On Thursday President Trump symbolically noted the significance of the National Day of Prayer by creating a new White House faith and opportunity initiative. The first paragraph of the faith initiative declares that faith-based organizations should be on a “level playing field” when it comes to competing for government grants or other “Federal funding opportunities.” The Executive Order states:
Faith-based and community organizations have tremendous ability to serve individuals, families, and communities through means that are different from those of government and with capacity that often exceeds that of government. These organizations lift people up, keep families strong, and solve problems at the local level. The executive branch wants faith-based and community organizations, to the fullest opportunity permitted by law, to compete on a level playing field for grants, contracts, programs, and other Federal funding opportunities. The efforts of faith-based and community organizations are essential to revitalizing communities, and the Federal Government welcomes opportunities to partner with such organizations through innovative, measurable, and outcome-driven initiatives.
Trump said the new initiative will help religious organizations “strengthen the institutions of civil society and American families and communities.” The intention of the initiative is to insure that people of faith or faith based businesses are not marginalized or relegated from the public square.
Family Research Council President Tony Perkins was present when Trump signed the Executive Order and praised the initiative.
“The announcement of President Trump’s faith initiative is further evidence that this administration is not only committed to protecting our First Freedom but in also acknowledging that our faith in God contributes to the guidance and well-being of our country,” Perkins said in a press release. “I look forward to working with the president to make sure the community of faith will be able to bring hope and help to people in the United States and around the globe. No longer are Americans punished or excluded from the public square because of their faith, rather they are welcomed and protected by our government,” Perkins concluded.
The current administration’s attitude towards the faith community is a welcome change from the previous administration’s hostility towards people and businesses of faith. We hope that this encouraging trend at the national level continues and trickles down towards state and local governments as well.