A peek into Obama’s “Faith Council”

Frank Page is a former head of the Southern Baptist Convention (i.e., nuts) and is also now a member of the Advisory Council on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships. In an interview, he talks about what’s going on in that council, and there is actually some good news.

My hope was that there would have been more time for focusing on formulating actual policy recommendations for the president. They keep saying that that’s something we’ll have more time for in the future. But most of our time so far has been briefings from administration officials about various government programs that are already in place.

So they’re wasting a little money and time by keeping these believers around, but they’re not wasting a lot of money by actually paying attention to them and letting them set policy. That’s reassuring, but not particularly efficient…unless, of course, the efficiency lies in keeping the delusional thinkers tied up in committee meetings.

But then, the way they’re thinking delusionally is aggravating. Page is the most conservative member of the team, and what do they put him on? A fatherhood committee.

There have been times when my voice and voices of others have been kindly heard, but the wish is always expressed that we need to find common ground or consensus. For example, I’m on the fatherhood task force, and there have been times when I have attempted to deal with the issue of fathers being better fathers because of their faith traditions, that they need to be true to the Bible or some other holy book about what makes a man a good father.

And they kindly listen, and then we move on to what government programs are available for fathers. It’s more about how the government would like to help fathers and here’s what government money is available for this problem. I feel that the key to solving those problems is not government money but the responsibility that’s rooted in one’s faith.

I can’t quite imagine a more disastrous social policy than basing male roles on the patriarchal misogyny of the Bible. Well, except for using that book to define female roles.

I also doubt that they’re actually honestly looking for common ground. There’s a notable absence of fierce god-hating atheists on the council (hey, if they can put conservatives who want to destroy the public school system on school boards, why not anti-religious crusaders on the Faith Council?), so I think the system is more interested in stacking the deck.