Mixed Reactions to Funding of Faith-Based Organizations

February 2, 2001

Source: The Washington Post

On February 2, 2001, The Washington Post reported on Bush's "maiden appearance before the annual National Prayer Breakfast," where he spoke about his new faith-based initiative. He "extolled the influence of faith on his life and on the life of the nation" and said that "the days of discriminating against religious institutions simply because they are religious must come to an end." Adopting an inclusive theme, he said that "an American president serves people of every faith and serves some of no faith at all." Although Bush adheres to conservative Christian beliefs, he said that "'our plan will not favor religious institutions over nonreligious institutions.'... Mostly, Bush talked in broad strokes of the usefulness of faith. He said faith promotes civility, justice, humility and an ethic of public service." Bush continued: "Our country, from its beginnings, has recognized the contribution of faith. We do not prescribe any prayer. We welcome all prayer."