Saturday, February 7, 2009

Obama delivers on his promise

Lost amid the tug-of-war over the stimulus bill, and the ongoing process of building a Cabinet, Barack Obama announced his opening/continuance of the "Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships". One key passage from The American Prospect:

He is authorizing the office's director, Joshua DuBois, to work "through the White House Counsel to seek the advice of the Attorney General on difficult legal and constitutional issues." This means that the controversial Bush-era executive orders permitting direct funding of houses of worship and religion-based employment discrimination will remain in place indefinitely. "Giving the same, flawed program a new name and new personnel is not the change we need,” said Ron Millar, acting director of the Secular Coalition for America. “Not another taxpayer dollar should be spent until all the constitutional and civil rights concerns are addressed."

Joel Hunter and Jim Wallis are big parts of this function. These guys are "moderates" because they advocate the destruction of the separation of church and state without yelling. On issues such as state funding of religion and abortion policies, they are to the left of Sarah Palin, and to the right of the directives of the Constitution, much less the platform of the Democratic Party.

Hopefully when Obama is no longer a political figure, we will learn the sources of his antipathy toward the separation of church and state, and toward Howard Dean.

PS: In this thread over at BMG, I objected to the rule some people are applying that anti-LGBT bigotry should be an apparently essential question in any conversation. I noted that I don't talk about discrimination against atheists as much, which other took to mean that I didn't have a point. All this to say, maybe I should talk about s--t like this teacher being fired due to accusations of atheism more often:

On January 16th, I was called to Mr. Richard Turner's office (my principal), and he informed me that I had been put on administrative leave with pay. The reasons, as stated to me by Mr. Turner at the time, were that I was accused of being an atheist and teaching atheism in the classroom, and I was too liberal...I later had conversations with parents and a person who lives in the community, who informed me that the principal had met with the minister of the local church and had discussed my suspension with him. I also later received information from REDACTED,a "SCHOOL EMPLOYEE-POSITION REDACTED", that the minister was now subbing...

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