Last week it was reported that Joshua DuBois, who ran religious outreach for Barack Obama’s presidential campaign, had been tapped to head the White House’s new office of faith-based programs.
Frankly, anyone who has been paying any attention to the intersection of religion and politics, especially as it relates to the Barack Obama, ought to at least be familiar with DuBois’s name … but apparently right-wing groups have had their heads buried in the sand for the last several years:
Religious professionals expressed concern Friday over the White House’s selection of Joshua Dubois to head its Council for Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships, chiefly because Mr. Dubois, 26, has no experience working with charities.
Representatives of some of America’s largest or fastest-growing denominations, such as Assemblies of God and the Southern Baptist Convention, said they have had little or no contact with Mr. Dubois, a strategist who directed religious outreach for the Obama campaign.
Spokesmen for Catholic Charities and the Family Research Council also drew a blank when asked about him.
It is especially interesting that the SBC and FRC are both insisting that they know nothing about DuBois, considering that DuBois and his team have been trying to reach out to them:
The Family Research Council, earlier reported to have been snubbed by Obama’s folks, apparently has not been. J.P. Duffy, FRC’s spokesman, told me there had been a call put into FRC over the holidays that somehow got missed. So they’re trying to reestablish contact … Richard Land, president of the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission for the Southern Baptist Convention [said he’s received a] phone call from Josh Dubois, the transition team’s religious outreach director, thanking him for a letter Mr. Land wrote to the president-elect soon after the election.
DuBois also reportedly called Land just before the Inauguration:
Land says he received a call from Obama’s religious affairs director, Joshua DuBois, after Warren had been chosen. “Dubois told me that this was very intentionally done and that he, the president-elect, was the originator of the idea. He wanted to send the signal that you can disagree with him on some issues but still have a place with him at the table and work together on other issues of agreement.”
But instead of acknowledging the gracious efforts on the part of DuBois and the Obama team to reach out to right-wing groups who spent the last year calling Obama a “first-class arsonist” and proclaiming that, under President Obama, “our freedoms are going to come under attack,” they have apparently decided to play dumb in an effort to portray DuBois as some inexperience neophyte who has been insufficiently deferential in kissing the rings of Religious Right powerbrokers.