A few weeks back Obama announced the new head of the White House's Office of Faith Based and Neighborhood Partnerships. This appointment seemed to be greeted with some enthusiasm among religious moderates and liberals and even among some in the freethought-humanist-atheist-etc communities. I have to admit this has confused me a little bit. She sounds like a decent person and Obama's handling of the office is better than Bush II, who created it. However, I still see no reason to be happy about.
For me, a title of one of Hemant "Friendly Atheist" Mehta's blog says it all, "The New Director of Obama’s Faith-Based Office is a Supporter of Church-State Separation." Let me repeat that, "The New Director of Obama’s Faith-Based Office is a Supporter of Church-State Separation." The very existence of the office is an innate affront to the basic principle of separation of church and state.
I sincerely hope Melissa Rogers does a decent job dealing with the problematic aspects of her new office. However well she runs the office it does not diminish the criticism that it should not exist in the first place. Her leadership will not change the fact that the Faith Based Office makes a mockery of one of the foundational concepts of our constitution.