Found the following on the Internat regarding an article I noticed in our local newspaper, Austin-American Statesman on Thurs., Feb. 25., which I reported to this forum. The headling read:
OBAMA AIDES TO MEET WITH ATHEISTS ON WHITE HOUSE GROUNDS " As it read, "His administration will host a group....... of America's nonbelievers...."
The president isn't expected to make an appearance at the meeting with the Secular Coalition for America or to unveil any new policy as a result of it.
Instead, several administration officials will sit down quietly for a morning meeting at the Eisenhower Executive Office Building on the White House campus with about 60 workhorses from the coalition's 10 member groups. including the American Atheists and the Council for Secular Humanism. Tina Tchen, the director of the White House Office of Public Engagement, and representative from the Justice and Health and Human Services departments will participate.
Coalition leaders are billing their visit as an important meeting between a presidential administration and the "nontheist" community. On the agenda are three policy areas: child medical neglect, military proselytizing and faith-based initiatives.
"We're raising important issues that affect real people's lives," said Sean Faircloth, 49, a former Maine state legislator who's the coalition's executive director.
White House apokesman Shin Inouye downplayed the meeting, saying only that Tchen's office "regularly meets with a wide range of organizations and individuals on a diverse set of issues."
The coalition's board includes such controversy magnets as authors Salman Rushdie (The Stanic Verses) and Christopher Hitchens ("God is NOT Great") as well as Michael Newdow, the Sacremento, CA doctor who argued against allowing the words "under God" in the Pledge of Allegiance before the Supreme Court, but didn't prevail. S. Carolina activist Herb Silverman founded the coalition in 2002. It's had a Washington office and a lobbiest since 2005.
Coalition members plan to use Friday's meeting to advocate closing federal loopholes in the law that governs medical neglect.They say that officials in any state should be able to remove sick children who need medical treatment from homes in which parents believe in faith healing as easily as they could intervens on behalf of other children.
the remainder of the article can be read at: