Monday, August 17, 2009

A Double Standard on Faith-Based Initiatives

The Palin-hating elitist Kathleen Parker points out the media's double standard in how it has covered faith-based initiatives under Presidents Bush and Obama (I suppose even a stopped clock is accurate twice a day):
Oh, for those halcyon days when our biggest worry was whether the federal "faith-based" office might encourage a homeless person to find Jesus.

Remember that?

Hardly anyone talks much about the faith-based initiative begun by President George W. Bush and expanded by President Obama. And there was hardly a murmur about Obama's appointee to head the program, the Rev. Joshua DuBois, a 27-year-old Pentecostal preacher.

A comparison of how the media have treated the two presidents and their faith-based programs during the first six months of their administrations (2001 and 2009) is the subject of a new
study by the Pew Research Center's Project for Excellence in Journalism and the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life.

The findings suggest a very different standard applied to each president.

"Sure, there's always a lot going on in Washington with any new administration. But can you imagine the outcry if Bush had hired a 27-year-old Pentecostal preacher to run the faith-based office and surrounded him with a 25-member advisory board made up of people largely sympathetic to his policy agenda?"

In fact, Bush appointed University of Pennsylvania political science professor John DiIulio, a Democrat, to run his program. Cromartie maintains that the greater attention to Bush was because the media were suspicious that his faith-based initiative was an attempt to install a theocracy.

Obama, who, in fact, invokes Jesus in speeches more often than Bush did, according to an analysis by Politico, not only embraced his predecessor's initiative but has given it the loaves-and-fishes treatment by expanding the mission. As described by DuBois in a video posted on the White House blog, the office's mission extends even to "figuring out the role of faith-based organizations in combating global climate change."

Why does Obama get a pass?

In part, because he's not Bush. But also, perhaps, because the media are more approving of the issues and policies Obama wants to advance.

My Comments:
I'm actually surprised Parker gives a damn. You'd think that a well-educated sophisticate like her would know the difference between those safe liberal Christians like Obama and those dangerous far-right fanatical religious nutcases that supported George W. Bush.

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