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Obama Orders Review of Faith Based Groups
Well if you can't make the delusions of little delusional people go away then at least try to get them to try and get along. just maybe.. they can eventually learn to accept some people don't believe in their delusions once they finally learn to accept not everyone believes their delusions without killing each others over it .... or us. The problem is since they can discriminate against who they hire then they can easily slip in religious evangelism. No one to watch over them.

Obama Attends Prayer Breakfast, Orders Review Of Faith-Based Groups

PHILIP ELLIOTT | February 5, 2009 06:26 PM EST |

WASHINGTON Declaring that "there is a force for good greater than government," President Barack Obama on Thursday established a White House office of faith-based initiatives with a broader mission than the one overseen by his Republican predecessor. Obama said the new office, which he created by executive order, would reach out to organizations that provide help "no matter their religious or political beliefs."

Obama said the office would work with nonprofit organizations "both secular and faith-based" and would help them determine how to make a bigger impact in their cities, learn their obligations under the law and cut through government red tape.

In a time of economic crisis, the president said, it was important for the government to help distressed Americans but added that "the change that Americans are looking for will not come from government alone."

Obama said the top priority of the White House Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships will be "making community groups an integral part of our economic recovery and poverty a burden fewer have to bear when recovery is complete."

To lead the office, Obama appointed Joshua DuBois, a 26-year-old Pentecostal minister who headed religious outreach for Obama's Senate office and his presidential campaign. He also named 25 religious and secular leaders to a new advisory board.

"The big picture is that President Obama believes faith-based and smaller secular neighborhood organizations can play a role in American renewal. They can work with the federal government to address big problems," DuBois said in an interview with The Associated Press. "We're also going to make sure we have a keener eye toward the separation of church and state."

Obama said the office would also work to reach out overseas "to foster interfaith dialogue with leaders and scholars around the world."

Obama's order expanded and redefined a similar office established by President George W. Bush. Focused primarily on faith-based initiatives, the Bush office sparked constitutional questions about whether the separation of church and state would be preserved, particularly if groups receiving tax dollars sought to hire on the basis of religion. Unfortunately the discrimination of hiring and firing

Groups that were critical of the Bush faith-based office _ including the American Civil Liberties Union, Americans United for Separation of Church and State, and People For the American Way _ issued statements Thursday expressing disappointment in the Obama version. All said that by failing to repeal Bush policies, the White House will allow participating religious groups to continue discrimination in hiring.

The ACLU also charged that the new advisory council amounted to "a president giving his favored clergy a governmental stamp of approval."

Before signing the order at the White House, Obama told the annual National Prayer Breakfast that the program would not show favoritism to any religious group and would adhere to a strict separation of church and state.

Addressing the gathering of lawmakers, dignitaries and world leaders, Obama spoke of how faith has often been a divisive tool, responsible for war and prejudice. But, he said, "there is no religion whose central tenet is hate."

"There is no god who condones taking the life of an innocent human being," he said, and all religions teach people to love and care for one another. That is the common ground underlying the faith-based office, he said.

Obama's advisers want to be certain tax dollars sent to the faith-based social service groups are used for secular purposes, such as feeding the hungry or housing the homeless, and not for religious evangelism. The administration doesn't want to be perceived as managing the groups yet seeks transparency and accountability.

Obama pledged during the campaign to allow taxpayer-funded religious institutions to hire and fire based on religion _ but only for the activities run on private funding.

"There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this hiring problem," said Ira C. Lupu, a professor at the George Washington University School of Law. "It might be at the end of the day, faith-based hiring is going to be allowed in some government-funded programs and not in others."

Obama on Thursday asked White House lawyers and the Justice Department to write a policy that would address the question of hiring.

"There is a pretty clear lack of legal clarity and data in this area. This mechanism allows us to explore those areas on a case-by-case basis and find out exactly where things are," DuBois said.

Lupu said Bush-era faith-based regulations were ambiguous and sought to limit faith-based groups as little as possible. Obama's order, on the other hand, emphasizes oversight of how taxpayers dollars are spent, making sure they don't go to religious purposes, he said.

"He's signaling, 'We are going to take more seriously than the Bush people did the constitutional concerns about what it is the government may or may not directly support with government money,'" he said.

Hmmm...not exactly the way I would like it to be, but it is an improvement over the Bush concept. The Judeo-Christian god (according the Wholly Babble) certainly did condone killing innocent human beings (although I suppose they weren't truly "innocent" according to the theology). Certainly many adherents of Islam would like to see anyone who disagrees with their particular take dead. When you get right down to it, no god 'condones' anything, since there is none.
"If I owned both Hell and Texas, I'd live in Hell and rent out Texas." - General Sheridan
It's still a load of BS but he has to walk a thin line since religious whackos are calling him Satan and trying to *prove* he's out to destroy religion.

I think religious charity should never be funded by government. Even if they makes rules that you are not supposed to evangelize, you know damned good and well they are going to do it. If they want to evangelize, every penny of expenses should come out of their own pockets . I seriously resent my tax dollars funding religious groups.
I think it makes a certain canny sense-many faith based help organizations already have the infrastructure and people in place doing the job, so there's no financial burden to set it up. Using an existing system is almost always less expensive than creating a new one, and for that matter creating a new system identical to the old one simply because you want to exclude some portion is just going to confuse people and reduce funding for both. At some point you have to either insist your own idealistic methods are the only way (and in this case you'd be no better than evangelicals) or you can use the system and get the help to the people and not worry too much about whether they get a smidgen of jesus on them along with enough food for the week. In a crisis situation the basics just need to get taken care of somehow.

I think transparency and accountability are a sensible solution at this time, when more and more people are going to go to these organizations for help.
schmoo: A wise and perceptive post. It's easy for us to wax idealistic, while as you say the immediate results are what matter now. Obama is nothing if not logical, which is a huge improvement over his predecessor, and secular members are part of the advisory board too.
"If I owned both Hell and Texas, I'd live in Hell and rent out Texas." - General Sheridan
Why not tax the tax payer for homeless shelters with food where the homeless can stay full time, keep clean, and have training courses, education during the day to help them get jobs. Once they get the training, education and job they can stay long enough to save up for an apartment. It makes no sense to me to feed them and leave them. They loose their homes because they don't have jobs and no on will hire them if a job is available they can do because they don't have a place of residence, are clean for the interview etc etc. I'd much rather pay taxes for a system like that than have it go to the church that doesn't follow through with helping people.

The church's get way too much money and don't provide much of anything other than immediate food and preaching. They don't have enough beds in their basements and only choose who they know. Plus most of the food is donated from church members so what the hell are they doing with all the money they get from the Government? Gov'. Rental assistance helps with housing people but they have to be single parents (mother's) to get that assistance. There is Gov't Family Assistance which does help but again they have to have children and a place of residence. Both Government assistance is far better than what they would get at a church that only gives out some food to get by. Food stamps would replace the food from the secular and church pantries but it was discovered that the single mothers would cash in on their food stamps to purchase booze so why not make it illegal to cash the food stamps for cash and they can only be used at a supermarket for food. Sometimes revamping an old system just isn't worth it in the long run. I see no need to have our government giving grant money to any church.

If our government would stop screwing around giving money to religious organizations/churches and stop making it a prerequisite to have children to get assistance ...there would be enough funding for much better assistance, care and education for the people who once paid taxes but no longer can. Plus if a minimal fee is charged after the homeless/jobless get back on their feet it would help the system.

As of now and as far as I know if a person who is on assistance and comes into money such as winning the lottery or inheritance they must pay back into the same assistance that helped them. Unfortunately they must pay it all back and that to me is asking too much because it prevents them from trying to earn more money.
Edited by Sinny on 02/11/2009 18:11
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