Magazine article Church & State

Obama Names Dozen New Members for 'Faith-Based' Council

Magazine article Church & State

Obama Names Dozen New Members for 'Faith-Based' Council

Article excerpt

In a signal that the controversy over the administration's "faith-based" initiative is likely to continue, President Barack Obama in February took steps to reactivate his Advisory Council on Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships.

On Feb. 4, Obama named 12 new members of the council and promised to add more at a later date.

This will be Obama's second council. His first, which included mostly religious leaders, disbanded last year after recommending a package of changes to the administration's approach to "faith-based" funding. While civil liberties experts considered many of the changes - later incorporated in an Obama executive order - to be positive, other provisions drew fire.

The administration also has been criticized for refusing to keep Obama's campaign promise to require publicly funded faith-based charities to stop discriminating in hiring on grounds of religion

The current round of appointments to the advisory council include liberal and conservative denominational leaders, representatives of religious charities and three heads of secular charities.

The list included:

* Leith Anderson, president of the National Association of Evangelicals

* Andrea Bazan, president of Triangle Community Foundation in North Carolina

* Angela Glover Blackwell, head of Oakland, Calif.-based Policy Link, a nonprofit organization that strives to advance economic and social equity

* Brian Gallagher, president of United Way Worldwide

* Bishop Mark Hanson, presiding bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

* Lynn Hybels, co-founder of Willow Creek Community Church, a prominent evangelical congregation in South Barrington, Ill. …

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