Barry, I don’t think anyone really has a clue on how President Obama plans to move forward with his faith-based efforts.  I am not sure the even the President knows at this point.

Here’s what we do know.  The President’s pick to head up that office, Joshua DuBois, told the Associated Press: “This is not a religious office or a religious administration.  We are going to try to find ways to work with faith-based and community organizations that are secular in nature, and don’t cross the boundaries between church and state.” 


I am not sure what that means.  I do know that if President Obama approaches his faith-based work like he said he would approach the issue of protecting human life, it will be a disaster.


Sure, the federal stimulus package is getting his attention now.  But what happens when that is concluded?  I suspect it won’t take long before we see Congress act and President Obama fulfill a troubling campaign promise.


As you recall, President Obama vowed to sign into law the Freedom of Choice Act (FOCA), legislation that certainly would clear the House and Senate without much problem – legislation that would turn back many of the protections in place that safeguard human life. 


We’ve taken a critical look at this measure and its history and it’s clear that FOCA would imbed a federal right to abortion and overturn every federal and state law designed to protect women’s health, and the health of the unborn.  It would increase funding to pro-abortion groups and even overturn the federal ban on the horrific procedure known as ‘partial-birth abortion’ – a federal law upheld as constitutional by the Supreme Court.


The Freedom of Choice Act would also result in eliminating informed consent laws, and remove restrictions clearing the way for even more taxpayer funds to be used for abortions.


Let’s not forget one of the first actions taken by President Obama when he took office – issuing an Executive Order to repeal the ‘Mexico City Policy’— an important policy that correctly barred the use of federal funds by non-governmental agencies abroad for abortion counseling and abortions.  With the stroke of a pen, President Obama cleared the way for the use of federal taxpayer dollars for abortion-related activities in foreign countries.


I’d like to see more specifics from President Obama on his plans for faith-based action.  And we will be watching closely to see if he ends the long-standing practice of awarding federal contracts to religious groups that only hire members of their own faith.  Barry, this ‘hiring policy’ issue should not disqualify those organizations that have a proven track record of getting the job done. 


The Supreme Court has recognized that religious institutions have the constitutional right to define their own mission, set their own doctrine and set forth their own hiring criteria.  The fact that funds are being made available to faith-based and secular organizations should not require the religious groups to surrender their constitutional rights.


What’s wrong with providing federal tax dollars to religious organizations that help feed the hungry and provide shelter to the homeless?  After all, President Obama has no qualms about providing federal tax dollars for abortion and the taking of innocent human life.

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