Incrementalism is small changes to large project. Take government funding of religious charities for example. I’m dead set against this issue, but you won’t see me demanding it be dismantled. I prefer the victory by a thousand cuts approach, or, incrementalism. Why? Because it works way better than large scale change in most cases. The goal is the reversal of Bush’s faith based initiative, any movement in that direction is good news.
President Obama recently made a change to the way faith-based organizations can use federal funding.
President Obama’s decree prevents soup kitchens run by churches from conducting sermons while feeding people, for example. The White House expects federal officials to monitor publicly-funded faith-based groups to ensure they comply with the new order.
It’s one of several small changes Obama could have made, any one of which would have moved the funding of religious charities in the right direction, which in this case is away from the public dole. I understand that the problem will persist for years, but with each year we have hope that additional small changes will move this wrong towards what our founding fathers originally intended.
I’m an atheist and a Libertarian, I welcome this small move in the right direction. Our president did the right thing. However, I know I’ve pissed off many atheists and all the Libertarians I know by taking this position. I hope a few of my atheist friends will see my point. I’m not asking that they support my position, but only that they see this as a useful healthy position when the alternative is unavailable. My Libertarian friends – well let’s just say I have no hope. The only position they support is total submission to the Libertarian party line. They want it all but will rarely ever taste the smallest of victories. Heck, at this point I’m not ever sure they know what victory is.
The concept is simple and non-threatening to those who hold different religions and political views. Simply move in the right direction, and oppose any movement in the wrong direction. I think this is one of the reasons I cannot go to a libertarian meeting. The only positions they take are untenable, yet they think them reasonable. It’s crazy.