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tv   Washington This Week  CSPAN  December 28, 2013 11:00pm-1:01am EST

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>> ladies and gentlemen -- [reading tribe names] cheyenne and arapahoe tribes. sioux t hope tribe. pueblo tribe.
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mohawk tribe. ogala sioux tribe. osage nation. pueblo tribe. rosebud sioux tribe. [reading tribe names] mountain apache tribe.
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>> if you could all remained standing, will have the benediction. >> ladies and gentlemen, the vice chairman of the joint chiefs of staff. >> ladies and gentlemen, please take your seats, and if our wonderful native americans who have received their medals, would like to retire to their seats, i will not make you stand while i talk. [laughter] i will say good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen, and while you might be taking your seats again, allow me to say -- [speaking native american
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language] -- and i beg your forgiveness if i did not decode my greetings and i cannot produce greetings for all of the tribes that we have here today. mr. speaker, leader harry reid, leader nancy pelosi, distinguished guests, honorees, guests and families, we are very proud of you, and i'm very proud to be included today. here during native american heritage month, i have the great privilege of representing the finest military in the world in recognizing the hundreds of native americans who have worn the cloth of our nation in the distinctive way that we celebrate today, and in such a courageous way defending a country that did not always keep
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its word to their ancestors. [applause] the 33 tribes and 216 individuals we recognize today represent native warriors that leverage their native tongue to defend our nation through an unbreakable code, patriots that possessed a unique capability and willingness to give of their special talent and their lives. as richard west, founding director of the national museum of the american indian so elegantly captured it, language is central to cultural identity. it is the code containing the subtleties and secrets of cultural life. as it turns out, the clever usage of our nations original, unique, and special languages --
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these cultural codes was also an essential part of defending our great nation. we have all heard the story throughout history -- military leaders have sought the perfect code, signals the enemy cannot break, no matter how able the intelligence team, and it was our code talkers the creative voice codes that defied the coding in an era of slow, bi- hand, battlefield encryption, such an eloquent way to quickly divide communications. it was doubly clever in that not only the language was indecipherable, the special words used within the language were difficult as well, such as crazy white man for adolf hitler, or tortoise for tank, or pregnant fish for bomber. the code talker's role in combat required intelligence, adaptability, grace under
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pressure, bravery, dignity, and, quite honestly, the qualities that fit my useful stereotype of the brave, american indian warrior. these men endured some of our nation's most dangerous battles and served proudly. the actions of those that we celebrate today were critical insignificant operations such as comanches on utah beach on d- day, cherokees at the second battle, to name but a few. these men were integral members of their teams, the 36th infantry division, the fourth signals company, the 81st infantry division, the 30th infantry division, and so many more, learning morse code and operating equipment to translate messages quickly and accurately.
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in the words of navy admiral aubrey fitch, employment of these men has resulted in accurate transmission of messages that previously required hours. from the start, the service rendered by these men has received favorable comment, i -- high praise in navy language. these men contribute it not only in battle, the fundamentally to military intelligence committees work in cryptology, and dollar museum highlights the code talkers -- our museum highlights the code talkers as pioneers of their specialty. here, once again, we learned that one of the greatest strengths of our nation is diversity, and your u.s. military, in particular, has always found great strength in this diversity. you may wonder why this is so. when the chips are down and the
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bullets are flying, and the only way out is to win, it does not take long to recognize on the one hand that one's heritage is not matter much anymore, and at the same time if you can bring something special to the fight through your own diversity, well, so much the better. your military has always led our way out of the cultural challenges that sometimes accompany diversity, we are happy to leverage unique skill sets regardless of individual differences, and through our code talkers, once again, diversity matched innovation with victory. the hero sitting among us are a testament to this -- 33 divers cultures, to be three divers
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dialect, all fighting together for one nation. native americans have long sacrifice for our nation, well presented by 20th army, marine corps, and navy medal of honor recipients. the first american woman killed in operation iraqi freedom was a member of the hopi tribe, and many others have served nobly, proudly, and well in combat. while we have benefited as a nation from our native american warriors service and sacrifice, we can also learn from how they managed their journey from war to peace. thanks to remarkable advances in battlefield and post-battlefield medical care, we have many wounded warriors we will need to support for decades to come. the smithsonian makes it a point to note that native american cultures has special traditions to help warriors return home with injuries or member and veteran sacrifices forever. after the two world wars, most native american code talkers returned to communities facing difficult economic times.
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jobs were scarce. so where opportunities for education, training. some of the code talkers stayed in their communities doing whatever kind of work they could find. others moved to cities where jobs were more plentiful. many took advantage of the g.i. bill to go to college or get vocational training. the code talkers accomplished many things during their post- war lives. some became leaders in their communities, participated in tribal governments. others became educators, artists, and professionals in a variety of fields. many are and remain active in the cultural lives of their tribes, and some work to preserve their languages. all remaining recognized heroes within the tribe. the lesson for us today, these men and women that have served no about commitment and are ready to lead in communities across the nation. they are a national resource, a wellspring of intelligence,
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innovation, hard work, and resilience. they deserve our best. as we gather here together in emancipation hall, in the long and benevolent shadow of freedom, i am reminded of the ronson -- bronze statue to my right that warriors become great not only because of the competence in battle, because of their efforts for peace and unity, and a commitment to people when they return. we can best honor these great warriors among us not just with well deserved and long overdue recognition, but also within our own efforts to continue to leverage our nations that diversity, and to forever honor our veterans, including our native american veterans, for their narrative is an essential piece of our narrative. their journey is our journey,
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and as demonstrated by our code talkers, our nation's future is built on their contributions to our history. so, now, back to where i started, and these trying to speak it familiar language to our wonderful code talkers and their descendents -- [speaking native american language] -- all special code for a special message, thank you. and thank you, ladies and gentlemen. may god continue to shower his great blessings on our great nation. thank you. [applause] >> ladies and gentlemen, please stand as the chaplain of the united states of representatives, the reverend patrick conroy gives the benediction. -- patrick conroy, gives the benediction. >> thank you, creator, the maker of ways, for giving us this beautiful day to celebrate life.
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may the hands and hearts of this nation be raised in prayer and praise for the heroic servicemen and women native to this continent, who as proud members of the united states to the terry served our nation so -- states, served our nation. though in humility lacking desire to be named as heroes in doing their duty, these code talkers from many nations are honored this day by a nation which rises to celebrate their important work in military intelligence. may the breath of god uphold their noble and heroic story. they have honorably carried on the great legacy of their ancestors, who understood that service to one's people is the highest calling. may their great example of service communicate to all
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generations, and to all nations, a message to inspire citizens everywhere to serve their communities. bless all women and men in military service, no matter their racial, cultural, or religious heritage, and their families. god bless america, and grant us peace both in the present, and with you forever. amen. >> amen. >> ladies and gentlemen, please remain at your seats for the departure of the official party. ♪
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♪ ♪
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[cheers and applause] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2013] [captioning performed by national captioning institute] >> on this week in the's "newsmakers" randi weingarten is our guest. she talks about standardized testing and other issues relative to the education of students k-12. here is a preview. it doesn't look bleak to me at all because while -- what all thehis is saying is that strategy that we have used for a decade is not the strategy that is going to kick the door open to help more children succeed.
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weis like the strategies used in the 70s and the 80s. you saw bigger gains. why was that? there was a focus on giving kids gradinge the least and a more level playing field. what you saw in terms of the 70s and 80s and 90s and now is that we didn't actually -- first we did a bunch of programs that help some kids, but not all kids. behind, no child left what we have done is said that there will be a diamond of strategy. the countries that outcompete us
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, when they do instead is they gets on ensuring that kids good teachers and have a real reason i'm the optimistic is that i think there is a growing recognition that you cannot test your way to ns in education in the u.s. and you cannot sanction your way. >> you can see more of that interview with randi weingarten tomorrow when "newsmakers" airs at 10 a.m. eastern and 6 p.m. eastern on c-span. decide early on. minute. you probably met with the pennsylvania governor curtain on
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november 14. i think that is when he realized he had to decide and he did decide to go. probably -- lincoln told downhat night to write half of the speech and he took what he had. i think there is very good evidence that he was not invited early. that does not mean it was not important to him. he invited a lot of people to go . he took a lot of care and attention over his words. itt because he didn't write does not mean it wasn't important him. >> historians speak about the circumstances around abraham lincoln's gettysburg address. ofday at 11:00 eastern part american history c-span 3. >> no discussion on faith in the
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white house with current and former directors of the white house faith-based office which was created by president george w. bush, the -- bush. it is two hours. >> thank you for that kind introduction. ladies and gentlemen, we at smu and the center for presidential history is honored to have you here with us this evening. i hope i can speak for all of us when i say it is an honor to have our five guests and panelists with us today. these five people have served our country well. they have led the charge in finding fair, constitutional, efficient, and effective ways for our national government to assist and partner with faith- based and neighborhood organizations in our midst which are doing great social good. in short, they have invested personally in making our country a better place to live in.
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we have the opportunity to hear from all of them are on the same stage. for years, president osha and his advisers believed that small faith-based and community organizations had been at an unfair disadvantage, competing on an unlevel playing field when it came to qualifying for and accessing and receiving federal funding. although they were serving american communities in many ways, they did not have the resources, information, or connections to pursue federal funding that larger, more prominent organizations have. in some instances, faith-based organizations were finding themselves at a disadvantage in applying for funding specifically because they were faith-based. the white house office of faith is an committee conditions was established. each of our panelists has a server is serving as the director of this very office. in some instances, faith-based organizations were finding themselves at a disadvantage in applying for funding
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specifically because they were faith-based. the white house office of faith is an committee conditions was established. each of our panelists has a server is serving as the director of this very office. i encourage you to take a good look at your programs. you will see that they are all eminently incredibly qualified, experienced and hard-working people but for now, please allow me to briefly introduce all of our distinguished guests. our first guest, john dulio served as the first chairman. he is currently a professor of politics, religion, and civil society and professor of political science at the university of pennsylvania and is involved in multiple organizations aiding our nations communities in his hometown of philadelphia. after he left office, president bush appointed our second guest, jim twqohy as the new
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director. he served for four years and is now in his third year a atve mari a university. our third guests served at the office of faith-based and community initiatives from 2006- 2008. since 2008, he has served as the distinguished senior fellow at baylor university and is president of the sagamore institute and international public policy research firm. when president obama came into office in 2009, he oversaw a revamping of this white house office including renaming it the office of faith-based and neighborhood partnerships. he appointed as its new director our fourth guest, joshua dubois. he left his office after serving from 2009-2013 to author a new book and become a weekly columnist for "the daily beast"
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and start values partnerships aimed at helping companies and nonprofits partner with the faith-based community. finally, i would like to introduce our fifth guest, melissa rogers, the current executive director of the white house office of faith-based and neighborhood partnerships. before assuming her white house post in march of this year, she served in senior positions at the center for religion and public affairs at wake forest university divinity school, the brookings institution, the pew forum on religion of public life, and as general counsel for the baptist joint committee for religious liberty. i encourage you to take a look at each of their bios on your program. these are truly remarkable people. we have the opportunity tonight to hear from all five of these experts and civil servants. allow me to explain how we will proceed. i have asked each of our panelists to share 10-15 minutes about their experiences, successes and difficulties, their views on the role of the white house in matters of faith in the public square.
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after each is had an opportunity to speak, i will lead a discussion amongst our panelists about some of the most important issues they have raised. finally, at the end, we will open up the floor for you to ask questions of our guests. it takes very little faith to believe that i have spoken enough for now. panelists, we are eager to hear about your experiences and thoughts on the role of the white house in matters of faith and the public square. audience, please join me in welcoming our first analyst, the first rector of the now office of faith based and neighborhood partnerships. [applause] >> thank you very much, brian. it is an extraordinary pleasure to be here. i want to thank brian and the other leaders of the center for bringing us altogether. it is a real personal trait to be here with my friends and colleagues, jim, jay, joshua, and melissa, melissa not only being the first woman but the
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first person whose name does not begin with j. [laughter] each of my colleagues here served with incredible distinction. i say that -- this is not the thing you kind of say when you are all together and you have to be nice, i mean it from the heart. jim succeeded a crazy fat man from philadelphia [laughter] and then succeeded in institutionalizing the office under far from easy circumstances and was able to forge faith-based and community initiatives plenty. jay sustain that office and work creatively to grow the effort even as the sense drained from the second term hourglass. if you don't believe it, just wait for the book coming out in january. it tells the story. joshua transitioned the office
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under a new president of a different party and engaged the widest spectrum of leaders of all faiths and no faith and established centers in every cabinet agency and other federal units as well. i am a book salesman, as you can tell. i am selling their books and i am on commission, by the way. [laughter] last but not least, melissa, whose history with the office predates her own directorship, having served from her perch at brookings as a key confidant and friend to both the first bush and the first obama fa so- calledith czars and she has begun to develop exciting new faith-based partnerships and initiatives. god bless each of them and god bless resident george w. bush and god bless president barack obama. i have been teaching at ivy league universities for more than 30 years. i qualify as having the key value of an ivy league professor which means i can speak for five minutes or two hours on any subject with no essential change
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in content. [laughter] before you hear from my betters on this panel, let me inflict 10 or 12 minutes or so of my thoughts about our topic for this evening, fate, the white house, and the public square and i will offer four sets of points. the first point i would make is that today, faith-based is not only a term associated with a white house office that is soon to be 14 years old and a faith- based, more importantly, is a permanent part of the public discourse about religion, policy, and civic life. in the half dozen or so years that are seeded the establishment of the office, small but intellectually and ideologically and religiously diverse cadre of policy wonks -- works and
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opinion leaders came together. what happened was that we trumpeted a fact, a fact that was hiding pretty much in plain view. namely, the fact that america's urban churches, the synagogues, and mosques and other houses of worship and, most of all, the small street-level ministries concentrated in the nation's poorest places. all of these functions as sacred places that serve civic purposes. food pantries, daycare, drug and alcohol prevention or treatment, homeless shelters, afterschool and summer education, youth violence reduction, welfare to work placement and job training, health care, prisoner reentry, and literally scores upon scores more. in many cities from coast to coast, these faith-based organizations were not just add ons but accounted for much or most of given types of social service delivery either on their own or in partnerships with
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other groups or with public agencies. the vast majority of these sacred places serve people of all faiths and no faith, most did not discriminate on religious grounds in mobilizing workers or volunteers and their primary beneficiaries, at least in most urban areas, where children, youth, and young adults who were not themselves members. while the larger more professionalize and more secularized religious nonprofits were, for the most part, treated fairly in competition for government grants and contracts, smaller religious nonprofits including communities serving ministries in inner-city neighborhoods were often discriminated against, sometimes for innocent reasons like byzantine bureaucratic protocol but also, in some not so innocent cases, out of outright hostility to religious people and places. president clinton and the first lady clinton were the first major fence, white house fans come of faith based, the first
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federal faith-based center was established during the second clinton term out of the office out of the department of housing and urban development under secretary andy cuomo., it was in the 2000 presidential election that faith based went national to stay. they had their respective favorite locutions on the subject. their respective messages on faith based were much the same. i still think the best single sentence in this regard was the one that governor bush first delivered in his july, 1999 duty of hope speech, the speech that launched his presidential campaign. "government cannot be replaced by charities but it should welcome them as partners, not resent them as rivals." a new white house office, while respecting all federal church, state doctrines and limits would
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build on the federal so-called charitable choice laws that had been and active in the late -- enacted in the late 1990s and would welcome religious leaders into the white house, into the public square, into the public discourse and debate and dialogue and it would promote faith based and community initiatives and partnerships to expand mentoring for the children of prisoners and achieve many, many other civic goals. not everybody was thrilled with this approach. orthodox secularists, mainly among democratic party elites, and orthodox sectarians, mainly among republican party e lee, did not like the bipartisan centrist level the playing field approach. still, each candidate persisted in embracing and in articulating this vision. thereafter, so did governors and mayors in each party. although it has received relatively little attention, the
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white house office has its younger siblings in dozens of state governments all around the country. second, today, the imperial evidence on the existence of faith-based organizations and programs is both deeper and wider than it was back in 2001 when the office was established. for instance, a forthcoming study by my university of pennsylvania colleague is being conducted in concert with orders for sacred places come of the nations leading national nonsectarian organization that tends to the historic preservation of older religious robberies involved in community activities and purposes, it will indicate that the civic replacement value of the average older urban congregation is what it would cost tax ayers were these sacred places to top supplying social services and serving civic offices as they do. this replacement value is, if anything, several times what was estimated to be when the first generation of studies were
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completed. faith-based organizations and programs have, what he called, i halo effect is respected economic development that goes even far beyond social service delivery. stay tuned for those interesting academic findings. i know you cannot wait. [laughter] third, in the courts of public opinion and the courts of law, the core ideas and sentiments behind the white house office that began in 2001 are at least as widely embraced today than before. for all the church-state controversy that has turned this into a toxin, nearly 3/4 of all americans including republicans and democrats believe in the civic value of sacred places and believe that most to a very good and cost- effective job at supplying vital social services and support a
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level playing field for all religious nonprofits when it comes to government grants. it is certainly true that in the past dozen years or so, we have witnessed a rise in the fraction of americans that claim no religious affiliation. the survey researchers have turned this 'none.' when i heard that 15% of americans were nuns, i got excited, look out. even many of the so-called nones see themselves as religious or spiritual and consider religion important in their only daily lives. themselves as religious or spiritual and consider religion important in their only daily lives. moreover, churches are second only to the military in public trust and confidence, way at a public schools, newspapers, labor unions, big businesses and congress. over the last dozen years or so,
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virtually all of the major constitutional and other legal challenges to faith-based have resulted in rulings that either favor faith-based efforts or that challenge those that would treat faith motivated citizens as second-class citizens. alas, our nation's social and civic capital is in excitedly bound with its spiritual capital. that is a fact. it is a fact warmly embraced by most americans without regard to party, religion, demographic description, or social economic status. that said, the lives of future white house office directors will be no less interesting or surrounded by political conflicts and crosscurrents that our respective tenures were. my final points -- to me, the soon to be 14-year- old white house office, in addition to all the actual substantive ongoing good works should serve now and in the future as a symbolic reminder that, deep is the divisions may
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go on church-state issues, whether in general or in particular issues like religious hiring rights, what unites us is always more important than what divides us. as my jesuit friend liked to preach, and essential unity and nonessential diversity in all things charity. who among us does not want to find ways for diverse faith- based organizations to partner with each other, with secular nonprofits and with federal, state, or local agencies to improve and expand the health and human services that go to america's elderly shut-ins, to the ever-growing numbers of senior citizens that many regions and cities live alone or other elderly relatives or friends? who does not want the same faith-based and neighborhood partnerships to improve and expand in relation to the u.s. department of agriculture's food
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and nutrition programs? to curb this bikes in child heard hunger when the reduced price meals the kids get during the school months are no longer a readily available. a bipartisan, centrist, problem solving, community anchored vision was behind the original case for faith-based. i do not mean to say that by harkening back to that vision, all of our disagreements will melt away nor do i mean to say that by rallying together to meet specific challenges like the two i just mentioned, we will have nothing about which to fuss, fight, or sue each other over. i do mean to say that the focus exclusively on the disagreements while forgetting the past, present, or potential common grounds, to dispute without regards to what resulting the disputes might yield in the way of a common good is the road to civic tradition. -- perdition. the white house has persisted in part because people of diverse
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faiths and no faith focused fatefully and together on the civic challenges that faith- based and neighborhood partnerships could help to meet. doing so with genuine compassion, looking for compassion and truth in action, and caring especially about the least of the last and the loss of our society. speaking to a group of boston inner-city clergy in 2005, senator hillary rodham clinton put it this way -- "who is more likely to go out on a street and save a poor at risk child and someone from the community, someone who believes in the divinity of every person, who sees god at work in the lives of even the most hopeless and left behind our children?" that is why we need not to have a false division or debate about the role of faith-based
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institutions. we need to just do it and provide the support on an ongoing basis." in different ways, presidents clinton, bush, and obama embraced that vision and with different approaches, each of my friends and esteemed colleagues tonight should be credited with fighting the good fight and defending and translating that vision into action. what a blessing each has been and what an honor it is to be here this evening with them and with you all so thank you and god bless you. [applause] >> once again, i'm in the position of following john delulio, author, scholar, expert on all things faith-based. it reminds me of the seventh husband of elizabeth taylor who said on their wedding night, to his new bride, i think i know what to do but i'm not sure how to make it interesting.
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[laughter] as the longest-serving faith- based director, i will give it a try. properly understood, the faith- based initiative is about changing lives. it's about finding and funding the most effective programs of with public and private resources, programs that help addicts recover, the youth turn to opportunity instead of yang's, the jobless find work, the homeless stable housing, children of prisoners, and reentering prisoners jobs and housing so that they contribute to society instead of attacking it. these problems are pressing today as they were when the faith-based initiative was launched, perhaps even more so, in the last four years. we have seen an increase in the number of people living in poverty according to the census
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bureau, an increase of six point 7 million people. -- 6.7 million people. president bush believed in america's armies of compassion and the transformative change of their programs. he also knew that two office government programs at the national, state, and local level discriminated against them. government often commit a kid that if tape-based rich wanted to partner with them, they would have to change their identity and secularized. at the time of president bush's election, the federal government was regularly forcing some groups to change their mission statements and diversify the board of directors of they were not all of one faith and take down the mezuzah at the door or the crossed her by and even change their name if they wanted to play ball with the federal government. asked the metropolitan council of jewish poverty in new york it was denied access to the grant because jewish was in their name or the orange county register mission in los angeles. ask old north church in boston who was denied a grant. ask the seattle hebrew academy
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after their earthquake when they were denied a fema grant to help rebuild their school. ask the salvation army in janesville, wisconsin. all had been manhandled by government and the high priest of secular orthodoxy who were hostile to all things faith- based. this, of course, this effort of these secularists begins with protestants and other americans united to the separation of church and state, an organization now known as americans united for the separation of church and state, an organization steeped in catholic bigotry. religion and presidential politics have been entwined from our founding. from george washington's inauguration when he added to his oath, the words " so help me god" and bent over to kiss the bible to the present day. even thomas jefferson, the author of the " wall of separation of church and state"
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was two days later, in a government building attending sunday church services with u.s. government employees and a marine band playing church hymns. frank and roosevelt in a time of war spoke of the mercy that flows from the cross. you can go down throughout presidential history and find other analogues. when president bush, during his term in office, talked of faith and the power of faith-based organizations to change lives, he was squarely in line with residential residents. why the uproar over faith-based initiatives? why the cries that the wall separating church and state was under attack?
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that he was ushering in a theocracy and paying back his friends on the religious right? by the end of his term, all of these charges proved to be countless. first, the initiative was constitutional and succeeded in every single court challenge including the supreme court of the united states case freedom of religion foundation versus dewey. it was decided on standing grounds but the record shows the white house that what we had conducted were not in no way religious exercises. the real winners were the schoolkids being taught by these notre dame grads. the president's equal treatment executive order in december 2002 went unchallenged because it was fair and forthright. it leveled the playing field. it was carefully analyzed d by -- analyzed by dr. elulio. second, there was the charge
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that a theocracy was coming to power and the government was being christianized. this also proved bogus. the only evidence of divine intervention in the bush presidency took place when that poor lawyer was hunting and survived being shot at point- blank range by vice president cheney. [laughter] third, the charge of the initiative would pay back the religious right that waswithered -- was withered when the associated press was given, by me, a list of all the discretionary grants by federal agencies that had been awarded the audience of dollars in grants. the reporter could not find any evidence of grants being funneled to the religious right. it was no story. these attacks that adhere to the faith-based initiative from the outset despite john delulio's most fervent efforts stigmatized the effort and polarize supporters and critics and, in the process, the poor who could've benefited from access
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to more effective programs and they were punished by their so- called friends. this is what history will show, i think, about the bush faith-based initiative -- it was indeed a presidential priority and second that it succeeded against all odds. it was at the heart of president bush's compassionate, conservatism and was a priority of his presidency. the faith-based initiative was mentioned in each of his first five state of the union speeches with new pilot programs announced each year. then later, funded by congress in a bipartisan fashion. he attempted to get other legislation passed in congress and he succeeded after great effort with some. he devoted his schedule, presidential events each year to this initiative and spoke at several white house faith-based conferences throughout america. these are conferences he had started to help groups learn how to access government programs. there is no disputing president bush's commitment. he measured the seriousness of a president by these factors. while 9/11 and two wars change
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the trajectory of his presidency, he never wavered in his support of the faith-based initiative. i was with him at his home yesterday and we talked about the faith-based initiative and he believes in it as much now as he did when he was running for office. i think it was one of the proudest contributions he made as u.s. president and his library features it at the entrance. to the accomplished months of the faith-based initiative -- i will cite five that i am most proud of. the president fought discrimination and defended the right of faith-based groups to be in the public square. the seattle hebrew academy got its grant, old north church got its grant, the local hetta agency stopped harassing the local salvation army and the executive order went unchallenged. second, the president promoted
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title vii of the civil rights act and the hiring rights of religious employers and signed into law thetana program to a program to needy families in the charitable choice legislation when it was reauthorized in 2005. i was there at the signing ceremony in the east room and the president touted those fundamental rights of the group to hire him a religious basis that had been upheld by the supreme court of the united states unanimously in 1972. third, the president succeeded in getting parts of the so- called care act passed which provided tax incentives for charitable giving. this lasted for years until the current administration let it lapse. fourth, the president reached out in bipartisan fashion to democrats. i recall my second week on the job, an oval office meeting with resident hillary clinton -- [laughter]
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when senator hillary clinton and other democrats were there in the oval office talking about the faith-based initiative. he reached out to governors at each national governors association briefing, owed -- urging them to open a faith- based office and mostly democratic governors opened them. there were 35 offices open by the time i left and they were primarily democratic governors for it i held events with u.s. senators that were democrats, bill nelson of florida, senator tom daschle, we tried to do what we could to reach out on a bipartisan basis. sometimes these efforts were futile, i share john's view that why partisanship should be at the core of the future of the faith-based initiative. finally, all of george bush's signature programs were funded by congress and helped countless americans. first the compassion capital fund, second a program for the mentoring of the children of prisoners, third, the access to
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treatment and recovery program he started for drug addicts. he used vouchers to choose faith-based organizations if they wished. fourth, the president reentry program and then five, the helping america's youth program. when you look at these accomplishments and you realize what was done against a pretty strong head wind, you have to realize that president bush's efforts were not in vain. the defense of faith-based organizations from discrimination have to continue. unfortunately today, we see government hunting faith-based organizations like my little university emma ave maria university in southwest florida, maria insity ave southwest florida, tenures old seeking to maintain its sincerely held religious beliefs
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and has been forced to file a lawsuit against the huge united states department of health and human services. unfortunately, whenh you seeh theses regulations country, a -- when you see these regulations, a faith-based organization in a way without precedent by democratic and republican presidents alike. you realize it is never safe for faith-based organizations in the public square. i will be interested in hearing from my colleagues on why the voices of cardinals and evangelicals, the little sisters of the poor, for crying out loud all these voices have been ignored and why there are scores of lawsuits challenging this. i will close my remarks by saying the highlight for me was the opportunity to tour the country and see the many great faith-based organizations and community groups at work, volunteering their time,
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expressing their compassion, their love, answering the fundamental questions -- who is my neighbor? am i my brother or sister's keeper? the great courage of these men and women -- a drug treatment program in pasadena built around the torah with a great success rate. i met a 12-year-old boy in st. louis who was not able to read a word at that point in his life but after a year of mentor ring, mentoring, was able to read at the fourth grade level. i remember in dallas, a homeless shelter run by a woman -- she was running an incredible homeless program which was transformative. i have a debt of gratitude to those memories. i will leave you with my biggest laugh during my time as faith- based director at the white house. right after a state of the union address, the president asked me to organize a meeting of all of our critics, the people who could not stand the faith ace initiative.
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he said get them together and hear with their concerns are and see if you can find common ground. i asked my assistant to organize a meeting in my office. i gave her the list, americans united for separation of church and state, the aclu, the leadership operates on civil rights, the american university women -- a lot of so-called liberal groups in america, all of whom could not stand the bush faith-based initiative. it was hard to find a day everybody could meet and she found a wednesday in february which they could come to the white house and meet with me. it turned out that when happened to be ash wednesday. i went that morning, as is my custom, to mass and at mass on ash wednesday, the priest gives you ashes. when a bald person comes before a priest, they see a blank canvas. [laughter] the artist comes out in them. this priest on this morning decided to do a life-size reenactment with mary and joseph -- [laughter] i came back from mass to the
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office to the meeting, they were all assembled and i walked in with a big black cross on my forehead. [laughter] they thought i was making a statement. [laughter] i do think at the end of the day, what unites us and what unites -- i met joshua tonight for the first time -- i knew melissa -- i think what unites us is a desire to make this country more strong from within and to live up to our highest ideals in serving those in need. thank you and god bless you. [laughter] >> good evening. i would like to add my word of thanks to jeffrey and bryan for hosting us and even more so for your commitment to presidential history. you may be interested to know that the esteemed white house historian bradley patterson has written the authoritative account on white house history and has identified this office is one of the most important innovations in the modern era.
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i wish you well in your task in your task and on that note, i recognize alan lowe from the national archives administration and the bush center staff who are here. godspeed in your mission to enliven this history for the purposes of tomorrow's problem solving. serving the white house was clearly one of the high privileges of my life. that is one thing that each of us share on the panel. when i was invited to serve as the third director, i went to the rector one and two before i sat in the chair to ask for the council. the generosity sustained me through my time in office p and eventd the pre- fellowship that those of us at this table enjoyed for the first couple of hours before joining you this evening was worth the price of admission. we have shared a common bond. having said that, it is really important, i think, for all of us in this room to acknowledge that we were the hired help. it was not our ideas that
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matter. it was the counsel that we provided the presidents we served. it wasn't our ideas that mattered. it was the counsel the provided the president we served. it was the execution of the ideas that we were a part of. it wasn't about us. having said that, let me also acknowledge that there were hundreds of staff in the white house and across federal agencies over the past seven years who have served this hard. they are clearly among the most talented people i have worked with him these were men and women who were brought to washington not because they were looking for a job title, but because of their idealism and their commitment to cause. so it is really quite a remarkable story and great fun to be able to do the oral history exercise that you are doing here at smu. i was serving president of a think tank in indianapolis.
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a big fan of all of the precepts that john had laid out, the 1990s consensus that was formed. but i confess i was skeptical of the idea. i saw a big united states government operation was maybe treading on dangerous territory. i was cautiously optimistic about what might happen. the context about why and where was coming from, there were two points at animated my interest in the 1990s. first come as a christian, i was quite interested in seeing my faith applied to the living problems and human needs. so i was desirous of strategies that would further that. but i also came to the work as a welfare reformer, a welfare policy guy.
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what welfare reform success of the 1990s tommy was that -- 1990s taught me was that transformative life change does not happen in government programming. we incentivize good behavior in welfare reform, which offended a lot of unintended consequences of what had been a 60-year entitlement program. we had 97,000 families in welfare. ithin a few years, that number reduced to 7000. unbelievable reduction. better, poverty went down as employment went up. so don't you think it was one of the biggest social policy celebrations of a generation. a social entrepreneur who has impact on the thinking of so many came to washington and said congratulations. it isn't remarkable -- it is a remarkable policy compass meant,
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but you are not even at the 50 yard line. -- oc a compliment -- policy accomplishment, but you are not ven at the 50 yard line. we realized there had to be a civil society solution that complemented government policy. so had the do that? -- so how do you do that? fortunately, other than washington, there were others beginning to think like this here in some in congress -- like his. some in congress and charitable choice, which john mentioned, was inserted in the welfare law in 1996 as an attempt to open the door wider for government-faith partnerships and to level the playing field
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to address start away some of the issues that jim powerfully described in discrimination about these groups to did not want to partner in a financial way. there was a governor george bush in texas and the governor jeb bush in florida and indianapolis mayor steve goldsmith were all leading and sort of pioneering these strategies in their states and cities. but government, again, and policy do have their limits. one of the key precepts of chervil choice was to protect the first amendment, the establishment clause, but also free exercise. often times, what we said to faith-based groups that did not want to diminish at all their spiritual mission -- as a matter fact, that was their priority when they deliver their services, was that they should apply for a government grant because they would be sued and they would lose. i knew the government had a ole.
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he taught us that the direct spiritual mission of the most aithful are ill-fated in a pluralistic society as government beneficiaries. before john took office, i was encouraging again none of this strong presidential role while skeptical of the united states government role. and president bush clearly succeeded on that front, both john and jim referencing these points. but he led a culture change that was both historic and rofound. faith-based stephen carter wrote a book called cultural disbelief in the 1990s and religion was the only acceptable prejudice in america. at that point in time, 1990s,
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faith-based was not in the vernacular. today, it is not only, place, but a presumed positive. that is because president bush, much like the iconic armor on the shoulder on the rubble of 9/11 with the bull horn and the firemen in new york city went to the city after city for eight years and thanks the faith-based restaurants leaders. when you -- and thanked the faith-based grassroots leaders. that message permeated and the culture has changed. unbelievable a compliment. -- unbelievable accomplishment. i said let's do a 50-state etwork of organizations. they are absolutely created a model that looked like a cabinet agency campaign. as a result, many lives were changed for the better. just to give you a glimpse of
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what that looks like, the magnitude of that effort, there were 12 that -- well federal agencies that had faith-based community centers. but more so, what president bush called a determined attack on need. let me take you to february 2000 8, 1 of the last cap the meetings that president bush held. i was invited to report on the eight-your progress of this determined attack on need, this compassionate agenda. three things are happening in my head at the same time as i filed in the room. i'm looking at the cabinet members around the table and my first thought was where do i speak when it's my turn to give
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a report? i was eyeing some space between the budget director and the chief of staff wi-lan listening to the cabinet members produce -- chief of staff while i am listening to the cabinet members produce their reports. i was looking at the labor secretary whose initiative changed thousands of lives from a highly discriminated group. he used the day after his lasted of the union to go to a prisoner reentry facility to tell 20 guys who just got out of -- use the last day after his last state of the union to go to a prisoner reentry facility to tell 20 guys who just got out of prison and lifted the arms of so many faith-based groups post-katrina and wildfires in california to
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help them do their jobs better here in those faith-based groups are the last in -- are the first in the last out. secretary of state condoleezza rice got the lines share of the policy work -- the lions share of the policy work. more africans died of aids then did africans in all the previous wars in africa combined. et you may know of as a bush's $15 billion solution to the problem. if you may not know, the faith-based community initiative was embedded in that game 70% of the grantees were indigenous african they faced in community groups -- african faith-based in community groups. one of my favorite accounts is the commerce department. i was asked why is there a
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faith-based entity of the commerce department? caldwell here in texas, houston, he did and am only noble job turning a war zone into a want for a place to raise a family through economic development and partnerships with commerce. the list can go on and on. these were not efforts that were first that equal treatment nor about money, which occupied most of washington media attention to the work. it was about human need. and through partnerships, dynamic and should tj artnerships, dressing more needs and in more -- dynamic and strategic partnerships addressing more need and in more different ways. let me turn to where my bias lies, which is the state and
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local level. obviously, all compassion is local. while still in office, did work with the governors that jim worked with. 19 democrats and 60 republicans. every state -- 19 democrats and 16 republicans. every state has community partners and mayors all across the country and many governors filled many of the presidential primary spots. remarkable leaders. but nonprofit organizations are small. they operate in local ommunities hidden from the public view largely. but they take it together to
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rovide a powerful force. this is perhaps the biggest idea of the faith-based and community nitiative. the president was saying we look first of these organizations that are already healing and helping all across america and come alongside them. there are 1.6 million nonprofits in america. nonprofit sector in america produces one in 10 jobs in the american economy. it is a muscular story. $300 billion a year is donated in philanthropy. so it is a large part of how we do business in america. faith-based initiative that only reforms government, but revitalized society and move closer to having us create a pathway to stronger partnerships. my final word is a story that john hope bryant, who is a social investment bankers shared at one of our white house
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compassion in action roundtables. ambassador young had shared a story from his day, martin luther king jr. after a trip to the middle east, dr. king was visiting with a local congregation and give them a speech. they were all fired up. a kind lady in the back said, "dr. king, you are the good samaritan." and he warily walked to the side and said, "i don't want to be the good samaritan. i was just a their." the jericho road is a nasty place. it is a dangerous road. it is wind he and dark. it is not a place i want to have it. i want to be the guy that paves it. i want to be the guy that creates a jericho road that is a blessing to its community. the groups that do that everyday, fixed the city's roads and sidewalks and repair schools and, more importantly, reading broken lives and broken spirits are the faith-based groups that we are so privileged to
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serve. thank you for letting me tell a ew stories about it. >> good evening, everyone. it is wonderful to be here with you. thank you to jeffrey and bryan for organizing this event. i have to say i was a little concerned coming today. i was telling john that, at the back of my mind, i was wondering if this was one big floyd by the aclu to get us all in one place so they can take us out at the same time everybody safe? very very good -- everybody good? k. yes, they are accomplished professionals at the top of
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their fields. yes, president bush ably lead for eight years in the highest office in the land. but more important time in their positions are their titles are the people that this group of leaders have served. thousands, probably millions, vulnerable americans and citizens of the world from all faiths and backgrounds are able to live lives of greater dignity and self-determination because of the white house faith-based initiative. and the programs and services and partnerships that it created. i am honored to stand with this group and for those people and to represent an institution that embodies in my mind the best of the american spirit. my work with the faith-based office began in january 2009 formally, but might partnership with president obama on faith-based issues actually existed a long time before that. i had known the president for
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several years and had been praying privately with him and sending him daily devotionals and working with him on religion and public life starting in the senate office and then on to the 008 presidential campaign. i have to say this was an area where the president had some pretty well-developed thoughts already come along before he met me. it is well known that his first foray into public life was as a community organizer. what it is important to know that that organizing in the south side of chicago was with and among churches. helping to set up job-training programs and getting their food pantries in order and making sure that their voices were
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heard down in city hall. so when barack obama entered the national political scene, he was determined to work at the intersection of religion and politics and to try to do something about this also promised that progressives, democrats had a disregard for or even antipathy toward faith and values. we heard echoes of this approach in his 2004 democratic convention speech, a speech that got me involved in politics. he said that we worship an awesome god in the blue states. then there was his address to reverend jim wallis's call to a enewal conference in 2006, a speech that i was honored to work with him in the senate office and he developed a template for how this president would engage issues. in that speech, then senator obama declared that, "our failure is progressives to tap into the moral underpinnings of his nation is not just
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rhetorical. our fear of getting preachy may also lead us to discount the role that values and culture lay in some of our most urgent social problems. he went on to say individual churches are sponsoring day care programs, building senior centers, helping ex offenders reclaim their lives and rebuilding the gulf coast in the aftermath of hurricane katrina. and he concluded, the question is, how do we build on these partnerships between legend and secular people of goodwill? it will take more work he said, more than we have done so far. the tensions and the suspicions on each side of the religious divide will have to be squarely addressed and beside will need to accept some ground rules for collaboration." after that 2006 speech, he would address the topic of religion and politics and the faith-based office consistently in the years ahead, from the 2007 politics of conscience speech to the united church of christ general conference, a 2008 speech in gainesville, ohio and where at least nine separate times in the white house as well. but those ground rules of collaboration that he mentioned in those early days in 2006 could not have arisen out of thin air.
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in all of this talk about faith-based partnerships, the president and i were keenly aware that we were building on a foundation laid by president george w. bush and by john julio and jay hein and others who aren't here. i want to say clearly that the playing field for federal funding of faith-based relations was not leveled in 2001 and would 90 -- would not find parity if it wasn't for president bush. but the work of the faith-based offices opening the eyes of the sometimes federal bureaucracy to the fact that faith and civic organizations matter, that they are the back long of this country -- the backbone of this country. and far from being treated with suspicion, they should be embraced by government at all levels. these concepts seem self-evident to us now. back then, they weren't. so president bush and the folks on this panel stood up and spoke out and took some lumps and bruises for them. and for that, our country owes him a debt of gratitude to i do
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believe that come instead of continuing with the exact model of faith-based hardships under president bush, president obama has taken the initiative into ew and important directions. in 2009, we launched the first-ever faith-based advisory council, an outside group of diverse religious and civic leaders who provide advice and guidance to faith-based office. we also began a new and expanded faith-based engagement at the state department on global affairs. we extended our work at the corporation for national service and we issued a new executive order that answered some of the apartment and unresolved questions about the legal -- some of the important and unresolved questions about the legal ramifications. but perhaps the most important shift is a subtle 1, 1 that is central to president obama's for aith-based and civil
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partnerships. that is an expanded vision of the relationship between the federal government and the religious social service organizations from one that i'm really focuses on financial relationships between the two sides to a vision of faith-based partnerships that also includes significant room for nonfinancial partnerships that still serve people in need can we like to call it civic partnerships. that grew from three imperatives. first, we will healing -- we were dealing with a dramatically restrained resource pool. second, we had a perception problem. as i traveled around the country in 2007 and 2008, i heard from so many pastors who falsely believe that they should be getting money from the faith-based initiative and wondered why there check was not in the mail. that is not the fault of anyone here but the misplaced perception did exist. finally, president obama, based on his years with work with face -- with faith-based groups, found that they wanted
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partnerships but they did not have to be founded in a grand. while ensuring that the playing field remained level and creates base for more flexibility and fewer legal hurdles and finding best ways to serving those in need. in addition to keeping the playing field level, which i believe we did, we also develop new programs that went beyond funding for civic or nonfinancial partnerships that serve the vulnerable. critically important. this was not about advocacy. any one of our thousands of partners will say that it was solely focused on social service. this included our jobs program where we trained thousands of faith-based groups to set up and running climate ministries him a reach out to local employers and get their congregants back to work. it also included are together for tomorrow initiative which provides technical assistance and on the ground and training
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for faith-based group to want to partner with their local public schools in dozens of cities and counties around country. it included the president's interfaith campus challenge. i would encourage folks related to a college university to get involved. it is about rain diverse student religious organizations together on college campuses around the country to tackle common ommunity problems. from disasters response training to helping congregations set up summer food ministries, building interfaith coalition on human trafficking and allowing faith-based organizations to function as a small business organization. they still serve americans in eed but are not dependent on
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federal grants alone. these civic and should turn of the jewel in the toolbox and the federal faith-based initiative and i am honored to have played a role in its creation. as the president said at the 2009 national prayer request, the particular faith and that automates each of us can promote a greater motivation and all of us. feed the hungry, comfort the afflicted, make peace with there is strife, repair where it is broken and to look upon those who have fallen on hard times. as i close, one of the things that i am most proud of is convincing the former chair, a church state attorney who was ot looking for a new job, to consider taking my place as leader of this wonderful office. melissa rogers is an absolute rockstar. i am so excited about where she is taking this leadership now. thank you.
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> thank you. those are characteristically overly generous remarks and i appreciate it. joshua has been so kind in terms of helping me get settled and learn how to do this job and i have only been on the job for a few months but i am grateful to him. but i can also say that i have been able to look to the rest of these gentlemen as well. the have each been gracious to me about giving me the wisdom that they gathered through their years of service and being very open and terms of welcoming my all, my questions. and i just want to say how much i am grateful for that and i will keep calling you. just keep answering the line, please. i want to thank the smu
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community, brian franklin, the staff at the smu center for presidential history and all of you for being here tonight. it is truly an honor and a privilege to be able to have this conversation with you this evening. i would also like to say special word of thanks to former president george w. bush and first lady laura bush for the honor of being here at smu where the presidential library located and i want to thank them for their years of distinguished service to our country. as you know, the theme for tonight's program is faith, the white house, and the public square. and i'd like to start by placing that theme in a larger context. that is the context of the first amendment through our constitution. as you know, the first 16 words of the first amendment says congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof. the first clause is often called the establishment clause and it basically prohibits the
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government from promoting religion generally or preferring one faith over another. the second clause is often referred to as the free exercise clause. traditionally, it has been aimed at ensuring that the state does not unnecessarily interfere with the practice of faith. with this backdrop in mind, i would like to address a few questions that maybe on some of your minds about the office of faith-based and neighborhood partnerships or the office of faith-based and community initiative as it was during the bush years and faith in the white house generally, faith in the public square. the first question that some of you may have in your mind is is the mission of the white house office consistent with the first amendment? and the answer is yes. the goal of the office is not to promote faith. that is the job, of course, of religious individuals and
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communities themselves. the mission of the office is to promote the common good of all americans. and the office does so by forming partnerships with organizations and individuals of all faiths and non-. in other words, what unites us is service to our neighbors. this is why the offices called the office of faith they stand neighborhood partnerships. it is about working with all groups, whether they are religious or secular to promote -- to help people in need and to promote the common good. every day, i have the privilege of working with my fellow americans who are in gauged in extraordinary efforts to help people in need. a week ago, for example, we hosted at the white house a gathering of more than 100 leaders who want to stop the scourge of human trafficking. as you know, human trafficking is a crime that involves the exploitation of people,
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including children, for the purpose of compelled labor. the colors are and includes threats of physical or psychological harm. as president obama said a year ago, human trafficking is also rightly called by the name modern-day slavery and we must join together to end it. last year, president obama articulated unambitious and multifaceted agenda to combat human trafficking in his speech at the clinton global initiative. in that speech, president obama charged the visor he council on faith-based and neighborhood partnerships with making recommendations for strengthening the partnerships the federal government forms with community organizations, both religious and secular, to prevent and combat human trafficking. and as joshua already mentioned, the advisory council on faith-based and neighborhood partnerships as a group and -- a group of religious and civic leaders who get together and take on the task that president
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obama asks them to undertake. in the current task has been human trafficking. the advisory council delivered its report of recommendations called building partnerships to eradicate modern-day slavery to the president in april 2012. it was my great privilege to be able to sit there when the advisory council delivers its reports and have conversations with the president about their work. one of the things that president obama noted at the time was that a dedication to eradicating human trafficking crosses ideological lines and it crosses lines of age. so it brings us together as americans in a special way. and we have been grateful to work on that. partial fulfillment, we worked with more than 100 leaders at the white house last week for a
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daylong convening. the gathering included heads of religious denominations, rabbis and nuns, ceo's of large nonprofits such as the united way and the girl scouts, along with human trafficking survivors and experts all united in their interest to join forces to eradicate modern-day slavery. and in this day-long meeting, we talked about ways that their organizations can work together to raise awareness and educate he public, identify victims, expand services for survivors and eliminate slavery in the goods and products that we consume. we are looking forward to working with this group in the coming days. this is just one illustration of some of the partnerships that have been formed under the obama administration and have powerfully woven together
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various aspects and elements of civil society to produce what we could never have known on our own. as john suggested, we have increasingly been able to find common ground. another achievement of president obama has been bringing together diverse groups and finding common ground on some key issues. i realize we haven't found common ground on all key issues. as joshua had mentioned, i actually had the great religious chairing the first advisory council on faith-based and neighborhood partnerships. if you look at that group at the outset, you might have said i'm not sure there will be a lot of agreement in that group. we had former bush officials. we had people serving in former
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democratic administrations. we had people from the left on the right. we had the secular and these people representing religious traditions as well. yet that group was able to find common ground and meaningful common ground, i should add, on a range of important issues. including a range of issues connected to the faith-based -- what is known as the faith-based initiative. this group was able to come to agreement on a set of amendments that they recommended to the president regarding the bush 2002 executive order setting out some of the fundamental principles and policymaking criteria for partnerships between the government and religious entities. so this executive order underscored the fact that the religious identity of organizations that received government funding should be affected. -- should be protected.
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at the same time, there should be clear direction on the limit of what the government can and cannot find and clear directions of the necessary separation between activities funded by government grants and privately funded activities. and we are actually implementing that is a can of order now. another characteristic of the obama worked is a focus on onfinancial as well as financial partnerships. many groups, could taken literally many religious groups, do not want to receive government grants. in contrast -- and contracts. but, they are interested in being involved with government in some way to promote the common good. they want information on what
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they are seeing in their communities about need that exists. they want to tell us about what they are hearing from people in need who are struggling, they government leaders really need to hear. they want to share and have meetings and meet new partners and think of new ways to collaborate to serve people in need, whether it is veterans and getting their benefits, feeding children who need nutritious meals not just when school is in session but also in the summer months when they might not get a nutritious meal, and making sure that communities and congregations know about things like the latest flu vaccine and where to get it. president obama has led, i think, in making sure that we open doors to these kinds of partnerships that are nonfinancial as well as maintaining a set of financial partnerships with religious and civic groups who want to partner with government. and as i said come i believe this has opened the door to many more partners and many more
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partnerships. and for that, i am very grateful. let me just offer a few other thoughts on faith and the white house as we close out this section of the program. one of the great things for me as a newcomer to the white house has been able to see how faith is present in the white house and 70 different ways. it is present in the white house in part because religious beliefs inform many americans convictions about policy and whether it is common sense immigration reform, poverty at home or abroad, aids prevention or treatment to just name a few, a local set of religious americans raise their voices on issues at the white house almost every day. and one of the most moving meetings i recently participated in was with some of the liens of the civil -- some of the lions
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of the civil rights movement on the 50th anniversary of the march on washington. i had the privilege of sitting in the roosevelt room with some of the pastors and ministers who were key leaders in this ovement and with the first frican-american president of the united states. as we all noted that day, we were truly experiencing a partial fulfillment of martin luther king's glorious dream. another way in which faith is present in the white house is the recognition that we all have, that almost any law can
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affect communities and government officials need to be cognizant of that fact. religion runs through every human endeavor. it has a potential to be affected by him must any law or public policy. of course, all policies have to comport with the first amendment's religious liberty guarantees and make sure that there are contention -- are contentious issues that are difficult to debate. but as important as those issues are, we should never forget that there are many less noted issues as well where we often find common ground. because time is short, let me just cite one of them. zoning and land-use matters can profoundly affect religious communities, whether by design or accident. for example, sometimes churches would like to lease space in a storefront but they are turned away because zoning officials say houses of worship are for been in that zone. at the same time, fraternal organizations, meeting halls and other places of assembly are permitted in that same zoning area. well, for many years, the department of justice has enforced the law to ensure that religious institutions are treated as well as comparable secular institutions and that they are not unduly burdened by zoning and land-use estrictions. this law has the ungainly name of the religious land use and institutionalized persons act
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otherwise known as rlusa. arrying over from the bush years to the obama years, it has done a great deal to respect and protect the free exercise of religion in this country. and i know we are all very proud of that bipartisan tradition. let me just close by saying the united states of america has an unusual commitment to freedom for people of all faiths and none. this has made it possible for our country to be a place of amazing diversity and remarkable cooperation across religious lines. our nation also has an extraordinary commitment to serving people in need. this has led to the formation of powerful coalitions of the sacred and the secular to provide service to our neighbors. like my colleagues, i am honored to be both a beneficiary and a steward of these cherished
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american traditions. thank you. > thank you to all of you. let me start. i'm an early american historian so the first question that comes to mind issomething that a couple of you referred to as -- which is the first amendment, the founders. like many of our political conversations, these days, this one often comes back to that and maybe rightly so in many ways. to the founders, whoever they are. so what do the founders or the
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founding generation or the founding era have to say to this office when someone asked that question? what do the founders had to say about this? how do you address that? jim and melissa, you mentioned those in particular. >> ok. yes, the founders and i know we probably have many academics in the room who make this their field of study so i tread with great trepidation. the founders had different ideas about faith and public life. of course, we have james madison having written a towering memorial about religion and the role of government. one of the things that james madison was very careful about was insuring that government
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doesn't do anything that would end up undercutting religions integrity in america. that is something that has animated our discussion, that we want to ensure that religion has a vocal and a vital place in american public life, but that we never set up a system that ends up undercutting the rough edit autonomy -- the prophetic autonomy and importance of religion. they set up a benevolent neutrality about religion that is exhibited in the best of our traditions. we also make sure that we respect religions independence as an actor that will make decisions on its own and sometimes be in cooperation with government and sometimes standing outside government and calling it to heed the better angels of its nature in religions eyes. so it is a -- so it is a dynamic relationship. i would guess that all of us would feel the delicate balance that has to be carefully preserved and i know that i
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certainly feel that every day, that i want to make sure that we preserve that delicate balance. >> what she said. i would just add to what melissa said that any serious student of history sees the role that faith based -- faith played in the founding of the country where many fled religious persecution to come to america, but even when you look at the nexus of church and state in the first 50 years, i think in 1832, the last law that -- you see an entanglement that then stretches throughout time in the blaine amendment back in the 1875 where there were a lot of religious tensions in the country. so any study of american history sees this entanglement and sees also the supreme court very
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reluctant to weigh in on these cases. there hasn't been a very serious -- there have been a number of church-state cases, but none like the lemon case in 1970, and i think the court may be taking up some cases in the near future. but i think there is certainly a tension and i would defer to my colleagues. >> well, we have plenty of time for this now. we will be here for several hours. isn't that bad? oh, my god. there we go. let there be light. the best book on the subject is philip hamburger's book, a big and thick thing that students get afraid of when they see it. it is a single volume history of the separation of church and state. what we know is that the guys
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that were against the customization -- against the constitution, the antifederalists who were very much -- that included patrick henry -- wanted to have religious test for office holding and so forth. the founders were cosmopolitans and yet most of them were bible believing christians. but why did they take the approach they did? why did they ultimately come down where manson came down? because they believe that no faith, including their own, was beyond faction. so medicines prescription was basically a multiplicity of sects. you don't get rated on the exam if you say that madison wanted a lot of sex. you get partial credit. that's it. i'm not going to go any further. >> you said hours. >> this is c-span and it is g-rated.
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>> i want to note that the two catholics on the panel keep bringing up sex, by the way. >> that's true, now that you mention it. >> as jim mentioned, the office, hen i first started with president bush, it quickly became polarized in a lot of ways. but i think, particularly after president obama continue the office, although making some changes, the polarization seems different and there seems to be a friend conversations going on that are not necessarily as party driven as they were right off the bat. what do you think about that? >> tomorrow, i am speaking to the religion newswriters association in austin at their annual conference.
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our to my message to them will be that i think there is a bit of a built-in antagonism to faith and to this work that is not the fault of this office or anyone later but just kind of existed from the outset. i am not sure that the type of "controversy" -- i hate to even say it. if you look at the work, there's not a whole lot that was controversial. there are areas of his greement, but i think it was kind of played up or blown out of proportion just because folks saw this as an area of political or media vulnerability of president bush and they kind of tried to blow it wide open and to talk about it as much as possible and put it in as negative a light as possible. i'm not certain that i kind of buy into the contra city -- the
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controversy narrative. lthough you certainly saw that in practice in terms of how the media reported on the office. why did some of that reporting die down in the current administration? i think part of it is because we did -- although, again, the playing field remains level -- if you look at the funding going to faith-based organizations, it has remained constant or increase. we focused less on the financial resources and more on these nonfinancial partnerships and i think there is less controversy associated with that. but this notion that is inherently a controversial office is not something that i buy into. >> i have a clarifying question. >> yes. >> i agree that the washington narrative was not the national narrative. if you traveled the country, there is a warm embrace of government-faith-based partnerships to be sure.
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but maybe to your to melissa, i'm not sure that i understand he distinction you're making between the bush administration's emphasis on financial partnerships or nonfinancial partnerships. we already talked about the culture change, which was predominant in president bush's contribution, but he also had a very act if call to service which impart contributed to the highest levels of olunteering. he raised a lot profiles and capacity building. we launched something called the pro bono challenge, which is calling on corporate america to come inside nonprofits and nonfinancial -- in a nonfinancial manager and build these organizations from the inside out. we have a billion dollar quivalent of contribution that
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these as it is that said yes to the challenge have done. we have -- my question is what is the distinction? why was that not understood as a nonfinancial contribution to these organizations. >> two answers. number one, it's pure perception. maybe the reality of what happened within the office, i can't say that -- having met with thousands of pastors in the 2008 campaign and since then, there wasn't a basic expectation that most congregations in the country thought about the faith-based initiative, they felt as if they should be repaid -- should be receiving funding from the initiative. maybe it is not something that you could have managed or that anyone could manage, but i think that it existed. i think the other contribute infect her -- contributing factor, when you are hosting roundtables focused on capacity building in order to apply for
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federal grants, i think that sets an expectation potentially that organizations will at some point along the line will receive federal grants and that is something that groups had to grapple with when some of them were not funded. i think those two things contribute to the perception issue. but i absolutely knowledge that the reality of your focus on service and volunteerism and technical assistance and capacity building extended beyond just finding alone could >> i think the answer here is impart also that, if you continental is the news, when the playing field level work was being worked on, most of the stories were on money and grants and contracts. by the time jim came to town and was able to run that office so well for so many years, the work of actually implementing that on level playing field report was
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getting to where is the money. a lot of things are going on but that perception did linger on the part of some of the other stuff of the initiative at least early on were less obviously noted. >> the money issue had to be fixed, too. organizations were not in a fair consideration when it came to grants. i'm not sure there is any way around this. is this the progressive. -- it is just a progression. >> i agree with some of this. we won't get too much into the law, but to make a long story short, there has been an important -- there have been important developments in the law over the last couple of
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decades in terms of government funding and religious institutions. so i would say that there were some real issues to work through and to figure out. the rules that govern this area during the clinton years or the early clinton years were different. they changed over time. some people think that was a good thing and some people think that was a bad thing. there are some really important issues that people fight about and fight about with some legitimate disagreement. that all was happening and i think that probably plays into this as well because there was a focus on the funding and the debate about the funding issue, the funding issues, and that eclipsed perhaps some other work. >> had like to add one thing. i was touched by their kind words on the president's contribution and i know that is not just because you are in texas.
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and i also felt when president obama was running for office and he announced he would keep the office open, i was surprised good and i thought he deserved credit because i'm sure he was under pressure from some within the party because it was so identified with resident bush. there were perception issues that i'm sure he had to address. and there were limitations on what a not -- limitations on what a white house office could do. while we were here at a panel and we all want to make nice at a gathering like this, there are fundamental disagreements that you might have about something the bush did that you would seek to correct and there would be issues that i identified one but there are several as they did not have an ideological viewpoint lined up properly. when that happens, that is not necessarily the white house office's responsibility anymore than it was under my watch when things happened or j or
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john's. it is not just perception, but i hink the nice thing is, in our country and tonight, that we can come together and talk about them. we do disagreement have processes in place in a crop -- and they compensate -- in a country that addresses grievances and wrongs. despite your best efforts, there are things that would happen within the administration that you couldn't properly and fronts -- hockley influence from your own purge and that could be a source of frustration. >> something else that i think both administrations have agreed on and then in different ways, the role of faith in general but the office in particular in foreign affairs and stepping boyfriend domestic affairs and tepping into the foreign realm.
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j mentioned that far -- jay mentioned petfar. how do you see -- what do you recommend that going forward? >> i think there really has been a lot of common ground on this issue going way back. there have been countless symposia and reports written on how -- i think secretary kerry said at the lodge of the state department office -- we ignore the global impact of religion at our peril. and there has been consensus around that idea for a very long time. it is only -- the news is that i'm a just a few months ago, the state department office opened with a capacity to deal with educating people in the united states government that serve around the world and helping them become literate about the religious aspects of the landscape in which they serve, which is terribly important. that has been an area where there has been common
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ground. i think that some of the tasks of this new office will be to do that kind of academic and professional training for people who served so that they know the difference between shia and sunni muslims and many other faith groups around the world and know what that means. that is very important. and also working with faith and community groups around the world to do things like development, economic development, to try to counter violent extremism and to try to promote religious freedom and other universal human rights. so i think there is a lot of consensus around those kinds of ideas and i hope that we will be able to push forward in a way that draws together people from across the political spectrum, to promote the agenda of that office.
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>> faith is a dominant actor in villages all over the world. we have seen it all too often and horribly how it interfaces in so many geopolitical questions of today. so illiteracy is unacceptable. so it is adjusted federal government question. tony blair and rick warren held an event at douglas not long ago, a couple of years go -- an event at davos not long ago, a couple of years ago. these are necessities. >> i would like to go ahead and open it up to some questions. here's what i would like to ask you to do. we have one microphone here. i need you to use the microphone so that your voice can be heard. and you have to give it back. so we will just kind of tacit as the crows fly -- kind of pass it s the crows fly. we will start here in front. >> in my history of this
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understanding of the relationship between faith-based groups and government is a long one. remember catholic charities and catholic receive -- catholic relief charities having received and cooperated with the government from back in the 1920s. i'm not that old. that was a precedent. so when this office was established, i thought wonderful. this is being put into the common understanding we're been doing so well together. here, locally, those large
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religious-based service operators receive the united way fund, community dollars, and a big, generous spirit. i thought the precedent was set up by the 1920's. >> before that. >> catholic charities was 40% of the income. >> 70%. >> thank you for the correction. i cofounded a nonprofit about 30 years ago in dallas, homeward bound. having understood, it is not faith based. we have faith as founders and staff, we are not openly religious oriented. we have served 160,000 or more local people in distress with counseling, residential counseling. across the spectrum from
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probation to prostitutes. we have done that with several state, county, and local money without galas and golf tournaments. we relied on the general public. it works. tell me if my history is right. >> your history is great. catholic charities, salvation army, jewish federation, the whole canopy. what was observed and part of the motivation that led to the evolution was the observation that as great as they are, i am big on catholic charities and so forth, the number of religious and nonprofit organizations that are not large but you do incredible work and were shut out from the kind of public/private collaboration has led in those organizations to enjoy support not only financial


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