Obama pledges to expand Bush's faith-based works

"A real partnership, not a photo op"
Adopting a federal program criticized strongly by some liberals, Senator Barack Obama says he would expand and improve President Bush’s initiative to fund religious charities and community ministries and make it central to his administration should he reach the White House.

Speaking July 1 at East Side Community Ministry in Zanesville, Ohio, Obama said such groups are well placed to solve the country’s most pressing problems, from poverty to the environment.

“I believe that change comes not from the top down but from the bottom up,” Obama said, “and few are closer to the people than our churches, synagogues, temples and mosques.”

In an interview from Ohio, the Illinois Democrat said faith-based groups can deliver more services with less bureaucratic red tape, and should not be prevented from receiving public money because of their religious affiliations.


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