I wish that Obama had picked someone else as his nominee for Director of NIH. I'm not opposed to Collins simply because he is religious. I'm opposed to him because he has taken a very public and vocal position on the roles of science and religion. Here's how I've expressed my viewpoint in comments on my own blog and elsewhere.
I'm not opposed to Collins just because he is an evangelical Christian. And I would not be opposed to someone from another faith, nor to an atheist.This seems to be a difficult position for most people to grasp. PZ Myers shares my perspective on the appointment [Is it really that hard to understand?] but no matter how many times he tries to explain it, there's always someone who tries to turn it into an attack on all Christians. The latest is Matt Springer.
But when a person becomes an outspoken advocate of a particular religious belief and establishes a foundation and a website to promote that belief (e.g. BioLogos) then that's a different story.
The banner on the BioLogos site reads, "We believe that faith and science both lead to truth about God and creation." Collins has gone beyond merely holding a belief that may or may not be compatible with science. He is now actively identified with a particular position; namely, that science and evangelical Christianity are compatible.
Not only that, Collins is on record favoring the use of his office to promote his personal religious beliefs [Mixing Science, Religion, and Politics].
It would be far better to appoint someone who could maintain a decent separation between religion and science. The Director of a major government funding agency should not be openly advocating a religious perspective on science.
It would be just as unwise to appoint a vocal atheist or a vocal Muslim.
Religion should be kept out of scientific organizations whether they they are government run, like NIH, or collections of scientists like AAAS and NAS [What Should Scientific Organizations Say about Religion?, Theistic Evolution: How Does God Do It?]. By nominating someone with a strong, vocal, religious perspective, Obama is sending the wrong message.