While everyone is focusing on Barack Obama's shifting positions on issues such as campaign finance, NAFTA, telecom immunity and Iraq, we're missing his incursion into enemy territory to capture those reviled, though politically coveted values voters.
His recent proposal to adopt a modified version of President Bush's faith-based initiative is just another piece of his strategic plan to seduce evangelical voters to his cause.
Obama is aiming for a threefer: wooing values voters, reconciling with small-town Americans, and neutralizing the taint of Jeremiah Wright and turning the religious issue into a net plus for his campaign. Hey, no one says this guy is politically naive.
You see, most liberals aren't really concerned about the intermixture of church and state unless it involves the Christian church, and only then if it involves the promotion of biblically based ideas and values. They have no problem with the government's endorsement of the values of other religions, New Age, or secular humanism. Even the state's or politicians' endorsement of nominally Christian values don't bother them, as long as they are watered down enough to detach them from any legitimate connection to Bible-centered Christianity and reframed to embrace the secular liberal worldview.
That's why liberals react as though the world is coming to an end when Christian conservatives promote their values in the public square and political arena but approve when Democratic politicians campaign from the pulpit of churches whose congregations are sympathetic to their political agendas. That's why the press attacked Republican Mike Huckabee for using religious symbols in his campaign ads but praised Obama for "bridging the cultural divide" when he did the same thing.
So while liberals complain hysterically when social conservatives cite Scripture, praise Jesus, or oppose same sex-marriage or abortion, they swoon over liberal politicians who interpret Jesus' many exhortations to care for the poor as a mandate for socialism. Commingling church and state is fine as long as it's in furtherance of the liberal political agenda.
To be sure, some on the far secular left are complaining about Obama's recent emphasis on faith, but most liberals have no objection to it because they suspect Obama's brand of Christian values is not remotely threatening to their secular ones -- which says it all, does it not? Even Obama's faith-based program ensures that the federal government can only provide funds to faith-based groups if they agree to use the money for secular programs.