While many may find spiritual edification or profound religious messages in the pages of former Director of the Office of Faith-Based Community Initiatives Joshua DuBois' recently released book about his daily devotionals for President Obama, one church-state watchdog group has expressed concern.
DuBois recently had a book published titled The President's Devotional: The Daily Readings That Inspired President Obama.
Americans United for Separation of Church and State, a Washington, D.C.-based organization, has taken issue with the possibility that DuBois wrote the devotional while "on the clock" at the Office of Faith-Based Community Initiatives.
Simon Brown of Americans United wrote on the group's blog "The Wall of Separation" an entry where he alleged that DuBois spent too much time writing the devotional rather than focusing on "serious policy matters."
"What's troubling is that DuBois seems to have used taxpayer-funded time to nurture Obama's religious interests. That idea doesn't sit well with Americans United," wrote Brown.
Brown quoted Americans United Legislative Director Maggie Garrett, who in a recent interview with Time stated that she did not believe one should write religious material while working at a government job.
"It seems quite inappropriate for the faith-based director to be composing prayers and Bible lessons on the government dime," said Garrett.
"And it is especially true when there was really important work to be done, such as reforming the faith-based initiative rules."
Published on Tuesday, Pentecostal minister Joshua DuBois' book The President's Devotional is compilation of morning devotionals DuBois sent President Barack Obama during DuBois' time at the Faith-Based Office.
"The President's Devotional lets you start each day with the words that have inspired President Barack Obama, collected by Joshua DuBois, President Obama's "Pastor-in-Chief" (Time magazine)-his spiritual advisor who also served as the executive director of the White House Office of Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships," reads the Amazon description.
"Every day, DuBois provided President Obama with a morning devotional weaving together scripture, song, prayer, and reflections, motivated by the spirit of God and infused with joyful flair. The President's Devotional contains the best of these devotionals, daily spiritual guidance that offer peace, comfort, and inspiration throughout the entire year."
DuBois campaigned for then Senator Obama back in 2008 and later was named to the director position of the Office of Faith-Based Community Initiatives. He resigned from the position in February.
The release of the book comes months after DuBois stated in an interview with ABC News that the president was a deeply religious Christian.
"He spent a lot of time thinking about the Book of Job and Job overcoming trials," said DuBois, reflecting on the daily readings he would send to the president. "We also spent a lot of time in the prophets, particularly the prophet Isaiah. But [he] reflects on some theologians as well, like C.S. Lewis and Howard Thurman."