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Clinton swears in new ambassador for religious freedom
June 2nd, 2011
10:18 PM ET

Clinton swears in new ambassador for religious freedom

By Jamie Crawford, CNN National Security Producer

Washington (CNN)– Secretary of State Hillary Clinton hailed a "leader in bridging faith and public service" Thursday as she swore in Dr. Suzan Johnson Cook as ambassador at-large for international religious freedom.

In her role, Cook will serve as a principal adviser on religious freedom to President Barack Obama and Clinton, as well as head the Office of International Religious Freedom in the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor at the State Department.

The office seeks to shine a light on everything from authoritarian regimes that impede freedom of worship for their citizens to violent extremists who work to exploit sectarian tensions.

"The Obama administration is dedicated to the rights of all people everywhere. Everyone, no matter his or her religion, should be allowed to practice their beliefs freely and safely," Clinton said before administering the oath to Cook at a ceremony in the Benjamin Franklin Room at the State Department.

Cook, a Baptist minister from New York, is the founder and president of the Wisdom Women Worldwide Center.

She has spoken and led delegations throughout the United States, Africa and the Caribbean, in addition to being a founder and board member of a youth enrichment program in New York.

In addition to serving as chaplain to the New York Police Department, Cook also served as an adviser on the Domestic Policy Council, and the President's Initiative on Race during the Clinton administration.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Belief • Church and state • DC • Foreign policy • Hillary Clinton • Politics • United States

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soundoff (77 Responses)
  1. ccalhoun

    A Baptist minister as an advisor on religious freedom? A Christian of the Baptist ilk, like Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell.

    What a joke!

    June 5, 2011 at 4:16 pm |
  2. eliteamericans

    She is such a poop head
    [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZkEXivVIR4M&w=640&h=390]

    June 5, 2011 at 11:47 am |
  3. THE G MAN

    YOU HAVE A MUSLIM PRESIDENT TRYING TO PASS HIMSELF OFF AS A CHRISTIAN > WHAT A SCAM ! STUPID AMERICANS BELIEVE HIS CRAP !

    June 5, 2011 at 3:40 am |
    • ccalhoun

      I kind of admire people who can successfully fend off reality and live their prejudices. These same people can say that Bush was honest, Cheney a patriot and Palin a genius and pass lie detectors. An amazing ability.

      June 5, 2011 at 5:41 pm |
    • Anthony

      Yeah, and have you heard he wasn't born in America? Fool.

      June 6, 2011 at 11:01 am |
  4. FairGarden

    Freedom from faith = tyranny by immorality

    June 5, 2011 at 3:08 am |
  5. RightturnClyde

    Hillary and Obummer ordered Petreus to burn bibles in Afghanistan (after getting mad at the preacher in Florida who'd burn the Quran) and both Hillary and Obummer call it the Holy Quran and vow to "defend it." (What does that tell you?)) Both Hillary and Obummer and Naolitano have declared formally that Christians are terrorist (profiling) but will not declare Islamic radicals as terrorists (even though we all know WHO flew the airplanes - and the soo-e-side trucks and cars - so you see THERE IS profiling and there is a "favored" religion and a favored god and a favored religious group and it is NOT Christians or Jews or atheists .. is Muslims. Go figure

    June 5, 2011 at 12:44 am |
    • LoneZero

      jeeze stop watching faux noise and remove the tinfoil hat and start using your brain!

      central command general order no 1. forbids "proselytizing of any faith, religion, or practice" it is strongly enforced in predominantly Muslim areas. It doesn't matter if it was a bible, any outside holy book would of recieved the same treatment. The fear is distributing religious material will be seen as an attemp to proselytize the local people. Military officals (not Obama or Clinton) chose to burn the bibles, they would of also burned any other outside holy book that were sent to them since they cannot proselytize, sending the bibles back would of resulted (and was also feared) that the church would send the bibles to another organzation in afganistan in fear of proselytize the locals. Proselytize the locals would create more radicals against our forces, there is no freedom of religion there the areas are runned by theocracies and monarchs led by their relgious values.

      President Obama has called the bible holy as well on many occasions, atleast he respects other holy books too, as he should. Any holy book should be defended in OUR country since it is a protected right to believe in any religion that we want too(no matter how crazy we think they are. The U.S. is not a christian nation, it is a secular democracy open to all creeds where freedom reigns. So all Holy books are to be defended in our country. Even the "enemies" holy book

      al Qaeda was formally declared Islamic radicals as terrorists and as there is radicals in Islam, there are Christians radicals, The Hutaree (which translates to christian warriors is an example of Christian radicals)

      I don't see any "profiling" or "favored" religion as you claim.

      June 5, 2011 at 1:48 am |
    • RightturnClyde

      ohhh yes. Janey Napolitano (HS) formally old all of the Police Departments in the U.S. in an official memorandum that ALL Christians and ALL Veterans are to be regarded as possible terrorists. These are categorical sub groupings specific characteristics (profiling); Baysian circles. Obummer formally wondered why activie duty military do not pay their own hospital insurance since they volunteered (of course they are uninsurable). Obummer threw Israel under the bus and today the Muslims stormed he border of Israel and were fired upon. (They heard what he said and what he did not say). There is plenty being said and plenty being not said.

      June 5, 2011 at 3:58 pm |
    • LoneZero

      @RightturnClyde

      Did you also read the report that Janet Napolitano, formally told all of the Police Departments in the U.S warning about left-wing extremists too? Both reports were initiated during the administration of President George W. Bush.

      Why didn't you mention the right-wing and left-wing terriorst reports? extremist come from diffrent beliefs, ideas, faiths, civilian, or veteran it doesn't matter.

      What about the reports on unions? When the collective bargaining bills were being passed all over, reports said extremist groups may try to attract unions for possible terriorst activities. That's kinda the point of homeland security to find out possible terriorst activites and report it. Once again I don't see any favored religion or profiling.

      I will admit that The reports were va-gue on both the right and left-wing and a better job could of been done detailing how and why. Though no one made a big fuss over the left-wing report yet when the right wing report came out all the accu-sations such as yours started to flood faux noise and Limbaugh spewed it out too, and typical of your party, didn't offer any solutions to fix it, just finger pointing and slander.

      Obama did this, Obama did that, like your last post your just assuming and slandering him. Instead of wasting time pointing fingers you should be trying to convince your party to start working together so will have a brighter future. All this right-wing only ideas vs left-wing only ideas is rubbish. This isn't getting us anywhere were just being divided and doomed to keep going in circles as the two parties fight it out for control to push there ideologies on us.

      June 5, 2011 at 9:06 pm |
  6. Reality

    We need to cut our debt now and cancelling the worthless position of ambassador of religious freedom is a good place to start. We don't need another bureaucrat to tell us the following:

    SAVING 1.5 BILLION LOST MUSLIMS:

    THERE NEVER WAS AND NEVER WILL BE ANY ANGELS I.E. NO GABRIEL, NO ISLAM AND THEREFORE NO MORE KORANIC/IMAM-DRIVEN ACTS OF HORROR AND TERROR

    SAVING 2 BILLION LOST CHRISTIANS:

    THERE WAS AND NEVER WILL BE ANY BODILY RESURRECTIONS I.E. NO EASTER, NO CHRISTIANITY

    SAVING 15.5 MILLION ORTHODOX FOLLOWERS OF JUDAISM:

    ABRAHAM AND MOSES PROBABLY NEVER EXISTED.

    Please post this message to your mosque, church, or synagogue doors!!

    Added details upon request.
    =============================================================================

    June 4, 2011 at 8:08 pm |
    • jesse

      I agree! I am doing the best i can do to spread the word of a similar message. The more of us,the better!

      June 5, 2011 at 5:04 am |
    • Thinking Southerner

      At last, someone with a valid, intellectual statement. Keep it up.

      June 5, 2011 at 4:47 pm |
  7. Nellie

    Lol at the US trying to preach religious freedom. Remember, it's freedom of AND FROM religion.

    June 4, 2011 at 9:52 am |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.