Help! The President’s Faith-Based Initiative is Missing!


A few days ago, WaPo’s Michelle Boorstein put up a plaintive post on the newspaper’s Under God blog asking for help in finding out what’s up with the faith-based initiative out in the dozen federal departments that have dedicated officials embedded in them.

I’ve been requesting access to even a few of these offices for more
than six months, but am getting nowhere with the White House. And the
people who run the offices aren’t allowed to say three words to a

If you know what these people do, or
if you know someone who knows what these people do, or if you have some
good ideas for us as we explore what these people do, please e-mail me:
[email protected]

Boorstein’s the local religion beat reporter, and no one’s done more to cover the faith-based initiative since Obama took office. If anyone ought to have access to the relevant federal officials, she should. Why the hell shouldn’t the public be entitled to know what’s going on? It’s hard to avoid the conclusion that religion, like race, has become something of a toxic subject at the White House. It’s also hard to avoid the conclusion that, actually, not much is happening.

The most consequential of the departmental appointments thus far has been Peter Groff, the former president of the Colorado state senate, who took the faith-based position at the Department of Education last year. Earlier this month, he resigned to become CEO of the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools. What did Groff do while he was at DOE? He doesn’t seem to have had much to tweet about. Maybe he’ll talk to you now, Michelle.