Center for Public Justice releases comments on President Bush's State of the Union Address that barely mentioned his Faith-Based & Community Initiative

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The faith-based initiative was barely mentioned during President Bush's in his State of the Union Address on Tuesday

The Center for Public Justice (, today released its Capital Commentary on President Bush's State of the Union Address (

"The State of the Faith-Based Initiative," authored by Stephen Lazarus, Senior Policy Associate for The Center for Public Justice (, notes that President Bush's State of the Union message barely mentioned one of his signature issues: the Faith-Based and Community Initiative, whose aim is to secure the equal treatment in law of faith-based and secular social service providers. The President noted a new program that will involve African-American churches and others to fight the HIV/AIDS crisis. But Lazarus argues that the President needs to show greater visible leadership on the issue.

According to Lazarus, the President's Faith-Based Initiative has received little attention lately in the media and even less in Congress. "This raises an important question," he says. "Is the real state of the faith-based initiative strong or withering? After many years with only a few small but significant victories, the initiative appears to have been consigned to limbo by partisan and polarized politics."

Lazarus concludes that all community and faith-based groups "should be free to employ distinctive faith perspectives and methodologies to tackle complex social concerns such as drug addiction, unemployment, and poverty."

According to Lazarus, progress should include:

1. Implementing important advances made at the federal level ( since 2002 at the state and local levels.

2. The President using his authority to ensure that the government honors civil rights freedoms ( of faith-based organizations to hire only staff dedicated to their mission, as he promised to faith leaders last year.

3. The president working creatively with leaders of both parties to overcome the partisan gridlock that has stymied genuine progress.

The full text of the Commentary can be found at

About the Center for Public Justice

Based in Annapolis, MD, the Center for Public Justice equips citizens, develops leaders, and helps shape policy in pursuit of its purpose to serve God, advance justice, and transform public life.

For more information visit CPJ's website at:

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Bill Gram-reefer
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