Quantcast

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) 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)

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 wasn’t 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.

Copyright 2015, Deseret News Publishing Company