Groups Call on Obama to Reform Faith-Based Office
by Amanda Adams*
Feb 4, 2010
OMB Watch, along with religious and public policy organizations, sent President Barack Obama a letter on the anniversary of the Executive Order establishing the White House Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships. The groups asked Obama to, "take additional actions to prevent government-funded religious discrimination and protect social service beneficiaries from unwelcome proselytizing."
The letter details specific proposals to protect civil rights in federally funded social services, including banning employment discrimination based on religion in tax-funded projects. The letter reminds Obama that as a candidate, he promised to reform the faith-based initiative, but has kept in place various rules and executive orders put in place during the Bush administration.
However, Obama's speech at the National Prayer Breakfast claimed otherwise, saying that the administration has, "turned the faith-based initiative around." As the Washington Post also reports, "faith leaders across the ideological spectrum -- including some Obama allies -- say the operation may be more about window dressing than results."
The joint letter states; "We urge you to act now to restore the constitutionally-required safeguards and civil rights protections governing partnerships between government and religiously-affiliated institutions standard operating procedures that had been largely in place for decades prior to the creation of the Faith-Based Initiative."back to Blog