Biden’s faith-based program fails – OpEd – Eurasia Review
On May 14, Melissa Rogers, Executive Director of the White House Office of Faith and Neighborhood Partnerships, met with leaders of six secular organizations: Freedom From Religion Foundation, American Humanist Association, American Atheists, Center for Inquiry, Ex – Muslims of North America and the Secular Coalition for America.
None of them are pro-religion and some are positively militant in their agenda. They expressed their displeasure with the Trump administration’s pro-religious freedom policy, accusing it of fomenting “Christian nationalism.” The creation of this fiction is at the heart of the anti-religious policy that drives these groups.
It would be one thing if White House domestic policy or civil rights staff invited representatives from these six organizations to discuss their concerns; It is quite another when those who claim to work with people of faith do so. The problem dates back to February 14, the day Biden issued his decree establishing his denominational program.
It was President George W. Bush who founded an office of faith-based initiatives in the White House. He realized how effective these programs were in providing services to the needy. He also knew that government programs, which are usually far removed from those they serve, would be improved by partnering with these religious agencies. That is why he sought to end government policies that avoided these entities.
President Obama has pursued a more secular approach, effectively removing the faith element from denominational programs. Trump restored and strengthened the Bush model. Now, Biden is picking up where the Obama-Biden administration left off.
On February 14, the White House announced that the Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships “will not prefer one religion over another. or privilege religious organizations over secular organizations (my italics). But the whole point of creating a denominational programs office was to prioritize religious social service agencies. This is how Biden sparked what happened on May 14.
If the Biden administration is going to manipulate the founding purpose of faith-based initiatives by welcoming advice from secular activists, it would be doing us all a favor and simply wrecking this office. It is obviously a bust.
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