Obama To Support Expanding Bush’s Faith Based Programs

CHICAGO (AP) — Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama is reaching out to evangelical voters by endorsing an expansion of faith-based programs.

Obama’s announcement will also support religious groups’ ability to hire and fire based on faith – a move sure to cause controversy. It’s likely to invite a storm of protest from those who view such requirements as discrimination.

Obama unveils his approach Tuesday during a tour and remarks at Eastside Community Ministry in Zanesville, Ohio. The arm of Central Presbyterian Church provides various services in its impoverished community.

In remarks prepared for the appearance, Obama says he wants a $500 million per year program to provide summer learning for one million poor children.

Like President Bush, Obama argues that religious organizations should play a bigger role in meeting various social needs.