Evangelical Activist Heads ‘Faith-Based’ Office

The Bush administration has named an evangelical Christian author and activist as the new director of the White House Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives.

In late August, Jedd Medefind replaced Jay Hein, who resigned to take care of a family illness. Medefind, a California native who now lives in Washington, D.C., will direct the office until the end of President George W. Bush’s term.

Medefind, 34, most recently served as deputy director of the White House office, and his prior experience includes serving as chief of staff for Republican California Assemblyman Tim Leslie, and as director for the U.S. Department of Labor’s faith-based office.

According to a report in the Los Angeles Times, Medefind wrote conservative speeches and op-eds on behalf of Leslie, accusing liberals of operating with “a profound moral blindness that somehow morphs and distorts all lines between good and evil, ultimately embracing a radical relativism incapable of distinguishing between lawmen and criminals, heroes and villains.”

In these writings, Medefind also attacked cities “that promote one sort of morality by closing public roads for transvestite marches, hanging gay pride flags, and funding homosexual art displays” but “deny funds for Boy Scout public service campaigns.”

These speeches were removed from a Web site touting one of Medefind’s books after he arrived in Washington to work for the Bush administration. Americans United retrieved the texts from an archival search.