Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Obama to expand Bush "faith-based" initiatives

I wrote a review of David Kuo’s Tempting Faith for Free Inquiry back in late 2007 (an insider’s look at Bush’s “faith-based” presidency) , and took a certain comfort in the idea that we might soon see the end of this dangerous coupling of government and religion known as the “faith-based initiatives.” Looks like the “new boss” might have a lot more in common with the “old boss” than we suspected from his primary-season rhetoric.


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

This should not come as an enormous surprise: any of the “Obamaniacs” who actually took the time to read what Obama has written (I have, and I’m not even a fan, I was an Edwards man) would know that where he stands on “faith-based initiatives” is not that far from where the Bush administration stands. It’s one of the main reasons I wasn’t a fan of the guy, preferring my church and state kept comfortably far apart from each other, thank you very much. I do enjoy the one saving grace of not suffering all the recent throes and spasms of angst and gnashing and wailing that so many of the Obama fans have been going through. Having read the man’s work and knowing what he believed, I was not surprised when he trotted the homophobe Lonnie McLuskin out on stage. Having read the man’s work and knowing what he believed, I was not surprised to learn that one of his key advisers is talking about keeping 80,000+ troops in Iraq into 2010 and beyond. And, having read the man’s work and knowing what he believed, I’m not surprised at this latest pronouncement on “faith-based initiatives.” The man’s current behavior and statements are totally consistent with what he’s written. The only place he told some of them little white lies was during the primaries, to get the “left-liberal base” to turn out in droves for him. Obama’s a politician, and he’s gotten what he needed from the left-liberal base. He’s rowing hard to the right in preparation for a hard-fought general election to come, leaving the “base” behind to licks its wounds and “get over it.” I’m one of that left-liberal base, but like I said, I have this real bad habit—I read -- and so none of what he’s done recently came as a shock. To those who fell for Obama’s primary-season left-leaning rhetoric, I’ll offer the immortal words of Johnny Rotten: “Ever get the feelin’ ya been cheated?”

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