Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Megan Barry denies being an atheist. What are her values?

Today's Tennessean reported that Megan Barry made a preemptive move to counter charges that she is an atheist. I had not heard much about this prior to reading it in this morning's Tennessean, but had heard the vague rumor. I had chose to ignore it and not blog about it until Barry brought it up.  Now that she has brought it up, I think it is fair game to question Barry's values and ask if she is hostile to people of faith.

I do not think one necessarily has to be Christian or a person of faith to be a good person.  Also, one's personal religious believe is not much of a factor in whether or not I would support that person for public office. I personally think one can be a person of little faith or no faith and still be a good public servant and still be a good person, or one can be a person of strong faith and be a poor political leader. I think Jimmy Carter was a terrible president but I think he was a good man and a person of deep religious faith.  I would prefer to have an atheist president or mayor who believes in balanced budgets and small government and personal liberty that have a liberal Christian who believes in prolific spending, who accumulates massive public debt and wants to impose their liberal concept of morality on other people. A profession or denial of faith in and of itself does not tell you a lot about a persons position on public policy matters. 

The major reason to question Megan Barry's values is that she is married to Bruce Barry.  To be fair, the beliefs of a husband and wife may not always mirror each other. The most obvious example of this is James Carville, Jr. the commentator and media personality who is a prominent figure in the Democratic Party, who is married to Republican political consultant Mary Matalin. How that marriage works I have no idea. I know I could not devote my self to a cause and be married to someone who is devoted to the opposite cause.  More often than not a husband and wife have shared values.

Bruce Barry,  is a columnist, blogger and current board member and past president of the ACLU of Tennessee. While on occasion I think the ACLU has been on the right side of defending free speech and has occasionally been on the right side of protecting other liberties, more often than not the ACLU seems driven by a desire to push people of faith out of the public square and to protect non believers from being offended by expressions of faith.

Bruce Barry was board president of ACLU of Tennessee from 1999­ to 2009. ​During Barry’s tenure, the ACLU­TN took several extreme positions:

  • Fought the passage of “Choose Life” license plates in 2003.
  • Opposed new restrictions on partial birth abortions in 2008. 
  • Opposed the National Day of Prayer in 2005. 
  • Fought the posting of the Ten Commandments in Monroe County in 2004 and requested their removal in Rutherford County in 2006.
Bruce Barry as a columnist has authored several radical opinions out of touch with Tennessee values. Here is a sample:
  • Barry criticized legislation that would protect students’ religious expression in public schools: Today at the Capitol: More Religion as Much as Possible.
  • Barry implied the religious right wished to return to slavery: Faith Drives New Political Movement: Slavery? 
  • Barry said Belmont University was “bigoted” and employs discrimination because the school with a Christian mission dismissed a lesbian professor. In a piece titled Orienting for the future he wrote, "A ​Christian university can cloak its bigotry and discrimination in a shroud of religious doctrine, but that doesn’t compel its stakeholders to admire the fabric or the fit.” 
  • Barry argued collective bargaining is a “universal human right” in​ Labor Rights and Wrongs. 
  • Used disparaging language to describe Republicans and conservatives in a blog post, ​Feeling Better About Tennessee’s Unhinged State GOP​, he said:
    It’s pretty depressing this time of year looking in on the Tennessee legislature’s weekly wing­nut chronicle — those persistent reminders of just how far our GOP­ led state can stray from sanity. Fortunately, for those of us dispirited by the right­wing mayhem that sucks all the rational air out of the room in Tennessee, scientific psychology offers an easy remedy: social comparison theory. In simple terms, we can shore up our self ­worth by comparing ourselves with others. The good news is it turns out Tennessee lacks a monopoly on unhinged conservatives.

This is only a sample. If one searches, one can find  more that reveals a contempt for traditional values and people of faith. None of this of course even proves that Bruce Barry is an atheist, and it certainly does not prove that Megan Barry is an atheist, but I think it does show that the values of Bruce Barry or not the values of most Nashvillians and I think it is fair to assume Megan Barry shares her husbands values unless there is reason to believe she does not.

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  1. The most interesting thing about Spitzer's prosecutions as NYAG wasn’t who he went after, but the people to whom he turned a blind eye.” Why were Hedge Funds with main offices in NYC, off limits for his investigations?

    FOR EXAMPLE George Fox is the president of hedge fund, Titan Advisors - and Spitzer's ally on Wall Street. The hedge-fund manager has donated $140,000 to Spitzer's campaigns for governor and state attorney general going back to 1998, campaign-disclosure records show. He travels in the most well-heeled circles, once rubbing elbows with movie mogul Harvey Weinstein, Cablevision CEO Jim Dolan and actress Bernadette Peters at a $2 million fund-raiser for Spitzer, where he applauded the governor's efforts on behalf of Wall Street investors.

    Fox's firm, Titan Advisors, was founded more than 16 years ago, according to its Web site. The site trumpets the firm's "longstanding relationships with some of the world's most sought-after asset managers."

    Fox began his career as a floor trader at the Coffee, Sugar and Cocoa Exchange and the Commodity Exchange in 1984, according to his biography. He moved on to create his own hedge-fund advisory firm in 1992. He rolled his $650 million business into Titan in 2001.

    Spitzer revealed he lost money with Madoff----did Fox invest with Madoff?

  2. Lest we forget, David Fox is not a Christian. He is Jewish and as a Jew believes that Jesus was a nice Jewish boy who was a little deluded.
    Megan Barry on the other hand is Catholic, and a specialist in government ethics.

  3. Shall see how rob from the rich progressives do on running Nashville. If anything like Ibama, worry more about social issues than jobs, crime and planning