Monday, July 14, 2008

Obama Faith Based Program Praised

Editorial: Obama advocates faith-based plan that trumps Bush's

San Jose Mercury News Editorial

Some Democrats have mocked Barack Obama's advocacy of faith-based social services as traitorous and opportunistic. It is, they say, part of a cloying strategy to move to the political center and cozy up to evangelicals.

In a presidential campaign, all statements and actions can be interpreted, rightly or wrongly, through a narrow lens of political motives. But critics are missing a larger point: What distinguishes Obama as a politician is a willingness to cut across generational, partisan and ideological lines to embrace powerful ideas.

Contracting with religious organizations to deliver social services has come to be identified with President Bush and conservative Christians he sought to involve in it. But the concept of supporting the secular work of ... groups like Catholic Charities and Lutheran Services has proved effective and often inspiring. It is based on the knowledge that government alone cannot revive a distressed community.

Bush and Obama agree on that point. But Bush politicized his faith-based initiative and underfunded it. Nine months after he announced it in 2001 with fanfare as the centerpiece of "compassionate conservatism," the Democrat he picked to lead the initiative, John DiIulio, quit in disappointment.

Obama would create a Council for Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships. Its initial focus would be a $500 million per year program to provide summer education for 1 million poor children.

Faith-based organizations can be effective in galvanizing volunteers to become engaged in a community, to straighten out the lives of drug addicts and serve as role models for prison parolees and women on welfare. But, in accepting government money, groups must agree not to proselytize and to use grants for strictly secular purposes.

As a community organizer who was funded by Roman Catholic charities in the early 1980s, Obama saw the vital role that churches can play in revitalizing neighborhoods. As a former law professor who taught Constitutional law, he understands the First Amendment pitfalls of funding religious groups.


Anonymous said...

No true Catholic could possibly vote for Barak Hussein Obama. He actively supports killing babies via abortion which is against all Catholic teachings. He does not believe in the Trinity. He rejects that Scripture is totally God-inspired. He supports sinful acts of sodomy and homosexual activity. He is actively supporting gay marriage. He supports pulling the plug on elderly instead of saving their saves. These are NOT Catholic values. I tend to believe that you are undercover agents for the Obama campaign or else Muslim terrorists posing as Catholics.

Sean said...

Yeah, Katherine is a Muslim terrorist. I'm more inclined to believe you are an undercover agent for Obama trying to make his opponents look certified crazy.

CatholicsForDemocracy said...

"No true Catholic could possibly vote for Barak Hussein Obama."

No true Catholic would ever intentionally and maliciously attempt to malign someone's reputaton as you did here. That is covered under Canon 220 of the Code of Canon Law:

"No one is permitted to harm illegitimately the good reputation which a person possesses nor to injure the right of any person to protect his or her own privacy."

While Catholics can, in good conscience, disagree over political approaches (provided we agree about what our Church teaches is the proper end of government and the social order), we can never stoop to the levels of the political game which would allow us to behave unethically. As Canon 220 reminds us, malisciously maligning someone's reputation to score political points is absolutely unethical.

As for Obama's full name, Barack Hussein Obama, I cite William Shakespear: "A rose by any other name would smell as sweet."

rafaelmarie said...


Latae sententiae excommunicattion triggered when any Catholic supports intrinsically evil acts (abortion, euthanasia, same-sex marriage, etc).

Any Catholic who is in favor of intrinsically evil things (abortion, euthanasia, same-sex marriage, etc), votes for them, or otherwise funds or furthers their cause, cannot remain Catholic in fact.
Catholics must adhere to Catholic teaching or run the risk of separating themselves from the Body of Christ. In such egregious and chronic cases of gross moral evil such as instituting and perpetuating abortion and the structures of sin that surround it, it is quite probable that such Catholics are excommunicated in virtue of the acts themselves. A latae sententiae (automatic) excommunication is likely triggered when they support, enable, and perpetuate such obvious and egregious evil (Cf. Code of Canon Law, Canons 1364, 1398; Canon 1329, par,#2). They are in turn forbidden from approaching the sacraments as the result (Cf. Catechism of Catholic Church # 1463).

These persons must undoubtedly think that a fetus is not a human being. If they did, would they authorize and enable the wholesale and on demand execution of tens of millions of the most innocent human beings in their mothers’ wombs? If they think that there is not a human being in the womb, then they do not believe what the Church believes, and that belief is not optional. Such a rejection of so fundamental a truth is tantamount of heresy (Cf. Catechism of the Catholic Church # 2089), the automatic penalty for which is excommunication (Cf Code of Canon Law # 1364). No further act of a bishop is required either, since the act of unbelief in itself is what triggers the severing of the members from the Body of Christ. If, on the contrary, they think that indeed there is a human being in the womb, they are in a worse position, having knowingly and willingly fostered, facilitated, and perpetuated a human holocaust of unthinkable proportions.

If there is ignorance, instruct the ignorant. If there is obstinacy, exact the canonical penalty. To fail to do so results not only in ignorance and obstinacy, but negligence and permissiveness: the fertile soil in which a degenerating culture can multiply its errors, bear evil fruit, and die. Religious leaders are in a unique position to influence the nation and the world for the better by calling their people to high moral standards. Failure to do so ultimately results in disaster, for the moral demise of a nation always precedes the ultimate demise of a nation.

Among some Church leaders there is an understandable fear of acting decisively, now. This is, obviously, because the pain of the recent sex abuse scandals is so fresh in the mind of a rightfully indignant public. However, if the Church should fail to exercise her solemn pastoral duty at such a critical moment in history, it is likely that this further lack of decisive action will prove fatal for the last vestiges of respect remaining for the leadership of the Church. Because we at times may have failed to act appropriately and decisively in one matter shouldn’t mean that we never act.

There is no excuse whatever for a Catholic politician who supports morally outrageous perversions of authentic justice such as abortion, partial-birth abortion, euthanasia, human cloning, and same-sex marriage. The hierarchy of the Church ultimately must severely censure them and make such censure public. The sin is egregious and public. The redress must be commensurately severe and public, precisely because of that.

Consider yourselves warned!!!

You have a moral obligation to spread the word!
Yours in Jesus through Mary and Joseph, accompanied by St. Philomena,

Pope Benedict XVI said...

My dear child, rafaelmarie,

You are a nut-job if there ever was one.

Benedict XVI