Less than ten days after taking office in January 2001, President George W. Bush gathered a host of religious folks at the White House and announced his faith-based initiative, the cornerstone of his compassionate conservative agenda. It became, as The Christian Science Monitor's G. Jeffrey MacDonald recently termed it, "one of the flash points of the culture wars that raged as he came to office in 2001."
However, the clashes of the Bush era culture wars pale in comparison to the enmity of Religious Right activists who denounce President Barack Obama's all-out "War On Religion." This flies in the face of the evidence since less than a month into his presidency, President Obama signed an executive order creating the White House Office of Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships.
"The goal of this office will not be to favor one religious group over another-or even religious groups over secular groups," Obama stated when announcing the new office at the annual National Prayer Breakfast. The purpose, he said, "will simply be to work on behalf of those organizations that want to work on behalf of our communities, and to do so without blurring the line that our founders wisely drew between church and state."