Sunday, February 8, 2009
How About Reality Based Instead?
This week Obama fulfilled another campaign promise, when he signed an order establishing the White House Office of Faith Based Initiatives. This was a bad idea when W. did it, and Obama's version isn't any better.
This kind of mixing between government and religion brings a host of problems. Will these "faith based" programs evangelize while handing out soup, effectively using tax dollars to preach? Will faith based programs discriminate in hiring, effectively causing government subsidized discrimination? Why do we need the "faith based" aspect of these programs at all?
I'm all for government helping those in need. As a matter of fact, I wish government would do a lot more in this area. I would gladly pay higher taxes to know that a minimum standard of living existed for all Americans. Why we need religion involved in this escapes me though. Unless the purpose is to draw people toward faith (an exercise government should not be involved in at all), why is there a need for "faith based" anything?
Instead of using my tax dollars to fund religion, I propose we establish a secular Office of Need. (Or something to that effect) It could do all the "good" things these faith based programs are suppose to do, without blurring the church-state line. I don't tithe on Sundays, I'd like it if my government didn't force me to through my tax bill.
Besides, it's just silly that smart people think "faith" is a virtue. It worries me that two consecutive administrations seem to think it is.