Whatever happened to the president’s Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships? After being created with considerable fanfare and three-fifths of its outside advisory council on February 5, it retreated into the White House woodwork. Director Joshua DuBois, administration factotum for all things religious, was charged with helping the First Family find a church. (Still waiting on that one.)
But OFANP is about to reemerge. The rest of the advisory council will be announced shortly, and the full body will gather at the White House early next month. Together with selected others, it will be divided up into task forces dealing with each of the office’s specified areas of concern: the role of community organizations in economic recovery; fatherhood and healthy families; reducing the “need for abortions”; and international interreligious dialogue. There is also expected to be a task force relating to energy and climate change, and (yes) one that will take up the thorny legal groundrules under which the Obama faith-based programming will operate. Let the faith-based committeework begin!