Friday, May 29, 2020

Bernie Had a Valid Point Mr. Brow [sic]

Brian S. Brown
You would think that, after the first malfunction, Brian S. Brown would take the necessary steps to prevent sending email as "Brian S. Brow."
via Fox New/YouTube
Oh joy. Another email asking for money from “Brian S. Brow” proving, yet again, that National Organization for Marriage employs the organizational skills common to Chad's navy (Chad is landlocked). Brian S. Brown is calling Senator Bernie Sanders a bigot.

Mr. Brown, a rabid homophobe and transphobe has no business calling anyone a bigot. That Brown's own bigotry is the result of extreme religious beliefs does not absolve him of promoting intolerance, something that National Organization for Marriage has done since its inception.

At issue is the pending confirmation of Russell Vought as director of the Office of Management and Budget. OMB employs about 520 people and has a budget just under $100 million. However, those employees manage hundreds of agencies and commissions that employ another 4.3 million people.

You might recall that Mike Pence had to break a tie in the Senate to get Vought confirmed as deputy director of OMB.

Vought is a graduate of Wheaton College, a very conservative Christian school. In 2015 the college suspended Dr. Larycia Hawkins, a tenured professor (the school and Hawkins ultimately reached an agreement to part ways). The reason for the suspension was that Hawkins stated on her Facebook page that Christians and Muslims worship the same god.

Hawkins' point of view could have ignited a very constructive debate in religious circles. Wheaton College did not see it that way.
Along comes Russell Vought
Muslims do not simply have a deficient theology. They do not know God because they have rejected Jesus Christ his Son, and they stand condemned.
You nailed it Russ!

In his confirmation hearings for deputy director of OMB, Senator Sanders had the same questions that I have. What does condemned mean and how might that affect your management? Sanders asked Vought if Jews were also condemned. The implication, of course, is that Jews and Muslims might not have equal employment opportunities at OMB.

At the time there were some grumblings that Bernie was employing a prohibited religious test. Baseballs that raise white dust along the third base line are ruled “fair.” In other words, Sanders came close but he did not cross a line.

Nor could Sanders' questioning be fairly portrayed as bigotry. If someone who kept kosher was being considered for a comparable position, I would have no problem with a Christian senator exploring the attitudes of the nominee towards those who did not keep kosher, including non-Jews.

According to Brian S. Brown, in an email titled bernie the bigot:
If the past is prologue, Bernie Sanders’ outright bigotry and hostility to qualified Christian nominees will once again be on display. Sanders is the Ranking Democrat on the Senate Budget Committee. I expect his bigotry to be echoed by other far left members of the committee.
Brown goes on to claim:
There can be no legitimate question as to whether Russ Vought is qualified to hold this important position.
Well, there are legitimate questions:
  1. Can Vought offer satisfactory assurances that his religious beliefs have not carried over into the workplace?
  2. Can Vought effective manage (has he effectively managed) OMB?
Vought now has a track record. When Mick Mulvaney became acting White House chief of staff in January, 2019, Vought became acting director of OMB. The Senate should conduct a performance review.

In the past, Vought has, for the most part, managed other Christians. He was a VP of Heritage Action. He had a staff role as budget director of the Republican Study Committee and as policy director of the House Republican Conference.

Brown's email is from NOM. The petition (cleansed link) is on the server of his other gig, Howard Center (an anti-LGBTQ hate group). 749 people have now signed the petition which is used primarily as a list management tool. What? You think it has a legitimate purpose? The links are through list-manage.com and include an individual identifier.

Each individual can then be correlated to an IP address which provides location data. There are about 30 to 40 scripts that are activated as well.

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