Magazine article The Humanist

The Issue at Hand

Magazine article The Humanist

The Issue at Hand

Article excerpt

When President George W. Bush first pushed for his faith-based initiative, the issue of church-state separation became a hot topic in the mainstream media. But now--in the face of continuous terror alerts, the 9/11 Commission report, insurgency in Iraq, the prison torture scandal, and forthcoming elections in Afghanistan and the United States--breeches in the Jeffersonian wall of separation between church and state haven't been high on the mainstream media's list.

The problem remains a priority for Humanists, however. Indeed, all too often, were it not for Humanists, almost nobody would be watching the latest religious entanglements with government--those going on behind the scenes as well as those in plain sight. And significant church-state issues are now coming to light that need to be addressed. Therefore, in keeping with a longstanding and sadly necessary Humanist tradition, this issue of the Humanist focuses on what most others are ignoring: a trio of critical First Amendment violations going on right under the public's nose.

We naturally start with President Bush. After a revealing speech he gave at a White House gathering of conservative Christian supporters (and those receiving support from his administration), Humanist reporter Mariah Richardson-Osgood discovered a solid entrenchment of Bush's faith-based initiative at both the federal and state levels. Bureaucrats are now trained not only to favor but to seek out faith groups when it comes to distributing government largesse. Bypassing Congress through the power of the executive order, Bush has created a faith bias in select areas of government funding that will likely continue long after he is out of office. …

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