Peter, Peter

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Steinfels is in a bit of a twist over the separationist language on hiring in Obama’s faith-based initiative speech. No doubt, as Marc Stern told the Christian Science Monitor a few days ago, Obama will need to get more specific about what he means by non-discrimination in hiring for publicly funded programs run by faith-based organizations. But the principle ought to be clear: The public should not fund programs intended to advance the cause of a religion, as opposed to furthering public goals (such as helping the poor) that a religion holds dear. And the best way to insure that the faith-based organization observes the distinction is to require it to hire on a religiously non-discriminatory basis.