Obama signs new rules for faith-based groups

By Michelle Boorstein UPDATE: 1:18 P.M.: President Obama signed an executive order today to tweak the rules governing how faith-based … Continued

By Michelle Boorstein

UPDATE: 1:18 P.M.:

President Obama signed an executive order today to tweak the rules governing how faith-based social service groups do business with the government. The changes are meant to please church-state people on both sides of the ideological spectrum but still sidestep the most explosive, unresolved issue: whether such groups can discriminate in who they hire.

The changes are among those recommended by an independent panel Obama picked to advise him on church-state issues. The panel, which has since been disbanded, made its recommendations in March.

From the White House, the key provisions of the order:

Comments from religious leaders:

I just spoke with Rev. Welton Gaddy, president of The Interfaith Alliance and a member of the president’s task force reviewing these church-state issues, who said the executive order “is a significant step forward which can be applauded with caution. I don’t think anyone concerned about civil rights and discrimination can be elated about an executive order that doesn’t address the religious hiring issue.”

Nathan Diament, director of public policy for the Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations, and a member of the President’s Advisory Council:

“I am very pleased with the Executive Order which President Obama has issued today. The Order adopts all of the key principles and recommendations that our Council put before the President. The Order thus champions fundametal constitutional principles, protects the religious liberties of individuals and promotes the effective and important partnerships the Federal government has with faith-based organizations.”

“Through this Executive Order, and the ongoing efforts of the White House’s ‘faith-based initiative,’ President Obama has advanced America’s social welfare sector and protected constitutional principles.”

  • Carstonio

    Clarification – does the hiring issue involve the charities wanting to hire only people who belong to that particular sect or denomination, or wanting to hire only straight people? Or both?

Read More Articles

Top 10 Reasons We’re Glad A Catholic Colbert Is Taking Over Letterman’s “Late Show”

How might we love Stephen Colbert as the “Late Show” host? Let us count the ways.

God’s Not Dead? Why the Good News Is Better than That

The resurrection of Jesus is not a matter of private faith — it’s a proclamation for the whole world.

An Untold Story of Bondage to Freedom: Passover 1943

How a foxhole that led to a 77-mile cave system saved the lives of 38 Ukrainian Jews during the Holocaust.

Friend or Foe? Learning from Judas About Friendship with Jesus

We call Judas a betrayer. Jesus called him “friend.”

Fundamentalist Arguments Against Fundamentalism

The all-or-nothing approach to the Bible used by skeptics and fundamentalists alike is flawed.

Mary Magdalene, the Closest Friend of Jesus

She’s been ignored, dismissed, and misunderstood. But the story of Easter makes it clear that Mary was Jesus’ most faithful friend.

The Three Most Surprising Things Jesus Said

Think you know Jesus? Some of his sayings may surprise you.

How to Debate Christians: Five Ways to Behave and Ten Questions to Answer

Advice for atheists taking on Christian critics.

Heaven Hits the Big Screen

How “Heaven is for Real” went from being an unsellable idea to a bestselling book and the inspiration for a Hollywood movie.

This God’s For You: Jesus and the Good News of Beer

How Jesus partied with a purpose.

Jesus, Bunnies, and Colored Eggs: An Explanation of Holy Week and Easter

So, Easter is a one-day celebration of Jesus rising from the dead and turning into a bunny, right? Not exactly.

Dear Evangelicals, Please Reconsider Your Fight Against Gay Rights

A journalist and longtime observer of American religious culture offers some advice to his evangelical friends.