I am troubled that President Obama’s expansion of the Office of Faith Based and Neighborhood Partnerships cements in American government the idea that “persons of faith” somehow have more to say about moral issues than those of no faith at all. I come from an Anabaptist tradition where the separation between church and state was essentially something people were willing to die for. As an atheist today, I am still someone who is deeply committed to working on issues of social justice. I understand the role faith can play in meeting social needs as well as spiritual ones. However, it seems that President Obama is seeking to insert the private role of religion into government, codifying it. How does your office deal with these concerns? What lines will it not cross and has the constitutional separation of church and state come up in discussions with the President?
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