Joshua DuBois: What's next for President Obama's 'pastor-in-chief'

Published: Thursday, Feb. 14 2013 2:45 p.m. MST

President Barack Obama meets with (from left) Senator Harry Reid, Joshua DuBois, Director of the White House Office for Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships, LDS Church President Thomas Monson and Elder Dallin Oaks in the Oval Office, July 20, 2009.

Pete Souza, White House

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Our take: Joshua DuBois, the White House's former director of faith-based initiatives, writes for CNN that he was hired in 2008 because then-candidate Obama's closest advisers "saw the need to engage people of faith in the public square." That's a very different view than that of religious liberty advocates who see the Obama administration as hostile toward religion.

I first heard the name Barack Obama in the summer of 2004 over a half-pound burger and fries on Capitol Hill. I was putting in long hours as a legislative intern for a wily member of Congress between two years of graduate school at Princeton, where I was studying public policy. The pay was meager enough for gas for my beat-up Chevy Blazer and a tiny Craigslist apartment with two guys and a cat. But it was good to be in Washington and have a few months to wrestle with what in the world I was going to do with the rest of my life.

But by the time my internship was ending in late July, I wasnt any closer to figuring things out. I knew I loved Christ I was an associate pastor at a small Pentecostal church back home and wanted my career to be tied to my faith. I also knew I wanted to help people who were struggling; my grandmother was active in the civil rights movement, and my parents made sure that working for justice and mercy was in my bones. And finally, I knew that I had some serious student loans to pay back. The hard part was figuring out how to balance all three.

Late one day, July 27 to be exact, I walked a couple of blocks to my favorite neighborhood dive, a local spot named the Hawk 'n' Dove. There was always a happy hour special going on at the Hawk, and they showed more Red Sox games than Yankees which, since I'm a Sox fan, was a good thing in my book.

Read more about My Take: What's next for President Obama's 'pastor-in-chief' on CNN.

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