Thursday, February 16, 2012

Why Is President Obama's Faith Based Office Such An Awful Mess ?

That is the question Washington Post 's Religion reporter Melinda Henneberger asked yesterday at Obama, former religious allies distant

Taking my partisan GOP glasses off for a second I have say I am clueless as her.

Many people mock that the "war on religion" talk , but the Faith based office is doing little to help turn that tide back.

In fact for Catholics that care about these things a week of getting treated bad by the Obama administration got worse. See President Obama proposes to re-kill the D.C. voucher program. As an POED Prof Garnett noted:

Just when I resolve to follow Bob Hockett's commendable example, and try to assume the best even when I suspect the assumption is unwarranted, the President proposes to kill off the D.C. voucher program (again). I'm sorry -- this is a mean, spiteful, unjust, and pandering thing of him to do. It does not suggest, in Bob's words, an attachment to the "right thing."

It was sort of the icing on the cake as it were from a very trying week, month , and even year.

In the background of this is the mushroom cloud of a choice for the administration to take the view in
Hosanna-Tabor Evangelical Lutheran Church Supreme Court case that there was no such thing as a Ministerial Exception rooted in the religion clause. Something that just floored both the religious left and right. See Obama DOJ Picks a Fight Against Religious Freedom.

Was this reviewed by the Faith Based Office? Did they have input ? WHO KNOWS but it was a disaster.

In a year where a major federal Grant was taken from a Catholic agency on what appears to be political grounds, the major birth control mandate fight, and various other worrisome signs the Hosanna case looms huge and colors everything.

As I was talking with Bishop Duca of Shreveport and watching him engage others a few days ago on the Birth Control Mandate you could tell the administration's position on Hosanna -Tabor was very much a part of the overall fear. It has colored ever thing for the Bishops I think and many other faith leaders. I think with quite good reason. There appears to be a pattern here. Special interest groups concerns will trump other concerns even those based in the First Amendment perhaps.

Am I wrong? Well as the Washington Post reporter says no one is manning the "bat phone" to explain why I am wrong.

Add to that the fact that the President of The United States Catholic Conference of Bishops has basically said he was lied to by the Administration on the health care bill and the issues before us today.

None of this is good , and one wonders if this is happening to Catholics what is happening elsewhere.

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