1 of 3
1
Obama’s Executive Order on Faith-based Partnerships
Posted: 05 February 2009 02:12 PM   [ Ignore ]
Jr. Member
Rank
Total Posts:  11
Joined  2008-11-28

Ok, everyone, let’s hear your thoughts regarding the Executive Order that Obama signed today and his speech at the prayer breakfeast in DC this morning.

What I don’t understand is how the President can issue an Executive Order that seems to clearly violate the separation of church and state.  The First Amendment says “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion.”  Is Obama’s Executive Order regarding faith-based partnerships fall outside of the First Amendment for some reason…because it’s not passed by Congress…or because it’s not considered a “law”? 

I have been a huge Obama supporter.  The two things issues that I’ve always had with him are 1) his intentions to continue faith-based initiatives (at least he’s placing restrictions on the religious institutions) and the religious talk that he sometimes uses in his speeches and 2) his being against gay marriage, especially since he claims to be an advocate for equal rights for gays and lesbians.

Your thoughts on today’s news regarding the Executive Order???

Profile
 
 
Posted: 05 February 2009 02:19 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
Administrator
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  15435
Joined  2006-02-14

Well, according to THIS article, “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.”

Some more quotes:

“He also named 25 religious and secular leaders to a new advisory board.”

Dogged throughout the presidential campaign by rumors that he was a Muslim, Obama described his background in a household that wasn’t religious.

“I had a father who was born a Muslim but became an atheist, grandparents who were non-practicing Methodists and Baptists, and a mother who was skeptical of organized religion, even as she was the kindest, most spiritual person I’ve ever known. She was the one who taught me as a child to love, and to understand, and to do unto others as I would want done,” 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.

Given that this is neutral as to the religiosity or secularism of the institution involved, it seems to me at least prima facie a reasonable plan. The main question as regards the separation of church and state is that the government not try to choose between religions, nor between religiousness and non-religiousness. If this office works with all equally, it may well be within the spirit of the separation of church and state. Of course, more needs to be seen as to how this plays out.

Good question, though. I was thinking about the same issues in reading about the plan.

 Signature 

Doug

-:- -:—:- -:—:- -:—:- -:—:- -:—:-

El sueño de la razón produce monstruos

Profile
 
 
Posted: 05 February 2009 02:29 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  1995
Joined  2008-09-18

I think that the easiest way to understand Mr. Obama’s action is to imagine an alternative headline:

“Obama closes Office of Faith-Based Initiatives”

What kind of stupid tempest-in-teapot do you think THAT would set off? What he did was great: he secularized it in substance while leaving the religious title in place. Keep the idiots happy while making the world a better place. Over the next few years, he reduces its budget as part of the “difficult cost-cutting measures” until it has just one person, then he doesn’t get around to appointing a replacement for a while, and eventually lets it die a natural death. No political firestorm over symbolism, while maintaining what’s important in substance.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 05 February 2009 03:10 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
Jr. Member
Rank
Total Posts:  11
Joined  2008-11-28

Interesting points, Chris and dougsmith.  I didn’t realize that he secularized it.  I tried to obtain the text of the EO from the whitehouse.gov website, but it wasn’t yet available.  Let’s hope that he is able to work with all equally with secular and religious institutions.  If this occurs while maintaining neturality, I agree that it will be worth supporting.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 05 February 2009 03:12 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
Administrator
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  15435
Joined  2006-02-14
SecularSkeptic - 05 February 2009 03:10 PM

If this occurs while maintaining neturality, I agree that it will be worth supporting.

Yes, and so long as they follow this principle, from the above quote: “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.

 Signature 

Doug

-:- -:—:- -:—:- -:—:- -:—:- -:—:-

El sueño de la razón produce monstruos

Profile
 
 
Posted: 05 February 2009 04:19 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
Sr. Member
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  2457
Joined  2008-06-03

I wish they’d do away with funding faith based social services altogether. They’ve funded, with our tax dollars, dangerous and horrible abuses. This is because while secular social services programs must hire qualified personnel - psychologists and licensed social workers - faith based groups can allow any member of their church to be declared a spiritual counselor, working as a counselor in any manner of critical situations… no degree in psychology or social work necessary!

What they end up with are:

- Bible based “marriage counselors” telling women who are viciously beaten by their husbands that they should just submit and pray, and ask God what they’ve done wrong. The man is the head of the household, and the wife must submit.

- “Sexuality counselors” telling homosexuals that they are mentally diseased and shameful, and in order to repent and be cured, they need to join the church and marry immediately. The young gay man is paired with a lesbian who is also in the program, and they marry. The counselors use their example as proof of their cure.

- “Family counselors” telling parents of wayward children to beat them, hold exorcisms, or lock them in closets to pray and fast for 24-hours. Some churches specify the size and shape objects to use for beatings, and advise clients not to hit on the face, hands or other visible areas.

The above are all real life examples I’ve read about.

The churches have a right, by law, to provide “spiritual guidance” that adheres to their scripture and teachings, but the government has NO BUSINESS PAYING FOR IT! People going in for counseling or aid in a government sponsored social program have a right to a competent and qualified social worker or psychologist.

This is all on top of the discrimination and indoctrination that occurs in these programs, which is also horrible

 Signature 

Some people can read War and Peace and come away thinking it’s a simple adventure story. Others can read the ingredients on a chewing gum wrapper and unlock the secrets of the universe.    - Lex Luthor

Profile
 
 
Posted: 06 February 2009 09:20 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  438
Joined  2009-01-28
dougsmith - 05 February 2009 03:12 PM
SecularSkeptic - 05 February 2009 03:10 PM

If this occurs while maintaining neturality, I agree that it will be worth supporting.

Yes, and so long as they follow this principle, from the above quote: “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.

but isn’t that similar to what shrub & co. said as well?  of course, even without being overtly evangelistic these organizations are given cart blanche to inject their ideology into their hiring practices or program designs.  even the supreme court’s been reluctant to intervene, having struck down lawsuits by both prospective employees denied jobs and the FFRF. 

faith-based initiatives are inherantly unconstitutional, unless there is a similar mechanism for an explicitly atheistic or secular humanist-based charity to apply for matching funds (does one exist???).

Profile
 
 
Posted: 06 February 2009 09:27 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
Administrator
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  15435
Joined  2006-02-14
skuld - 06 February 2009 09:20 AM

but isn’t that similar to what shrub & co. said as well?

Not sure they were so explicit about it. But at any rate, that’s why I said that this was a good deal so long as they follow the principle. Of course, if this is just hot air, then all bets are off.

skuld - 06 February 2009 09:20 AM

faith-based initiatives are inherantly unconstitutional, unless there is a similar mechanism for an explicitly atheistic or secular humanist-based charity to apply for matching funds (does one exist???).

Well, I suppose we need more information about who those “secular” leaders were who are part of the advisory board. If we can take Obama at his word with these opening statements, however, it ought not be a problem to have atheists or secular humanists involved. For one thing, he did explicitly link himself to atheists and non-religious folk in his own family.

 Signature 

Doug

-:- -:—:- -:—:- -:—:- -:—:- -:—:-

El sueño de la razón produce monstruos

Profile
 
 
Posted: 06 February 2009 09:34 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  438
Joined  2009-01-28
Jules - 05 February 2009 04:19 PM

The churches have a right, by law, to provide “spiritual guidance” that adheres to their scripture and teachings, but the government has NO BUSINESS PAYING FOR IT! People going in for counseling or aid in a government sponsored social program have a right to a competent and qualified social worker or psychologist.

This is all on top of the discrimination and indoctrination that occurs in these programs, which is also horrible

does anyone have data on the groups that have received federal funding so far?  i heard somewhere that all or almost-all of the money’s gone to judeo-christian groups.  has there ever been record of federal “faith-based” money going to support a wiccan women’s shelter or a pagan food bank?

Profile
 
 
Posted: 06 February 2009 12:26 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  1161
Joined  2007-07-16
dougsmith - 05 February 2009 03:12 PM
SecularSkeptic - 05 February 2009 03:10 PM

If this occurs while maintaining neturality, I agree that it will be worth supporting.

Yes, and so long as they follow this principle, from the above quote: “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.

Absolutely.  That religious institutions can help social causes is not even a question. The issue is whether they use it to proselytize. Dave Dellinger, the radical activist and Catholic, wrote about this in his memoir: From Yale to Jail. He dropped out of Yale and for a brief period became a “bum.” He wrote how some church would pull them in for food and a cot but would try to proselytize them. It outraged him even though he too was a Catholic.

 Signature 

“Unsustainable systems can’t be sustained.” ~ Robert Jensen

Profile
 
 
Posted: 07 February 2009 08:10 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  4576
Joined  2008-08-14
Jules - 05 February 2009 04:19 PM

I wish they’d do away with funding faith based social services altogether. They’ve funded, with our tax dollars, dangerous and horrible abuses. This is because while secular social services programs must hire qualified personnel - psychologists and licensed social workers - faith based groups can allow any member of their church to be declared a spiritual counselor, working as a counselor in any manner of critical situations… no degree in psychology or social work necessary!

What they end up with are:

- Bible based “marriage counselors” telling women who are viciously beaten by their husbands that they should just submit and pray, and ask God what they’ve done wrong. The man is the head of the household, and the wife must submit.

- “Sexuality counselors” telling homosexuals that they are mentally diseased and shameful, and in order to repent and be cured, they need to join the church and marry immediately. The young gay man is paired with a lesbian who is also in the program, and they marry. The counselors use their example as proof of their cure.

- “Family counselors” telling parents of wayward children to beat them, hold exorcisms, or lock them in closets to pray and fast for 24-hours. Some churches specify the size and shape objects to use for beatings, and advise clients not to hit on the face, hands or other visible areas.

The above are all real life examples I’ve read about.

The churches have a right, by law, to provide “spiritual guidance” that adheres to their scripture and teachings, but the government has NO BUSINESS PAYING FOR IT! People going in for counseling or aid in a government sponsored social program have a right to a competent and qualified social worker or psychologist.

This is all on top of the discrimination and indoctrination that occurs in these programs, which is also horrible

Jules I understand your criticisms of these institutions.However if the Government stopped funding them we would have social problems far worse than what we have now.These faith based organizations go along way in providing shelter food and education for millions of POOR Americans.They also provide counseling and shelter for abused,abandoned,neglected and criminal victims.As well as rehabilitating criminals.There is so much more as well.
Essentially this is a result of a Country who wishes to spend the absolute minimum on the well-being of it’s citizens.This is the result of Hyper-capitalism.I repeat——These faith based organizations(who have been around forever,and for the most part,do good work with what they have)are the result of a Country that wants to spend the absolute minimum on its Citizens well being.
It is capitalism getting the most bang for it’s buck.IT IS THAT SIMPLE.If you took these programs away,do you think that the millions of needy people would get the Care and support and counseling and shelter and food that they need?The large Military/Industrial/Financial complex is never going to release enough money to care for all of the people who need it,for one reason or another.
For example:Most of the workers in these faith based orgs are volunteers.Do you think you are going to get State or Federal Employees to volunteer?I don’t think so.Uncle Sam loves volunteers.They do his work for him,and he puts the savings in his Bank.

[ Edited: 07 February 2009 08:12 AM by VYAZMA ]
 Signature 

Row row row your boat gently down the stream.  Merrily Merrily merrily merrily life is but a dream!

Profile
 
 
Posted: 07 February 2009 09:44 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
Administrator
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  15435
Joined  2006-02-14

HERE is the list of the advisory board at whitehouse.gov:

Members of the President’s Advisory Council on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships:

Judith N. Vredenburgh, President and Chief Executive Officer, Big Brothers / Big Sisters of America
Philadelphia, PA

Rabbi David N. Saperstein, Director & Counsel, Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, and noted church/state expert
Washington, DC

Dr. Frank S. Page, President emeritus, Southern Baptist Convention
Taylors, SC

Father Larry J. Snyder, President, Catholic Charities USA
Alexandria, VA

Rev. Otis Moss, Jr., Pastor emeritus, Olivet Institutional Baptist Church
Cleveland, OH

Eboo S. Patel, Founder & Executive Director, Interfaith Youth Corps
Chicago, IL

Fred Davie, President, Public / Private Ventures, a secular non-profit intermediary
New York, NY

Dr. William J. Shaw, President, National Baptist Convention, USA
Philadelphia, PA

Melissa Rogers, Director, Wake Forest School of Divinity Center for Religion and Public Affairs and expert on church/state issues
Winston-Salem, NC

Pastor Joel C. Hunter, Senior Pastor, Northland, a Church Distributed
Lakeland, FL

Dr. Arturo Chavez, Ph.D., President & CEO, Mexican American Cultural Center
San Antonio, TX

Rev. Jim Wallis, President & Executive Director, Sojourners
Washington, DC

Bishop Vashti M. McKenzie, Presiding Bishop, 13th Episcopal District, African Methodist Episcopal Church
Knoxville, TN

Diane Baillargeon, President & CEO, Seedco, a secular national operating intermediary
New York, NY

Richard Stearns, President, World Vision
Bellevue, WA

 Signature 

Doug

-:- -:—:- -:—:- -:—:- -:—:- -:—:-

El sueño de la razón produce monstruos

Profile
 
 
Posted: 07 February 2009 10:06 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  438
Joined  2009-01-28
VYAZMA - 07 February 2009 08:10 AM

Jules I understand your criticisms of these institutions.However if the Government stopped funding them we would have social problems far worse than what we have now.These faith based organizations go along way in providing shelter food and education for millions of POOR Americans.They also provide counseling and shelter for abused,abandoned,neglected and criminal victims.As well as rehabilitating criminals.There is so much more as well.
Essentially this is a result of a Country who wishes to spend the absolute minimum on the well-being of it’s citizens.This is the result of Hyper-capitalism.I repeat——These faith based organizations(who have been around forever,and for the most part,do good work with what they have)are the result of a Country that wants to spend the absolute minimum on its Citizens well being.
It is capitalism getting the most bang for it’s buck.IT IS THAT SIMPLE.If you took these programs away,do you think that the millions of needy people would get the Care and support and counseling and shelter and food that they need?The large Military/Industrial/Financial complex is never going to release enough money to care for all of the people who need it,for one reason or another.
For example:Most of the workers in these faith based orgs are volunteers.Do you think you are going to get State or Federal Employees to volunteer?I don’t think so.Uncle Sam loves volunteers.They do his work for him,and he puts the savings in his Bank.

couldn’t we resolve that dilemma by making sure that EXPLICITLY atheist/secularist charities also have an equal opportunity to apply for federal grants?

Profile
 
 
Posted: 07 February 2009 02:53 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  4576
Joined  2008-08-14
skuld - 07 February 2009 10:06 AM
VYAZMA - 07 February 2009 08:10 AM

Jules I understand your criticisms of these institutions.However if the Government stopped funding them we would have social problems far worse than what we have now.These faith based organizations go along way in providing shelter food and education for millions of POOR Americans.They also provide counseling and shelter for abused,abandoned,neglected and criminal victims.As well as rehabilitating criminals.There is so much more as well.
Essentially this is a result of a Country who wishes to spend the absolute minimum on the well-being of it’s citizens.This is the result of Hyper-capitalism.I repeat——These faith based organizations(who have been around forever,and for the most part,do good work with what they have)are the result of a Country that wants to spend the absolute minimum on its Citizens well being.
It is capitalism getting the most bang for it’s buck.IT IS THAT SIMPLE.If you took these programs away,do you think that the millions of needy people would get the Care and support and counseling and shelter and food that they need?The large Military/Industrial/Financial complex is never going to release enough money to care for all of the people who need it,for one reason or another.
For example:Most of the workers in these faith based orgs are volunteers.Do you think you are going to get State or Federal Employees to volunteer?I don’t think so.Uncle Sam loves volunteers.They do his work for him,and he puts the savings in his Bank.

couldn’t we resolve that dilemma by making sure that EXPLICITLY atheist/secularist charities also have an equal opportunity to apply for federal grants?

What dilemna are you refering to Skuld?

 Signature 

Row row row your boat gently down the stream.  Merrily Merrily merrily merrily life is but a dream!

Profile
 
 
Posted: 08 February 2009 11:14 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  438
Joined  2009-01-28

the dilemma regarding abolishing faith based initiatives without negatively impacting the beneficiaries of charity care. 

instead of eliminating faith based initiatives altogether just providie an even playing field for atheist based charities.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 08 February 2009 06:27 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  4576
Joined  2008-08-14
skuld - 08 February 2009 11:14 AM

the dilemma regarding abolishing faith based initiatives without negatively impacting the beneficiaries of charity care. 

instead of eliminating faith based initiatives altogether just providie an even playing field for atheist based charities.

I dig what your saying skuld.It’s a fine line.The best people for the job of caring for the needy has always fallen on the religous organizations.When you factor in Cost analysis.
I don’t know the whole deal-look at the Goodwill,The Red Cross,Big Brothers and Big Sisters,Your Local Food Bank,Amnesty International.I think the Salvation Army is quasi faith-based,I’m not sure.But look at this rag tag assortment of charity givers.
For me,It’s not about the work that needs to be done,or who is going to do the work,it’s about why alot of this work needs to be done in the first place.
Skuld,and anybody else,be happy that any organization is stepping up to help the needy.If a battered woman,or a hungry child,or a newly released convict is in need of Support,then be happy that there are people willing to help them.
Let’s put it this way:we’ve all been preached to,or prosletyzed(sp?).You handled it.I handled it.Now put yourself in the shoes of someone who REALLY needs help.They have nowhere else to turn.I think I could do with a couple of Hail Marys and an Our father,if I needed a warm bed,and a communal cot to bed down for the night.Charity doesn’t just spring from the ground.Nobody(percentage wise)want’s to do it.The US spends over half of it’s budget on Weapons of mass destruction.That leaves the charity doings to the lowest bidder.

 Signature 

Row row row your boat gently down the stream.  Merrily Merrily merrily merrily life is but a dream!

Profile
 
 
   
1 of 3
1