Faith and politics

I was not thrilled by Bush’s Office on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships, since I don’t want the White House involved in faith, but I recognized it as a pragmatic means to increasing the effectiveness of existing religious charities.  I also wasn’t too concerned because I did not see it as a government effort to co-opt religion.

I’m much less sanguine about Obama’s getting his hands on and revamping the whole office.  This is a man who sees religion, not as a relationship with God, but as a means to a political end.  Also, to the extent he’s an Ailinsky-ite, whose focus is on the religion of community organizing, I worry about his using his office to subordinate religion to his political goals — which is, of course, exactly what the Founders hoped to prevent.  The details leaking out already show Obama’s attempt to rejigger religion to bring it in line with government:

“The goal of this office will not be to favor one religious group over another — or even religious groups over secular groups,” Obama said. “It will simply be to work on behalf of those organizations that want to work on behalf of our communities, and to do so without blurring the line that our founders wisely drew between church and state.”

The most contentious issue surrounding the updated office, potential restrictions on the hiring practices of religious groups that receive taxpayer dollars, will undergo a thorough legal review before Obama makes a decision on hiring guidelines.

The order would also direct White House officials and lawyers to work with the Justice Department to develop a hiring policy, according to a religious leader with knowledge of the plans. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because the details have not been released.

The deliberate approach is unlikely to please either conservative religious leaders, who worry they’ll need to compromise their religious beliefs to participate, or liberal religious and secular leaders, who want to quickly undo Bush administration hiring practices.

Obama also misspoke about Islam, although no more than Bush repeatedly did when he tried to jam down our throats the false doctrine the Islam is a religion of peace.  The latter is true, of course, only in the Roman sense of making a desert and calling it peace.  In other words, under Islam, jihad (Holy War) precedes “peace.”  When everyone is dead or enslaved, you’ve got your religious peace.  So I guess it wasn’t any more ludicrous when Obama said

“there is no religion whose central tenet is hate” and all religions teach people to love and care for one another. That is the common ground underlying his faith-based office, he said.

To anyone with the slightest information about religion, the above is manifestly untrue.  The Old Testament was extremely hostile to other religions, a hostility that has vanished with time (and the death of those targeted religions).  Modern Jews are not trained to hate or desire the deaths of people in other faiths.

However, when it comes to islam, a central, vital, and very much practiced tenet of that religion is the death of the Jews.  It’s a commandment from the Prophet and an article of faith that Jews must be killed.  Sounds like hate to me.  Further, given the fact that Islam demands the death of those who convert from Islam to another faith, you seem to have another hate-based tenet.

I understand that the American president has to be inclusive in his speech, but if all you can say to be inclusive is something that’s both stupid and untrue, isn’t it better to keep your mouth shut?