An actual official meeting at the White House will happen on Friday February 26th between representatives of non-theistic groups and President Obama’s staff. While not as splashy as a meeting with the President it is important for those of us non-believers who feel we were ignored during past administrations.
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 representatives from the Justice and Health and Human Services departments will participate.
The coalition doesn’t embrace all the Obama administration’s stances, but members think that they have more of a kindred spirit in the president than in his predecessor, George W. Bush.
Obama once taught constitutional law. His late mother was spiritual but agnostic. His inaugural address is credited as the first by a U.S. president to include explicit recognition of “nonbelievers” as part of the fabric of the nation.
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 intervene on behalf of other children.