Obama’s Faith-Based Office Shouldn’t Put So Much Faith In Government

Ryan Messmore /

Seek Social Justice

A recent Washington Post article reports that several faith leaders are sensing a new tone from President Barack Obama’s office on faith-based initiatives. According to Stanley Carlson-Thies, who has worked closely with the office under both Presidents Bush and Obama, rather than creating a fair playing field for the good works of faith-based groups, the attitude now is: “We’re the government, doing wonderful things, YOU can come join US.”

Attitudes and expectations about government are important. They shape how citizens respond to poverty and injustice.

That’s why we’d propose a different view of government’s role in meeting people’s needs: the government protects what civil society provides.

A new resource from The Heritage Foundation called Seek Social Justice: Transforming Lives in Need explains this perspective. This innovative DVD small group study guide articulates a framework for understanding the roots of human need and social breakdown and what to do about them. Effective assistance tends to come not from the federal government but from those closest to the problem. (more…)