By Dan Gilgoff, God & Country
The Christian Broadcasting Network's David Brody reports that President Obama will make some news at his appearance at tomorrow's National Prayer Breakfast, announcing the creation of a new President's Advisory Council on Faith and laying out plans for White House faith-based initiatives:
...The prayer breakfast will be an opportunity for President Obama to explain the role of the faith based office and his vision of how it intersects with government.
...this newly developed President's Council on Faith will be made up of outside faith community leaders from across the political and ideological spectrum who will advise the administration on a host of faith related issues. They will not be employed by The White House but rather the council will work closely with the Faith Based Office. In essence, this advisory Council is one part of the overall office. The advisory council will focus on ways to contribute to the common good and come up with ideas on how to improve public policy in all sorts of areas ranging from health insurance to poverty. Some of the Council members will be on stage with President Obama at the prayer breakfast. The size of the group and member names will be revealed during the prayer breakfast but this source tells The Brody File that the council won't be made up of "The Usual Suspects".In other words, it won't be just a bunch of progressive liberals.... The expectation is that they will meet with President Obama from time to time though details on that have not been hammered out.
Both developments mark an expansion of the formalized role of religion in the White House from the Bush years. The Bush White House lacked a formal outside council of advisers. And Obama has already said his faith-based initiatives office will be a beefed-up version of Bush's.
Read the Brody report here.