Obama Would Overhaul Bush's Faith-Based Initiatives

July 2, 2008

Author: Jane Lampman

Source: The Christian Science Monitor


In a campaign already strongly emphasizing faith, Democratic presidential contender Barack Obama Tuesday announced his intent to make federal funding of religiously based organizations a key part of his push to help the needy.

His plan would overhaul and expand the controversial faith-based initiative that was an early cornerstone of President Bush's domestic program, which Obama said had "never fulfilled its promise."

Senator Obama's appeals were likely to appeal particularly to blacks, who already lean Democratic, and to evangelicals of various political stripes who are increasingly concerned about issues of poverty. But in so doing, he runs the risk of alienating Democrats opposed to funding religious groups for any purpose, as well as watchdog groups that have raised frequent legal challenges to the way the Bush administration implemented its faith-based initiative.