Religion and the politics are experiencing an interesting mix this election season.  Peter Steinfels, of the New York Times, explores this mix in the following article:
From the New York Times
By Peter Steinfels
Published: July 5, 2008

On Tuesday, Senator Barack Obama did his best to reclaim for Democrats the idea of partnerships between government and grass-roots religious groups – and except for six little words he did a very smooth job.

First, he recalled his own community service in Chicago, noting that it had been church supported.

Then he reminded listeners that it was President Bill Clinton who signed landmark legislation widening the role religion-based groups could play in government-financed programs, and Al Gore who in 1999 first proposed a full-scale religion-based initiative.

. . .

"First," he said, "if you get a federal grant, you can't use that grant money to proselytize to the people you help, and you can't discriminate against them – or against the people you hire – on the basis of their religion."

That little phrase between the dashes – "or against the people you hire" – ignited a political explosion. "Fraud," declared Bill Donohue of the Catholic League. "What Obama wants," Mr. Donohue said, is "to secularize the religious workplace." In its newsletter, the conservative Family Research Council called Mr. Obama's position "a body blow to religious groups that apply for federal funds." No less heated reactions came from the other end of the political spectrum, where the Obama proposal was denounced not for that short phrase but for what liberals saw as an abandonment of their principles and part of a suspicious move toward the center.

. . .

(Read the rest at NY Times:  http://www.nytimes.com/2008/07/05/us/05beliefs.html?em&ex=1215403200&en=a09309a4e26fb70c&ei=5087%0A

 
 

20 Comments

  1. Joe says:

    Why is it that religion and government still try to go hand in hand? You would think that the government will do for the good of the people with out a religion dictating! Stem cell research is a good example, the power to cure many people is being denied because it goes against god!! Well I would like to know whose god is it that does not want humans to use our god given brains to help people. NOT MINE. Get religion out of government!

  2. Joe says:

    Why is it that religion and government still try to go hand in hand? You would think that the government will do for the good of the people with out a religion dictating! Stem cell research is a good example, the power to cure many people is being denied because it goes against god!! Well I would like to know whose god is it that does not want humans to use our god given brains to help people. NOT MINE. Get religion out of government!

  3. Joe says:

    Why is it that religion and government still try to go hand in hand? You would think that the government will do for the good of the people with out a religion dictating! Stem cell research is a good example, the power to cure many people is being denied because it goes against god!! Well I would like to know whose god is it that does not want humans to use our god given brains to help people. NOT MINE. Get religion out of government!

  4. Monique says:

    Government and religion are and should remain two seperate entities. When it comes to religion, people spend to much time focusing on the good and evil motto. The government is a business and should be ran as such.

  5. Monique says:

    Government and religion are and should remain two seperate entities. When it comes to religion, people spend to much time focusing on the good and evil motto. The government is a business and should be ran as such.

  6. Monique says:

    Government and religion are and should remain two seperate entities. When it comes to religion, people spend to much time focusing on the good and evil motto. The government is a business and should be ran as such.

  7. Gerean says:

    If we all spent as much individual time and attention to the needs of our immediate neighbors, as we do on the game of politics, the country would immediately begin to change for the better.

  8. Gerean says:

    If we all spent as much individual time and attention to the needs of our immediate neighbors, as we do on the game of politics, the country would immediately begin to change for the better.

  9. Emily says:

    I don't see why it's a problem for a liberal to support funding religious groups. He did point out that they do a lot of good, in places where no other organizations are choosing to do good. He also pointed out that proselytizing is not a valid use of funds. I think, in this statement, Obama said something that could be a compromise for both sides.

  10. Emily says:

    I don't see why it's a problem for a liberal to support funding religious groups. He did point out that they do a lot of good, in places where no other organizations are choosing to do good. He also pointed out that proselytizing is not a valid use of funds. I think, in this statement, Obama said something that could be a compromise for both sides.

  11. bart says:

    Barack Obama is a flip-flop fraud. He will say whatever people want to hear and I'm sure if he upset too many people he will "explain" it away

  12. bart says:

    Barack Obama is a flip-flop fraud. He will say whatever people want to hear and I'm sure if he upset too many people he will "explain" it away

  13. bart says:

    Barack Obama is a flip-flop fraud. He will say whatever people want to hear and I'm sure if he upset too many people he will "explain" it away

  14. Dan Kolich says:

    In most cases religious groups doo goo work. They are usually the first out there to help a community in need. Financial initiatives for those groups are good. The problem becomes when you fund groups that use their money for political gain.They instruct their people to vote for candidates who can further their agenda. There are big name evangelists out there who carry much clout.. They use their money for political gains. They control the press. They buy politicians. They beef up the number of churches in certain jurisdictions to get people elected who fit their agenda. Once in these politicians are hostage to the religious extremism. Again, I'm all for funding churches who use the money for good causes…and today that's rare. Religion never used to be in your face. They've taken a page from the playbook of the liberal left and extreme right…He who yells the loudest gets the biggest piece of the pie.

  15. Dan Kolich says:

    In most cases religious groups doo goo work. They are usually the first out there to help a community in need. Financial initiatives for those groups are good. The problem becomes when you fund groups that use their money for political gain.They instruct their people to vote for candidates who can further their agenda. There are big name evangelists out there who carry much clout.. They use their money for political gains. They control the press. They buy politicians. They beef up the number of churches in certain jurisdictions to get people elected who fit their agenda. Once in these politicians are hostage to the religious extremism. Again, I'm all for funding churches who use the money for good causes…and today that's rare. Religion never used to be in your face. They've taken a page from the playbook of the liberal left and extreme right…He who yells the loudest gets the biggest piece of the pie.

  16. Janet says:

    Why would anybody get mad at the phrase you can’t discriminate “against the people you hire”? OF COURSE you can't legally discriminate against the people you hire! Are there some people who seriously wish that Obama said you SHOULD discriminate against the people you hire!? Ridiculous! I guess some people are just so afraid that Obama is going to be their next President that they will try to pick apart every single word he says, even though it's PERFECTLY CORRECT that no discrimination should be allowed! I bet those who are against this would not want THEMSELVES to be discriminated against, right?! Of course they would not! Obama said nothing wrong! I'm not fooled by those anti-Obama people. I think many of them are just scared of the good changes he may bring about in office!

  17. Janet says:

    Why would anybody get mad at the phrase you can’t discriminate “against the people you hire”? OF COURSE you can't legally discriminate against the people you hire! Are there some people who seriously wish that Obama said you SHOULD discriminate against the people you hire!? Ridiculous! I guess some people are just so afraid that Obama is going to be their next President that they will try to pick apart every single word he says, even though it's PERFECTLY CORRECT that no discrimination should be allowed! I bet those who are against this would not want THEMSELVES to be discriminated against, right?! Of course they would not! Obama said nothing wrong! I'm not fooled by those anti-Obama people. I think many of them are just scared of the good changes he may bring about in office!

  18. Janet says:

    Why would anybody get mad at the phrase you can’t discriminate “against the people you hire”? OF COURSE you can't legally discriminate against the people you hire! Are there some people who seriously wish that Obama said you SHOULD discriminate against the people you hire!? Ridiculous! I guess some people are just so afraid that Obama is going to be their next President that they will try to pick apart every single word he says, even though it's PERFECTLY CORRECT that no discrimination should be allowed! I bet those who are against this would not want THEMSELVES to be discriminated against, right?! Of course they would not! Obama said nothing wrong! I'm not fooled by those anti-Obama people. I think many of them are just scared of the good changes he may bring about in office!

  19. Mary Glavaz says:

    The Old Testament starts with Moses and God against Pharaoh. The New Testament starts with Jesus against Herod. Both start with Church and State. In both cases God wins. Get it? It ends with God conquering the evil of the State. The entire Word of God is opposed to the wickedness of the State and is a constant warning of it's greed and murder of the poor and needy by the State. No so called Christian President can claim that he is unaware of the truth of the Bible which is happening right before our eyes. All God's words jumping off the pages of the Bible right now. That includes previous criticisms

  20. Mary Glavaz says:

    The Old Testament starts with Moses and God against Pharaoh. The New Testament starts with Jesus against Herod. Both start with Church and State. In both cases God wins. Get it? It ends with God conquering the evil of the State. The entire Word of God is opposed to the wickedness of the State and is a constant warning of it's greed and murder of the poor and needy by the State. No so called Christian President can claim that he is unaware of the truth of the Bible which is happening right before our eyes. All God's words jumping off the pages of the Bible right now. That includes previous criticisms

 
 
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