Religious Liberty On Chopping Block: Obama’s New Transgender Appointee to Faith-Based Council

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The tensions between the LGBT community and its supporters with the religious right who oppose the LGBT lifestyle have been intensifying with both sides claiming that their liberties are being restricted at the hands of the other. United States President Barack Obama has done something that is quite the dichotomy; he has appointed a “transgender” person, who goes by Barbara Satin, to the President’s Advisory Council on Faith-Based Neighborhood Partnerships. Reacting to the appointment, Satin said the following: “‘I am both honored and humbled to be selected to serve on the President’s advisory council…’ Given the current political climate, I believe it’s important that a voice of faith representing the transgender and gender non-conforming community—as well as a person of my years, nearly 82—be present and heard in these vital conversations.”1

A brief history of Satin’s life according to Brietibart News is the following: “Satin was raised “as a boy” in a devout Catholic family and attended Catholic schools. Referring to his “masculine side” as “David,” Satin says that as a teen, he lived for two years at a seminary, but left the school when he realized he could not continue to pursue priestly ministry because of his gender issues. He continued on at a local Catholic college, and then received a commission in the U.S. Air Force. After a kidney infection ended his flying career, Satin returned to St. Paul, married, and had three children with his wife. He is now a grandfather as well… When he was 54, Satin retired early and began to explore his ‘transgender identity.’ He adopted the name ‘Barbara Satin’ full-time, explaining, ‘Barbara was the name of the first girl that I felt attracted to, and Satin is the fabric of my life.’”2

The White House’s official website describes the role of this council thus: “The President’s Advisory Council on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships brings together leaders and experts in fields related to the work of faith-based and neighborhood organizations in order to make recommendations to the Administration on how to improve the partnerships it forms to serve people in need. The Council is charged with: identifying best practices and successful modes of delivering social services; evaluating the need for improvements in the implementation and coordination of public policies relating to faith-based and neighborhood organizations; and making recommendations to the President and the Administration on changes in policies, programs, and practices. The Council, after conducting its research, reviews, and deliberation, submits written reports of its recommendations.”3

With Satin added to the committee, none need speculate what types of recommendations will be coming from the board and with President Obama’s advocacy for LGBT issues and concerns; those recommendations will likely pass and resulting in some being written into law. Satin has been and presently is involved with several homosexual and transgender advocacy groups. What will this mean for faith-based businesses and services that do not support the LGBT lifestyle and choose not to render their services or support of this group? They will either opt to no longer receive federal funding and carry out their beliefs, or they could refuse to yield while still receiving funding and consequently find themselves embroiled in legal woes. Of course Satin, who considers himself to be a religious person, will advocate for LGBT issues that are near and dear to his heart, especially in the context of churches and other religious businesses and services, forcing them to become more inclusive and accepting of LGBT citizens. This appointment of Satin to a board that oversees faith-based community organizations is a move that likely could cause the committee to become intolerant of religious conservatives who oppose the LGBT lifestyle, while at the same time promoting tolerance for the LGBT community.

It is quite interesting that the Obama Administration asserts that it is committed to preserving constitutional rights and values within the President’s Advisory Council on Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships, while in other areas such as his legislation regarding LGBT restroom policies and same-sex unions say otherwise. Time will tell how events will play out with this appointment of Satin, but prophetically speaking America will repudiate every principle of its constitution and force individuals to act and live according to its dictates and not the dictates of their own consciences, and if found non-compliant, will face the prohibition of buying or selling.

2. Ibid

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