You gotta have faith (in the White House)

Let us pray - really, really hard!

Some of y’all may remember a young feller from Texas that came this way once.

His name was George W. Bush although we all just called him Dubya.

Back in 2000, some folks thought he was elected to be our president. To this day some folks still dispute that. But that’s not what I came here to say.

He was inaugurated as our president on January 20, 2001.

He had a lot to do and didn’t waste a lot of time. For example, did you know, that just nine days later, using the presidential power of an “executive order” he created the OFBCI?

You’re all familiar with the OFBCI, right? No? Well, I can tell you this much. It stands for the White House Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives.

What? “Faith-based” stuff in our federal government? Yeah, I know. Weird.

The OFBCI is an office within the White House Office that is part of the Executive Office of the President of the United States.

The purpose of the OFBCI was to fulfill campaign promises made by Bush in regards to “compassionate conservatism.” Huh? Say what? I’m willing to bet dollars to donuts that’s a phrase you haven’t heard about in a long, long time! Now I wonder why that might be?

What ever happened to this grand vision of conservatism that helped Bush win his way into the White House? That’s a good question.

I submit that Bush’s wholesale abandonment of compassionate conservatism may very well be one of the biggest “flip flops” in the history of U.S. politics. Ironic, eh? Yes, at first he kept his promise by creating the OFBCI, but then, as his presidency ground on, what did he do about it except lip service, if even that?

You might think Obama wouldn’t stand for a faith-based office in his White House. You’d be wrong. He kept the office, although he renamed it to be the “White House Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships.”

Some people (like Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh) will shout loudly that the phrase “separation of church and state” doesn’t appear in the U.S. Constitution. They are correct. Of course, neither do the words God, creator or maker. Yes, they are always quick to point out that the Declaration of Independence mentions a “Creator.” But that word didn’t originally appear in the draft by Thomas Jefferson or the copy that John Adams wrote in his own hand. It got in there some other way before it was signed. Additionally, that document, wonderful as it is, has no legal bearing on our legal system today. That, of course, comes from the U.S. Constitution. When is the last time you ever heard of an indepencian law? Yeah, I thought so.

What is the truth about what the founding fathers wanted? Many are quick to claim that they wanted this or they wanted that. I merely cling to the position: If they wanted this to be a Christian nation, wouldn’t they have bothered to actually mention it in our most basic legal document?

Constitutional Myth #4: The Constitution Doesn’t Separate Church and State

What’s scarier than someone with a gun? Someone with a gun and an imaginary friend. (Or a nuclear arsenal.) Someone who believes apocryphal myths (rather than verifiable facts) about the past to support his actions and beliefs today.


6 responses

  1. I’ve never understood all the hullabaloo about the semantics of church and state. The First Amendment provides against the “establishment” of religion by the government. This doesn’t mean that those in government can’t acknowledge religion. In fact, I would imagine the FF’s figured most people *were* religious, but that the guard is there to prevent the government from endorsing one religious faith over another.


    1. I appreciate the engagement on a serious topic. I do that every once in a while. 🙂

      It is an important issue to be sure. Freedom of Religion is one of our most cherished rights.

      Now, this is from memory, but recent polls show that 50% of Americans say they would never vote for an atheist for president. That’s religious freedom, too, I guess, although it doesn’t seem too open-minded. One thing seems certain: If we’ve ever had an atheist president then he was a liar, too. He would have had to say whatever it took to get elected. Hey, like Mitt Romney! 🙂

      Speaking of Mormons, something like 43% of Americans say they’ll never vote for one of those, either.

      I agree with your comments. I would just add that if people are going to go apeshit over federal funds going to Planned Parenthood, they should be equally acrimonious about federal funds going to churches or programs that promote a belief in God. That’s just my opinion.

      I see the dangers of religion and state becoming too entwined and I think that is something the FF’s wanted to prevent.


      1. The Planned Parenthood vs. Faith-based funding comparison is a good one and one that I hadn’t thought of. Obviously, PP isn’t a religious organization but the opposition to it certainly is.

        I don’t mind that faith-based groups should be able to apply for grants or aid — that is, I don’t think they should be excluded PROVIDED their charity/public works are not just proselytism for their religious beliefs. As such, they should go into a pool with any other group looking to help their community.


  2. Well…now I want a donut.

    And I have imaginary friends AND guns. You’re prolly better off even with my crazy arse than most others in this state, though.


  3. Amen to that brother!

    But…I’m an atheist. Am I allowed to say “amen?” 😉


  4. […] earlier posts regarding the separation of church and state: You gotta have faith (in the White House) You don’t have the Constitution for […]


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