Controversial Professor to Head New Faith-Based Office

Secretary of State John Kerry has announced the creation of the Office of Faith-Based Community Initiatives, charged with engaging faith communities around the world, and chose a liberal professor who once said he was “glad American civil religion is dying” to head the new department. is reporting that Secretary Kerry chose Shaun Casey, a liberal professor and former religion advisor to President Barack Obama’s 2008 campaign as head of the new office.

The administration came under immediate fire when it was revealed that Casey served as a panelist for a discussion at the far-left Center for American Progress in January 2012 in which he praised the demise of “civil religion.”

“I, frankly, am glad American civil religion is dying,” said Casey, who is also a professor of Christian Ethics at Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington, D.C. “There is also a negative underside to that history with respect to slavery, manifest destiny, to war, you know, to empires, so I, frankly, am glad American civil religion is dying.”

The term “civil religion” was coined by Swiss-French philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1712-1778) who described it as being the “moral and spiritual foundation of modern society.”

During his acceptance speech, Casey praised Reinhold Niebuhr, the American theologian who composed the Serenity Prayer. Niebuhr was a once a member of a militant faction of the Socialist Party of America and was a founder of Americans for Democratic Action, a political organization that promoted progressive policies.

Casey will now be charged with engaging more closely with faith communities around the world in order to partner with them to solve global challenges.

“There is common ground between the Abrahamic faiths, and, in fact, between the Abrahamic faiths and all religions and philosophies, whether you’re talking about Hindu or Confucianism or any other of the many of the world’s different approaches to our existence here on the planet and to our relationship with a supreme being,” said Secretary Kerry.

“All of these faiths are virtuous and they are in fact, most of them, tied together by the golden rule, as well as fundamental concerns about the human condition, about poverty, about relationships between people, our responsibilities each to each other,” he continued. “And they all come from the same human heart.”

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