Back in the summer of 2008, Barack Obama announced that he intended not to end George W. Bush’s program to give public money to religious organizations through the “Office of Faith Based Initiatives”, but to expand the program. Strategically, it was a smart move. The announcement gave the Obama 2008 campaign massive support from churches that now largely depend upon government funding. Those churches are legally required to either stay out of elections for public office or give up their tax exempt status, but they’ve learned to ignore those requirements, knowing that the IRS lacks the courage to confront the abuse.
The very first clause of the very first amendment to the Constitution makes it clear that there is to be no government funding of religion. The amendment bans establishment of religion through Congress, and it’s Congress that provides the funds for everything that the government does. Candidate Obama was too hungry for the Presidency to care about what the Constitution required on this matter, though.
Obama tried to placate Americans who do care about the Constitution by promising that he would reform George W. Bush’s programs of government-funded religion. Obama said that he would put an end to one of the worst abuses of the welfare for churches scheme, in which churches used government money to discriminate against people on the basis of religion. Public funds have been used to set up programs that then fire people who refuse to convert to their bosses’ religion. These programs have become sources of government jobs that are only offered to believers in those certain religions that have the connections to political power required to get government funds.
In July 2008, Obama promised he would end this specific form of discrimination.
As President, Obama has not done what he promised he would do. Obama has not ended the discrimination. Months and months have gone by, and although Obama has expanded the program to funnel government money to religious organizations, he has not reformed the program at all.
As a matter of fact, Obama has kept the workings of the program secret, away from public scrutiny. There is no web site for Obama’s Advisory Council on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships. There’s no source of public information about what that council does, where and when it meets, and how American citizens can contact its members to have input on the Obama Administration’s religious policies. It’s an exclusive, secretive council of religious leaders that decides which churches will get government money, and which ones won’t.
They’re ayatollahs under another name.