Wednesday, July 2, 2008
If Obama's faith-based plan was intended in part to woo evangelicals, it's going to face a major obstacle:
Mr. Obama’s position that religious organizations would not be able to consider religion in their hiring for such programs would constitute a deal-breaker for many evangelicals, said several evangelical leaders, who represent a political constituency Mr. Obama has been trying to court.
“For those of who us who believe in protecting the integrity of our religious institutions, this is a fundamental right,” said Richard Cizik, vice president for governmental affairs for the National Association of Evangelicals. “He’s rolling back the Bush protections. That’s extremely disappointing.”
Rich Cizik is one of those centrist evangelicals who's broadened the public policy focus to include issues like global warming. If he (understandably) finds the hiring-rights issue a deal-breaker, most evangelical leaders and social services will as well. Of course, some evangelical voters may overlook that issue and respond positively to the general plan, and nudging a few more toward Obama may be all that his campaign expects politically.