Faith-Based Office Remains Open, Expands
It probably won't be the last disappointing surprise as we see our new President in action, but I think we should talk about this one some. Besides, we haven't had a heated argument here in a few hours, so...
Not only has President Obama decided to keep the White House's Faith-Based Initiatives office open, he's putting a Pentecostal minister in charge of it:
Today Obama also officially named a 26-year-old Pentecostal minister to head the White's House's new faith-based office. Josh DuBois previously directed religious outreach for the Obama campaign. While it is possible BuBois' positions on social issues may deviate from those of his church, Pentecostals are generally right-wing. They are bible literalists, therefore they are almost all antigay rights and antiabortion. DuBois belongs to the same tradition that made Sarah Palin's religious views notorious. Pentecostals are the "noisy" fundamentalists who believe in the "gifts of the spirit": speaking in tongues, faith healing, prophecy, discernment of spirit (exorcism). Normally the private religious views of White House staff would be off limits. DuBois' extremist religious views have become relevant by his elevation to an office at the White House to promote faith and funding of faith-based social services.
Betsy and James, I want to apologize upfront if this topic offends anybody or generates any offensive commentary. But if we kid-glove this thing after (justifiably) raking Palin over the coals for her Pentecostal leanings, I believe we would be doing a disservice to the idea of change that we're all hoping for.
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