State Department Launches Office Of Faith-Based Community Initiatives

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Secretary of State John Kerry introduced the first Special Advisor of the new Office of Faith-Based Community Initiatives, Shaun Casey, at the State Department on Wednesday. The creation of this office indicates the State Department's interest in religious engagement, which began in earnest during Hillary Clinton's tenure as Secretary of State.


According to a notice by State Department:

The new office will set Department policy on engagement with faith-based communities and will work in conjunction with bureaus and posts to reach out to those communities to advance the Department’s diplomacy and development objectives. It will also work closely with faith communities to ensure that their voices are heard in the foreign policy process, including through continued collaboration with the Department's religion and foreign policy working group. The office will collaborate regularly with other government officials and offices focused on religious issues, including the Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom and the Department’s Office of International Religious Freedom.

Casey served as a Senior Advisor for Religious Affairs and as National Evangelical Coordinator during President Barack Obama's 2008 campaign, and has been serving as a special adviser to the Secretary of State for faith-based community initiatives on July 15, according to Wesley Theological Seminary, where he usually teaches as a professor of Christian ethics.

Melissa Rogers, the Director of the White House Faith-Based Office of Neighborhood Partnerships, explained the three primary goals of the office during Casey's introduction, which will be pursued through engagement with religious communities. First, to promote sustainable development and a more effective humanitarian response, second, to advance pluralism and human rights, including the protection of religious freedom, and third, to enhance global and local security.

Written By: Yasmine Hafiz
continue to source article at huffingtonpost.com

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  1. We should perhaps look at this as a wake up call for non-believers to work hard at becoming a single issue monolithic voting block. That single issue being: Get and keep religion the hell out of government.

  2. It will also work closely with faith communities to ensure that their voices are heard in the foreign policy process, including through continued collaboration with the Department’s religion and foreign policy working group.

    @OP link – Casey served as a Senior Advisor for Religious Affairs and as National Evangelical Coordinator during President Barack Obama’s 2008 campaign, and has been serving as a special adviser to the Secretary of State for faith-based community initiatives on July 15, according to Wesley Theological Seminary, where he usually teaches as a professor of Christian ethics.

    Overseas state funded missionary work for evangies pushing “Christian ethics”??? (Isn’t that an oxymoron?)
    That should go down well with the other religions of the world!

    Could I suggest a demonstaration of the effectiveness of “faith” ..

    @OP -State Department Launches Office Of Faith-Based Community Initiatives

    …. a “walking on water initiative” perhaps?

    • In reply to #3 by Roedy:

      Surely the constitution bars this.

      Yes, it does.

      BUT, the last time the FFRF tried suing over it when it was just called the “Office of Faith-Based Initiatives”, the corrupt Supreme Court threw the case out on the argument that even if the government spends taxpayer money unconstitutionally that still doesn’t give a plaintiff enough standing to bring the case just for being a taxpayer. By setting that legal precedent the Supreme Court could truncate all possible attempts by citizens to use the courts to oppose the act of forking over government monies to churches. And they were able to stop all such attempts without having to make a ruling on whether or not it’s constitutional. It saved the court from having to actually outright lie in order to support a thing they knew perfectly well was utterly unconstitutional. They didn’t have to because they could prevent the case from even making it far enough for them to have to make the ruling. They claimed that for a citizen to sue over the constitutionality of a government action you have to prove that the government action in question caused the citizen direct harm in some way other than just the mis-spending that citizen’s taxed money. So the precedent that this set is that the only sort of religious spending of government funds that a citizen could sue over is if the funds are spent to oppose a particular church rather than being spent to support a particular one. (It’s hard to make the argument that you were harmed because the church across the street got a new extension.) This is of course bullshit because spending government money to support a church is EXACTLY what they were trying to ban when the first amendment was written, as can be seen by precedent of none other than Thomas Jefferson himself when he was president and was solicited for government funds to help churches and he cited the first amendment as the reason he couldn’t do it.

      So of course its unconstitutional, but the Supreme Court’s bullcrap standing ruling on the earlier FFRF case has made it impossible to actually bring the complaint to the court to do something about it.

      • In reply to #6 by Steven Mading:

        In reply to #3 by Roedy:

        Surely the constitution bars this.

        Yes, it does.

        BUT, the last time the FFRF tried suing over it when it was just called the “Office of Faith-Based Initiatives”, the corrupt Supreme Court threw the case out on the argument that even if the government spends taxpayer money..So of course its unconstitutional, but the Supreme Court’s bullcrap standing ruling on the earlier FFRF case has made it impossible to actually bring the complaint to the court to do something about it..

        Count on the supremes to get and stay on the wrong side of history as long as possible.

  3. What is State doing mixed up in this?

    Bad enough to have this nonsense domestically but protecting delusion abroad?

    The religious, busy little bees while the rest of us go on with our lives in the real world unaware of religious machinations.

  4. Obama doesn’t disappoint me often, but this does really disappoint me. What evangelical “voices” is this faith-head representative going to represent? Make homosexuality punishable by death? Eliminate contraceptives and abortion? Introduce religion into education?

  5. This is an example of the cat pissing in the bed because it was allowed to previously piss on the couch because it was previously allowed to piss on the floor.

    In other words, nip shit in the bud before it becomes a bigger issue.

    Take note people who declare FFRF or AA for taking legal actions against otherwise small instances of separation of church and state infractions. It’s because when you give the religious an inch they take a mile!!

    (ok how many silly cliched phrases can I use in one post?)

  6. The answer is to get a few Muslim groups to fight for money and recognition in this program then whip out an equal protection case when the fundies cry. After that, Pastafarians, Scientologists, Mormons, you name it. Make up a religion that promotes science literacy and threatens the great Booga Booga’s wrath if you don’t read, then sue. Keep these guys in court so long on 14th amendment grounds that they give up.

  7. “Melissa Rogers, the Director of the White House Faith-Based Office of Neighborhood Partnerships, explained the three primary goals of the office during Casey’s introduction, which will be pursued through engagement with religious communities. First, to promote sustainable development and a more effective humanitarian response, second, to advance pluralism and human rights, including the protection of religious freedom, and third, to enhance global and local security.”

    1. rice christianity and economic imperialism
    2. God is on our side
    3. send more guns

    “However, Kerry defended the initiative during his speech, declaring:
    …what we are doing is guided by the conviction that we have to find ways to translate our faiths into efforts that unify for the greater good”

    Plural ‘faiths’! and he wants to unify them. In the densely branched Upas tree of religious schismatics where do the twigs ever unify, still less for any ‘greater good’?

    “That can be done without crossing any lines whatsoever.”

    Apart from ethical, legal and rational ones.

  8. “Melissa Rogers, the Director of the White House Faith-Based Office of Neighborhood Partnerships, explained the three primary goals of the office during Casey’s introduction, which will be pursued through engagement with religious communities. First, to promote sustainable development and a more effective humanitarian response, second, to advance pluralism and human rights, including the protection of religious freedom, and third, to enhance global and local security.”

    And what is the biggest obstacle to achieving all of these things? Religion. UN offices and national embassies are attacked and threatened and blown up by the religious. Religious people seek to establish blasphemy laws and in some places have already done so. It’s pretty hard to have religious freedom without the freedom to criticize religion. Religious groups that are actually persecuted are always persecuted by….. other religious groups. Sustainable development is pretty hard to achieve when you have religious groups that are against contraception and spit on the idea of women’s rights, or even tell people that condoms increase the risk of AIDS (I’m looking at you, Darth Ratzinger). And while missionaries hand out food baskets containing Bibles and primarily seek conversions, secular groups like Doctors Without Borders and the Red Cross routinely provide humanitarian support without any expectation that people will adopt their world view. Add to that the fact that the largest charitable organization in the world, the Gates Foundation, is entirely secular funded by two non-believers (Gates and Buffet) and pumps billions upon billions of dollars into programs in places largely kept in the dark ages due to religion, and it would seem that the LAST thing we need is more “faith based initiatives”. The Gates Foundation even insists upon backwards nations/groups seeking aid that they involve women in this process and accord them equal status, all while religion insists that women are subservient to men. September 11, 2001 saw 2,997 people murdered as part of a faith based initiative. How about a “fact based initiative” or “reality based initiative” instead?

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