American Atheists on Barack Obama

The last few weeks have been a bit amusing as Barak Obama seems to have gone from “Change You Can Believe In” to “Policies the Establishment Will Be Comfortable With.”

After all, it wasn’t too long ago when Samantha Power drew criticism for saying that Obama’s 18-month withdrawal plan was a “best case scenario.” Now, Obama himself is clearly distancing himself from his own promise of a quick withdrawal from Iraq (and Obama, after all, is the Senator who said the withdrawal should have begun in 2007).

Similarly, Obama says he’s going to vote for the bipartisan FISA bill which will provide immunity for the telcommunication companies that cooperated with the Bush administration’s illegal wiretapping of Americans.

But, Obama really jumped the shark with his promise to not only continue but expand George W. Bush’s faith-based initiatives. For once, I agreed with the American Atheists’ analysis,

“This makes it official – the Democrats are trying to outdo their Republican colleagues in using religion and the lure of more taxpayer money to turn houses of worship into voting blocks,” said Zindler. “Obama wants to continue the discriminatory policy of taxing millions of Atheists, Freethinkers, Humanists and other Americans who profess no religious beliefs, and give that money to organized religion. That’s unfair, that’s discriminatory, and it endangers our First Amendment freedom.”

Dave Silverman, Communications Director for American Atheists, said that the Obama pledge to continue Bush’s programs is a risky economic and social experiment. “The faith-based initiative allows religious groups to use our money in programs that are poorly monitored, have little or no accountability, and drain resources for their more effective secular counterparts,” said Silverman. “This is pandering to religious groups, and offers the lure of free government cash in exchange for political support.

Apparently either a McCain or Obama presidency will resemble a 3rd Bush term a lot more than people are willing to admit at this point.