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Calvin to Host Dilulio on February 23
February 7, 2005

The Paul Henry Institute for the Study of Christianity and Politics at Calvin College will sponsor a lecture by John Dilulio, former director of the White House Office of Faith-Based Initiatives on Wednesday, February 23, 3:30 p.m. in the Meeter Center Lecture Hall at Calvin.

Dilulio will reflect on "Forging a Faithful Consensus: The Future of Public-Private Partnerships Involving Community-Serving Religious Organizations."

Dilulio was the first Director of the White House Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives under President George W. Bush.

Corwin Smidt, director of the Henry Institute, says Dilulio's talk will have special relevance in West Michigan.

"DiIulio is a noted public figure and scholar, as well as an engaging speaker," says Smidt. "The topic of his address is one that has particular relevance for the West Michigan community, given the region's history with regard to faith-based, social service efforts as well as the relatively large number of such endeavors found here."

Calvin political science professor Doug Koopman wrote a book on President Bush's faith-based efforts (Of Little Faith: The Politics of George W. Bush's Faith-Based Initiatives) and he believes Dilulio deserved a better hearing than he got from the White House.

"DiIulio did most of the right things," says Koopman, "and had mostly correct political instincts, too. Had the White House followed his recommendations on strategy -- administrative changes first, and legislation much later -- faith-based initiatives would probably have stronger bipartisan support today, and have a greater role in executive branch decision making. It's unfortunate that John, a highly regarded political and social scientist, was not trusted more by some of the more influential political strategists in the White House, while he served as the director."

Dilulio currently is the Frederic Fox Leadership Professor at the University of Pennsylvania.

He has authored and edited a number of publications, including: "What's God Got to Do With the American Experiment?" "Medicaid and Devolution: A View From the States," and "Deregulating the Public Service: Can Government Be Improved?"