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if(requestedWidth > 0){ document.getElementById(‘articleViewerGroup’).style.width = requestedWidth + “px”; document.getElementById(‘articleViewerGroup’).style.margin = “0px 0px 10px 10px”; } President Barack Obama will use today’s National Prayer Breakfast in Washington, D.C., to announce his faith-based initiatives, which reportedly will be directed by religious leaders including a former president of the Southern Baptist Convention, a Jewish rabbi and an African-American bishop.
A Mormon is unlikely to be among those leaders.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has operated an “effective welfare and humanitarian program for more than 60 years without government funding,” spokesman Scott Trotter said Wednesday, signaling the church also is unlikely ever to accept federal money under Obama’s initiatives.
That stance continues the approach taken by the church in 2001, when President Bush created the first faith-based initiative.
“We like to do [our welfare projects] on our own,” the late President Gordon B. Hinckley said at the time. “Once the government is involved, regulations follow.”
Trotter said Mormon leaders do not object to the government trying to “strengthen the efforts of other churches in welfare and social services.”
But other Utah-based faiths are also wary of any regulations Obama may attach to federal money, such as any rule that would prohibit grant recipients from limiting hiring to those who share their faith.
During Obama’s campaign, he pledged to allow churches to restrict hiring in the nontaxpayer-funded portions of their programs, as long they followed laws