President Obama, please honor your campaign promise and the U.S.Constitution.
End religious privilege as we know it in the U.S. government today. Protect our secular democracy. The onslaught of religious acts, amendments and resolutions that Congressional members, federal offices and the White House have initiated continues with the recent opening of the Office of Faith-Based Community Initiative in the U.S. Department of State. As noted on the official website, “the office reaches out to faith-based communities to ensure that voices are heard in the policy process, and it works with those communities to advance U.S. diplomacy and development objectives.”
What does this mean exactly? It means that the U.S. government must encourage and support religious dogma – even if doing so goes against the interests of U.S. citizens.
Never before has America actively integrated U.S. diplomacy and religious concerns to this extent. Is it possible for the U.S. to promote secular democracy internationally, and at the same time, promote government deference to faith institutions?
Again from the State Department website:
“In accordance with the U.S. Strategy on Religious Leader and Faith Community Engagement, the office guarantees that engagement with faith-based communities is a priority for Department bureaus and posts abroad, and helps equip our foreign and civil service officers with the skills necessary to engage faith-communities effectively and respectfully.”
We at ISHV are worried that the U.S. strategy to guarantee engagement with religious organizations could undermine the rule of law by government officials, and lead to a false sense of entitlement among certain religious institutions that use their dogma against women, the LGBTi community, and anyone else they do not like. The U.S. government must not give these religious groups credence and support.
Help stop the subversion of the Constitution and the rule of law.