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Faith-based focus.

WASHINGTON--With the departure of John J. DiIulio Jr. as head of the White House's Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives (OFBCI), attention has again been drawn to President George Bush's faithbased effort.

Bush's executive order soon after his inauguration established the OFBCI to promote partnerships between religious and community-based organizations, identify and eliminate barriers these groups encounter in federal laws, regulations, and programs, and make sure state and local governments implement existing "charitable choice" laws.

Religiously affiliated organizations have been providing government services for decades, notes law and public-policy professor Sheila Suess Kennedy in the online magazine Sightings. Bush's initiative, however, differs from existing efforts in three ways.

First, religious organizations would be able to use religious affiliation and beliefs to discriminate--against women and homosexuals, for example--in hiring decisions. Second, religious teaching could be a part of service programs. Finally, federal funds and contracts would be given directly to religious organizations rather than to semi-independent social service affiliate organizations.
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Publication:U.S. Catholic
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Nov 1, 2001
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