Ilana Stern is the new Communications Assistant at Americans United for Separation of Church and State.
She’s quickly discovering the type of things you hear and read about when you are in that line of work…
During my first week, most of my time has been spent reading up on the Religious Right and tuning in to some Religious Right broadcasts, and trust me, there’s a lot to tackle.
[Pat] Robertson, who asserts himself as an unmatched authority on the Bible as well as a superlative expert on politics, also dabbles in financial and fitness advice. In response to a viewer’s question during a weekly “Skinny Wednesday” segment, Robertson proclaimed that while he is not a gynecologist, he is certain that women can still lose extra pounds during menopause.
[President of Faith2Action Janet] Folger… insisted on the “right” of clergy to endorse candidates from their tax-exempt pulpits. She asserted that because AU has asked the IRS to investigate a limited number of houses of worship for church electioneering, [AU Executive Director Barry] Lynn should be likened to a 1940s war criminal.
At least her work will be cut out for her
Ilana also received some words of wisdom from her predecessor, Lauren Smith:
My predecessor, Lauren, advised me not to be surprised by the communications coming into our office from our adversaries. “You’ll see and hear a lot of crazy things,” she warned. I have a feeling that despite her most sincere efforts to prepare me for my new job — I’m going to spend a lot of my first few months here in shock.
I’m sure the months after that will be plenty shocking, too…
Best of luck, Ilana!
By the way, if you’re ever wondering if jobs exist where you’d be doing something you enjoy while being an activist at the same time, this is a wonderful example.
I have no idea if Ilana is religious or not — that doesn’t matter — but she is a recent college graduate who has been hired in a position where she can help make a real difference in the culture wars.
If you’re an atheist looking for a job where you can be open about your beliefs without them being a liability, these non-profits offer some of the best working environments. The friends I have who work for AU and groups like them always seem energetic and excited about their jobs.