Archive for Office of Faith Based Activites and Neighborhood Partnerships

Mosque Controversy is Obama’s Prop to Promote Religion

Posted in Politics, Religion with tags , , , , , , , , , on August 15, 2010 by neandergal

While the controversy surrounding the construction of a Community center/Mosque three blocks from Ground Zero in lower Manhattan, New York continues, the more fundamental issue of a President of a supposedly secular nation taking a positive stand on the issue goes largely ignored. To add insult to injury, President Obama had the audacity to announce his support for the Mosque and community center from a dinner at the White House celebrating the start of the holy month of Ramadan. By taking a far from neutral stance on the issue, Obama is clearly endorsing religion. Obama could have chosen to remain neutral stating that the issue of the mosque is a local issue to be resolved locally and not a matter for the administration to pass judgment. Diplomatically, this would have been the correct response. Instead, he used the issue as a platform not to give a speech on the right to religious freedom and non-belief of which neither is in dispute, but to covertly promote religion. This recent appeasement to the Muslim community is not a display of religious tolerance, but is testimony to the President’s stand on faith generally.

Let us take a look back to 2008 and review the most grandiose inauguration ceremony in history where Obama chose the Southern California Pastor of the well to do Saddleback mega church, Rick Warren to say the inaugural prayer. And let us be reminded that Rick Warren backed California’s Proposition 8 which was to prevent the right for gays to marry. Obama’s choice of Rick Warren to read a prayer should have set off early alarm bells ringing loud and clear to the media, but instead they fell on deaf ears.

In February, 2009, less than a month in office, Obama rekindled George Bush’s Office of Faith-Based Activities and Neighborhood Partnerships by executive order and appointed then 26 year old Pentecostal Minister, Joshua DuBois to head the federally funded department.

Close inspection of Christianity, particularly fundamentalist forms of the faith, Islam or any other religion are far from democratic because they marginalize women and suppress thought outside the realms of the said religion. Either the President is incredibly naive as to what these belief systems represent or he subscribes to them and views them as an integral part of a secular democratic nation.

It is one thing to promote the virtues of the right to practice faith, but to endorse it with speeches, government offices and appointing ministers to run them is quite another. The question has to be asked is that was this really just a glaring political gaff or is there another hidden agenda to promote rather than restate the country’s neutrality on religion?

Sources:

UK Telegraph: Barack Obama backs Ground Zero Mosque

Executive order 13199:

Our Obama Who Art in the White House

Posted in Politics with tags , , , , , on February 8, 2009 by neandergal

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