Thursday, January 29, 2009

AU to Obama: Fix the Faith-Based Office

National Americans United has issued a press release urging President Obama to "Act Swiftly to Fix the Flaws of the Faith-Based Office."

News outlets are reporting that Obama has selected Josh Dubois, a Pentecostal pastor who headed the religious outreach for Obama's campaign, to head the federal government's faith-based office.

Personally, I wish Obama would abolish the faith-based office. Since that is not going to happen, the next best thing would be to structure the office to comply with the First Amendment. That is what national AU is exhorting Obama to do.

Frankly, hiring his campaign's director of religious outreach already has the smell of political payoff. The Bush administration used the faith-based office as a tool to drum up political support from the religious community. It doesn't appear that Obama will do much more than funnel money to progressive churches instead of conservative churches.

It is as wrong to give federal money to support progressive religious organizations as it is to use federal money to support conservative religious organizations. Fairness requires that the government should remain neutral in regard to religion. Elections and politicians should not be permitted to chose winners and losers in the sphere of religion.

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