Book Review: Reclaiming Hope: Lessons learned in the Obama White House about the future of faith in America, by Michael Wear
During President Obama’s first term in office, Michael Wear served in the Office of Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships. He later directed faith outreach for the president’s 2012 re‑election campaign. Wear has now written a book about his experiences in the halls of power.
The book is part memoir about the behind the scenes struggles surrounding some of the administration’s signature achievements, including the adoption tax credit and making human trafficking a presidential priority. The author also reflects on some of the more controversial stories of the previous eight years, including the issues of abortion, contraception, and the president’s change of position on gay marriage.
On the subject of religious freedom, the author makes an insightful comment.
I do not believe that anyone I worked with in the Obama administration, certainly not the president, was motivated by a desire to undermine religious freedom. That was not their aim. Religious freedom is not under attack.
But it is under pressure. Religious freedom is increasingly butting up against other values in stark, personal ways, and religious freedom is often the loser in those collisions. We have a problem of pluralism, of different views and perspective. What must be declared out-of-bounds is not our diverse perspectives, but the zero-sum politics that disregards collateral damage in pursuit of a win. And the administration failed in this respect.
The author concludes by giving practical ways for Christians to be involved in our political system. While you may not agree with the author’s assessment of the Obama administration in relation to faith, you will gain insight from his account.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers <http://booklookbloggers.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.