Jim Towey, director of the White House Office of Faith-based and Community Initiatives from 2002-2006, writes in the Wall Street Journal:
Imagine what would have happened had I proposed that [The President] use [the office of Faith-based and Community Initiatives] to urge thousands of religious leaders to become “validators” of the Iraq War?….
…On Tuesday President Obama and his director of faith-based initiatives convened exactly such a meeting to try to control political damage from the unpopular health care law….
Some allege that Mr. Bush pioneered the art of politicizing faith. In fact, his faith-based initiatives were remarkably bipartisan. I am a Democrat, and I worked with more Democratic members of Congress than Republican ones….
Mr. Obama is within his legal rights to engage our country’s spiritual leaders in his effort to sell health-care reform. But he should not use the White House Office of Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships to do so.
If he cannot restore its focus to promoting successful program that serve our country’s poor, then he should do the decent thing and close the faith-based initiatives office.
Entire article here (behind the WSJ paywall – likely it will be free in a few days).