Faith-Based Panel's Mission Includes Poverty, Climate Change, Abortion

June 4, 2009

Author: William Wan

Source: The Washington Post

The council created to advise President Obama on faith-based issues held its first official meetings via a conference call this afternoon. Over the course of an hour, the 25-member advisory council outlined its broad mission--to find ways faith groups and government can work together on issues ranging from climate change to fatherless families to abortion rates--and a timeline to make recommendations for Obama to address those problems.

Obama has divided the council into six task forces representing his priorities for the Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships. Each task force gave a short presentation on their initial direction:

* help ease poverty * support responsible fatherhood * bolster interfaith efforts * reform the faith-based office * address climate change * help global poverty (although it doesn't have its own task force the council overall is also charged with finding common ground from which to reduce teenage pregnancies and abortions)

Here's a summary of what each group talked about as well as an overall timeline at the bottom of what the council plans to get done this year: