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A U.S. Faith Initiative for Africa [View All]

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Robbien Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-29-05 03:36 PM
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A U.S. Faith Initiative for Africa
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The effort was launched last week, when more than two dozen leading African American religious figures met privately with Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and senior White House officials at the State Department, according to administration officials and meeting participants.

. . .

The Rev. O'Neal Dozier, pastor of the Worldwide Christian Center in Pompano Beach, Fla., and a longtime Republican, said Rice's decision to huddle with the pastors gave them a "mandate" to craft Africa policy. He said the group had laid plans to meet again soon with State Department officials.

. . .

Illustrating the political benefit of that relationship, White House officials injected some Capitol Hill strategy into the session. They solicited support among the black pastors for controversial legislation that would allow faith-based charities in the U.S. to discriminate in hiring based on an applicant's religious beliefs a provision that has spurred opposition from some Democrats and civil rights groups.

"Compassion has a way of cutting across partisan lines," said James Towey, the top White House official in charge of the faith-based programs, who asked the pastors to sign a letter endorsing the legislation.

But rather than lowering partisan suspicions, the meeting raised them. The high-level session occurred the same day that the all-Democratic Congressional Black Caucus conducted a long-planned outreach meeting with 200 black pastors from across the country seeking to solidify bonds between the Democrats and religious leaders. Some saw the State Department meeting as an effort to upstage the black caucus.

http://www.latimes.com/features/health/men/la-na-minist...
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