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February 6, 2009

Vision Cast for Faith-Based Office

So far, I have two stories from my time in Washington on the faith-based initiatives.

I spoke with the new director of the Office for Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships, Joshua DuBois. Nearly every story about him pointed out his young age: 26. However, DuBois played a large role in the campaign running Obama's faith outreach, so it will be interesting to see how important the office becomes during Obama's term.

In our interview, DuBois outlined three key ways the office is different from the one President George W. Bush set up:

The previous initiative was largely focused on leveling the playing field and making sure these groups had access to federal agencies and federal resources, and that's really important. President Obama thinks that now it's time to set an overarching mission for the office, so that's one key difference.

The second difference is structurally, we're creating this new policy council. We heard a lot that in the previous office, information went out but there weren't ways to give formal feedback to the federal government, and that's what this council allows us to do.

And the third way it's different is more strength in legal and constitutional footing.

I also wrote a story addressing the issue of whether groups can discriminate based on faith in their hiring practices. I spoke with Doug Koopman, co-author of a book on Bush's office, who was concerned about how the office has set new priorities rather than receiving them from the organizations. Joel Hunter and Jim Wallis, two members of the council, told me about the executive order yesterday. Richard Land of the Southern Baptist Convention explained why he has mixed feelings about the office. Amy Black, co-author with Koopman told me how she thinks this will be different from Bush's faith-based office.

Comments

Faith based initiatives should remain just that, "faith based" organizations guided by biblical values. The ability of faith based organizations to remain independent and therefore, able to peruse their mission statement, which is hopefully biblical, will be severely curtailed by taking government money.

Just take a close look at the strings attached with the "bailout" of the financial sector. Non-profit organizations, especially Christian organizations, should remain independent from any influence of political parties and government programs if they want to keep their freedom to follow their biblical convictions.

For Freedom's Sake - www.forfreedomssake.com

Somehow in the discussion of faith based initiatives, including your own poll,. one highly overlooked group of people remains, as always, unmentioned and unmentionable, we disabled. Contrary to predominant public and Christian belief, we are people, real people, and generally have an extremely deep, Christ and prayer based faith as we are in constant need of both simply to cope with navigating the daily potholes and travails of life. When will the approx. 95% of Churches, become aware of, recognize, accept and include the disabled in their "Christian"communities.

Obama is pushing faith base so Muslims can get in on the cash. He keeps holding up Muslims as equal to Christianity. I don't believe he is a true believer if he thinks that Muslims pray to he same God as Christians do and as Pres Bush believes. Jesus said I am THE WAY.

Obama plans to change Bush's rule allowing Christian groups to maintain Biblically-informed hiring practices. Any group or church foolish enough to take federal money will have to hire any sexual deviant that wants a job. This is an insidious Trojan Horse and demonstrates how corrupt ministries have become that will go to the great benefactor, the secular government, for money instead of getting on their knees. Groups are also prohibited from evangelizing. What kind of ministry is this? Can you picture the Apostles consenting to give up evangelism to run government-funded soup kitchens. God save us from this apostate compromise.

If Muslims believe that there is but one God, and if Christian believe that there is but one God, then how could Christians and Muslims worship different gods?

It's interesting that one is indignant at the very idea of equality under the law.

The Disciples wouldn't have to give up evangelism if they accepted money from the Office for Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships. What they would need to do if they accepted the money, is not discriminate against the people they might hire to run the soup kitchen, or to the people in which they serve the soup. A Gay man can make soup as good as the soup of anyone else...maybe better, if stereotypes are to be believed. And a hungry Gay man should be allowed to starve when Christians taking tax money are ladling out soup to everyone except them.