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I think Father Morris Has a Point

07/10/2008

I’m not going to argue the Constitutionality of either candidates’ respective proposals as to how “faith-based initiatives” should run, but I will say that, if you assume the veracity of the premise of a “church state separation” being part of the Constitution, the skirting, at least, of the line thereof by Obama by virtue of his support for these initiatives seems inconsistent when compared to his intent to limit those groups which are a part of these initiatives, on the basis of an apparent desire to respect Constitutional Amendments relating to equal protection:

Now, make no mistake, as someone who used to teach constitutional law, I believe deeply in the separation of church and state, but I don’t believe this partnership will endanger that idea – so long as we follow a few basic principles. First, 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. Second, federal dollars that go directly to churches, temples, and mosques can only be used on secular programs.”

 I agree with Morris so far as goes his belief that such restrictions as above are contrary to assisting in the effectiveness of these programs. With their initiative models design centered around their religions, these “faith-based” organizations need their capacity to control not so fettered as Obama would mandate.

To the question of the apparent inconsistency, perhaps the most obvious question to ask Obama is why even support these programs in the first place?

As for me, I don’t have much interest in the existence of the programs, but question how reasonable it is to allow them because of supposed success only to risk destabilizing that success.

Morris’ column: http://foxforum.blogs.foxnews.com/2008/07/07/faithless-faith-based-initiatives/

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