Where's Church & State Separation PDF Print E-mail
Swift
Written by James Randi   

There’s just been a startling announcement that G. W. Bush's “faith-based initiative” practice will continue as before – perhaps even broadened – under the new White House “Council of Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships.” The Obama Administration has appointed a Pentecostal minister to run this office. Is there any doubt about this official’s biases? While Bush's creation of the "faith-based initiative" was met by dismay when first announced, nothing seems to have resulted from this present alarming action. Little wonder.

It seems that the public quickly becomes indifferent to these blatant violations of such long-standing principles as separation between religion and government.

I believe that this should never have happened – either during the previous administration or the present one – at the White House or in federal agencies. Our government should run on reality and facts, not faith. The United States should return to requiring religious groups to set up secular branches and keep separate books, before allowing them apply for or administer publicly-funded social services. We should have the right to see public accountability in these agencies.

I recall that in his election campaign, Barack Obama vowed that as president he would not permit federal grants to go to faith-based groups that discriminate – based on religion – in hiring and firing. Now, the White House has decided that the Attorney General's Office will decide each funding situation on a "case by case" basis! Personally, I don’t want my taxes to contribute to this process, nor to this “initiative.”