Last week’s National Prayer Breakfast featured a speech by President Obama which was his most substantive address concerning the future of the faith-based initiative since his Zanesville, Ohio speech of July 2008.
In the Zanesville speech, then-candidate Obama discussed “expansion” of the faith-based initiative, and some details were added as Obama announced his vision for the newly-named Office for Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships.
The announced priorities of the office are fourfold:
- The Office’s top priority will be making community groups an integral part of our economic recovery and poverty a burden fewer have to bear when recovery is complete.
- It will be one voice among several in the administration that will look at how we support women and children, address teenage pregnancy, and reduce the need for abortion.
- The Office will strive to support fathers who stand by their families, which involves working to get young men off the streets and into well-paying jobs, and encouraging responsible fatherhood.
- Finally, beyond American shores this Office will work with the National Security Council to foster interfaith dialogue with leaders and scholars around the world.
With the developments in recent days and the formation of this new White House office, this week’s PowerBlog Ramblings question is: “What is the future of the faith-based initiative?”