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Obama Should Re-Think His Faith-Based Agenda

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As to the issue of employment discrimination, there shouldn't be any. In the unlikely event that some staunch right-to-lifer wants to work for Planned Parenthood, let him/her! And what could be more instructive than a practicing Muslim working for the Southern Baptist Convention! And my advice to orthodox Jews who are only comfortable working with other orthodox Jews, or Muslims with Muslims, or Catholics with Catholics: get over it!

At a practical level, I doubt that such a non-discriminatory employment policy would deter many faith-based groups from applying for grants. The reality might just be that people at polar opposites could actually learn something if they stopped talking past one another and worked together to accomplish important things.

It would be naïve to underestimate how hard it will be to get the Pat Robertsons of the world to sign on to this new kind of no-strings-attached philanthropy.

But that's exactly the guidance the Bible gives. Consider Deuteronomy 15:11: "There will always be poor people in the land. Therefore I command you to be openhanded toward your brothers and toward the poor and needy in your land."

And if that unambiguous Biblical injunction happens to fall on deaf ears, perhaps there is a role for government after all. The bully pulpit of the White House gives the president a powerful weapon - which even the likes of Pat Robertson will find it difficult to ignore.

Whichever works, it will then be time for the government to, as they say, get out of the way.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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William Fisher has managed economic development programs in the Middle East and elsewhere for the US State Department and the US Agency for International Development. He served in the international affairs area in the Kennedy Administration and now (more...)
 
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