On February 5th, 2009, Obama announced a rekindling by executive order of a George W. Bush legacy, The Office of Faith Based Activities and Neighborhood Partnerships. The Reverend Obama tells us that “Faith-based and other neighborhood organizations are vital to our Nation’s ability to address the needs of low-income and other underserved persons and communities.” It now seems that it is the church and not the state that will decide the poor’s fate. This is something that Ronald Reagan could only dream about. And yet twenty years after Reagan left office, we find a Democrat turning a democracy into a theocracy.
Even more disturbing is the hiring of 26 year old Pentecostal pastor Joshua DuBois as the Director of Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships. The fact that he is a Pentecostal pastor makes it almost certain he believes in a literal interpretation of the bible. Ergo, a creationist. Like many Pentecostals, he probably believes that people can speak in tongues and face an eternity of hell and damnation for their earthbound wicked ways. It is likely that he is pro-life and only believes in the sanctity of marriage between a man and a woman. It is discerning to think that someone who looks to divine intervention for solving social problems should lead a government department.
Placing social programs and services into charity does nothing to alleviate the societal problems associated with poverty because it shifts responsibility and accountability away from government. Obama tell us that problems with the poor and underserved are too big for Government to solve. This is surprising news as government generally handles big problems like military operations overseas and bailing out corporations. Yet poor housing, education, healthcare, high-unemployment and poverty are now the problems of faith-based organizations and neighborhood partnerships. A lack of state responsibility to the poor results in no public policy or accountability. The faith based services will undoubtedly greet the poor with one hand while handing them a bible with the other.
Let us hope that journalists follow the actions of this Office very closely and that it does not follow the doctrines of Pentecostal faith.
News sources in addition to text links:
Guardian UK Newspaper
Faith in Public Life