UNDERNEWS

Undernews is the online report of the Progressive Review, edited by Sam Smith, who has covered Washington during all or part of one quarter of America's presidencies and edited alternative journals since 1964. The Review has been on the web since 1995. See main page for full contents

February 6, 2009

OBAMA BREAKS FAITH WITH FAITH POLICY


LA Times
- It seemed like a firm campaign promise. Barack Obama pledged to continue President Bush's faith-based office in the White House, but with a key change: Groups receiving federal money would no longer be allowed to discriminate in hiring on the basis of religion.

On Thursday, however, as President Obama disclosed the details of his faith-based program, he left the controversial Bush policy in place.

The decision angered Democrats and civil libertarians who thought Obama had agreed with their view that Bush's 2002 executive order went too far.

"Based on what he said, we thought the issue had been resolved," said Rep. Robert C. Scott (D-Va.).

"You'll have to ask them why they think it's all right to discriminate," Scott said. He added that administration officials are "either offended by the idea of discrimination, or they're not."

But Thursday's announcement surprised and pleased some religious leaders, particularly religious conservatives, who had a strong ally in Bush and had been pressing the Democratic president to revoke his earlier promise.

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