Saturday, October 17, 2009

Joshua DuBois: Faith Based a& Community Czar

Back in February President Obama continued, really rebranded, the Office of Faith Based Initiatives which was created under President Bush to "Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives" (Executive Order 13199) Joshua DuBois, a 27-year-old Pentacostal Minister was designated to lead the Office.

I wasn't really aware of the activities of the office other than the Supreme Court decision in 2007. The court vote to protect the Executive Order from separation of church and state lawsuits. Judges John Roberts and Samuel Alito, Bush appointees, sided with the majority in a 5-4 victory, declaring "status of taxpayer" was NOT sufficient to challenge the executive order.

What's interesting is that President Obama added a new component: a 25 member board. Some members include:

–Rabbi David Saperstein, head of the DC Religious Action Center of Reform Judiasm
–Judith Vredenburgh, CEO of Big Brothers and Big Sisters of America
–Bishop Vashti McKenzie, first female Bishop of the African Methodist Episcopal Church
–The Rev. Joel Hunter, the senior pastor of Northland church in Orlando, Florida
–The Rev. Frank Page, the conservative past president of the Southern Baptist Convention

I'm surprised by the LACK of outrage surrounding the appointment of DuBois, who is credited with securing Rick Warren for the President's inauguration, texts the President Bible verses daily and is a Pentacostal minister. This is an entire piece by CBN's David Brody

This piece is over an hour long:

In contrast with the other extremists that have found their way into the Obama administration, Mr. DuBois seems to be a genuine Christian with passions to bring different faiths together. He's been an advocate to reduce abortions and seems to have a healthy grasp on religion in our communities.

"In every church on Sunday in the African-American community we have this moral fervor; we have energy to burn. But as soon as church lets out, the energy dissipates. We must find ways to channel all this energy into community building. The biggest failure of the Civil Rights Movement was in failing to translate this energy, this moral fervor, into creating lasting institutions and organizational structures." -- Barack Obama, Chicago Reader 1995.

DuBois is a strike contrast from Rev. Wright and the anti-Christian comments from Kevin Jennings. Most of the attention around the controversial Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships, begun by President George W. Bush and continued by President Obama, has centered on church-state separation issues.

I personally would abolish the department, the czar position, as I don't see this as a role for the Federal government. Unfortunately, it's here and I will strive to understand the board and its members to calculate their role in the Obama agenda.

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