Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Divine Mission Creep

If by any chance you thought that something called the "Department of Homeland Security" would be concentrating on issues relating to domestic responses to security or safety threats, well, George W. Bush has other ideas:

By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, and in order to help the Federal Government coordinate a national effort to expand opportunities for faith-based and other community organizations and to strengthen their capacity to better meet America's social and community needs, it is hereby ordered as follows:

Section 1. Establishment of a Center for Faith-Based and Community Initiatives at the Department of Homeland Security.

(a) The Secretary of Homeland Security (Secretary) shall establish within the Department of Homeland Security (Department) a Center for Faith-Based and Community Initiatives (Center).

(b) The Center shall be supervised by a Director appointed by Secretary. The Secretary shall consult with the Director of the White House Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives (WHOFBCI Director) prior to making such appointment.

(c) The Department shall provide the Center with appropriate staff, administrative support, and other resources to meet its responsibilities under this order.

Sec. 2. Purpose of Center. The purpose of the Center shall be to coordinate agency efforts to eliminate regulatory, contracting, and other programmatic obstacles to the participation of faith-based and other community organizations in the provision of social and community services ...

And it continues for another while, listing various tasks for this new center. Is anyone going to ask the White House what exactly this has to do with hurricane or attack response? Does it in fact represent a diagnosis that the real reason for the failure of the Katrina response was a lack of religious organizations in the relief effort?

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