Melissa Rogers named to top White House religious outreach job
March 13th, 2013
01:30 PM ET

Melissa Rogers named to top White House religious outreach job

By Dan Merica and Adam Aigner-Treworgy, CNN

Washington (CNN) – The White House announced on Wednesday that President Barack Obama has named Melissa Rogers, a religious academic, to the highest religious outreach job in the White House.

Rogers, who worked with the Obama administration during the planning of his first inauguration in 2009, will become Director of the Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships, a job that includes working with outside religious groups and acting as the top White House official on religious issues.

The job was left vacant when Joshua DuBois stepped down in January after over four years in the position.

In a press release about Rogers, DuBois called her an "excellent and truly visionary choice to lead the White House faith-based office."

“There is no better person to lead the White House Office of Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships, and bring the federal government into deeper, effective and constitutional partnership with faith-based and other nonprofit groups around the country,” DuBois wrote.

In an opinion editorial for the Belief Blog, DuBois wrote that the job allowed him to meet people "who care first about God, and second about their neighbors, and seek to live this care out into the world."

Rogers steps into a White House that is dealing with a number of faith issues primarily how to handle the policy of insisting health insurance plans provide contraceptive coverage over the objections of groups like the Catholic Church and Christian leaders. The issue persisted throughout Obama’s first term in office and will likely continue into his second.

In addition, different faith groups have been pushing the White House on issues of religious freedom, gun control and immigration.

Before coming to the White House, Rogers served as the director of the Center for Religion and Public Affairs at Wake Forest University Divinity School and a senior fellow at the Brooking Institute.

She is a lifelong Baptist and served as general counsel of the Baptist Joint Committee for Religious Liberty.

In addition serving as the head of faith-outreach at the White House, Rogers was also named a special assistant to the president.

Politico was the first to report Rogers appointment.

- Dan Merica

Filed under: Baptist • Belief • Politics

soundoff (251 Responses)
  1. Answerman

    Of course, Christianity, by design, demands ignorance. Both naiveté and willful ignorance is at the core of a faith that is contrary to the development of knowledge through reason and rationality. It clearly teaches people people not to trust in reason, and to only accept – without question – the dogmas of the church. Faith is elevated above reason in every church to one degree or another and there have been countless lives wasted in the world’s convents and monasteries. These lives are spent in poverty, reading the bible and praying for whatever. However, this subservience to Christ only amounts to an staggeringly immense loss of much human potential.

    March 14, 2013 at 7:52 pm |
  2. Philip

    *bs. Like the oagan greek idea taught to university students that the earth was a hemisphere on the backs of 4 large elephants who were riding through space on the back of a giant tortise, also the above mentioned pantheon of false gods that dumbed-down greeks were stupid enough to believe, and had confused God with medicine and with patriotism/national pride.

    March 14, 2013 at 7:48 pm |
  3. Answerman

    Not me @7:29. That you resort to such tactics as hijacking, your debate status has been revoked.
    You are now at :Samaritan woman at a public watering hole' status. Yer still above Jacob. 🙂

    March 14, 2013 at 7:38 pm |
    • clarity

      I'm thinking this Answerman that has the smiley face goes with the Answerman that earlier said "willfully ignorant" – very Chardonian; lol.

      March 14, 2013 at 7:45 pm |
    • ,

      Trust us we know the difference the other Answerman can right and speaks the truth. All you post is crap full of lies.

      March 14, 2013 at 7:50 pm |
    • Yup

      Chad loves his insipid smily faces.

      March 14, 2013 at 7:51 pm |
  4. Answerman

    The faith purports itself to be non-judgmental, as the notion of “judge not lest ye be judged” is often cited by Christians. Literally, this means that only the Christian god can judge anyone’s actions to be immoral. This is one of the most damaging doctrines of the faith because it assures that the weak will be perpetually doomed to suffering under the strong. However, much like the ecological issue, the Bible makes up for this by assuring the weak that they will eventually inherit this new earth. It is the pinnacle of ignorance not to judge people like Osama bin Laden and Adolf Hitler, but to just turn the other cheek, believing that in the next life everything will be sorted out.

    March 14, 2013 at 7:29 pm |
    • Billy

      " It is the pinnacle of ignorance not to judge people like Osama bin Laden and Adolf Hitler"

      or the members of the Westboro Baptist Church. . .

      March 14, 2013 at 7:36 pm |
  5. Answerman

    Good question @Latent. Why not display all of the over 500 commandments rather than just the first ten that sorto-of go without saying anyway, is the answer.

    March 14, 2013 at 7:22 pm |
  6. Philip

    Just because the wiki doesn't know doesn't mean it's not known.
    The reason why ancient pagan greek temples constructed by physicians burned down, is because they were intentionall built on top of natural gas leaks. These physicians discovered aspirin from the willow, and isolated "laughing gas" from other natural gasses and had templegoers taking aspirin and breathing gas to the point of actually buying-in to bs*

    March 14, 2013 at 7:13 pm |
    • Billy

      LOL LOL LOL – liar!

      March 14, 2013 at 7:14 pm |
  7. Philip

    Ummm, no. They burned down. Fire. Historical fact. (i'm not talking about temples that crumbled down over time. Burned down. Fire. Hot. Flame.)

    March 14, 2013 at 7:03 pm |
    • Billy

      You should provide evidence of that. I think you're lying.

      March 14, 2013 at 7:13 pm |
  8. Philip

    ...while ter at the wiki, ask why ancient greek temples made of solid marble and granite burned down anyway. Wiki is still stumped by this question. The anser has to do with greek pharmakeia dumbing down citizens even back then as democracy and modern medicine were being designed and stupized peoples truly believed in Fate, Zues, Hermes...a pantheon of false gods. (just as ancient Egyptians worshipped the Rx symbol god, Horus, who's eye is on your one dollar bill right now.

    March 14, 2013 at 6:54 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      "ask why ancient greek temples made of solid marble and granite burned down anyway"

      Ummm – they didn't burn down (the stone columns anyway). They fell down, in earthquakes, or in the case of the Parthenon, exploding ammunition.

      March 14, 2013 at 6:59 pm |
  9. Philip

    12% is about as gnat as they come there bub. At any rate, the vast majority. I take it you agree with child abuse being at the core of America's overconsumption of mind altering drugs then?

    March 14, 2013 at 6:42 pm |
  10. Philip

    Being rayped as a boy brings on serious feelings of guilt. And if the perps be those of 88% of all America claiming "christianity, the abuse is also spiritually devastating to the victim.
    Virtually all abused children are either prescribed drugs, or self medicate and is why America is addicted to drugs. Child abuse is at the root of America's drug consumption.

    March 14, 2013 at 4:31 pm |
    • .

      click the report abuse link and hopefully this troll will get banned from posting.

      Wow how can anyone live with themselves and lie like this, you are a coward.

      March 14, 2013 at 4:34 pm |
    • ..

      Notice the spelling of the word raped. If this doesn't confirm that Philip=Douglas=Answerman, I don't know what would. And his story is pure self-pity indulgent fabrication. Nothing more, nothing less. He wasn't raped as a boy. This is designed for one thing only: to ilicit pity so we will exceuse him from writing his lies and not being held accountable for them. He is a known liar, evidenced by his "Douglas" posts. Fucking sicko trying to deny his gay tendencies.
      Trying to sound psedo-scientific while posting his opinions as fact, without any collaborating evidence or citations. Fraud.
      Ignore. Ignore. Ignore. I will, from now on.

      Dot, you are correct. He is a coward. He doesn't live like Jesus, but he sure as hell will LIE for Jesus...when it suits his agenda.

      March 14, 2013 at 4:50 pm |
    • Akira

      Philip, you 88% number is a lie. I told you this before; that you are off by at LEAST 12 percentage points.
      What else do you lie about?

      March 14, 2013 at 5:07 pm |
    • clarity

      Ah – I kinda thought Douglas was Answerman. So Douglas has a cheap phone where he posts as Answerman and can't actually reply to people; lovely.

      March 14, 2013 at 5:17 pm |
    • clarity

      I would bet "they" are pervert alert as well.

      March 14, 2013 at 5:18 pm |
  11. Phillip

    Christianity not only brings on feelings of guilt, but its promotion of death over life is morbid. The fact that a cross, a symbol of suffering, torture and death is the icon of the faith illustrates that Christianity is a philosophy of death and has turned real human values into non-values. Suffering has become noble and death has become eternal life. Pictures and illustrations of blood gushing wounds on the fictitious Jesus abound almost everywhere and blood rituals such as communion are core practices in almost every church in the world. The bloody image of a man on a cross desensitizes the faithful and causes them to believe that suffering and misery are expected and death is the only escape.

    March 14, 2013 at 4:20 pm |
  12. Philip

    For a fact it is the impact of pagan inspired pharmaceuticals that has America fat and stupid now. In 1962, your avg. American was fit and smart. NAZI pharmaceuticals made their way to America's shores, and a drug-crazed media driven feeding frenzy set-in motion an entire nation becoming obese, deep in debt, and poor national report cards ta boot.
    REM sleep is the key to understanding reality. Pharmacies distribute REM sleep assassins.
    Yes. Chrystal meth is an SSRI assassinating REM exactly the same as other SSRI anti-depressamts.

    March 14, 2013 at 4:03 pm |
    • Akira

      Chrystal meth is NOT an SSRI, and because I know what's coming, Ritalin isn't a SSRI, either. You spread misinformation. Stop it.

      March 14, 2013 at 4:09 pm |
    • .

      It's just another lying troll claiming to be a xtian.

      March 14, 2013 at 4:21 pm |
  13. Phillip

    The basic problem with Christian morality comes down to it being little more than a primitive system of reward and punishment. Be good, don’t ask questions and stay in line and you will be rewarded. Be skeptical, ask questions and use your mind in a reasonable and rational manner and you are consigned to eternal punishment in the most horrible place, forever.

    March 14, 2013 at 3:52 pm |
    • Arvn Huac

      It's definitely backwards and crude, the kind of clumsy legal system ignorant back-desert peasants would come up with. It certainly isn't the kind of thing a super-intelligent all-loving being wold come up with.

      March 14, 2013 at 3:56 pm |
    • ..

      ....Having completely fucked up the THIS JUST IN blog, Philip 'Answerman' 'Douglas' is here to vomit his uniquely screwed up world view here on the Belief Blog. Yay.

      March 14, 2013 at 4:06 pm |
  14. Philip

    *Dubya Zoloft, rather. (shrug)
    I live as a stranger among men, and have been doing so for nearly 4 years, and really...for all of my life. (if you must focus on me, might as well know what yer looking at)
    From my conception on, I have avoided the pharmacy like the plague. My mother would become violently ill if she took prescription or other drugs while preggers w/me. She couldn't even drink one beer or smole one cigarette w/o puking her gutz out, in fact I made her sick until I was 15 and left home for good, posing as a new kid in town with avg. parents as I graduated HS in Craig, CO., 200 miles from where my parents lived. One of my g/f's was head cheerleader, Nancy McCandless.
    My fingers and toes are too many to count how many aspirin or Tylenol, etc. I ever took. As a boy, I took a beating rather than Pepto Bismol.
    I've never owned a TV nor watched much TV.ever. Yes. There is a major media impact on social behavior. Being among you folks is like being trapped in an episode of the old Twilight Zone.

    March 14, 2013 at 3:49 pm |
    • .

      That's why you're posting on a TV Entertainment site moron.

      March 14, 2013 at 3:51 pm |
  15. Phillip

    The belief that there was a divine man who died for the sins of the world is a grievous and immoral notion. It amounts to human sacrifice. If this were even suggested in real life, such as someone offering to become victim of capital punishment for another’s crime, there would be cries from every corner of society denouncing this action. Given that, then by what possible stretch of the imagination does an immoral idea such as this suddenly become moral when it is the murder of the fictitious Jesus is a substitution for the “crime” of another person or persons? Obviously, the answer is to instill guilty feelings.

    March 14, 2013 at 3:39 pm |
  16. Phillip

    Any religion that requires the acceptance of its ideas on faith alone is admitting that its doctrines cannot stand on their own merits nor withstand any critical examination. They require that their adherents accept as truth their authority, and Christianity is a perfect illustration of this point.

    March 14, 2013 at 3:36 pm |
  17. Philip

    @Dubt Zoloft, esq...beware. Within a matter of weeks you could start suffering from REM sleep disorder and start dreaming during the day. God forbid it be a daytime walking nightmare as described by over 450 doctors at http://www.drugawareness.org founded by a most wonderful woman, Dr. Ann Blake Tracy Phd.
    If you jsut now started on your scrips, STOP and have another look before you continue on your way. Thank you, and am here to answer serious questions and/or refute any serious rebut.

    March 14, 2013 at 3:33 pm |
  18. Welbutrin Zoloft esq.

    I doNd'teD tHinkedeD pHiLLip hAS toO Lses. *twO

    March 14, 2013 at 3:27 pm |
  19. Phillip

    Life might be everywhere. We're just too small and ignorant to fully grasp why, because the numbers are so gigantic.

    That's just fine, by the way. Another thing atheists understand is that it's okay to say "we just don't know," without the ignorance of a true cause compelling us to cram "God did it," in the gaps. It's definitely better to admit not knowing than to believe something that's probably untrue.

    March 14, 2013 at 2:43 pm |
  20. Phillip

    Atheists aren't gullible, either. We understand that the burden of proof rests on extraordinary claims, and that Occam's razor is a useful thinking tool dictating that the simplest explanation for the way things are is also the most likely one. Atheists believe in things that really work – medicine is more effective than prayer for health, and reason is better than blind faith for learning.

    March 14, 2013 at 2:40 pm |
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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.