"We're postponing," says White House Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives
"We're not ready to send our own bill up," Don Eberly, deputy director of the White House Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives (and an occasional CT contributor), tells The Washington Post. President Bush's proposal, he says, "may need to be corrected in some areas." The Post reports that the delay is because what "once seemed to be an innocuous program meant to boost charitable works" got less support from religious conservatives than expected. But unlike other press reports, the Post accurately portrays criticism from the Religious Right as, in Eberly's words, "friendly criticism" by people who still support the program in principle but want some changes. President Bush, meanwhile, spent Friday defending his proposal. Some people "are worried that once government gets in their lives, government will force a change in their religion," the Post quotes the president as saying. "There are some who worry about, once government gets involved, government will force religion on people. And I am mindful of those concerns, and our policy will understand that. We'll fashion a policy—that we have already fashioned—that will, I believe, answer those critics." Weblog has done quite a bit of grousing about how the mainstream media are distorting this story, so let it now commend this Post article, written by Dana Milbank and Thomas B. Edsall, for characterizing both the proposal and the reaction to it accurately. If readers have been confused about what exactly Bush has been proposing and why it is raising concerns, this is a worthy (albeit brief) article to clarify matters.

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