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National Association of Evangelicals Probes Faith-Based Office

The National Association of Evangelicals issued a favorable but questioning response to President Obama's new Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships Office. Carl Esbeck, a law professor at the University of Missouri, applauds the office while offering a few concerns.

First, Esbeck wonders whether the office is big enough to address its new priorities: reducing poverty, reducing abortion, encouraging fatherhood, and encouraging interfaith efforts.

NAE welcomes these developments, but notes that the office's greatly expanded portfolio will quickly overwhelm a staff the size of the Bush Faith-Based Initiative. To do justice to all four of these charges - from abortion to fatherlessness to reaching out to moderate Muslims - will take a staff five-fold the half dozen employees under President Bush.

Esbeck is also concerned about the hiring question: whether religious groups can choose employees from a specific faith groups.

If hiring rights are denied because of a change of leadership at ...
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