Posted by: brian | February 6, 2009

Obama & religion

Is Obama a religious person, or is his a case of sacrificing ideology on the altar of political pragmatism?

By his own claim, he was raised without organized religion. It seems odd to me that someone would move from irreligion to religion. On the other hand, there’s a link between faith & having kids.

So, what is a non-religious person to make of his recent expansion of the Office of Faith-Based Programs? I think it’s awesome. Here’s why:

First of all, he’s expanding it to include charitable organizations in general – faith-based and secular. Secondly, he’s acknowledging that, while church and state ought to be separated, religion is a central part of our society. Ideologically, I think this is ridiculous, but from a practical perspective, I recognize that religious organizations can do at least some good for people. My hope is that the government funding is used ONLY for community service projects, and not for proseletyzing. I assume that provision will be attached, but I’m just as certain that it’ll be difficult to enforce.

I’m not saying that Obama is not a religious person. It’s possible he’s found faith at some point in his life. I honestly don’t know. My point here is that he’s doing what he believes is best for the American people, and he recognizes that religious organizations have something to contribute. I appreciate that.

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Responses

  1. I like your take on this. I agree: as a matter of pragmatism, the government should not be forbidden to fund an organization attached to a religion per se. And I think some in the secular community need to chill out a bit on this.

    However, I suspect that Obama’s religious faith is insincere. I make the case for it on my blog pacificvs.com, or click the link directly to the article here http://pacificvs.com/2009/01/31/a-better-question-regarding-obamas-christianity/


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