Page: low expectations for White House role
    September 16 2009 by Adelle M. Banks, Religion News Service

    MINNEAPOLIS — Former Southern Baptist Convention President Frank Page said he doesn’t expect much to result from the work of advisers to the White House’s office dealing with faith-based and community groups.

    “I believe that the policy recommendations that will come forth will be relatively innocuous, good, helpful,” said Page, a member of the panel, on Sept. 10 at the annual meeting of the Religion Newswriters Association. He expects results to be not much more than “low-hanging fruit.”

    “There will be good things, but nothing of great substance.”

    While Page has publicly disagreed with Obama on some issues, notably abortion, he nonetheless praised the president for his “responsible fatherhood” and poverty initiatives, as well as his commitment not to fund abortion under his proposed health care reforms.

    BP file photo by Matt Miller

    Frank Page


    The South Carolina pastor called himself the “resident fundamentalist” on the 25-member advisory panel that includes Christians, Jews, Muslims and a Hindu as well as representatives of secular organizations. Despite “some serious disagreements” with Obama, Page said he prays for the president daily and is honored to be a member of the advisory council.

    “I am shocked that I am a part of such an esteemed group,” Page told the newswriters. “I ... consider myself to be a Baptist Forrest Gump. And if you remember that old movie ... this poor fella showed up in places that he never imagined he would be and found himself in the midst of world-changing events. Well, that’s the way I feel about me.”

    The White House did not immediately comment on Page’s remarks; the director of the faith-based office, Joshua DuBois, had earlier canceled his scheduled appearance at the Minneapolis conference.

    Peg Chemberlin, president-elect of the National Council of Churches and also a member of the advisory panel, said she thinks the work of the council is more than political expediency for the White House.
     
    “I don’t think that this is primarily about political cover, but I think this is about affirming that the faith community’s got something to offer,” she said. “The nonprofit community is a huge and important sector in building the common good.”

    Asked if they saw any potential common ground being reached on abortion, both Page and Chemberlin expressed hopes that the White House might succeed in its work to reduce the need for abortion.

    “That’s probably the only common ground that I can see coming forth on that issue,” Page said.

    9/16/2009 6:37:00 AM by Adelle M. Banks, Religion News Service | with 1 comments




Comments
Wayne
Frank Page has been a top notch spokesman for Southern Baptists, during his tenure as SBC president and after. He was upset when in 2008 NAMB's offering for a national strategy had not progressed any further than a name: GPS. No matter how much fanfare it was unveiled with, there were no clothes on that bird (not to mix my metaphors). NAMB has since been to the haberdashery and GPS is getting fully clothed and ready to step out. Who is going to submit Page's name to the NAMB search committee?
9/17/2009 8:01:03 PM

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