President George W. Bush today announced that he has asked the Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives to develop materials to guide urban congregations in finding role models for young men who have been raised without fathers. Bush made the remarks at the National Summit on Fatherhood in Washington, D.C.
The Rev. Barry W. Lynn, executive director of Americans United for Separation of Church and State, said the president is heading down the wrong path.
"Many religious leaders are going to find the president's action deeply insulting," said Lynn. "It's the height of arrogance for President Bush to think the White House should tell churches how to deal with family relationships.
"America's clergy are perfectly capable of counseling families in their congregations without 'guidance' from the federal government," Lynn continued. "President Bush just doesn't seem to understand the separation of church and state."
According to the Associated Press, Bush's proposed budget earmarks $64 million next year for programs designed to "strengthen fatherhood." If Congress approves funding, grants would go to religious and other community groups that promote successful parenting and marriage.
Americans United has taken a leadership role in opposing the Bush "faith-based" initiative. AU is a religious liberty watchdog group based in Washington, D.C. Founded in 1947, the organization represents some 60,000 members and allies houses of worship in all 50 states.
Americans United is a religious liberty watchdog group based in Washington, D.C. Founded in 1947, the organization educates Americans about the importance of church-state separation in safeguarding religious freedom.