Jacques Berlinerblau, who says he could “do without” the National Prayer Breakfast, seems resigned to President Obama’s “scripture bombs” and “platitude-fest” at yesterday’s confab, declaring the “golden age of secularism” over.
I don’t think, for what it’s worth, that Berlinerblau has given up hope, given that he says he’s taken on framing a new secularism as his own project, and calls upon the secularist movement to think of the prayer breakfast as “an invitation to think secularism afresh.”
Berlinerblau also gave a loud voice to critics of Obama’s Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships:
The Office or the Kremlin?: Mid-speech the president gave a shout out to “The director of our Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnership’s office, Joshua DuBois — young minister himself — he starts my morning off with meditations from Scripture.”
I wish Mr. DuBois would start off my morning with explanations of what exactly that Office is doing—a never-ending source of confusion, and even awe, among reporters, policy analysts and professors in Washington, DC.
Ouch. Of course at a platitude-fest designed no doubt to quell the Muslim-rumors-that-won’t-die, Obama would surely include high praise for the faith-based office. Its main selling point, as yet unproven, is that it helps faith-based and community organizations do a better job at providing services to their constitutents. But its actual activities remain mysterious, and reporters are left to wonder and guess: what is its purpose? Who is in charge? How does it leave its mark? Do its activities blur the line between church and state? Very much like the National Prayer Breakfast’s sponsor, The Family.