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In The News
   
 
 

 

In The News

 
February 5 - Obama to create faith-based office
 
Article: Misc.
 
WASHINGTON (AP) President Barack Obama said Thursday he will establish a White House office of faith-based initiatives that will show no favoritism to any religious group and adhere to the strict separation of church and state.
Addressing the National Prayer Breakfast, Obama spoke of how faith has often been a divisive tool, responsible for war and prejudice. But, he said, "there is no religion whose central tenet is hate. There is no God who condones taking the life of an innocent human being," and all religions teach people to love and care for one another. That is the common ground underlying his faith-based office, he said.

"In a world that grows smaller by the day, perhaps we can begin to crowd out the destructive forces of zealotry and make room for the healing power of understanding," Obama told the gathering of lawmakers, dignitaries and world leaders. "This is my hope. This is my prayer."

The president will also appoint Joshua DuBois, a 26-year-old Pentecostal minister who headed religious outreach for Obama's Senate office and later his campaign, to lead the partnerships office and name 25 religious and secular leaders to a new advisory board.

Obama's advisers want to be certain tax dollars sent to the faith-based social service groups are used for secular purposes, such as feeding the hungry or housing the homeless, and not for religious evangelism. The administration doesn't want to be perceived as managing the groups yet does want transparency and accountability.

Obama pledged during the campaign to allow taxpayer-funded religious institutions to hire and fire based on religion but only for the activities run on private funding

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