Church-State Union Continues Under Obama
One Cabinet member that has slipped through the media’s radar scope is Obama’s appointee to the Council for Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships which is the new name for President George W. Bush’s Office for Faith-Based Initiatives.
The appointee is an Evangelical minister named Jim Wallis who is the President’s spiritual adviser and, according to one news source, has a background in far-left activism. When he was a young man Wallis was active in a Students for a Democratic Society chapter and went on to establish Sojouners, a leftist-oriented Christian outreach group. Even worse, Upon taking office Obama announced his intent to expand faith-based programs given out by the agency.
This despite the First Amendment’s requirement of church-state separation, the President appointed someone to head the agency who is a clergy member. No matter how one looks at it, the Council’s existence and the programs it oversees are in direct violation of the Constitution.
I distinctly remember an op-ed published in National Review around 2004 written by a prominent conservative whose name escapes me at the moment. The author stated conservatives hostile to the existence of taxpayer financed agencies, like the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, need no longer worry. He assured readers that everything is fine now that the Republicans retook control of Congress and President Bush got re-elected. In other words, everything is fine not that their people are/were in charge.
Its obvious that Obama is following this same line of thought. He not only continues the political welfare doled out to religious groups started under President Bush but subsidizes religions friendly to the Democratic Party and his administration. I guess this is one of the ways Obama tries to pitch himself as a centrist since he builds and expands upon ideas put forth by Republicans.
If the President or even the Congress had any good sense the agency would be scrapped in its entirety. Then again, when have politicians exercised any good sense when it comes to other people’s money? The Office of Faith-Based Initiatives was created by executive order by President George W. Bush during the early days of his administration.
In terms of the President, Obama could end the agency’s existence by executive order but has chosen not to. Why would he? Not only does the agency’s appointee demonstrate the President’s affinity for the far Left but is also another tool he can use to enhance and maintain his power among the faithful who give his activities ecclesiastical legitimacy.