When I saw this article this morning reporting that Obama Administration aides were scheduled to meet with representatives of the Secular Coalition for America today, I wondered how long it would take for some Religious Right group to throw a fit that the Administration was meeting with atheists.
Turns out, it took about an hour:
The advocacy group In God We Trust today ripped the Obama administration for meeting to plot political strategy with 60 atheist activists representing organizations comprising the Secular Coalition of America.
“It is one thing for Administration to meet with groups of varying viewpoints, but it is quite another for a senior official to sit down with activists representing some of the most hate-filled, anti-religious groups in the nation,” says In God We Trust’s Chairman Bishop Council Nedd.
“President Obama seems to believe that it is a good idea to have a key senior aide plan political strategy with people who believe faith in God is a disease,” Nedd says. “Some of the people in this coalition believe the world would be better off with no Christians and no Jews and they aren’t shy about it. The fact that this meeting is happening at all is an affront to the vast majority of people of all faiths who believe in God.”
“The President should tell the American people whether he believes these groups’ hate-filled views to be ‘mainstream’ and worthy of his supposedly inclusive administration,” Nedd says.
President Bush would never have met with anyone who esposed “hate-filled views” … would he?
- For the period April 2001 through June 2006, Focus on the Family Founder and Chairman Emeritus James Dobson visited the White House 24 times; 10 of those visits were to President Bush.
- Andrea Lafferty, Executive Director of the Traditional Values Coalition, made an astonishing 50 visits to the White House starting on February 1, 2001, and continuing through March 16, 2008. Six of those visits were to President Bush.
- Wendy Wright, President of Concerned Women for America, made 43 visits to the White House between May 2001 and August 2006. Four of those visits were to President Bush.
- Gary Bauer, President of American Values, made 10 visits to the White House, starting with a January 6, 2003 visit to Vice President Cheney and ending with a July 20, 2006 visit to President Bush.
- The late Jerry Falwell, of Jerry Falwell Ministries, made eight visits to the White House between May 2001 and September 2004. Three of those visits were to President Bush.
- Tony Perkins, President of Family Research Council, visited the White House 14 times between February 2001 and June 2006, including two visits to President Bush.
- Louis Sheldon, Chairman of the Traditional Values Coalition, made 19 visits to the White House between March 2001 and September 2006, including two visits to President Bush.
- The late Paul Weyrich, the Founder of Free Congress foundation, made 17 visits to the White House between May 2001 and July 2005, including six visits to President Bush and one to Karl Rove.
- Donald Wildmon, Founder of the American Family Association, made three visits to the White House between July 2001 and March 2003, including one visit to President Bush.
Of course, this is different because it is Obama Administration officials who are meeting with the Secular Coalition of America today at the Eisenhower Executive Office Building while these Religious Right leaders only got to meet with President Bush at the White House.