Saturday, April 14, 2012

The Office of Faith Based Initiatives vs. the defunding of Planned Parenthood: evidence of selective anti-statism on the far right

Because the Office of Faith Based Initiatives, started under Bush, that channels money to religious groups in order to assist social welfare, still exists. In fact, renamed as the Center for Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships its website is Here, under the umbrella of the Health and Human Services department.

Now, I know that the typical American political person has the attention span of a gnat, and that it's likely that  some of those in the Tea Party and on the right wing of the Republican Party may simply not be aware that the program started under Bush, still exists yet it is striking that in all the talk about government supposedly funding 'biased' and 'controversial' organizations like Planned Parenthood and ACORN, and about what an overreach of power that is, nothing is being said about faith based programs, which are certainly seen by some  as a biased, controversial over reaching of state power. Instead, it's only the liberal groups who are getting the flack. Either they haven't done their homework, or they honestly only care about getting government out of people's hair when it's convenient for their own particular ideological bias.

This kind of putative, selective, anti-statism can also be seen in the rush to have public schools approve not just prayer in school but broader promotions of religion in general. Public schools are part of the State. By pushing for 'faith' or prayer, or religion, in schools you are by definition advocating Statist sponsorship of religion and ideology. Yet, the Tea Partiers seem to believe that keeping the State out of religion is somehow in itself Statist, and they see it not as maintaining neutrality in order to guarantee religious freedom, but instead as a promotion of the pseudo-ideology of "Secularism". Their supposed antidote for the non-existent Statist incursion of "Secularism" is itself Statism in its purist form.

*on edit: the same reasoning can be applied to the teaching creationism in schools. Teaching the current science about the origin of the world and of humanity is really a neutral position, because if you go into the totality of religious traditions there are quite a few different explanations for both of them. By attacking the neutral position as being ideological, and then saying that one particular religious tradition, that of Christianity, needs to be represented in order for what the schools teach to be non-ideological, you're advocating State endorsement of religion, specifically Christianity. 


Anonymous said...

Any idea how long I've waited to have someone come out and point at this very obvious example of hypocrisy?


John Madziarczyk said...

I can't figure out, couldn't figure out when it was posted and still can't figure out, if this is an honest comment or some metastasis of hipster condescension.