Sunday, February 15, 2009

Obama plans to provide more money to religion

Also from Diana Schuetz (and I think it comes from this blog), with thanks:

Barack Obama spoke at the National Prayer Breakfast this morning and, soon thereafter, announced a plan to create a federal committee of religious advisers -- an Advisory Council on Faith. Obama also plans to provide more government money to religious organizations -- something the ACLU calls "troubling" because of the the Bush-era rules that remain in place that allow such religious organizations to apply "religious hiring tests" to employees.

"President Obama launched his faith-based initiative today by heading into uncharted and dangerous waters," Caroline Fredrickson, Director of the ACLU Washington Legislative Office, said in a press release this afternoon.

What we are seeing today is significant -- a president giving his favored clergy a governmental stamp of approval. There is no historical precedent for presidential meddling in religion -- or religious leaders meddling in federal policy -- through a formal government advisory committee made up mostly of the president's chosen religious leaders.

As we learn more about President Obama's faith-based projects, be sure to visit AlterNet's Rights & Liberties section for the response from the human rights and civil liberties community.

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