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Life

Beyond Rick Warren’s Invocation

The Orthodox Union’s Nathan Diament has some advice for Barack Obama. Writing in The New Republic, Diament — the OU’s public policy director — urges the incoming president to do more than offer religious voters symbols, like an inaugural invocation by Rev. Rick Warren. Obama, Diament writes, has an opportunity to “advance policies that are important to them” — and can do so without sacrificing Democratic Party principles on issues like abortion, gay rights, and school vouchers.

To that end, he suggests that Obama support programming aimed at reducing the number of unwanted pregnancies; ensure that religious schools and social welfare agencies can continue to receive federal funding, regardless of their policies on homosexuality, and make federal grants available to parochial schools expanding their pre-kindergarten programs or greening their campuses. He writes:

”In their faith-outreach efforts, Democrats were wont to quote the Book of James’ statement that ‘faith without works is dead.’ If there were a Talmudic commentary to the Christian Bible, it might suggest that having won the power to govern, Democrats ought now to reread this verse to say, ‘Without work, faith outreach will be dead.’”

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