Friday Feedback: The Faith Waste Initiative


Every Friday the LA Progressive features a comment that was particularly noteworthy. This week we are featuring a comment submitted by George in response to Gene Rothman’s Obama’s Faith-Based Initiative: The Devil Is in the Details:

Writes George, “The solution to all of the difficulties of the centerpiece and entirety of Bush’s original putative philosophical platform (as proclaimed by Bush in Olansky’s 1999 book, “Compassionate Conservatism”) — Faith Waste Initiative — is to scrap it. The thing is just an end-run around the First Amendment made possible by avoiding Congressional involvement. We never needed it before Bush, and we don’t need anything of Bush. The thing is just a cesspool of waste, corruption, fraud, discrimination, and sleaze. Forcing poor people and prisoners and soldiers into right-wing fundamentalist cults serves no proper government purpose.

Religious charitable organizations can obtain government funding like any non-profit group by simply separating it from proselytizing. Catholic Charities receives 80% of their funding from government, for example, and they still get to put small crosses in their nursing homes. And if the problem is that “community groups” don’t have the same expertise, then secular groups have the same problem. Obama muddled two disparate purposes in that speech and hopefully has recognized the error; if not, some of us who eventually worked for him will not be so forgiving in the future.”


  1. Sharon Toji says

    George, I am in complete agreement. Frankly, Obama really scared me with his comment that he was going to actually expand the Bush Faith Based program. As it is, I wonder why he chose a church that was more conservative on some social issues, like gay marriage, than other churches from the same denomination — one that is thought of as a very liberal protestant church. Since he came from an agnostic family background, or at least one where religion was not practiced, I was a bit surprised that he became so religious as an adult, but I thought that he might have decided it was necessary to be a politician in this country (and it probably is). However, I would have thought he would have embraced a very liberal theology, and certainly would have wanted to protect the church/state wall rather than breach it. Hillary Clinton is, by all accounts, quite religious and practices her religion, which she has followed from childhood. However, I don’t recall her making statements about the faith based program during the campaign.

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