Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Called To Serve

You know, I think I warned people about this:

Reaching out to evangelical voters, Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama is announcing plans that would expand President Bush's program steering federal social service dollars to religious groups and — in a move sure to cause controversy — support their ability to hire and fire based on faith.

Obama was unveiling his approach to getting religious charities more involved in government anti-poverty programs during a tour and remarks Tuesday at Eastside Community Ministry in Zanesville, Ohio. The arm of Central Presbyterian Church operates a food bank, provides clothes, has a youth ministry and provides other services in its impoverished community.

"The challenges we face today, from putting people back to work to improving our schools, from saving our planet to combating HIV/AIDS to ending genocide, are simply too big for government to solve alone," Obama was to say, according to a prepared text of his remarks obtained by The Associated Press. "We need all hands on deck."

But Obama's support for letting religious charities that receive federal funding consider religion in employment decisions was likely to invite a storm of protest from those who view such faith requirements as discrimination.

David Kuo, a conservative Christian who was deputy director of Bush's Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives until 2003 and later became a critic of Bush's commitment to the cause, said Obama's position has the potential to be a major "Sister Souljah moment" for his campaign.

This is a reference to Bill Clinton's accusation in his 1992 presidential campaign that the hip hop artist incited violence against whites. Because Clinton said this before a black audience, it fed into an image of him as a bold politician who was willing to take risks and refused to pander.

Why anyone is surprised that someone who handed out flyers showing himself in a pulpit and announcing that he was "Called to Serve" and is a "Committed Christian" would throw over the separation of church and state in order to cater to fundie whackjobs who wouldn't vote for a Democrat if jebuz came down from heaven and campaigned for him is beyond me.

Still better than McCain.

More here.

Hat tip: cahuenga in comments at Eschaton.


nanoboy said...

I'm not fond of faith-based initiatives, either. As a deist, I find them rather obnoxious. It is notable that Obama will not support hiring discrimination among the groups after all. (

At least there's that.

Anne Johnson said...

The only reason to vote ---- all those 5-4 decisions at SCOTUS.

Persephone said...

I'm so angry I'm tired.

Just another sock puppet.

crowsfoxes said...

Richard Nixon said it best -- you do not vote for someone, you vote against someone --and my vote is against McBush. Goddess help us if we get another 4 years of this crap.

Nan said...

Just once in this lifetime I'd love to be able to vote for a candidate for President instead of against the one I dislike even more.