Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama made campaign stops in Colorado Springs this morning, courting the votes of religious conservatives. Goodie for him.
I don’t get to Colorado Springs much, because I don’t want to. James Dobson & Company live there and that’s just not my cup of tea. Evangelicals turn me off.
Yet there was my probable choice for president, the great anti-Bush, pandering to the fundamentalists in their own backyard, saying he’d like to extend Bush’s faith-based initiatives.
Say what!!?? Hey, Barack, don’t you realize faith-based initiatives violate the separation of church and state? What are you thinking? It’s bad enough that the Democrats will probably tax me into the poorhouse, where they’ll give my money back to me in the form of whatever healthcare they’ve chosen for me, but now you want to underwrite somebody else’s church with my tax dollars?
Don’t get me wrong; I don’t care what Joe Blow’s religion is, as long as he stays out of my face and my pocketbook. If he and his church want to go out and do charity work and good deeds, or help Katrina victims, or whatever, that’s cool. But don’t expect me to cough up money to help pay for it; I’ll choose my own charities, thank you very much. Worse, don’t require me, in effect, to pay for it with my tax dollars. The federal government is violating the separation of church and state when it takes tax dollars and gives them to religious organizations. Let churches support their own good works; besides, they’re already getting tax breaks for being churches. Give them more federal funds and they’ll be double-dipping.
And another question: How does the administration decide which faith-based initiatives to underwrite? Does it pick the churches that have supported it politically? Because if those churches have been politically involved, they too have violated the separation of church and state. They’ve also endangered their designation as “churches” and the tax breaks they get because of it.
I am hugely disappointed that Barack Obama would buy into one of George Bush’s most egregious violations of constitutional principle.
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