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Bush presses funding for faith groups

By Mary Leonard

Through executive orders, an aggressive wooing of religious groups, and his unflagging commitment to use the bully pulpit, President Bush has bypassed a reluctant Congress and is fulfilling his inaugural promise to bridge the historic separation of church and state and make his administration the most faith-friendly in memory.

The effort, carried out by Bush’s Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives and branches in seven federal agencies, is starting to bear fruit as it encourages religious groups to compete for public funds and directs millions of dollars in social-service grants to ministries and houses of worship, which can retain their religious identity and sidestep federal civil rights laws that bar discrimination in hiring.

Read the original article at: The Boston Globe

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