Thursday, February 5, 2009

Presidential Advisory Committee on Faith

The news reports:
The Obama administration is set to announce a diverse set of advisers to a revamped White House office that will steer government money to religious and neighborhood groups doing social service work. They include a former president of the Southern Baptist Convention, a Jewish rabbi active in Washington and a pioneering female African-American bishop.
[A] religious leader with knowledge of the advisory group said representation from the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community is also anticipated.

"Certainly, they'll be encouraged to voice their individual voices," the leader said.
Right....I'm SO encouraged. Just what representation do they expect? Our only experience so far is that we can voice our opinions but no one listens.
By far, the most sensitive issue surrounding the initiative is Obama's campaign pledge to allow religious institutions taking part in the program to hire and fire based on religion only in the non-taxpayer funded portions of their activities.

Where there are state or local laws prohibiting hiring choices based on sexual orientation in the federally funded portion of the programs, Obama has said he would support those being applied......

The Rev. Samuel Rodriguez, president of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference, said he and other religious leaders have conveyed their concerns about the hiring issue in conference calls with the transition team and the Obama White House. One concern is that churches or other faith groups would be required to change their bylaws or hiring practices to qualify for the grants.
Have you noticed that that's always their canard? It's not true, of course, no one is telling them they have to change their church-y laws. Just for the part that gets public money. Because guess what, church-y dude, GAY PEOPLE PAY TAXES TOO, and it's WRONG for you to steal my money and use it against me.
"I believe it's not practical and it's not going to happen — and the president knows the backlash from the faith community would be egregious," Rodriguez said. "To push the envelope on that, to say, for example, 'You're going to have to hire gays and lesbians' ... that would be unprecedented."
Was that said anywhere? That there's a GLBT quota?

Now I have plenty of problems with "faith based" as it by its nature excludes those without faith. Make a community-works council that includes the religious, sure, but giving the religious their OWN council bothers me.

Of course, I am one lonely voice and no one cares. So, let's consider it as a legit committee, and ask, who's gonna run it?
President Obama plans to name Joshua DuBois, a 26-year-old Pentecostal pastor and political strategist who handled religious outreach for the Obama campaign, to direct a revamped office of faith-based initiatives, according to religious leaders who have been informed about the choice.
This guy has no real world executive experience, so put him in a federal office? Right....

As one blogger wrote,
/Newsweek columnist Sally Quinn says that DuBois was the person who first floated Rick Warren’s name as a possible inaugural speaker; DuBois, who was in charge of faith-based outreach for the Obama campaign, also put together the program that featured Donnie McClurkin, an “ex-gay” gospel singer who has said that “homosexuality is a curse.”

DuBois is young. I don’t think he did these things to send a message to gays and lesbians - I think he did those things because he doesn’t figure us in at all.
Yes, I think we've gotten that message. Loud and Clear.


Göran Koch-Swahne said...

The consevo lot will hate him anyway, so why not just hire a couple of out GLBTI?

At least that would present some proof "in the eating" ;=)

Erp said...

Why not hire a few non-theists?

Perhaps this should be reorganized.
1. Instead of faith-based organizations make it non-government organizations. These could be faith-based or non-religious.
2. Require non-discrimination by religion, race, sex, sexual orientation in the state funded sections. E.g., if the Boy Scouts apply for a grant to teach teenagers skills they can't discriminate in that project against gays or atheists either in who they teach and who they have teach

IT said...

Yes, but it's too late. It's a committee for "faith" meaning "religion" (e.g., Christianity with a token Jew and token Muslim). No Hindus, Buddhists, atheists ("humanists" he calls us, fine), no pagans, Native Americans....

MarkBrunson said...

Why not Hindus or Buddhists or pagans or Native Americans? They all have religions.

If it is "faith," why not atheists, as well - you have faith that there is no God, yes?

Still, I suspect you're right, IT: we will be encouraged to voice and they will be free to ignore. Why does "free to voice their opinion" in this context always sound like "anything you say may be taken down and used in evidence against you?"

IT said...

Oh, it's worse than that, MarkBrunson, I think it's more "anything you say will have as much effect as crickets chirping in the night".