2001 January 29

President Bush Creates Office of Faith-Based Initiatives, Promotes Government-Supported Religion


President George W. Bush created the Office of Faith-Based Initiatives on this day to promote government aid to religious organizations. The office was the major instrument of Bush’s goal of promoting the social agenda of the Religious Right. Bush explained his approach in terms of “compassionate conservatism.” In fiscal year 2005, for example, the office distributed about $2.2 billion in grants and contracts to faith-based organizations. Many programs funded by the office included the explicit promotion of religious doctrine; these programs were challenged by the ACLU and other groups as violations of the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment.

Read about “compassionate conservatism” from its leading advocate: Marvin N. Olasky, Compassionate Conservatism: What it is, What it Does, And How it Can Transform America (2000)

Learn more about the separation of church and state: https://www.au.org/

Read: Jeremy Gunn and John Witte, No Establishment of Religion: America’s Original Contribution to Religious Liberty (2012)

Learn still more: http://www.firstamendmentcenter.org/category/religion

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