Catholic League president Bill Donohue urged Catholics to reject Sen. Barack Obama’s faith-based initiative:
“If a customer walked into a New York deli and said, ‘Let me have a hot dog on a roll-hold the frankfurter’-he’d likely be thrown out. That’s what the public should do to Obama’s faith-based initiative: since he wants to gut the faith from his faith-based programs, he should be told to junk it.
“Any church or religious agency that agrees to take federal money on the condition that it must operate in a secular fashion-in hiring and in disseminating its values-is selling out. If Orthodox Jews running a day care center are not allowed to exclusively hire Orthodox Jews, there is nothing kosher about it. If a Catholic foster care program cannot place Catholic children with Catholic parents, it is doing a disservice to the children. If an evangelical drug rehab program can’t deliver a Christian message to its clients, it may as well close up shop. But that’s what Obama wants-he wants to secularize the religious workplace.
“No wonder Obama said yesterday that ‘I’m not saying that faith-based groups are an alternative to government or secular nonprofits, and I’m not saying that they’re somehow better at lifting people up.’ Indeed, if he really believes this then he might as well withdraw his initiative.
“The whole purpose behind funding faith-based programs is that they are, in fact, superior to secular programs. And the reason they are has everything to do with the inculcation of religious values disseminated by people of faith. No matter, Obama wants to gut the religious values and bar religious agencies from hiring people who share their religion. Hence, his initiative is a fraud.”