Steve G.

Barack Obama: Bush’s State-Religion Intermingling Doesn’t Go Far Enough

In Libertarian on July 1, 2008 at 8:54 pm

Yet more “change” from the Democrat who seems ever more determined to grow the size and scope of Bush’s religious police state:

“I want this to be central to our White House mission,” he told reporters in Zanesville.

Obama, who stressed his religious faith during the 16-month nominating battle with Democratic rival Hillary Clinton, said he learned early on as a community organizer in Chicago the value of acting on his faith. 

“I came to see my faith as being both a personal commitment to Christ and a commitment to my community — while I could sit in church and pray all I want, I wouldn’t be fulfilling God’s will unless I went out and did the Lord’s work,” he said.

Obama said the office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives set up by Bush as part of his “compassionate conservative” agenda never lived up to its early promise and social service programs for the poor had been underfunded. 

He proposed a new Council for Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships to reinvigorate the effort. 

“The new name will reflect a new commitment,” he said after a tour of a ministry that provides food, clothing and services for the needy in Zanesville.

His proposal would launch a training program to offer instruction to community faith-based organizations on how to teach smaller groups to take advantage of government programs, and he would provide new summer opportunities for up to 1 million children.

The new summer learning program would cost $500 million a year — financed by cutting wasteful spending in federal procurement and management.

And they insist there’s a difference between Democrats and Republicans?!?  Both seem perfectly willing to ignore inconvenient parts of the Constitution — be they the first, second, tenth, or fourteenth amendments.

And for only $500 million a year!  Such a bargain.

  1. Wait… what?

    His proposal would launch a training program to offer instruction to community faith-based organizations on how to teach smaller groups to take advantage of government programs, and he would provide new summer opportunities for up to 1 million children.

    … and this will be funded by…

    by cutting wasteful spending in federal procurement and management

    Ohh… so we’re going to spend 500 million to get religious groups to teach people how to manage the federal procurement and management of funds on their behalf, and that way we’ll… save money… where… ?

    Dammitall, you can’t magically make spending reduce by talking about reducing spending.

    This isn’t like oil speculation, dammit!

  2. To show that my former party is not immune to massive stupidity, O’BSama puts this out after the controversy surrounding his pastor. Nice move.

  3. Don’t all these two-steps and political gyrations make you dizzy? All I can say is that I’m patching up “the hull” of my hand basket, because we all know where this is going to lead… You can’t trust anybody, anymore… sheesh…

  4. Great, B.O. wants to put out a welfare request training program? And he wants to take OFBCI further?

    This is a Democrat we’re talking about, right?

    So let’s keep this straight:

    We have a Republican running as a neoconliberal.
    We have a Democrat running as a social conservative.
    We have a Libertarian running as a fiscal conservative.
    We have a Nader running in place.
    We have a TBD Green running as a socialist.
    We have a CPer running to hold his party together.

    NOTA is looking better and better…

  5. Using amendments to denounce a government action is a bad way to go.

    Better to ask, “Where is this power enumerated?”

    I don’t think faith-based initiatives violate the first amendment, which admonishes Congress to make no laws recognizing the establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof. Only a liberal would think that this amendment mandates separation of church and state.

    But faith-based initiatives are authorized exactly nowhere in the Constitution. That’s the issue.

  6. Back circa 2003 or so I was on a lot of the Colorado pagan listservs. This being before we came out here to CA. I was talking at quite some length with a coven up in the Denver area whose name I’ve since forgotten. I think I know who they were, who their connections were, etc. They were legit. I may have schmauzed with a few of them circa Yule 97. But I digress.

    They were trying to apply for OFCBI to help fund a clothing drive they were doing on volunteer funding. Clothing and food drives are pretty common among larger Pagan groups. These are then given to the homeless and down-on-their-luck either through agencies or directly depending on the group. Pretty standard charitable work, right? They also weren’t looking for a lot of money, just some egg money to start things off.

    They never even heard back from the OFCBI people. They didn’t even get the courtesy of a “sorry”. So we don’t even know why they were denied, although of course we had to wonder if religious affiliation was a factor. Goddess forbid that a bunch of witches might want to give a coat to a homeless person in the middle of winter!

    The taking of the money from government aside, OFCBI is deeply flawed, probably broken from corruption already, and Obama wants to expland that?

    I’ll be putting my cans in my local Pagan Pride barrel this fall like I always do. I just hope everyone else has the ability to do so too.

  7. Thank God! The Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives was a terrible idea. Mainly because it was an office and focused on community initiatives. I’m glad Obama will replace it with the much more sensible Council for Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships.

    We all know how much better councils are compared to offices, and neighborhood partnerships ae far superior to community initiatives.

  8. Do recall correctly that Jesus urged his followers to petition Rome for money to buy loaves and fishes for the down and out? Must have been some other Guy.

  9. I don’t think faith-based initiatives violate the first amendment, which admonishes Congress to make no laws recognizing the establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof. Only a liberal would think that this amendment mandates separation of church and state.

    Of course, you’re absolutely wrong again, GE.

    Government funding of religion is certainly a violation of the first amendment, since funding = establishment. Any religion receiving funding becomes a ward of the state and a de-facto government body.

    And what’s up with the liberal-bashing? So many Libertarians are becoming downright Freeperish these days, sounding more like right-wing Republicans than Libertarians. Considering that the Libertarian Party *is* the liberal party in this country, it’s especially strange.

  10. Brian is right and wrong at the same time.

    “The Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion”. Here, establishment meant “denomination” and respecting meant “involving”; just pick up a dictionary written by Sam Adams and you’ll see the contexts right there.🙂

    What this means is that funding is not an establishment; the establishments were already there. However, it //does// mean that the Congress is explicitly forbidden from creating laws which target religions.

    Guess what the Faith Based Initiatives

  11. Brian – You really love big government, don’t you?

    The First Amendment is entirely irrelavent. It does NOT prohibit what you say it does and it DOESN’T NEED TO. Why don’t statists like you understand that the federal government can’t do anything it isn’t explicitly authorized to do? Are faith-based initiatives mentioned anywhere in the enumerated powers? NO. So STFU about the 1st amendment. Amendment-mongering only leads to the false statist idea that only the Bill of Rights places limits on government, and that the government can do anything not explicitly proscribed by the Bill of Rights. We would be much, much freer if there were no Bill of Rights, since it has led to this false, statist perception championed by Statotarians such as yourself.

  12. Brian, it’s not often that I get to agree with you, but you are correct.

    Freedom of the soul (as I term it) is indeed an important personal liberty. We have to remember that in many countries around the world, people are required to belong to or swear fealty to some religion. That we are (ostensibly) allowed a choice here in America is indeed fostered by the First Amendment.

    Some of us owe a lot to the inclusion of those clauses into the Bill of Rights. There’s not a snowball’s chance in you-know-where that my faith would ever be duly recognized anywhere except perhaps Iceland. (literally). So I am grateful that I am not required to attend church or pay a tithe. those of you who are atheist a similar situation applies.

    Okay, so this is the issue that got me political, and it’s tne hottest of my hot buttons.

    As for enumerated powers, while that is technically correct, it’s wise to remember that in some super-conservative law schools they seethings through such a distorted lens that they would literally try and lump Biblical law into the “common good” admittedly they also want to nix the First Amendment. I see the First Amendment as a bulwark to prevent Biblical re-interpretations of enumerated powers.

  13. G.E. wrote:

    “Amendment-mongering only leads to the false statist idea that only the Bill of Rights places limits on government”

    I respond:

    “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.” – Amendment X

    Remember that the anti-Federalists wanted this because they felt (and history has borne them out as correct) that due to the “Necessary and Proper” Clause et al. the federal government was unlimited.

    To quote Patrick Henry, in his morning speech in the Virginia Ratifying Convention, June 24, 1788:

    “With respect to that part of the proposal which says that every power not granted remains with the people, it must be previous to adoption, or it will involve this country in inevitable destruction. To talk of it as a thing subsequent, not as one of your unalienable rights, is leaving it to the casual opinion of the Congress who shall take up the consideration of that matter. They will not reason with you about the effect of this Constitution. They will not take the opinion of this committee concerning its operation. They will construe it as they please. If you place it subsequently, let me ask the consequences. Among ten thousand implied powers which they may assume, they may, if we be engaged in war, liberate every one of your slaves if they please. And this must and will be done by men, a majority of whom have not a common interest with you. They will, therefore, have no feeling of your interests. It has been repeatedly said here, that the great object of a national government was national defence. That power which is said to be intended for security and safety may be rendered detestable and oppressive. If they give power to the general government to provide for the general defence, the means must be commensurate to the end. ”

    Now, I’m not going to get into Henry’s slavery views, because that’s not the point, and it detracts little from his point. His point was, then, that even with the Tenth Amendment, Congress would ignore it and exercise unlimited powers at the expense of the interests of the several States, and the People. He was correct.

    Mr. Madison, OTOH, though this was unfounded and dangerous, and he pointed out the same day in the afternoon, that he felt that “it was evident that the general government had no power but what was given it, and that the delegation alone warranted the exercise of power; dangerous, because an enumeration which is not complete is not safe. Such an enumeration could not be made, within any compass of time, as would be equal to a general negation.” Whatever his motives, this was one area where Madison has been proven wrong over time, as based on the actions of Congress in greatly expoiting teh Commerce Clause, the Necessary and Proper Clause, and the General Welfare Clause to run roughshod over the Tenth Amendment, the rest of the Bill of Rights, the several States, and the People.

    G.E. is applying a Madisonian view here, but history has shown that the Henry view is more accurate in predicting what actually happened since then up to today.

    Sources:
    Henry: http://www.constitution.org/rc/rat_va_20.htm#henry-22
    Madison: http://www.constitution.org/rc/rat_va_20.htm#henry-23

  14. The U.S. federal government is the ultimate enemy of liberty and should NEVER be called upon in its defense. Doing so is like calling upon a wildfire to put out an errant candle.

    Church-state co-mingling is a bad idea not because of the 1st amendment (which in no way prohibits it), but because IT IS A BAD IDEA.

    The idea that individual states, for example, are barred from co-mingling the two is the liberal invention of activist judges.

    These statist libertines who look to the Evil Empire that is the U.S. federal government as their protector make me sick.

  15. G.E., if the First Amendment does not prohibit the mingling of church and state, then answer these questions:

    1. Why did Madison and Jefferson say otherwise, clearly and repeatedly in their writings?
    2. Why did the Supreme Court, starting with U.S. v. Reynolds in 1878, say otherwise? Ditto Everson, Santa Fe, etc.?
    3. Complete the following First Amendment Math Problem:
    Establishment Clause + Free Exercise Clause = ???

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