President Barack Obama is expected to name Josh DuBois as head the office of faith-based programs, according to the New York Times. DuBois, a 26-year-old Pentecostal pastor, was in charge of religious outreach for Obama’s presidential campaign and holds a Master’s degree in public affairs from Princeton University.
“I’ve been very impressed with this young man,” John J. Dilulio Jr. told the New York Times. Dilulio was the first person appointed to the job by President George W. Bush. “He is smart. He is calm. He is steady, and I think he’s very close to the new president. He’d be a good guy to do it.”
The White House has declined to comment on the expected appointment, but the Times reports that several unnamed religious leaders have already been informed of the decision. The office itself, which was established by President Bush at the start of his first term, was originally intended to advise faith groups on applying for federal funds. Recently renamed the White House Office of Faith Based and Neighborhood Partnerships, its future role in American society is still largely unknown.
According to a new article in the Washington Post:
“It's still unknown whether Obama's faith-based effort will include the same amount of staff at the agencies -- including the Justice, Labor and Education Departments -- or how he will juggle concerns some faith-based social service groups have voiced about being forced to compromise their beliefs in order to compete equally for federal funding. Obama has come under fire for saying he would reverse a Bush executive order allowing faith-based groups to discriminate in hiring based on religion, but then largely halting comment on it.”
Bush’s faith-based initiatives have been very controversial over the past eight years, but Obama’s approach is yet to be seen. Back in July, he stated on his official website that “my Council for Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships will strengthen faith-based groups by making sure they know the opportunities open to them to build on their good works.”
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