In efforts to appeal to evangelicals and appear more centralist, Barak Obama came out a few weeks ago saying he supported faith-based organizations receiving federal funds to address social issues.
A closer examination of his position suggest he's not actually friendly to religious organizations which participate in federal social programs. In fact, his position would only work to undermine what often makes them effective -- their commitment to deeply held religious principles. How so? By forcing them to hire individuals who don't subscribe to their particular religious convictions. In other words, a Jewish organization can't have an expectation that employees of the organization subscribe to the Jewish faith of the organization.
The result? Merely another attempt to pressure religious organizations to secularize.
I would argue he is in fact encouraging discrimination against religious organizations which seek to abide by sincerely held religious convictions. If you want to maintain the integrity of your religious organizations forget about participating in government social service activities.
No one is suggesting that groups directly receiving federal funds should be able to pick and choose who they serve. But that's a world of difference from protecting the right of the organization to decide who they hire to uphold the organization's values and principles. In essence, his position would serve to destroy the religious integrity and identity of the participating organizations. Can a Christian, Jewish or Muslim organization actually remain Christian, Jewish or Muslim if it's forced to hire nonmembers of their particular faith? I don't think so.
This is another example of the need to closely examine Obama's positions rather than just relying on general media reports or his own speeches.