Olbermann: Obama Makes a Play for Evangelical Support

Barry Lynn from Americans United discusses why Obama's promise to intensify faith-based initiatives is wrong-headed. Lynn argues that we should go back to the pre-Bush administration policy towards religious social services.

Before Bush, churches and other religious groups could compete for federal dollars on the same footing as any other groups. Many did. Bush changed the rules to let faith-based organizations discriminate against clients and staffers in ways that a publicly-funded secular service provider would never be allowed to do.

Bush's faith-based agenda isn't pro-faith or pro-charity, it's a sop to the most reactionary elements of the religious right. Mainline and progressive religious organizations don't need a license to discriminate. If Obama wanted to help liberal and mainline churches, he'd abolish the special rules for bigoted religious groups and let all social service providers compete on an equal footing again.

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