Deal's Window has some pretty upsetting information in it for Catholics:
Deal W. Hudson
In This Issue:
Gay Activism Threatens Catholic Bush Appointee
Why would government investigators from the Office of Personal Management be asking employees of the Office of Special Counsel about their religious affiliation?
A struggle is under way in Washington, D.C. between Catholic conservatives trying to uphold the rule of law and homosexual activists trying to twist it to their ends.
Last year (June 20, 2005), I wrote about attacks by gay activists on Scott Bloch, who heads the OSC, but the situation has worsened. Bloch's office is now in the midst of a lengthy, and expensive, investigation by OPM, headed by Linda Springer.
Aspects of this investigation are troubling, especially to Catholics.
Some OSC employees are reporting that they have been harassed and intimidated because of their religious affiliations.
For example, one attorney, a Catholic preparing to enter seminary, was challenged by OPM's investigators, led by Inspector General Patrick McFarland, as having an unjustifiably high salary because he was a Catholic.
Investigators asked another employee specific questions about the church he had attended when he lived in a different part of the country. Another was asked if he felt he was overpaid due to his religion and background.
Additionally, two attorneys who graduated from Ave Maria Law School have been singled out as "extremists" and were harassed about being from a "non-accredited" Catholic law school (Ave Maria is accredited).
Why are Catholic tax dollars being spent to pay government employees to harass other government employees about their Catholic faith?
As I reported in my Window of June 20, Scott Bloch is a Catholic and accused by gay activists of revising OSC in accord with his "religious beliefs". It's simply not true, as has been established in a Congressional hearing and a previous investigation.
One of OSC's major responsibilities is protecting federal workers from discrimination, and it is here that controversy arose.
Bloch's predecessor, Elaine Kaplan, tried to sneak sexual orientation into the law without Congressional approval. This was unlawful because "sexual orientation" appears nowhere in OSC's laws. In 1998, the court before which OSC practices rejected claims of sexual orientation discrimination because it is not contained in the law.
A Clinton appointee and an open lesbian, Kaplan coordinated with other homosexual activists to use OSC as a wedge in the culture war. Overt legislative offensives by liberals usually fail, and judicial activism can provoke electoral backlashes. They want to use this unlawful reinterpretation to browbeat states, localities, and private businesses into changing their laws and bylaws.
Citing the symbolic Clinton executive order on sexual orientation discrimination, Kaplan brazenly amended OSC's website to trumpet this revisionism and declared that OSC would enforce it despite multiple rejections by Congress.
Kaplan was aided by Clinton staffers at the Office of Personnel Management (OPM), an arm of the White House. OPM posted information on its website citing OSC's authority in this new sexual orientation policy.
Meanwhile, OSC added protections for "sexual orientation discrimination" to its own website, citing OPM's authority - in essence, they rested on each other's authority, without touching the hard ground of the law as written.
Because OSC is low-profile, only activists working with Kaplan inside and outside the Clinton administration fully understood what was happening. They aimed for getting homosexuals status recognition akin to ethnic protections (African-Americans).
So matters stood until 2004, when Bloch became Special Counsel. Bloch was approached by career attorneys troubled by the Kaplan policy. Seeing that it was unlawful, Bloch restored the website and OSC policy to what it had been for decades previous.
A firestorm ensued. He was assailed by activist groups and members of congress furious that he would defy them.
But OPM made no such review, and homosexual activists remained within the Bush OPM. The OPM website still references OSC as the enforcer of a nonexistent policy.
While this was happening, Bloch was getting OSC's day-to-day operations into much better shape than he found it. Aside from the unlawful policy, Kaplan had left the OSC a mess, with a backlog of massive proportions in all areas of the agency. The backlog spanned years, and in two cases a person had died while waiting for relief. OSC has quadrupled results for service members, slashed case processing times, and is said to be backlog free for the first time in a decade.
As Bloch's first year ended, he was secure in office while legislation to restore the Kaplan policy was moribund in Congress. But the activists were about to get a new reason to attack Bloch.
The OSC reorganization included creating a new field office to balance operations in Dallas, San Francisco and Washington, DC. At the request of the General Services Administration, OSC obtained offices in Detroit, and Bloch signed off on a plan to shift personnel around to accommodate the change.
Bloch stayed well within personnel guidelines, but OSC employees unhappy with the repeal of the Kaplan policy filed a grievance. They claimed that Bloch illegally altered the policy, that they were whistleblowers for bringing attention to his illegality, and that he was reassigning them as retaliation. This spawned five other investigations by Congress, GAO, and congressional committee staff, which have vindicated him.
Bloch referred the complaint to the President's Council on Integrity and Efficiency, a committee made up of the 60-odd Inspectors General. After months of deliberations between them and the White House Counsel, the decision was made to pick an Inspector General to contract with OSC to review the complaint.
In September 2005, the White House selected OPM and its Inspector General to conduct the investigation. OPM, you will recall, was the agency working with Kaplan to craft the policy and which, even today, references it.
Bloch and his staff objected to the choice of OPM – any Inspector General should be able to handle this case, but OPM had an obvious conflict of interest that should have barred them from involvement.
Having lodged his objections, Bloch allowed the investigation to proceed rather than be removed for failure to comply. It is important to note that OSC is an independent investigative and prosecutorial agency that is supposed to be free of White House interference.
The investigation was supposed to last two or three months. However, it has dragged out, and is currently ongoing.
One encouraging note: Senators Brownback, Inhofe, and DeMint wrote Bloch requesting all documents relating to the conflicts of interest and other problems with the investigation, including violations of constitutional rights.
Those documents reveal shocking irregularities of concern to all Catholics.
Some fear the investigation report will be slanted, and is being dragged out to pressure Bloch to resign.
It is disconcerting that a government agency is being allowing to harass a public official and his employees for their Catholic faith. Catholics should be keeping a very close eye on this situation and be prepared to defend fellow Catholics that are being discriminated against and harassed in the workplace.
TWO IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENTS:
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