Mr. President, Rebuild That Wall! January 15, 2009

Mr. President, Rebuild That Wall!

One of several atheism-related stories you’ll be hearing about on Inauguration Day may be the following quarter-page ad by the Freedom From Religion Foundation, which will run in the January 20th edition of the Washington Post:


Says FFRF:

The ad will further urge the new president to “Dismantle Bush’s disastrous ‘faith-based initiative’ ” and “Restore the Jeffersonian ‘wall of separation between church and state.’ ” Government, the Foundation noted, “should run on facts, not faith.”

The Foundation’s red-white-and-blue message of “Keep Religion OUT of Politics” will also be circulating for ten hours in the Capitol Hill area on Tuesday. (The Foundation is eager to receive photographs of supporters next to the mobile billboard to post at its website.)

” ‘All the king’s horses and all the king’s men’ can’t put the faith-based initiative back together again, so let’s throw it out and go back to the simple First Amendment,” says Foundation co-president Dan Barker.

One thing I learned from the meeting last weekend was that when groups like FFRF spend incredible amounts of money for ads like this, they almost always make the money back in the form of donations and memberships.

Considering the historicity of Tuesday’s newspapers, I’m hoping that trend will continue.

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What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • Dan

    That’s a great ad! I only hope Obama takes it to heart and acts on its message.

  • SarahH

    During his campaign, Obama said multiple times that he’d fund faith-based initiatives (as well as secular charities) but only if they did as the ad suggests – keep their charity and their religious teachings separate.

  • Miko

    It’s a nicer ad in terms of tone than some of the other things that have come out of FFRF recently. But it’ll have no policy effect; Obama’s going to expand faith-based initiatives.

  • I hate to be a Debbie Downer, but it looks like it belongs in the back of a magazine with the “I lost 45 pounds with one pill!” ads. It’s only missing the, “For more info, send a SASE to PO Box….”

    I would gladly offer them my design services in the future. For serious.

  • Siamang

    I ditto Debbie Downer.

    WHOOO… who designed THAT ad? Tony Alamo?

  • I doubt it’ll have much effect, Obama’s already chucked his hat in with the religious crowd. However I’ll gladly send FFRF a wee donation even though I’m from another country because the ad is so well thought-out and presented.

  • I don’t have a copy handy but didn’t Obama say in The Audacity of Hope that it was wrong to leave religion at the door when it comes to government? This is not to say that he thinks that religion is a controlling factor in decision making but as one factor among many that should not be discarded. As a man of proclaimed faith he cannot separate his faith from his thoughts. Instead he should factor in how his faith creates a bias and ensure that his bias does not favour one group above another. He strikes me as someone reasonably and intelligent enough to manage this so I don’t see him supporting any new faith initiatives.

    Equally I don’t see him cutting back on anything that is seen to work either. As much as the idea of faith based initiatives might turn your stomach it is still fair to say that some of them do appear to work. Faith is a powerful motivator after all and having it turned in a direction where it could do good is better than nothing.

    If programs are to be cancelled they will be on the grounds of effectiveness rather than religion. I can see a lot of funding being cut in the next few years and those that are wasteful or ineffective must go first whether they are secular or faith based.

    There are over 170 faith based initiatives but would you really want to cut funding on a community level drug counselling service because it ran out of a church or a vaccination program run by Christian doctors? What should be cut are things that are harmful like state funded abstinence only education or creationist attacks on school education programs.

    Unfortunately if you say you want to cut faith initiatives it is the former type that is focused on which makes you look like a cad. Rebuilding that wall of separation should mean an end to new faith initiatives and a dismantling of initiatives with no secular charitable purpose. I think that this should include tax exemption for churches that perform no charitable work.

  • That’s a great ad. I think all national Atheist groups should do something like that.

  • The ironic thing is that Bush and his cronies used the Religious Right with promised action on faith-based initiatives that never materialised.

    The Religious Right sold themselves and their congregations out just so they could fool themselves into thinking they had any influence on Washington politics.

    Faith Based initiatives was a scam – read up the facts. Jim Wallis revealed all this in his book God’s Politics.

    Oh and well done for once again misinterpreting the intention behind separation of church and state yet again…

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