The difference between what President Obama and President Bush intend/intended for faith-based initiatives, where the government partners with religious organizations to work at the grass roots in fundamental issues, is like night and day. The proof of the pudding will likely be a new executive order from President Obama which removes from his plan any limitation of access or involvement that requires a profession of one’s faith.
All this has been well-accessed by my friend Casey from BlackPlanet who is also a fellow HuffPost contributor.
Click Obama Taps 26-Year-Old Pastor For Faith Outreach Office to read and to access other accounts of what President Obama plans. Here are some squibs:
“I had been struggling with whether I should go into ministry or politics, and I felt that God was leading me to find a way to do both, but I didn’t know any politician that got that intersection right…”
Mr. Obama said in a campaign speech last June, “If you get a federal grant, you can’t use that grant money to proselytize to the people you help and you can’t discriminate against them — or against the people you hire — on the basis of their religion.”
Mr. DuBois led an effort during the transition to consult with dozens of religious and charity groups about the work of the faith-based office, including what to do about the hiring question, and whether the faith-based centers that Mr. Bush inserted into 12 federal agencies should all be preserved.
As it happens, getting the intersection right was an issue 40 years ago, when I wrote “The Way Of Abandonment” — a proposal for a wholesale move to ministries based on a rejection of proselytizing. I have posted “The Way of Abandonment” here unchanged.
READ THE WAY OF ABANDONMENT
It is also relevant to mention the names of John R. Mott and the Rev. James H. Robinson. The notion of ministry as service to the community without proselytizing has serious and deep roots.