Obama hit from both sides on faith-based initiative

The natives are getting restless when it comes to the Obama administration’s Office of Faith Based and Neighborhood Partnerships .

Today the Anti-Defamation League joined with 23 other national organizations  in a statement urging the administration to make sure federal funds distributed as part of the ongoing faith based initiative aren’t used to proselytize or discriminate based on religious beliefs.

Robert G. Sugarman, the ADL National Chair, said this in a statement:

President Obama made it clear during his campaign that the Bush Administration’s faith-based initiative lacked essential safeguards against proselytizing.  Yet, now, one year after the president’s own executive order framing his version of the faith-based initiative, almost all the Bush-era regulations and grant making rules for government partnerships with religiously affiliated institutions remain in place.  It is troubling that the White House and all the federal agencies are still operating under the inadequate rules and insufficient safeguards imposed by the previous administration.

Meanwhile, the Washington Post’s On Faith  feature  reported  that supporters of more faith based funding are also unhappy with the faith based office and the advisory council created by Obama last year.

“Critics say that the faith-based office isn’t enough of a priority at the White House and that faith leaders who were consulted regularly during the campaign are now simply copied on pro-forma e-mails,”  the Post  reports. “They complain that Obama is no longer using the faith language that he employed as a candidate to frame his policy goals, and that before the new faith council convened, some of the most controversial questions, including religious hiring and abortion, were taken off the table.”

Can’t win, can they?

About the Author
Douglas M. Bloomfield is a syndicated columnist, Washington lobbyist and consultant. He spent nine years as the legislative director and chief lobbyist for AIPAC.