One had to know that, with his background, Obama professed 'faith. One could then only hope he'd keep it in his pants, since it's nobody's bidness but his own. Offering Ramstad a position in the Cabinet, among the top (drug) advisors, is akin to unbuttoning his fly. Via Despatches From The Culture wars, Ramstad's connections with a proselytizing Xian addict-'reclamation' program called "Teen Challenge" can be seen as 'troubling.' Teen Challenge is a "christian discipline" outfit, a kind of boot-camp for jesus-freaks looking to transfer addictions from (expensive) drugs to (free) 'belief.' (Probably they get laid a bunch, too. Nobody talks about it, of course, but that has to be one of the attractions of cult-hood, innit? You KNOW there aren't any virgins in THAT program.)
Ramstad rammed through a big ear-mark for Teen Challenge in Minnesota this year:
(Jesus' General, where I first got wind of this, asked pointedly if the "Doctors" at Teen Challenge were gonna restore the foreskins of circumcised Xian addicts, but that's probably food for another essay...Earlier this year, Ramstad sponsored a $235,000 earmark for the Minnesota Teen Challenge (MNTC), an Assemblies of God drug treatment center with a history of controversial therapies and overt religious indoctrination.More info on Teen Challenge:
MNTC is part of a national network of drug treatment and "discipleship training" centers called Teen Challenge.Teen Challenge programs across the country typically describe themselves in these terms:
"Being a Christian discipleship program, it endeavors to minister to the whole person, helping them to become mentally sound, emotionally balanced, socially adjusted, physically well, and spiritually alive through a relationship with Jesus Christ."
Teen Challenge's overt Christian message is extends to outright conversion -- at least according to its leaders. During a congressional hearing in May 2001, Congress members challenged the ability of Teen Challenge and other faith-based initiatives to offer government services without overt religiousness. Rep. Mark Souder (R-Ind.) asked Teen Challenge Executive Director John Castellani if the organization hired non-Christians. Castellani said no. When asked if Teen Challenge takes non-Christian clients, Castellani said they did and he then bragged that some Jews who complete Teen Challenge programs become "completed Jews."
Acute, frequent readers of this site (both of you) will recall that your 'Ob't Sv't' has been skeptical since Mr.O first surfaced as a serious candidate that he would be the best President to mend the wall of separation between the Church and State, the breaches in which had metastasized under the Cheney/Bush regime. He gave ample evidence in both his primary and general election campaigns that he planned to do nothing to reverse the Chimperor's blatant efforts to fund 'religious' organizations through subterfuge.
The installation of Jim Ramstad in ANY position in the Obama government should be read by anyone with the intellectual acuity greater than a sea urchin as a cave-in to the radical, fundie, "faith-based-initiative' crowd, and NOT any kind of a progressive move...