Arghhh!!! Framing. What is it?

Is it a way of communicating issues effectively to diverse populations? Or is it another word for compromising your values until they become meaningless?

In his latest piece, SciBling Matt Nisbet shows it to be the latter. While many of us are shaking our heads as we are forced to choose a candidate who panders to religion, Nisbet praises Obama’s strategy of co-opting the Religious Right’s message by supporting faith-based charities.

If your only goal is to elect Obama, perhaps this is a good strategy. If your goal is to continue to improve our (secular) nation, this is hardly a step forward. To continue this unnatural mingling of government and religion is a mistake. It does not improve delivery of charitable services (Bush’s plan has been a complete failure). It also makes services less accessible in a diverse community. If you do not wish to support your local Lutheran church, for instance, but they are the ones with the alcohol rehab program, well, that’s one more barrier to recovery.

Make no mistake—funding faith-based initiatives is religious extremism. Frame it however you will, it is another erosion of our personal liberties. This is not a place for compromise.