Okay. I have been making a case for people who support the importance of the separation between Church and State to vote for Senator Obama for president. The main argument is that McCain has already said he'd vote a Scalia type to the SCOTUS.
But Senator Obama does me NO favors by announcing that he is planning on EXPANDING Bush's faith based programs.
This is a terrible idea. I'm not a fan of the faith based programs and I know that it initially sounds like I'm a real meanie. Why wouldn't I want to support these programs?
Well, first off, who decides who gets tax payers money? The government? Okay. Then which religion will get the money? How would you feel if the Scientologists qualify for federal aid? You know the Polygamist Cult in Texas gets funding from the federal government. They bid on Federal contracts and pay their people next to nothing.
There's a reason why the SCOTUS use a "lemon test". Neutrality is the most fair position the government can take.
The whole faith based program raises so many red flags. In 2002, the Texas Freedom Network wrote a great report regarding the status of faith based programs. They found:
- Loosening regulations over faith-based providers has not served the faith community at
large, but has instead provided a refuge for facilities with a history of regulatory
violations, a theological objection to state oversight and a higher rate of abuse and
- Loosening regulations over faith-based providers has endangered people in need and
lowered standards of client health, safety and quality of care in Texas.
- Faith-based deregulation has allowed physical diseases to go medically untreated.
Regulatory changes have resulted in preferential treatment of faith-based providers in
government contracting opportunities.
- Taxpayer funds have been co-mingled with church funds and spent on overtly religious
- Clients have been ordered by the courts to attend unlicensed faith-based providers.
If you have the time, it's a good read. I think it's just tragic what some of these people do in the name of religion.
I've decided to write a letter to Senator Obama:
Honorable Senator Obama:
I have been defending you to many of my secular friends as the presidential candidate to vote for because you would better defend the wall of separation between Church and State.
I AM WRONG.
Your recent announcement that you plan on expanding Bush's faith based programs made me feel angry and betrayed. The faith based programs, on the face, look like they may solve many societal ills. There is no data to back it up. This announcement makes it look like you are pandering to the religious. But there is a large sector of freethinkers who pay taxes and are citizens. Our tax money should not go towards faith based programs. These programs discriminate - it's that simple. I don't want my tax money going to an organization that won't hire based on their religious views. It's tax money paid by ALL Americans.
As you campaign, I understand you need to combat the Right. Don't forget about your secular constituency, please.