Catholics need to fight to keep and clarify a Catholic voice in the public square and the digital continent.
A reader alerted me to this entry on the WaPo blog On Faith. It concerns what the Obama Adminstration might impose on religious institutions which accept federal funds.
I suspect this would impact the school voucher debate.
My emphases and comments.
Obama Faith Council Debates Religious Icons
By William Wan
Obama’s faith council [I wonder who is on that council…] is finalizing its draft report this week, and one of the key debates that emerged from the phone conference yesterday was whether there should be [So this is hypothetical?] rules requiring religious groups to cover up religious symbols if they receive federal funding for services. For example, if a church gets money for a soup kitchen, would it have to remove or put a cloth over all crosses, pictures, etc., every time it gets ready to feed the hungry? [I know that sounds implausible… but consider how quickly things have been changing.]
That sparked a lively debate among council members that largely dominated yesterday’s two-hour teleconference. [NB: They didn’t immediately shoot it down.] Melissa Rogers, director of Wake Forest’s Center for Religion and Public Affairs, who is leading the group tasked with solving such church-state issues laid ouit three possibilities the council could recommend:
1. Making such religious icons not allowed for federally funded services.
2. Allowing it only if no other religious neutral rooms ["religious neutral rooms"] are available and covering up such icons is impratical. [impractical!]
3. Not requiring removal of such icons but encouraging religious orgs to be sensitive about the issue. ["be sensitive"? What would that involve? Walking through the halls sniveling a little? Hand ringing?]
That led to a lengthy debate from which no clear consensus emerged. [Of coruse everything has to be done by consensus.] As the council’s various taskforces finish up their reports, some thorny issues like this look like they’ll require footnotes or majority/minority opinion sections (ala supreme court).
The other significant news that emerged from the teleconference yesterday was that Rogers has been chosen by the group to be its official chairwoman and to coordinate the finalizing of the final report as the various taskforces wrap up their work.
Do they set policy or just make recommendations?
Who is on this council?
Remember Georgetown University! Remember Notre Dame!