually work.”

Encouraging words. Too bad he hasn’t acted on those promises, and billions of dollars in federal funds are still going out every day under Bush-era rules set up to evade long-standing civil rights and civil liberties protections…

Dissatisfaction with Obama’s inaction on this issue is widespread. On Feb. 4, 25 national religious and public policy organizations sent a letter to Obama, urging him to fix the faith-based initiative. The groups range from the American Association of University Women, the Human Rights Campaign and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People to the American Jewish Committee, the Baptist Joint Committee for Religious Liberty and the United Methodist Church, General Board of Church and Society. These groups have grown impatient with Obama, as have I, for leaving the odious Bush faith-based scheme in place unchanged.

1 Comment

  1. 1
    Leslie Parsley says:

    This doesn’t make me very happy and I’m glad these organizations have sent a letter to Obama. But, as I keep saying in general, the guy does have a few things on his plate and he┬ácan’t take care of everything the day before.

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