Re “Bush religious policy upheld,” Feb. 6
Thank you for getting it right in your coverage of President Obama's new faith-based program.
His aides and spokespeople are trying to convince Americans that creating "mechanisms" for legal review and allowing "consideration" of difficult issues amount to improvement of a program that was constitutionally flawed and corrupt under President Bush. But the fact is, in unveiling his White House Office of Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships on Thursday, Obama punted.
As your story noted, candidate Obama was crystal clear in a speech last year that taxpayer dollars would not go to religious groups that discriminate in hiring, or that evangelize when delivering social services. Nothing, however, in his program as introduced will ensure those promises are kept.
Until a thorough review of constitutional issues is complete, the faith-based funding program should be suspended.
The writer is acting
director of the Secular
Coalition for America.
Good 'Slumdog' Bad 'Slumdog'
Re “The ‘Slumdog’ fight,” Opinion, Feb. 4
Thank you a thousand times, Chitra Divakaruni, for putting "Slumdog Millionaire" in correct perspective for its Indian critics.
Unfortunately, accustomed to low-quality Bollywood movies with their dancing girls and fancy mansions, many such critics are divorced from the reality that about 300 million of their brethren in India live in poverty.
When will these better-off Indians ask themselves why such a shameful state exists after 60 years of independence, so it can be corrected?
And for heaven's sake, "Slumdog" is a feature film -- an excellent work of art -- and not a documentary about the slums of Mumbai.