Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Obama Skates on Thin Ice with his Faith-based Partnerships

Advance information about the content of Barack Obama's speech this afternoon is springing up all over the internet. He will be speaking about his plans for "Partnerting with Communities of Faith."

It looks like Obama is trying to reinforce and expand policies that were in place for 501(c)3 religious non-profits before the Bush administration relaxed standards and doled money out to churches and charities to drum up political support in minority communities.

I predict that conservative evangelicals will resent the prominence Obama will give to Catholic Charities and Lutheran Social Services. Evangelicals will perceive that they are being marginalized and that mainline churches are being promoted -- at taxpayer expense. It will simply be a different form of religion being blessed by the President in the public square.

In my opinion, any politician promoting faith-based initiatives or "partnerships" is skating on thin ice. Governments have no business trying to use religion as an instrument of social policy. Churches have no business becoming tools of the government.

(Thanks to The JED Report for posting Obama's campaign fact sheet.)

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