Thursday, February 5, 2009

Obama and Faith-Based Initiatives: He Pushes Them Through

President Obama established his own faith-based initiatives office Thursday, reversing a Bush administration policy that allowed churches to discriminate in their hiring practices.

"Whatever our differences, there is one law that binds all great religions together . . . It is, of course, the golden rule, the call to love one another, to understand one another, to treat with dignity and respect those with whom we share a brief moment on this Earth," Obama said at the National Prayer Breakfast.

"It is an ancient rule, a simple rule, but also perhaps the most challenging, for it asks each of us to take some measure of responsibility for the well-being of people we may not know or worship with, or agree with on every issue or any issue," he added as he unveiled his faith-based agenda.

Obama signed an executive order creating the Office of Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships. Unlike ex-President Bush, churches with hiring policies that discriminate won't be eligible for federal grants under the executive order.


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