The federal faith-based initiative, extending back into the Clinton administration, has always been about improving the government's relationship with private organizations--secular and faith-based, large and small--that serve needy people and communities. It has involved many program innovations, organizational changes, and reforms of rules. At the center has always been action to ensure that faith-based organizations can collaborate with government programs without having first to suppress or hide their religious identity and faith-shaped practices.
President Barack Obama has promised an expanded and improved faith-based initiative. At a minimum, his initiative must not backtrack on the gains that have been made to ensure equal opportunity for faith-based organizations to participate in federally funded programs.
Equally important, the President should work with Congress to ensure that other federal rules and regulations--in areas that do not necessarily involve government funds, such as accreditation, employment rules, and tax-exempt status--are fair to faith-based organizations, safeguarding their religious identity and characteristics.
For the Coalition to Preserve Religious Freedom's advice to candidate Barack Obama, go here .