As President, Barack Obama has had a mixed record on the separation of church and state. While he has sometimes spoken about the need for tolerance in the sphere of religion, some of his actions have promoted religious intolerance and discrimination. Obama has increased the size of the White House Office of Faith-Based Initiatives, funneling government money into religious organizations where it is used to promote particular religious beliefs. Government decides which religious groups get the cash, and which ones don’t. What’s more, the government money is used to fund jobs that can be given only to people who belong to certain religious groups – everyone else is automatically disqualified for the work. In an economy with high unemployment, Obama’s support for religious discrimination in hiring is particularly cruel.
If you’re looking for an alternative, a presidential candidate who consistently supports the separation of church and state, consider Rocky Anderson, who is running as the Justice Party candidate for President. In a recent online discussion, Anderson explained his views on the relationship between religion and government as follows:
“Religion and government should be kept as separate as possible. Government interference or involvement in religion demeans faith. There are ample ways for people to exercise their religious beliefs without government involvement. We should all think in terms of the Golden Rule (or the equivalent in non-Christian denominations or humanitarian traditions) when Church-State issues arise. Let us ask ourselves if we didn’t believe in the religion being promoted by government, how would we feel? We should all value the diversity in religious (and non-religious) traditions and be tolerant and compassionate toward each other.”