Jim Towey, who worked with Mother Teresa, served as George W. Bush’s director of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives. He’s now president of Ave Maria University, where I’m on the board.
I met Jim in the White House, and we frequently discussed one of the tensions in the faith-based initiative. On the one hand, I believe it serves conservative principles, if we are to have social welfare programs (and they are not going away), to have them administered by mediating institutions and not the government. In short, that someone trying, say, to beat a drug addiction might do better if he could turn to some clinic run by the Methodists than some bureaucracy. On the other hand, there is a legitimate worry about the effect on the integrity of the churches themselves, and the temptation to let Caesar define the mission.
This is a long way into Jim’s latest article in The Hill, where he discusses the HHS mandate but argues the faith-based office has become so politicized it should be abandoned.
Here’s the lead into his op-ed:
It seems George W. Bush’s “armies of compassion” have become Barack Obama’s armies of contraception.
Many were surprised that when President Obama entered the White House he didn’t close the faith-based office his predecessor had created. As the man who led that office for over four years under Bush, I think I now know why.
Complete article here.