When President Bush created the White House Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives with a January 29, 2001 Executive Order, it was clear that the principal component of the newly elected President's "compassionate conservative" ideology was unconstitutional support for religion.
As the Office began its work, however, it became even more clear that the President wasn't interested in supporting religion per se; he was intent on supporting Christian organizations. Jim Towey, a pro-life Catholic who ran the Office until his recent resignation, admitted in 2004 that "no direct federal grants from his program had gone to a non-Christian religious group."
Two years later, its evident that Bush and his Office are not even content to limit their financial support to Christian groups in general. The federal agency has shown a remarkable preference for certain denominations and has given far greater resources to conservative groups than to their moderate and liberal counterparts.
Now some of the religious organizations getting the short end of the stick are starting to fight back. While the First Amendment community has long denounced the Faith-Based Office as grossly inappropriate government support for religion, religious organizations themselves are starting to realize that the agency is bad news for religious freedom and religion in general. The Interfaith Alliance recently called on President Bush to dismantle the Office, according to an article carried by Yahoo News service.
Amen to the Interfaith Alliance. Religious organizations of all
stripes should join with it in saying "No thank you, we don't need your
subsidies - we can survive on our own merits." The Bush White House's
financial support for conservative religion is an affront not only to
the separation of church and state but to all religious groups who
don't need the government to tell them what to believe. President Bush
should have more faith in religion.
from The League: Reassembled