Religious Hiring Issue

By Michelle Boorstein One subject is proving too hot to handle for the small groups starting to meet as part … Continued

By Michelle Boorstein

One subject is proving too hot to handle for the small groups starting to meet as part of the White House’s hand-picked faith-based advisory council.

The question of whether faith-based groups that receive government money can discriminate in who they hire — only hiring people of their own faith, for example — is proving so explosive that White House officials have removed it from the to-do list of a task force that’s supposed to sift through church-state issues.

The hiring issue would have fit neatly into the agenda of a task force charged with “reform of the faith-based office.” That group was formed to debate and make recommendations to the president on constitutional issues that arise for faith-based social social service groups that receive public money, among other issues. Joshua Dubois, the office’s executive director, has said clarifying such legal boundaries will be a priority under President Obama, who was among those critical of the Bush Administration for what some saw as intentional vagueness around issues like what constitutes proselytizing and how explicit government-funded groups need to be about separating religious and secular work.

The task force is one of six set up by the White House’s Office of Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships. The others are: fatherhood, U.S. economic recovery, interreligious dialogue, global poverty, and the environment and climate change. The groups, which include many major faith-based social service providers as well as some secular representatives, will advise the president but not make policy.

But the hiring issue is so complex, thorny and politically charged, officials have decided that it will get hashed out by the president’s legal counsel and the attorney general’s office, primarily. The task force charged with making recommendations on constitutional issues will focus on things like encouraging faith-based groups to form separate non-profits to receive federal monies (in an effort to keep secular and religious work separate) and making sure the groups are clear on what constitutes proselytizing.

So far, there doesn’t appear to be an outcry from either side on the administration’s cautious tact, despite that Obama said as a candidate that he was explicitly against religious discrimination in hiring.

Jill Schumann, president of Lutheran Services in America and one of about 60 people at a recent first big meeting held by the Office of Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships, said she understood the president not rushing on legal issues.

“I think their intent is to say, rather than simply giving broad general answers to these issues, we’ll try to work them through first,” she said, “to try and clarify some of these muddy intersections.”

  • solsticebelle

    I have the perfect solution – get rid of the “Faith Based” initiatives office.Keep religion OUT of the government! PERIOD.

  • probashi

    “God in Government” Which god? One can infer that in America it would be the god of the Christians. The conservative Christians still talk about a “Judeo-Christian America”. They need to wake up and look around. But does not matter whether it is Jesus Christ or Inti (Apu Punchaur), god of the Incas, so many bad things have been done in the name of god that god in government is the last thing we need. Organized religion survives by selling the fear of god, and retribution. There should be no barrier to prevent religious practices but the government ought not to be involved in directly promoting “faith-based” charities. Organizations involved in doing charitable work must be free of such strings.

  • SteelWheel25

    Here is a solution….don’t take the money! This is awfully arrogant of the faith-based organizations to want government money on their own terms. This probably would not have been a problem if it weren’t for the fact that we all have witness how mean-spirited and hateful these organizations are to people who disagrees with their politics; moreover, how are we to know these faith-base organizations won’t simply funnel this money right into the republican party campaign purse?? It is a well known fact that these organizations are an extension of the republican PACs. Abide by the rules like everyone else if you want the money. What these organizations are demanding from our government is socialistic in nature with a twist. Give us government money but government needs to stay out of the church’s business!!!! yea, give me a break!!!!

  • gyavis

    As a lifelong and rather devout Catholic, over the past ten years I have watched the harm that the use of Religion for Political purposes. I have watched particularly the President of the Catholic League, a well paid self appointed leader use my religion for political gain. Merely read his releases, he is a schill for the Republican Party that uses my faith for their political gain. There is no greater example of anti-catholicismin the media than to use Dr. Donohue from the Catholic Leage as a mouthpiece for the Catholic Church,,, Something Joe Scarborough did quite frequently during the past three election cycles.

  • hyjanks

    I think Obama should just let it slide; do what Bush had been doing and just say, “OK. Everything is cool”. In addition, he should forgive Cheney for salivating over torture of terrorists (even suspected terrorists).

  • spidermean2

    It is for this reason why the Catholic Clergy is very active during elections. They take money from the government thru “charitable” organizations after the election is over. They do this all around the world and not only in America. Their doctrines are one of main causes of poverty (support for communistic liberation theology; population explosion, immigration explosion, focus on “condom is sinful” rather than fornication is sinful, etc)and often blame the government if it doesn’t give them dole-outs. The Vatican is the seat of Satan.

  • erikavanheusen

    I believe we should help God and do the job for her (God). Instead of waiting until God burns all the religious leaders and all the religious people in hell, we should start burning them now here.

  • Chops2

    “I have the perfect solution – get rid of the “Faith Based” initiatives office.Keep religion OUT of the government! PERIOD”Spot on!!At a time when the president is trying to find cost cutting measures in the budget, this would have to be right up there with the most useless initiative ever.Let these religions keep scamming superstitious old ladies and gullible fanatics for money instead. As it always has.

  • cab91

    Michelle, what is the background for this story? Why do you think this even is a story?”But the hiring issue is so complex, thorny and politically charged, officials have decided that it will get hashed out by the president’s legal counsel and the attorney general’s office, primarily.”Then what is the problem? Is it that the advisory council is not involved?”So far, there doesn’t appear to be an outcry from either side on the administration’s cautious tact, despite that Obama said as a candidate that he was explicitly against religious discrimination in hiring.”Is there no outcry because nobody knows what’s going on?Jill Schumann, president of Lutheran Services in America: “I think their intent is to say, rather than simply giving broad general answers to these issues, we’ll try to work them through first,” she said, “to try and clarify some of these muddy intersections.”Schumann’s not a decision maker here. Why is this a story?

  • GordonShumway

    Keep religion out of government and, more importantly, keep government out of religion! This includes Rev Wright too. You got that, Obama?

  • whistleblower1

    The New York City Salvation Army required all employees to declare what Church they went to. Then they forced two non Christian employees from their jobs. Needless to say I do not contribute any more.

  • iamnotashamed

    Probashi:There is only one God, the Christian God, crator of the universe. We do not follow Him out of fear, but out of love! When we realize how great His love is for us, how can we help but follow Him?The great thing about the Christian religion is that it puts everyone on a level playing field. God does not distinguish between sins; all sin is equally damning, no sin is greater than another. The promise of salvation through Jesus Christ is open to all who would come, without payment. In His eyes, there are no “infidels”, no “untouchables”. All are equally loved and valuable in His eyes.I agree that religious groups should not accept money from the government. I believe that God wants us to help one another, not to rely on government to do it.It seems to me that anti-christian comments are always accompanied by an angry and hostile attitude. It makes me so sad, because that is not the message of Jesus. Religion often gets screwed up because of what man does, but the message of love and salvation from Jesus never changes.Please, I invite you to go to my blog for more information, and to leave me a comment.iamnotashamedthelist.com

  • Frank57

    What a silly article!Imagine — “Nothing to kill or die for, and no religion too…”Here’s some fun: When those pesky Jehovas Witnesses knock on your door and ask to come in to teach you about god, answer the door naked, tell them you are a nudist celebrating god’s love of nature. Watch them turn red with shame and run away.For those silly mormon peoples, sneak some superglue onto their bicycle seats, then let the air out of their tires. Hysterical!Gather your friends together on a Sunday, then go find someone working in a store or gas station and stone them to death! When the police arrive, tell them “We exercised the law of the land! This is a christian nation!” Watch them scratch their heads in confusion!These and many more wacky fun-filled ideas on how to mess with pathologically deluded religious people can be yours for only $2.95! Send me a PM now!

  • mmm1110

    Religion and politics don’t mix. I don’t agree with these faith-based initiatives. Faith based organizations should not be receiving public funds. If their tax-exempt status was revoked, I wonder if they would so eargerly line up at the government trough for tax dollars. Whatever work they do should come from private donations. Obama is violating the separation of church and state just as Bush did.

  • timscanlon

    Feeding the nuts is never a good idea.

  • rpetitti

    agreed, don’t feed the nuts… religion has no business in US politics (or shouldn’t).

  • scac1

    If you subscribe to Direct TV and have Total Choice, tune into the religious stations. You will then understand why we should keep Pat Robertsons 700 Law School out of government.

  • dashriprock

    While your at it get rid of ACORN, they worship Obama.

  • khote14

    Remember the golden rule: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”Remember the other golden rule: The one with the gold makes the rules.If you faithists want to exercise your version of it, you’re going to have to deal with our (the taxpayer’s) version of it.Otherwise you can get in line with the other beggers.

  • free-donny

    Excellent! Halting wasteful hiring to save tax payers’ dollars is not only responsible, but it should free up some dollars for more useful programs and the accomplishment of critical government missions.Well done.

  • ednasmith

    seperation of religon and goverment. Good example is the muslims in the middle east and the laws the hurt women and not men. If one realigon gets money then all would get money. keep religon out of the goverment.

  • angelpoo12

    Religious Establishments should have a say who they hire. The reason why these groops are so affective in helping others is they hold to the moral principals that they hold dear. Hiring someone who violates moral values is contridictive to the ministry or organization. I think if the Faith Based groups are doing a better job in helping people than the secular groups why come against them. I challenge you to see who’s doing a better between faith based groups and the secular groups in the recovery rates and successes and lets see the results.

  • cumaea

    kthhken says: “To say religion has no place in government is like saying beauty has no place in nature.”Beauty and religion are both subjective human concepts. They are statements of preference not fact and vary from one person to another. I may think a spider is beautiful while you may think it disgusting. I may believe in the existence of God and you may not. But that’s not the point of this discussion.The issue not whether we ought to fund faith-based organizations that provide services that are beneficial to the community. Rather, it is whether the religious dicta of a group that receives public funds for a public purpose ought to trump the rights their fellow citizens. Those same citizens who contributed the money the faith-based group received. Your argument seems to suggest that a Catholic who, because of her religion, is denied a position in a child care center run in part with public funds by a Baptist church has no right to complain about the discrimination despite that fact that her taxes help to pay for her to be discriminated against.I guess you’d say that it would also be OK for a facility that feeds the homeless to require that their clients say a prayer before being allowed to eat.If a faith-based organization places so great an emphasis on conformity to their principles that they are willing to discriminate in this way, they ought not to apply for public money in the first place. There are plenty of charitable organizations around that could fund them without the sort of restrictions many others who have commented here would like to see.

  • COWENS99

    Faith Based says it all. It is about faith and has no place in government.Separation of Church and State is essential to our country. I think religion is a sign of weakness in men,m you can’t live forever.

  • pomeroyt

    Some organizations, like Catholic Relief Services, for example do a great job in developing countries and sometimes use their local religious networks to increase their knowledge and effectiveness. They have no right to discriminate in hiring Americans against people not of their religion in programs where they are using US government money. This is not particularly difficult to achieve. The question is not at all about whether faith based groups should be able to compete for government money. They just have to follow our civil rights laws for those programs.

  • Counterww

    Norrie is all wet. Nice cherry picking of a definition.Faith is also…”Confident belief in the truth, value, or trustworthiness of a person, idea, or thing.”I know God is trustworthy.

  • DiscerningCitizen

    Separate State from Church! It was infuriating to learn of the POTUS/White House requiring Georgetown to cover its religious symbol that Obama would find offensive. What a pathetic person! Or, is it just the Catholics he keeps trying to stick it to whenever he can! Isn’t this the same Obama who tripped around Israel 9 months ago wearing a yamacah??? Oh that’s right, he was CAMPAIGNING at that time….so he was using the Israelis for votes back home? This Office of Faith is ludicrous. What is needed, instead, is an Office of ETHICS….and it should contribute to the development of public policy!

  • Informed-1

    Tis simple…look at it like this.

  • fishmeat

    So if faith based charities need not apply for government money. Then all other charities should do the same.

  • Scar1

    This is why we have Separation of Church and State. However, Christians, Muslims, Jews, etc. have to work unless they are so blessed. Anyone that would discriminate or refuse a person a job based on religion needs to be fired point blank. This is why most applications ask persons not to detail their affliation due to ridiculous stuff like this.People should be able to practice their faith of choice without infringing on someone else’s religion. One cannot make a person religious. That is stupid in itself. If they want to be whatever they are that should be their choice. One cannot change the political status of the Government and put their people in so they have some dream of “taking over the government”. If you know anything about “God-he has his government at hand”. And other religions I have no idea-but power to ya. I and my family serve one God personally-you do what you want. That is your choice. I have to work. Ain’t got a choice. The Bush years set my butt way back to the point of disability for real. So, the whole subject was set long ago by “Separation of Church and State”. See why certain things are in place because some idiot would try the system.Government funds are available to Churches but, remember you have the same rules as everybody else who applies. The Government will check the books. So if you are doing what you are suppose to do in Church and “paying those tithes” your church or organization or whatever you call it would not have to depend on the Government and its money.

  • Scar1

    Another thing. I should be able to wear what I chose to wear at work or play. For years I chose to wear a simple necklace with a cross. That is me. It has nothing to do with someone else’s religion. It is what I like. Some people are just ignorant. They do not understand other cultures or religions and how to be tolorate of others. So, Scar1 is going to wear what the heck she wants. And do not try to take it off or attack my person-again this child of God will go to your butt. People are getting really stupid. The Bush years have just wrecked folks minds. Just be yourselves and leave others alone. If everyone took care of what they are suppose to do the world would be so much better. In other words: tend to your own business, religion, home, political junk and shutup!

  • furtdw

    Separate State from Church! It was infuriating to learn of the POTUS/White House requiring Georgetown to cover its religious symbol that Obama would find offensive. What a pathetic person! Or, is it just the Catholics he keeps trying to stick it to whenever he can! ***************************************On some Catholic blog sites the terms “the persecutions” and “war” are being used.Whether or not these terms are accurate, Obama’s hostility towards Catholicism (and Christianity in general) is perceived.On Nov. 4th, 2008, Obama won 54% of the Catholic vote. He is on his way to losing it.

  • sux123

    Office of Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships??There should be no such Office in our government. Keep faith out of government, don’t use tax money to promote faith – then they can hire who they want.

  • anarcho-liberal-tarian

    Simple solution” STOP USING TAX DOLLARS TO FUND RELIGIOUS GROUPS!Then they can hire whoever they want and my tax dollars aren’t used for building a 2000 year old dead guy a house.

  • faithfulservant3

    A nonprofit can take federal money and promote sexual promiscuity and abortion, and they can advocate on what the definition of marriage should be. In other words, they have free speech. These groups can talk about the Enlightenment, the Scientific Revolution, and the Age of Reason, evolution or secularism. They can discuss Greek and Roman art and mythology that is full of religious symbolism. They can probably even host parties for things such as Chinese New Year and it is deemed acceptable.But somehow, many believe that a Christian group should be barred from mentioning Jesus Christ and the gospel. This is not protection of the First Amendment, but a violation of it. Somehow talk of the Prince of Peace who “is love” is deemed to be so dangerous, illicit, and insidious that mere mention of it is to be barred or th vulnerable might be “scarred” forever.But obscenity, nudity, and any other belief systems are constantly displayed and often touted through myriad government sponsored or regulated forums.This country is twisted. People here are free to read, discuss and decide who they want to be.

  • LeeBagley

    Even if this is the case, the arguments against President Obama’s eliminating preference towards “faith-based” nonprofits are so specious, one can hardly comprehend their reasoning. Eliminating favoritism towards the preference of a faith-based group does not discriminate against that group. Period! It means merely that the faith-based group must join others on being judged by merit. These anti-Catholic, anti-Christian squabblings are not only ridiculous but they are ignorant.

  • fastpass

    I want my religious group to be funded and not to have any strings but I don’t trust anybody else’s faith group. True I don’t know what all these groups stand for but I don’t have the time to find out about each and every one. I know we’re not going to agree on abortion or gay marriage-some people are so unreasonable on these topics. Be honest do you disagree with any of these statements.

  • HillMan

    “Another thing. I should be able to wear what I chose to wear at work or play. For years I chose to wear a simple necklace with a cross.”Is anyone really requiring you to remove a necklace?Really?And I’d like to wear a nice collared shirt with obscenities and disparaging comments about women in the workplace.Is that my right also?

  • Utahreb

    Solsticebelle – I agree completely! One of the reasons I vollunteer for the Salvation Army at their local thrift store is that never, in the 50 years I have volunteeered for them, has anyone asked me about my religious beliefs.No, I don’t go to church – I think that churches have become, in the main, nothing but big businesses. I also believe that they should stay OUT of politics. What I believe or not believe should not keep any group from accepting my help. If they do not proselytize me and I am not preaching to them, then that is the way it should be. Many who want to help find that there are too many roadblocks, one being that you have to believe in the tenets of the religious group.

  • skewb

    As others have noted, this should be a non-issue. Faith-based funding is in itself unconstitutional. It is thus no surprise that constitutional concerns have been raised in this regard. And for the Christian apologists upset about government funding for secular institutions, let me draw some clarity: science and planned parenthood are not part of any belief system. No faith is required to support either. And that is all the difference: faith – we do not fund it. And another point: Judaism, Islam and whatever other religions, like Christianity, shall not receive what amounts to mandatory tithes from the public. So don’t play the card that Christianity is being singled out. This cry is so obviously disingenuous and flatly untrue. The majority of Americans identify as Christians, and Christians have held the seat of power for hundreds of years. So please don’t insult me with your cries of prejudice – the hypocrisy is nauseating.

  • HillMan

    “A nonprofit can take federal money and promote sexual promiscuity and abortion, and they can advocate on what the definition of marriage should be.”Really? How about posting a few examples of nonprofits using government funds to promote sexuality promiscuity and abortion or to advocate for marriage definitions.Methinks for someone advocating a Christian point of view you may want to check Scriptural views on lying before you post again.

  • djmolter

    IAMNOTASHAMED WROTE:Unless you don’t happen to be a Christian. What’s level about that?Face it — damned near everyone thinks theirs is the true religion. That will never change. Will the government fund pagans? Satanists? Fund all or none.

  • obrier2

    No money for church’s! If they want a piece of the pie they can start paying taxes like the rest of us.

  • the1joncook

    Why are those of a Christian persuasion so ready to claim anti-Christian bias when someone disagrees with them? I can only believe there are two answers to my question. One is from total ignorance of the situation and two is they are using it as a way to silence any critisism of thier religion.

  • adrienne_najjar

    Stop giving money to anything having To do with religion. Religion is a bunch of baloney, and is totally Responsible for all the ills of the world. Stop this nonsense now!

  • EnemyOfTheState

    Look, if your omnipotent god needs my money to make the world a better place, then maybe you need to double-down on passing the hat on Sundays.

  • wildfyre99

    Have to agree. Neither the federal or state government should provide funding to any religious institution or group for any purpose. Even when that funding supports a secular fucntion like feeding the homeless it contributes directly to the religious group’s bottom line. For every dollar the government gives they can keep one dollar in their own coffers and use it for religious purposes. This effectly supports their religious mission.

  • perspective4

    Everything in life is a balance and yes religion should stay out of government but the real meaning to separate religion from state was not meant to denounce any God but to avoid one specific religious group to represent America … Most of the key founding fathers believed in a God in their life (main reason the pilgrims left England) but the idea to mandate Catholicism in the new America was going backwards in their eyes and they needed to proclaim this. Some Churches or missions groups in my area as were contacted by Government faith-base offices for the reason they studied and found positive results that were produced and wanted to put good money to good results. I don’t believe hiring and atheist in a Baptist church will corrupt anything! if they are qualified let them work I just would not ask them to interpret the Bible.No religious organization is perfect but for these people who don’t believe in a God or something bigger then themselves can clamor at rights while miss-understanding text or meaning behind one’s belief. Religion and God are two separate things when you drill down to it especially with Christianity. This is a free Country and all human beings have their own beliefs but not all beliefs are true. For the last few years I believed I could ward of aging but I was wrong. In this same note lets take IN GOD WE TRUST off the monies so Government can void any reasoning of what formed this Country in which the founders believing in a GOD not a certain religion. History is not just yesterday’s paper at the bottom of a cage but a piece of knowledge to help us to another day.

  • rfkreston

    Y’all folks keep confusing support of programs of social service (like day care centers for poor working women, or feeding or sheltering homeless) with proselytizing. Getting govt. money to proselytize is unconstitutional but there is no reason that,where the govt. provides funds to secular organizations to provide a service, it should not do so for “faith based” organizations to do so.Now we all know there will be zealous souls out there who, getting a captive audience from their social service endeavors, cannot/will not resist preaching to that audience. It cannot be avoided. However, since often, historically in the US, it has been religiously based charities that have cared for those who are unable to pay for/get services from anyone else; we need to stop flogging the horse about them being faith based and thank them for doing work that we should have been doing but weren’t.That said, where the faith based provided steps over the line and starts proselytizing, even to the extent of handing out flyers privately paid for to their captive audience describing faith issues, the overseeing agencies of the govt. must require them to stop or loose the funding. Nor should we require them to do something that is contrary to their beliefs. Let us instead put secular alternative groups into the picture who will provide such services (the obvious one is abortion but there are others).As to whether they can employ those who are not of their faith. Allowing that discrimination removes the program from a faith based group providing a govt. service and turns it into a religious group providing a service as a religion and that is unconstitutional for using govt. money, private money, yes; govt. money no. Simple as that.

  • TIMNGUYEN1

    COWARD LIAR BARACK HUSSEIN OBAMA “APOLOGIST IN CHIEF”, HOW CAN HE KEEP HIS NONSENSE PROMISE DURING HIS CAMPAIGN, THAT IS, NEGOTIATING WITH U.S.’ ENEMIES SUCH AS CUBA, NORTH KOREA AND IRAN, WHEN CUBA’S COMMUNIST REGIME REFUSED TO ANY POLITICAL REFORM AS FIDEL CASTRO, WHO HAS STILL CONTROLLED CUBA, STATED THAT OBAMA MISINTERPRETED HIS BROTHER RAUL BY SAYING THAT CUBA WOULD RELEASE SOME POLITICAL PRISONERS, NORTH KOREA JUST LAUNCHED ANOTHER MISSILE TEST, AND IRANIAN PRESIDENT MAHMOUD AHMADINEJAD, AN EXTREMIST WHO HAS CALLED FOR ISRAEL TO BE WIPED OFF THE MAP AND DENIED THE HOLOCAUST, AGAIN DEFIED U.S. AND EUROPE WITH HIS RACIST HATE SPEECH AGAINST ISRAEL AT A U.N. ANTI-RACISM CONFERENCE??? IS HE GOING TO BOW TO FIDEL CASTRO, KIM JONG IL AND MAHMOUD AHMADINEJAD AS HE DID TO KING OF SAUDI ARABIA TO GET HIS PEACE DEALS??? IS HE WILLING TO CONVERT TO ISLAM, HIS KENYAN FATHER AND INDONESIAN STEP-FATHER’S RELIGION, TO MEET OSAMA BIN LADEN’S REQUIREMENT THAT TO END THE IRAQ WAR, U.S. WITHDRAWAL IS NOT ENOUGH, AMERICANS MUST REJECT THEIR DEMOCRATIC SYSTEM AND EMBRACE ISLAM??? AS FOR WATERBOARDING TACTIC USED BY CIA, OBAMA ORDERED TO STOP IT EVEN IT DID WORK WELL ON TERRORIST SUSPECTS SUCH AS KHALID SHAIKH MOHAMMED, THE SELF-DESCRIBED PLANNER OF 9-11 ATTACKS, SAVING THOUSANDS OF AMERICAN LIVES!!!

  • wearedoomed1

    If you want to stop funding public funding for religous groups that do good charity work, then please stop using my tax money to fund things which I don’t believe in. Governmnet would get smaller real quick. It’s really that simple.

  • kathlenec

    Goverment and religion should not intertwine. And, believe those who preach politics fron the pulpit should lose tax free status.

  • wildfyre99

    RFKRESTON… the problem is that providing money for a religious organization’s “social” activities allows that organization to spend less of their own money on that activity and allows them to use it for religious purposes.I doubt very seriously that if a given church budgeted $100,000 to feed the homeless and then the government pitched in with $50,000 that the church would provide $150,00 to the cause. Call me cynical but I bet they would reduce their own contribution to $50,000, thus freeing $50,000 for printing tracts or even buying new robes for the choir.

  • georgereston

    Faith-based groups can discriminate all they want, but not on my dime.

  • crazyfire109

    So for all of you who are worried, and rightly so, that your tax money will be used to support discrimination, think about the groups you are discriminating against. They are churches, usually Christian (I’m including both the Catholic and Protestant divisions in this) and run such things as charities, schools, and the like. Now I should ask, are these organizations where most of the crime is coming from? Are they helping or messing up society? I say give them the money and let them choose. WHY? Because they are doing something good (unless you want to disagree that schools and charities are bad)for our society. You don’t have to participate in them if you don’t want to. Let them have an influence as best they can in caring for the poor (since no one else seems to care till they are in that situation) and provide a school for those that want to attend. If you don’t like it, go someplace else. These aren’t huge million dollar companies.Besides if you actually thought you were losing a job because of discrimintaion, would you really want to work there anyway?

  • arosscpa

    Wildfyre99 states “Even when that funding supports a secular function like feeding the homeless it contributes directly to the religious group’s bottom line.” This ignores that possibility that the agency devotes 100% of its own revenue, less administrative expenses, and 100% of government grants to program expenses. This is typical of agencies such as Lutheran Services and Catholic Charities.Hillman states, one hope ironically, “Really? How about posting a few examples of nonprofits using government funds to promote sexuality promiscuity and abortion or to advocate for marriage definitions.”1) Every abortion/family planning program enabled to receive federal funds when Obama withdrew the Mexico City policy. 2) Every gay men’s and lesbian’s health clinic program in the country that receives government grants, or participates in Medicaid/Medicare. We can also include every STD prevention and treatment program premised on the belief that prevention need not be limited to abstinence.

  • perspective4

    Everything in life is a balance and yes religion should stay out of government but the real meaning to separate religion from state was not meant to denounce any God but to avoid one specific religious group to represent America … Most of the key founding fathers believed in a God in their life (main reason the pilgrims left England) but the idea to mandate Catholicism in the new America was going backwards in their eyes and they needed to proclaim this. Some Churches or missions groups in my area as were contacted by Government faith-base offices for the reason they studied and found positive results that were produced and wanted to put good money to good results. I don’t believe hiring and atheist in a Baptist church will corrupt anything! if they are qualified let them work I just would not ask them to interpret the Bible.No religious organization is perfect but for these people who don’t believe in a God or something bigger then themselves can clamor at rights while miss-understanding text or meaning behind one’s belief. Religion and God are two separate things when you drill down to it especially with Christianity. This is a free Country and all human beings have their own beliefs but not all beliefs are true. For the last few years I believed I could ward of aging but I was wrong. In this same note lets take IN GOD WE TRUST off the monies so Government can void any reasoning of what formed this Country in which the founders believing in a GOD not a certain religion. History is not just yesterday’s paper at the bottom of a cage but a piece of knowledge to help us to another day.

  • RPW3

    God is devisive. He is dividing us up and setting us against one another. I wonder why He is doing that?”Formez vos bataillions!”

  • semidouble

    Geez, I thought money is the root of all evil. And yet the omnipotent space daddy needs lots of it.

  • kthhken

    The sad part about the misinterpretation of the courts regarding the establishment clause are issues like this, which really didn’t have to be.Back in the day, if you were of a particular faith you were not allowed to own property, and of course if you didn’t own property you couldn’t vote. So for example, in the early 1800′s in Connecticut and other states, if you were Catholic it was against the law for you to own property, and therefore you could not vote. Same for slaves, they were forbidden from owning property and therefore could not vote. There were other classes as well forbidden from owning property, women for example.So one of the concerns the founders had at the federal level, was not promulgating federal laws that would prevent people based on their faith from participating in the political process. They saw the laws that the states had that prevented property ownership for certain faith groups.Thus the establishment clause, the Federal Govt. was not going to say you had to be of a certain faith in order to participate fully in the political process as was the case in many other countries of that era.This new notion, that people cannot inform their consciences based on faith, and have political views based on these informed consciences and then promulgate those views in the political marketplace is not what the founders had in mind with the establishment clause. To say religion has no place in government is like saying beauty has no place in nature. Government is nothing more than the collective consciences of the people. Consciences for most people are formed by faith and tradition (whether they realize it or not), not by the goverment. The government does not form consciences. A healthy functioning democracy brings well formed consciences to the political banquet table, they aren’t banned from the table.Either government gets out of the charity business, or it allows the groups to compete for the money based on effectiveness but stays out of managing how they administer their programs.

  • dcgirl81

    I’m not really sure why there is a debate about this. The government is not legally allowed to discriminate based on religion. Therefore, it seems to follow that if you receive federal funds, you cannot discriminate in hiring, based on religion. Case closed.

  • semidouble

    “A healthy functioning democracy brings well formed consciences to the political banquet table, they aren’t banned from the table.”Agreed, but not ancient beliefs in fairy tales. If our well formed consciences are based on reality, natural laws and science in general, any contribution is welcome. If fantasy murder stories and miracles are the well formed consciences, then we should introduce the stork theory in schools and open an inquiry into gravity.

  • katavo

    Some of those tax dollars are mine.You want to argue morals? I believe it’s morally wrong for religions to take money from frightened suckers. I’m not just saying that, I believe it.So you’re not only going to go against my morals, you’re also going to steal my money to pay for it.Now that’s friggin’ evil.

  • kengelhart

    Jews for Jesus in San Francisco refused to consider hiring me as an IT manager in the 80′s because I could not confirm that I was either a Jew or a Christian. I immediately submitted a complaint to the EEOC, protesting discrimination in hiring based on religion. I was told by them that this practice was completely acceptable. They even tried to explain to me why it was acceptable. I knew then, and I know now, it is not acceptable. I am glad the problem is finally being addressed by this administration.

  • ram9478

    One of the requirements these days for keeping your job in The Washington Post newsroom is the ability to fashion a story out of whole cloth. The technique is becoming known as “The Washington Post Style”. This story is a textbook example.

  • jjeffery

    What people keep forgetting with the phrase Seperation of Church and State, is to keep government out of religion.

  • dcwca

    >>God is devisive. He is dividing us up and setting us against one another. I wonder why He is doing that?An uncanny comment..God is devisive???If you believe in God then you must understand what happened in Eden. 2 symbolic trees. Tree of life they did not partake of. Tree of knowledge of good and evil they did. In short…we dismissed God (with the exception of a relative few thru the millenia) and chose to decide what is good and evil on our own.First mistake.Countless many thereafter. (PS..even if the commenter doesnt believe in God…the reason is still the same)

  • Freestinker

    “If you want to stop funding public funding for religous groups that do good charity work, then please stop using my tax money to fund things which I don’t believe in. Governmnet would get smaller real quick. It’s really that simple.”————————wearedoomed1,The 1st amendment of the Constitution prohibits government endorsement (e.g. funding) of religion. The Constitution does not prohibit the government from endorsing (or funding) other “things you don’t believe in”, it only prohibits endorsement of religion.

  • norriehoyt

    Why would we want a federal Office of Faith Based anything?Check your dictionary:”Faith, n. Belief without evidence in what is told by one who speaks without knowledge, of things without parallel.”

  • jromaniello

    Agreed. Religious organizations may cherry-pick who they hire all they want– provided they are not accepting any government money. That money comes from ALL peoples. Don’t want to hire homosexual/Jews/Atheists, you churches? Do what Grove City College does and finance completely from private benefactors and tuition. But you don’t get to receive tax money, and then discriminate. You also, MAY NOT cherry-pick who you administer your services to (they tend to turn away homosexuals, especially). Personally, I think ALL relgious organizations need to start paying taxes on all that property and those assets. We’d have so much more revenue, if we taxed them! All that property… tax free!Religion really is about business and acquiring money. This has been consistant throughout history, not just modern times. When a Catholic priest, for example, dies and inherited money from his family, that money went to the church. Why else is the Catholic Chruch rich beyond belief? the Mormons are rolling in the dough as well. Why else do churches have an annual tithe of 10% or your income?L. Ron Hubbard once said, “If you wish to become rich, start a religion.” He was right.

  • Freestinker

    “If you believe in God then you must understand what happened in Eden. 2 symbolic trees. Tree of life they did not partake of. Tree of knowledge of good and evil they did. In short…we dismissed God (with the exception of a relative few thru the millenia) and chose to decide what is good and evil on our own.First mistake.Countless many thereafter. (PS..even if the commenter doesnt believe in God…the reason is still the same)”——————————DCWCW,If no gods exist (and we have no credible evidence to conclude otherwise), then your reasoning is not only illogical … but your conclusion is just plain false.

  • katavo

    DCWCW, even if I could twist my brain into believing that garden of eden crap … I wasn’t there! What is this “we” crap?

  • calexo

    As a devout Christian, I am very disappointed with the actions of President Obama with regard to faith-based programs. First of all, he should have abolished that program started by Bush. He did not do that as he averred during the campaign that he will maintain it. But, he did promise that he will prevent faith-based monies being used by organizations to discriminate in hiring those who do not belong to the organization’s faith-adherence. He has now gone back on his promise just as he has gone back on several others. He is still make good on the promise to exempt seniors making 50,000 dollars less annually from paying any income tax. There are others too numerous to mention. I am truly sorry that I voted for Obama. But, then there will always be a next time when he and his group comes hat in hand for monies and support for his reelection. If he continues in this vein, I would not be surprised if he becomes just a one-time President like Carter.As a nation with a secular Constitution, I do not want my government and its leaders take my tax monies and spend it on faith-based organizations.

  • Chagasman

    Why is this such an “explosive” issue. It is really very simple, and so is the answer: Giving taxpayer money to religious groups is unconstitutional.So, stop giving taxpayer money to religious groups and close the Office of Faith-Based Initiatives immediately. Its that simple. Do the people who work in government, and our elected officials, lack all common sense?

  • pjglazer

    IAMNOTASHAMED – you should be. “There is only one God, the Christian God, crator of the universe.” Crator? Typical.

  • nadinewashabau

    Listen to Susan Boyle sing “Cry me a river” @

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