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Gingrich is in. How he’ll appeal to the social conservatives is anyone’s guess.  || As Speaker Boehner plans his commencement speech for Catholic University of America, dozens of prominent Catholics have written him a letter that calls his policies “anti-life.”  || Becky Garrison has pointed us to John Shore’s analysis of the Sojourner’s gay ad kerfuffle, “Mr. Wallis and His Big Gay Waffle.” || Today The Presbyterian Church (USA) joined the Episcopal Church (US), the United Church of Christ and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America in permitting the ordination of gay ministers.  At least one Baptist thinks they’re all crazy.  ||  Speaking of Baptists…”But when it comes to disaster relief, the link between church and state has never been stronger than during the most recent storms in the South, say federal officials and the leaders of faith-based disaster relief work.” Continue Reading →

Showing Them to the Dining Room

The Obama administration has failed to regulate discrimination by federally-funded faith-based organizations

By Andy Kopsa

I have been investigating and reporting on an anti-gay Christian political organization, the Iowa Family Policy Center (IFPC), for over a year now.  The IFPC, a state affiliate of the Family Research Council*, a premier national anti-gay rights organization, has received over $3 million in government grants since 2005.  When I began uncovering the ease with which the IFPC (and numerous other FRC state affiliates) applied for and received federal funding, coupled with their blatant anti-gay political message, I began investigating the history and mechanics of the faith-based funding system.

I, like many others, anxiously awaited President Obama’s executive order expected to revise George W. Bush’s policymaking and funding criteria for faith-based organizations. But the order released on November 17th offers little in the way of true reform. Instead it is a wordy regurgitation of existing transparency reformations, offers minor tweaks to protections of beneficiaries, does nothing for spending oversight reform and completely eschews legalized hiring discrimination allowed faith-based organizations.

In 2008, then candidate Obama said that although he supported funding faith-based programs, he would do away with hiring discrimination.  However, like so many Obama promises, that is one yet to be fulfilled. Continue Reading →