church, state, “toasterless masses”

President Obama allows social services to be delivered in religious environments–and requires non-religious alternatives, according to an executive order signed yesterday.  Religous organizations that parnter with the revamped White House Office of Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships may have religious words in their names, and they may have religious iconography in the places they deliver services–as long as they keep the social services and their religious services separate.

However, the order does not go far enough, according to Americans United for the Separation of Church and State.  While pleased that the order requires “federal agencies to provide alternatives for people who do not want to receive social services at religious charities and [includes] a process to create greater transparency in the program by requiring that recipient organizations be listed on government Web sites, … AU is disappointed that the order allows public funds to go directly to houses of worship, allows publicly funded faith-based charities to display religious signs and scriptures and entirely dodges the issue of religious hiring bias by faith-based charities that receive federal funds.”

Obama’s approach with the OFNP is also being criticized from the right.

Patti Wigington explains how this might affect the Church of the Holy Toaster Oven, and its work to serve the “needy toasterless masses.” 

Like much of what President Obama has done, this fails to satisfy the Left, further angers the Right, and pragmatically delivers *something* to the toasterless masses.  Let us continue to work for better solutions, and let us celebrate progress when it happens.

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so may we categorize: