This weekend’s “Houses of Worship” column in the Wall Street Journal contains an exposition on the “faith-based initiative” begun by President George W. Bush and continued by President Barack Obama.
Guest columnist Mollie Hemingway approvingly reviews the findings of a recent study, by Pew, documenting the disparate treatment the initiative received during the Bush era (more front page stories portraying the initiative in a negative light) as opposed to the Obama era (fewer stories, deep inside the papers’ pages and more neutral or even positive). On the other hand, Hemingway seems less upset by the “double standards” of coverage than by the fact that the initiative is not being attacked by the press or liberal activists aggressively enough.
Of course, a reasonable suggestion is that the initiative, under President Bush and now President Obama, was and is commendable and was never the nefarious and unconstitutional plot liberal pundits and activists portrayed it as and, aside from owing the Bush team an “apology” (we won’t hold our breath), we should appreciate how this fundamental view – that there are a myriad of not only legal, but compelling ways for government agencies and faith-based organizations to partner in serving society – is returning to its non-partisan and non-controversial character.
On September 11, of all days, this more hopeful and unifying perspective is all the more commendable.