Brief Thoughts on the Barack Obama Presidency November 6, 2008

Brief Thoughts on the Barack Obama Presidency

I wrote an article on the aftermath of the election (and Barack Obama’s victory) for Humanist Network News.

You can check it out here!

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  • Erik S.

    On Prop 8, here’s something I think those who voted for it should keep in mind:

    Things That Will Destroy My Heterosexual Marriage Long Before Gay Marriage Ever Will:
    Organic whole-wheat pasta
    New Belgium Brewing Co.
    The compost bin
    Halo 3
    Rabid dogs with chain saws for tails

    (taken from

  • TXatheist

    I was relieved at the good people of OH, PA, FL, IA and then realized Obama did NOT need the south to win.

  • aggrazel

    When you look up courage in the dictionary, you see a picture of Barack Obama.

  • TXatheist

    Hemant, are you aware Bush just signed legislation allowing religious groups to hire discretionately.

    Bush aides say faith-based hiring doesn’t bar federal aid
    Administration memo says it can bypass laws that ban giving tax money to religious groups that discriminate.

    Saturday, October 18, 2008

    WASHINGTON — In a newly disclosed legal memorandum, the Bush administration says it can bypass laws that forbid giving taxpayer money to religious groups that hire only staff members who share their faith.

    The administration, which has sought to lower barriers between church and state through its religion-based initiative offices, made the claim in a 2007 Justice Department memo from the Office of Legal Counsel. It was quietly posted on the department’s Web site this week.

    The statutes for some grant programs don’t impose anti-discrimination conditions on their financing, and the administration had previously let such programs give taxpayer money to groups that hire only people of a particular religion. But the memo goes farther, drawing a sweeping conclusion that even federal programs subject to anti-discrimination laws can give money to groups that discriminate.

    The document signed off on a $1.5 million grant to World Vision, which hires only Christians, for salaries of staffers on a program that helps at-risk youths avoid gangs. The grant was from a Justice Department program created by a statute that forbids discriminatory hiring for the positions it is financing.

    But the memo said the government could bypass those provisions because of the 1993 Religious Freedom Restoration Act. It permits exceptions to a federal law if obeying it would impose a “substantial burden” on people’s ability to freely exercise their religion. The memorandum concluded that requiring World Vision to hire non-Christians as a condition of the grant would create such a burden.

    Several law professors who specialize in religious issues criticized the administration’s argument as legally dubious. Among them, Ira Lupu, co-director of the Project on Law and Religious Institutions at George Washington University Law School, called the memo’s reasoning “a very big stretch.”

    Lupu said the memo made “an aggressive reading of ‘substantial burden’ in a way that is not consistent” with what courts and other agencies have done, and “it is designed to serve the president’s political agenda.”

    The Justice Department “stands strongly behind the opinion, which is narrowly drawn and carefully reasoned,” spokesman Erik Ablin said. “Most of the criticisms that have been outlined against the opinion are thoroughly addressed in the opinion itself. Each of them lacks merit.”

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