Sunday, May 30, 2004

faith based wuh? 

bad idea -- bad plan -- bad for the church and bad for the government --

Q Forgive me. What I wanted to ask was about next week, the faith-based conference that's on Tuesday. Can you describe what that's about?

MR. McCLELLAN: We'll try to get you more information as we get closer to it. But the President -- one of his highest domestic priorities is reaching out to faith-based groups who have a proven record of helping people in need.

The President believes -- we're talking about the budget here. The President believes that it's important that we focus our resources and money on programs that work to help people in need. He insists on results for that funding that is going out. And, certainly, there are faith-based programs that have a long and proven track record of reaching out to people and helping them move forward and improve their quality of life.

And we have had a number of regional faith-based conferences around the United States through our Office of Faith Based and Community initiatives. Jim Towey has been very involved in those efforts, Cabinet members have been participating in it. Our Cabinet departments have been working to implement the President's directives to make sure that faith-based groups can compete on a level playing field, that they're not discriminated against. And we'll have more details on the specifics about the conference, but this is -- this will be the first national conference focusing on the President's efforts to rally the armies of compassion and reach out to faith-based groups.

Here's why --

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