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Questioning the faith-based effort

February 10, 2009

Re "Bush religious policy upheld," Feb. 6

Thank you for getting it right in your coverage of President Obama's new faith-based program.

His aides and spokespeople are trying to convince Americans that creating "mechanisms" for legal review and allowing "consideration" of difficult issues amount to improvement of a program that was constitutionally flawed and corrupt under President Bush. But the fact is, in unveiling his White House Office of Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships on Thursday, Obama punted.

As your story noted, candidate Obama was crystal clear in a speech last year that taxpayer dollars would not go to religious groups that discriminate in hiring, or that evangelize when delivering social services. Nothing, however, in his program as introduced will ensure those promises are kept.

Until a thorough review of constitutional issues is complete, the faith-based funding program should be suspended.

Ron Millar

Washington

The writer is acting

director of the Secular

Coalition for America.

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